I moved into a new apartment over the weekend a cozy, ramshackle townhouse near the waterfront in Red Hook, Brooklyn that’s larger than anywhere I’ve ever lived since I left my parents’ house to go to college. Moving is always stressful, but I’ve learned my lesson over the years, and this time I hired a professional moving company to help me cart over all of my stuff. I was very organized about it, too, diligently labeling my boxes according to their contents. After we’d loaded the truck, I sat back, congratulating myself for having figured everything out. But when we got to my new place, I quickly realized that the process wasn’t going to be as smooth on the other end: rather than simply labeling my boxes according to where they’d go in the house (kitchen, bathroom, basement), I’d scribbled out a list of their contents that wasn’t meaningful to anyone but me. “Modernist, medieval”those were books, and they went downstairs. “Dictionaries and reference material” went upstairs, in my office; ditto for the “cables and cords.” I ended up having to inspect each box before the movers took it inside so I could tell them where to put it. (Not the end of the world, of course, but hardly what I’d foreseen when I spent so much time labeling them in the first place!)
There is evidently such a thing as too much organization.