Monday, March 9, 2015

Styles...Part 2

Still with me on this journey? If you're like me, this process is one step forward, two steps back. I'm an I need to see it/drop and run girl, which means my house ranges from visually stimulating to a visual eyesore. The photo below is not just a Thirty-One pile-up; it's also testimony to where I'd been the week the photo was taken -- one place that needed a brown purse, one place that needed a black purse and a Starbucks work session with the gray bag -- and where I was going (the  brightly colored thermal below it all -- a donation to a preschool fund-raiser). 

I'm happy to report that after I took the photo, I emptied the bags and put them where they belonged (as well as getting the thermal to its destination), dramatically improving that one small space. In addition, some fun new visual organizers I'd ordered arrived, and over the weekend, I pressed them into service as well (see the photo at the bottom of this post). 

Last week, I elaborated on the personal styles that are at the root of our natural organizational tendencies. But personal styles are only half of the equation. Today, let’s take a peek at the other half, the organizational styles.

  • I know I put it somewhere organizers:
    • may look organized, but can rarely find what they want when they want it.
    • are likely to have a wide variety of unrelated things stashed together.
    • organize by putting things in the place that is most convenient at the moment, rather than in a logical place. 
    • lack a system and/or fail to establish consistent homes for their belongings.
  • Cram and jam organizers:
    • cram things into any available open space, and jam things into spaces even when they are already overcrowded.
    • lack an understanding of the concept of "full."
    • rarely have an organizational system, unless it’s for things that are extremely important to them. 
    • may look organized when they have a lot of storage space - until you open up the closets and look inside the drawers.
  • Drop and run organizers:
    • may have systems, but don't use them consistently.
    • are unlikely to utilize systems that require multiple steps.
    • typically operate out of piles and stacks.
    • often need to retrace their steps to locate misplaced items.
As you read over the styles at this point in the process, you may feel that many -- or even all -- of them describe you. As we work through this organizing process, you're likely to narrow your focus a bit, and one predominant style from each category (personal/organizational) may rise to the top. Or, you may remain a combination of styles. Fortunately, but this can be a benefit.  An overlap can mean more strategies to work with! 

A good fit for an I need to see it/drop and run
girl -- in sight, but neatly corralled.
Up to this point, the styles have most likely been stumbling blocks. Moving forward, the goal will be to learn how to view your natural tendencies as assets rather than liabilities. This outlook will enable you to use your styles as a blueprint for developing a workable, sustainable plan based on what comes naturally. Whether or not you've pinpointed one particular style is less important than finding a system that feels like a good fit.

Have you found your default styles? As you examine the organized and under-organized places in your surroundings, can you see your strengths and stumbling blocks at work? What organizational successes (small or large) have you celebrated lately?

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