The purpose of this piece is to provide justification for a useful organizational tool. At first blush, this piece of stratagem seems to risk tearing the Organized Ideal down from its lofty pedestal, however, significant proof is offered to the contrary.
I call this method: Dorian Gray Organization, and the definition follows as such:
A space, either physical or virtual, having been organized with the purpose of reducing clutter, can include, without ethical contradiction, a sub-compartment of that space, in which no further organization is effectively possible or necessary.
Put succinctly: after you’ve organized your living space, sorting possessions by purpose, frequency of use, etc. It’s okay to leave one drawer for miscellany, or items of questionable utility. This ugliness of this drawer is what allows Dorian to stay beautiful; it is a sacrifice for the greater good.
Any pragmatic organizational scheme has to balance two things: the optimal number of storage compartments, and the optimal capacity of each compartment. Consider this equality: a separate compartment for each individual item is functionally equivalent (in search time) to one compartment storing all items. In both cases, the time saving abstraction of item batches is lost, and each item needs to inspected individually. It follows from this that compartments whose contents fall under an arbitrarily defined critical minimum size, should be avoided, in which case, the best option is to group those items with other possessions falling under the threshold.
This may seem like a contradiction threatening the sanctity of the organizational process. The reason for this apparent contradiction is likely a case of not seeing the forest through the trees. When people create organizational schemes, they tend to do so in an enthusiastic frenzy (perhaps putting it off for months, and then completing the whole task over the course of a weekend). Schemes of this genesis often overlook the end goal of organization: to reduce clutter, and decrease search time in the future. This frenetic, label-making, container-store-shopping craze leads to space being dedicated to items under the aforementioned critical minimum size, sheerly out of momentum.
The contents of the Dorian Gray drawer are dynamic and vary with time. Just as the picture of Dorian Gray grew ugly, left unmonitored, the drawer’s contents will swell, committing it to the same fate. It should be noted that gradual increase in size is acceptable and expected, as one’s possessions will naturally accumulate. A keen eye, however, should be kept alert for logical clusters of items increasing past the critical minimum size. Items of such a categorization should be reallocated to outside of the Dorian Gray drawer.
The last point I wish to make is that like many things, the organizational process will follow the 80/20 rule. The last small bit of organization will take a disproportionately large amount of time. It is in the best interest of time to refrain from this last, insignificant bit, and focus your attention on more urgent matters.
As personal possessions grow in unbounded fashion, Dorian Gray Organization offers a method of minimizing the effort:reward ratio by introducing a stochastically structured buffer space, eponymously named: a Dorian Gray drawer. This drawer will decrease the frequency and need of future reorganizations by an amount proportional to the critical minimum size.