Yes, this is a blog on organization and making the best use of time. But today I read an article by Penelope Green of the "New York Times" on "Making peace with the mess around you." Green was discussing the benefits that can come from being willing to accept the mess. I think she has a point.
Life is inherently "messy." Our best-laid plans often go awry. You are working on one project and another gets dumped in your lap. You make wonderful plans for your day and a child gets sick. You have every intention of cleaning the house, but then a friend needs your help. Making organization the focal point of your life can mean that you lose something in the process. You can lose the ability to be spontaneous and respond to the immediate circumstances at hand.
I'm still a believer that organization is important but I think that it should only have the importance that you choose to give it. A mess is only a problem if it bothers you or the people you live with. A friend of mine reminded me a while back of how, when I was a little girl, my desk at school was a literal pigsty (isn't it wonderful to have a friend who has known me that long?). Papers and books would fall out of it on a regular basis. My locker in high school suffered from a similar predicament, as did my desk when I worked full-time, and as does my desk now. This was, and is, not the ideal way to work. Yet, in all those years, I got good grades, managed projects at work, and still keep on top of things today. When the mess starts to bug me, I clean it up. I function fine with it, until I don't, at which point I take the time to do something about it.
I think that the point of Green's article is that one's level of organization is a personal decision. Embrace what feels comfortable to you and what allows you to work at your best.