Over the years, through working with people directly in their homes, we've found that those struggling with organization typically fit into one of four categories. We call this your organizational style. Each style has its advantages and disadvantages, and through understanding our habits, we can learn to work with them.
Before jumping into each of the four styles and how they can actually benefit us, it's important to mention that you may not resonate with any of these styles. Or, you may see yourself in more than one. Our intention is not to generalizing these habits, but to highlight the common patterns and routines we often see in those struggling to maintain their homes.
This style typically has more items than the space they live in allows for, and may have a hard time editing their items. This style shops regularly and loves a good sale. They buy items they already have, items they think they may use in the future, and usually leave a store having spent much more than anticipated. What's purchased often ends up collecting dust, pilled with more unopened or unused bags and boxes. This style is likely to refrain from having company over, or stash their mess behind a closed door due to shame surrounding the disarray in their home.
This style shops. A lot. And in today's world, we can't blame them. This style can use their shopping habit to their advantage through setting up systems that support it. Buy a lot of sale items to gift in the future? Create a designated gift bin those items can go to after coming through the front door. Losing space? Oftentimes for this style, as many items that regularly come in, must go out. Set up a space in your home for items you're ready to sell, or donate to make space for your new items.
This style appears to have it all together. The picture perfect home, always looking fresh and spacious. When in reality, virtually every closed door or drawer in the home is hiding disarray. Bedrooms, storage rooms and offices are some of the most common rooms in the home that fall victim to the mess. The least seen, the lowest priority. This style doesn't usually have too much stuff, striving for organization. Although disorder is too overwhelming leading small piles of miscellaneous items to be hidden away.
This style wants to be organized. In fact, it's important to them. Getting there is what seems impossible. Fortunately, this style can thrive through assigning a home to all of their belongings and understanding how to group like-items together (sorting!). This way when the kitchen island piles up after a long week, they'll be able to easily sort through and re-home what's ended up there instead of bagging or boxing the items to be stashed away.
This style has double the belongings the space they live in allows for, and items are never edited. Feelings of fear and loss arise at the thought of letting go of items. This style has a strong emotional connection to their things. Often many areas of the home are inaccessible, causing this style to isolate with their belongings. This style typically collects one or more specific categories of items in addition to their overwhelming amount of belongings. Collections can be anything ranging from books to hats or even Christmas decor.
This style is comfortable with their lifestyle and wants to be able to keep all of their items without daily restrictions in the home. Through being honest with themselves and understanding their wants and needs, and creating boundaries surrounding those needs, this style can decide how much space they're willing to sacrifice for their belongings, and how many items they're willing to have in order to keep those belongings accessible for use and enjoyment.
This style doesn't have many belongings, although what's there, drives them crazy. Always working towards the home looking just right this style is still not satisfied. They feel as though their home is a complete mess and spend all extra time they have maintaining it whether they enjoy it or not. It feels necessary. This style is likely to enjoy entertaining and shopping, although frequently edits feeling as though they can never get rid of enough belongings.
This style has some learning to do. They are never going to fit their standard of the "perfect home" until letting good be good enough. Perfect in this reality does not exist, not in homes that are lived in. Let things get messy, have fun and you'll have systems in place to re-home those items when they're ready to go back!