The concept of ‘good enough’ as relates to organizing and our many attempts to be what we perceive as a ‘well-organized’ person fascinates me. What does organizing mean to you? Most likely, you have a different definition from your spouse, best friend or children. What if, instead of constantly striving to be a better-organized person, or even, heaven forbid, a perfectly-organized person, we strove for a good enough life?
Sarah Hampson, the author of the article, The Secret to happiness? Live a good enough life, stated “…when you don’t expect much when you manage the ideas of what you think your life should be, you can be pleasantly surprised – and grateful – for the good fortune that comes your way.” Somehow this sounds like lowering expectations. Are we reducing the standards of what is acceptable and settling for mediocrity? It’s challenging for someone like me, a recovering perfectionist. I’m still battling with doing my best instead of striving for perfection. So, the concept of living a good enough life doesn’t sit well with me. But I know for many of you, it might be just what you need.
If you organize your kitchen drawers to find what you need but don’t have fancy dividers, that might be good enough. Are your clothes all hanging up but not on matching hangers? That is good enough. If your papers are off the floor and in tidy piles on your desk, and you can find what you need, that might be good enough. If your email inbox is down to 50 messages instead of 500, maybe that is good enough.
I like the idea of good enough as opposed to perfectly organized. It allows us to lower our expectations of what organization means and move towards an achievable level. This concept is especially important for those who don’t like to spend time organizing. It’s equally important for those who find it challenging to know when to stop organizing.
Remember, what we see in magazines and television is often unrealistic. Perhaps that is where some of our expectations of being perfectly organized come from. Have you ever watched one of those makeover shows? The next time you do, look at the computer on the desk in the corner of the living room. There is not a single cord in sight nor a sheet of paper! No matter how well we organize our homes, our computers need to plug in, and we need paper to work so our space will never look like that. So perhaps lowering our expectations is precisely what the doctor ordered!
Everything in life seems to come back to deciding what matters most. If your home and office are organized ‘enough’ to function effectively and enjoy your space, forget about what others may think and go with what works for you. I think the summer is the perfect time to try some ‘good enough’ thinking – at least for you, my dear readers, even if not for me!