Why does my friend’s house always look so tidy when mine feels like a mess? My counters are clear.. But don’t open that drawer!!
What comes naturally to one person can be challenging to another. Identifying your unique organizing style can help you discover YOUR path to success. Don’t compare your journey to others. YOU are unique.
As professional Organizers, Imagine Home Organization has become intimately familiar with each of the following five organizing styles:
1. Just in case
Just-in-casers are known for keeping items that others would discard. They find usefulness in most items and are hard-pressed to give things away. They dislike waste and want to put everything to good use. If this is your style, you may find that you run out of space because new items come into your home but old items rarely leave. Possessions and projects may pile up and you find it difficult to get to all the things you would like to do.
Just-in-casers may save items because it helps them feel prepared. They may come from a family where frugality was a value and saving “perfectly good” items was the norm.
Just-in-casers sometimes have an underlying issue which can be quite challenging, compulsive shopping. In order to feel safer and more prepared, items are purchased and sometimes stockpiled. Sometimes there is a psychological attachment to possessions and a very real struggle with letting go.
Organizing tips for this style
- If compulsive shopping or great psychological stress over letting go are factors for you, you may benefit from working with a mental health professional. There are also groups you can attend like shopaholics anonymous. Visit this link for more information.
- It is great to be prepared but when your preparations take over your space you have gone too far. Allow yourself two bins of hobby supplies, a one month supply of toilet paper, a set amount of jackets and coats as examples.
Do some research
- If you are holding onto a dress to sell it, find out how long it will take. Often, the time it takes to sell an item online, outweighs its actual value. Find out how much the item is selling for. Just because one person lists the item for $500 doesn’t mean people are buying it for that much. Be sure to see if items are actually selling.
Track your items
- Try placing colored stickers on bins of hobby supplies. When you use the bin, remove the sticker. If the bin still has it’s sticker 6 months or 1 year from now, you aren’t using it. Time to let it go.
Keep it at the store
- In our modern world, you can purchase anything you want with one click. Or for many of us, we can drive 5 minutes to the nearest store. Let the stores hold onto the items you may need “just in case”. When the time comes, go buy the item and bring it home.
Minimalists love space. They enjoy clean surfaces and value their time over physical possessions. They purchase items only when there is a clear use for them. They dislike clutter and will avoid items piling up. If this is your style, you may feel more at peace with less to manage. You likely value presence and mindfulness and are less sentimental.
Minimalists choose to live with less because it helps them to feel in control. They enjoy the spaciousness and peace that comes along with a clutter-free environment. They may spend less money and enjoy more time in their schedules by not over-committing.
Minimalists tend to throw things away without much thought. It is not hard for them to let go of items so sometimes they do so prematurely. Some minimalists are under buyers and may need to make frequent trips to the store to prepare for entertaining guests.
Organizing tips for this style
Pause before discarding
- Take a moment to assess if you are discarding something to relieve some tension or if you are really done with the item.
Find sentiment in memory
- Because minimalists are less sentimental about objects, they may regret the items they hastily discarded. Try taking a photo of a sentimental item before discarding it. Having a folder called “sentimental” on your computer may help. This works for children’s artwork too.
Fill your space with joy
- Some minimalists find joy in empty “sterile” spaces. Other’s crave a cozy atmosphere but do not wish to fill their space with clutter. Natural objects like plants, or useful ones like a wooden tray help to cozy up a space. Don’t be afraid to add items that make you feel good, their purpose is just that!
Visual organizers must-see things in order to work with them. They need everything to be out and on display. If a visual organizer puts something behind closed doors it is “out of sight, out of mind”. If this is your style you may be drawn to bulletin boards with all your engagements on display. You may keep all your appliances out on the kitchen counter – ready to go.
This visual style is linked with a visual-learning style. You learn through watching. You find comfort in seeing all the pieces of the puzzle at once. You are great at compartmentalizing. When you put things away you are able to let them go.
A desire to keep everything out and on display may work for the visual organizer, but it may not work for their family. Carefully placed piles, moved by a family member become disorganized clutter. This style can work to a certain degree, but can also get out of control. While it makes sense to the visual organizer to have all the appliances out, if there is no counter space left to prepare dinner, there must be a compromise.
Organizing tips for this style
Spread out, then store away
- Visual organizers need to spread out and see all the supplies they are working with. Use large containers to store all the supplies for a project. Take them all out when you are working and then put them all back at the end.
- The key to working with a visual organizer is to label everything. If you feel like you forget what is in a cabinet – label it! Without having to LOOK at all the electronic devices you own, label the cabinet “electronics”. When you see the label, your brain will remember what’s behind that door.
Use clear storage containers
- Being able to SEE what is inside a bin is important for the visual organizer. Use clear bins for everything.
- Use color to your advantage by training your brain to respond to the color. Perhaps yellow will mean something important and actionable. Have a yellow bin for bills to pay and a yellow bag by the door for items to return to the store.
4. Hide it Away
Hide it away folks feel organized when they do not SEE clutter. However, they are fine with clutter behind closed doors. They are visual, valuing aesthetics and they love to present a clean, tidy home, especially for guests. This personality type is prone to shoving, tossing, and hiding away items in a cabinet, bag or basket. If you feel calm and relaxed with clear counters, but the contents of your drawers are chaotic, this may be your type.
Hide it away types struggle to find the time or desire to organize their hidden spaces. They are often busy individuals with competing priorities. They may have trouble slowing down enough to address a single cabinet’s contents. It becomes easiest to place things “out of sight and out of mind.”
By stuffing things away, this type can often forget what is hidden. The tendency to use storage solutions that hide items (like opaque bins) makes it more difficult to know what is there. By clearing counters in haste, a false sense of tidiness emerges.
Organizing tips for this style:
- Create systems for those “behind doors” areas. You want to avoid big gaping spaces like a large cabinet or deep drawer. Separate those large areas with labeled bins. This makes it just as easy to toss a spare gift bag in the closet, only this time it will land in its assigned spot.
- Start a routine. Hide it away folks sometimes lose track of what they own. So take inventory! Every Sunday night, take 30 minutes to open cabinets and check that nothing got tossed into the wrong space when you were in a rush. Once you create homes for your items it becomes MUCH faster to return misplaced items.
The classic organizer is what some may refer to as a “type A” or “perfectionist”. This personality type thrives on control and order. They may have color coded underwear, a meticulous calendar, and labeled bins on every shelf. This type finds pleasure in the process of sorting, organizing and returning items to their homes.
This type gains a sense of calm and peace from having control. With a crazy, uncontrollable world, it feels good for this type to control what they can. They take pride in their surroundings and enjoy the benefits of organized life.
With a love for control comes a risk of perfectionism. Sometimes classic organizers struggle with things not working out “their way.” They may find it challenging to share a space with others. Classic organizers are bothered by clutter and may be unable to relax with clutter around.
Organizing tips for this style:
- Remember to ENJOY the process of tidying. It comes naturally to you. Use your gifts and have fun in the process. If you show others the pleasure of organizing by setting an example, they may just follow suit.
- Practice the art of relinquishing control. A stray sock on the ground won’t hurt you. Remember to focus on the important things in your life.
- As with any personality type, we are all made up of primary and secondary types. You may relate to more than one style.
- We are all unique. We should work toward understanding and respecting our differences.
- By identifying your organizing style, you can accept your challenges and choose solutions that will work for YOU!
- Imagine Home Organization is here to help. We have experience with ALL of the styles and solutions that will set you up for success. Call us today to set up a consultation.
- Posted by Imagine Home Organization
- On January 6, 2021