It’s a funny thing with disorganized people; some of them,
ironically, are perfectionists who never get traction on their
housework, projects and life, in general, because they want to
accomplish each item on the agenda perfectly. Other disorganized
sorts just don’t care — they are the mellow, beachy types or the
creative artist types that don’t give a hoot about the dishes in
the sink and the unpaid bills as long as they can find a clean
shirt to wear to the dance club. 

The perfectionists usually call for help when their stress level
gets to a point that something has got to give and they realize
that A) as much as they struggle, nothing seems to be perfect and
B) things aren’t getting done period, perfectly or otherwise. The
artists tend to call when something in life blows up and forces
them to get things together — a tax audit, a death in the family, a
career opportunity, or moving a house.

One of my artist clients (who happens to live near the beach)
told me, “I never let perfect get in the way of good.” This
writer/actress is married to a novelist, has two children, and
lives on a fabulous little farm with an ocean view. She has
ploughed (actually, leapt like a gazelle is a better image for her)
through life and accomplished amazing things using that simple
philosophy. Her house is gorgeous but lived in. She is chic but
approachable. Her closet (was) a mess but her priorities are in

So why bother organizing the closet? Sometimes, to be able to
get to another level in creativity, some mundane chores need to be
handled first. 

Did I say mundane? It’s all a matter of perspective;
reorganizing a closet is totally creative and exciting. Giving
yourself access to all the wonderful colors and textures of your
clothing can make getting dressed an artistic endeavor. The time
saved looking for things can get tacked on to time spent in the art
studio or playing with the kids.

Conversely, there are some chores I urge my perfectionist
clients to let go in order to “get to good.” One of the things that
shows up ad infinitum are scrapbook projects. The plan is to take
the boxes and bags of photographs, organize them chronologically,
then mount them in scrapbooks, complete with handwritten

It’s extremely difficult to get some people to let go of their
dream of a perfect record of their history — maybe even back
several generations — even if it is crowding out necessary
life/organizational tasks like bill paying and family meals. If
documenting your lifetime is taking place of living your life, it’s
time to rethink this task.

Another thing I suggest dropping is the perceived need to spend
an enormous amount of time researching every item you purchase,
from a vitamins to a dishwasher to a vehicle. Many of my
perfectionist clients do copious amounts of research before
purchases in hopes of buying the ultimate whatever at the best
price, but I can’t tell you how often they are also disappointed
when the item — from Mieles to Mercedes — breaks down just like any
other model on the market. Except that it is more expensive to

Think about your personal style and whether or to you need to
tighten up or loosen up to “get to good.” Are there some areas that
need more discipline and focus? Or should you simplify and let
yourself off the hook in some ways? Checking in regularly with
yourself will help you stay balanced and will greatly enhance your
organization and productivity.