Sunday, October 4, 2009

What’s your organizing style?

Organize With Julie’s Clutter Crusader Chronicles
“Simplify the Season 2009” is on the way. 
It is newer, bigger, faster, stronger… you get the idea. 
Launching soon!  Stay tuned!


I thought it only fair that I follow up last week’s post with its counterpart.  Whether you are a total slob, perfectionist, minimalist, pack rat, prefer nothing out, or prefer everything out- you certainly have some sort of organizing style!  Some of you may be chronically disorganized and some of you may be so close to perfection that everything in your home is not only in its place, but sparkling with cleanliness.  You may see yourself in one or more of the following styles.  Many of us probably fall somewhere in between. 


Organizing Style One:  Everything Out Are you a visual person?  Do you find that when things are put away you can’t find them.  If something is in a cabinet or a drawer… or even a notebook, is it a matter of out of sight out of mind?  Are you artistic and creative?  Do you remember well what you see, but often forget the things you only hear?  Do you like having everything out in the open?  This is your place.  You have found your organizing style.  Use color coded systems as often as you possibly can, especially for filing.  For all other items try using clear containers, containers without lids, and label label label when you put things away.  These simple steps will give you a visual cue and allow your belongings to not be your clutter.

The Opposing Team:  Nothing Out Do you like everything in its place?  And do you like for that place to be out of your line of sight?  Do you prefer your things to be behind closed doors?  Do you learn tasks step by step and through trial and error?  Are you most productive when there is no extra stuff in your space?  You probably clean your desk of daily, if not hourly.  Your home and office could be featured in a magazine.  You can accomplish keeping the clutter tucked away because you don’t need the visual cues that a visual person needs. 


Organizing Style Two: Pack Rat Are you emotionally attached to many things?  Does it seem that you hold onto everything?  Did you save every piece of baby clothing?  Are you holding onto all your baby teeth?  Are your walls covered with artwork and achievements?  Are there pathways through your house around all of the items that you love?  Are there rooms in your home that you cannot use because there is only room for storage?  You may be heading towards the slippery slope of hoarding.  Consider contacting the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization to find out how you can get help.  Just last month the Detroit news posted an article about a couple who did not escape their home in a fire due to having too much stuff.  Friends, do not let your collections lead to a fatality.

The Opposing Team:  Minimalist Do you find that you throw everything away?  Would you or your loved ones consider you a minimalist?  I am not saying that your friends and family would compare you to a character like Monk, but it may be possible.  Material things hold no value for you.  Make sure you are making healthy attachments to those around you.  Does this sound like you?  To keep from getting rid of important papers, have an “on the way out” file that you empty regularly.  At the end of each week sift back through the “on the way out” file just to make sure you haven’t accidentally decided to trash something of grave importance.


Organizing Style Three:  Perfectionist Are you organized to perfection?  Do you enjoy organizing and being organized?  Is you laundry always put away immediately from the dryer?  Are your cabinets labeled?  Do all of the spatulas in your utensil drawer lay neatly and point in the same direction?  Do you never lose a sock?  Do you never forget an appointment or an important date?  Would Martha Stewart envy you?  CAUTION:  Make sure you are not too hard on yourself.  Perfect is a hard image to keep perpetuating. It is great to be organized, but remember to live life too.  Every day is a gift!

The Opposing Team: Total Slob Do you lets things fall where they may?  Is it a “good day” when your dirty dishes find their way back into the kitchen, let alone the kitchen sink for someone else to wash?  Do your clothes rarely make it into the hamper?  Are you scarcely on time for anything?  Would others describe you as a slob?  It’s time to step up.  Claim a new life.  One step at a time.  I’m assuming that if you are reading this, you are indeed an adult.  I don’t think many children would find an organizing blog incredibly interesting.  Start today.  Pick up after yourself.  When you take off an article of clothing hang it up or toss it into the hamper.  When you have finished eating, do your own dishes.  If you take an item out, put it back where you found it.  These things will eventually become new habits and will replace the bad habits of your past.  Live it!


Friends, did you see yourself in any of these descriptions?  What is your organizing style?  Do you feel a call to action to change your ways?  Or are you happy with how it has always been? 

Special thanks to fellow organizers for contributing their brain power to this week’s blog post. Believe me when I say I could not have completed this without their help. 
Christie Love of SOS
Linda English of Organizing With Ease
Lynne Rizzo of Practical Solutions by Lynne LLC, Alexandria VA 22308


If you are in the Jacksonville/St. Johns area and would like your home better organized, and would like the assistance of a professional organizer, e-mail  You can also find me on Facebook by clicking HERE or searching for Organize With Julie.  Want to follow me on twitter? Find me @juliebavi.


We’re counting down the days ‘til Christmas with
82 Days and Counting!  Be a leaf peeper!



snaphappee said...

I'm definitely in the middle there, although I think I was sliding towards the "total slob" end! GAK! I'm back on track now though, and even partially RAFTed my desk yesterday (can I use that as a verb?).

I'm enjoying following the 100 days to Christmas from ListPlanIt, but I'm eager for your Simplify the Season - they're tasks are often ones I just can't do at the moment (they involve $).

Your Organizing Guru said...

You can use RAFTed (read act file trash) in any tense you like! I'm proud of you for getting the desk done! I don't think you would ever be on the "total slob" end of the spectrum.

I think List Plan It has some good ideas to go hand in hand with Simplify the Season. I'm excited because Simplify the Season is ALL new this year. You'll still see the familiar, but lots of added things to keep us focused to have a Simplified Season!