Organized vs. OCD. Where is the line?

  • Hi Guest, you may choose a LIGHT or DARK theme that works best for you with the "Style Chooser" button at the bottom left on this page!
  • HTML tutorial

MMc

Rank V

Influencer II

1,749
San Dimas, Ca.
First Name
Mike
Last Name
McMullen
Member #

18647

I thought this was a Road post. LOL I get what you are doing and like it. I do not share your enthusiasm, I have a 8"' bed so space isn't a issue, I don't fill it most trips. keeping the bed noise at a minimum is alway key and I'll hunt it down for sure.
 

grubworm

Rank V
Member

Member III

2,358
Thibodaux, LA, USA
First Name
grub
Last Name
worm
Member #

17464

Ham Callsign
WRMA515
Service Branch
USN-Submarines
ha...sometimes a little "OCD" is a good thing!

my wife and i are completely opposite of OCD and we just throw stuff in a tote and take off. later we spend an hour looking for a toothbrush. the time we save NOT being OCD (or just simply well organized) we end up spending later on looking for things, so by spending more time packing, you probably get that time back later not playing hide-and-seek with items. i'm sure it all works itself out to a degree.
 

ThundahBeagle

Rank III

Enthusiast III

792
Massachusetts
First Name
Andrew
Last Name
Beagle
Member #

0

Just one opinion but the line is crossed when the need to organize interferes with daily activity. If you can be X organized but there is good workflow and it isnt holding you or anyone in your group back, then you are organized and not OCD. To me, OCD is the need to organize being so great that it's a hindrance. I'm not talking about walking into a mess and needing to clean it up and organize from scratch.
 

LONO100

Rank I

Enthusiast I

231
Bay Area CA
First Name
Ken
Last Name
PXXXXXXX
Nice setup, I thought I was pretty organixed about my gear. I use a few pelican cases, a few of those Costco special black totes, and keep the chairs and tent on my roof basket. I am a stickler for labeling everything though, so I have you matched there.
 
  • Like
Reactions: North40overland

LostWoods

Rank IV
Member

Member III

1,116
Phoenix, AZ, USA
First Name
Andrew
Last Name
.
Member #

12360

Just one opinion but the line is crossed when the need to organize interferes with daily activity. If you can be X organized but there is good workflow and it isnt holding you or anyone in your group back, then you are organized and not OCD. To me, OCD is the need to organize being so great that it's a hindrance. I'm not talking about walking into a mess and needing to clean it up and organize from scratch.
Pretty much this. Organization takes space and organization takes time. When the benefits begin to outweigh the costs it's gone too far.

Nothing wrong with 3-4 boxes for specific activities (e.g. camp setup, kitchen, etc.) as long as they can be quickly packed and unpacked... when you start packing bags inside bags inside boxes and tear-down takes 30 minutes then something has gone wrong.
 

Road

Not into ranks, titles or points.
Member

Advocate III

3,379
On the road in North America
First Name
Road
Last Name
Dude
Member #

6589

.
My sense of organization and things having their own place has come mostly from not wanting to waste time looking for stuff when I'm on the road or adventuring.

I like knowing where my stuff is. I find it frustrating to need something for setting up, or for cooking, or for a day hike/bike ride/canoe paddle, or for a night of dark sky photography work, or even just to clean up, and have to look in several places and dig through crap before I find what I need. It's a waste of time,really, and can be easily remedied by being organized in simple ways before I go in a way that lets me stay organized while out.

Being organized for vehicle-based adventure is vastly different than being organized, or not, in a house. I use things differently, in different sequence, and have far less places my stuff can go back to before I need it again.

It can be simple, really. When I'm organized for a long adventure, I love that I can find my gear in total darkness if need be; that if I reach inside this door and up to the right there is a carabiner with my headlamps, for example. I love knowing if I ask someone to grab my rain jacket or a hammer and pegs, I can state clearly right where it will be. That's not OCD, that's making life easier for myself and those around me, and can often be the difference between a successful and memorable adventure or one of "I can't wait 'til I get back home!"

It can also be the difference between disaster and survival.

A lot of this, for me, comes from usually going out for multiple months and not for a couple weeks or less. If going out for a short time, I used to be more willy-nilly about being organized, because I simply did not have as much gear packed into the same space.

When I am going further afield and don't have a definite return date is when I take more photography gear, off-grid experiments, all-season wardrobe, books, more tools for wrenching and recovery, more food, and on and on. I gear up for a far wider variety of situations, environments, and possibilities.

I've found, though, over time that if I keep the same organizational sense for short adventures as I do for extended adventures, I don't have to think as much about what to grab for either load out.

I've written and said it before: If you listen, your gear will tell you where it wants to live. If I find myself always setting my ax down inside the back doors, I make a place for it there, instead of having to put it away somewhere else less logical later.

For me, the WHOLE idea behind being organized is to make things easier, for there NOT to be anything in the way of getting on with my day, whether on the highway or camping in the willy-wacks.

@ThundahBeagle has it exactly right about organizing for workflow vs hindrance. If organizing or staying organized is getting in my way with activities or is holding anyone else up, that's not really being organized, is it. That's a bit over the line.

Boxes: Get the right cases and containers and they weigh hardly anything. Your organization will save space and time, not waste it. @North40overland, those FRO Wolfpacks are terrific, long-lasting and space-saving cases, in my experience, and well worth having. I like their Cub Packs even more now that I've used them, too, for several years.

Hearing anything: Gear rattling when I hit a bump doesn't bother me. A repetitive chirp, creak, or grating noise will, though. That means something is wearing against something else and needs to be addressed. To try and eliminate every occasional rattle or noise though would be, for me, obsessive.

One last point:

Being organized does not always mean being neat and tidy. What works for me may not work at all for someone else. I know what's in every case, container, and day pack in the mess below:

pthi_7605-1080.jpeg
.

Interesting thread and to see how different folks see, and handle, their own organization.

.
 
Last edited:

Anak

Rank V
Member

Member III

2,741
Sandy Eggo
When has it gone too far?

Once you get it all organized in alphabetical order, and then number each item in that order. Then you have gone too far, because if you try to add anything in you will have to shift all the subsequent numbers down the line (My HS Calculus teacher actually did this with his classical music collection, I kid you not).

I like things a bit on the organized side. First it helps me find things, and second (and possibly most important) it helps me spot what is missing. The ability to tell that something is missing helps avoid the loss of said something. "A place for everything and everything in its place" is a wonderful world. OTOH, I have children, and children are anathema to that world. So I straddle a painful fence between the ideal and reality.
 
Last edited:

Billiebob

Rank V
Member

Member III

2,835
earth
First Name
Bill
Last Name
William
Member #

18893

I lean to the OCD thing too but I hate multiple containers so I pack a bare minimum. Every trip I try to eliminate stuff I never used or needed. There are only a few items I pack that seem like extras. Spare tire, bug repellent,warm jacket, toque and gloves are on that list of extras that come every trip.

But I could probably put everything I pack into one bag and carry it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: North40overland