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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What's your organizing personality?

We all have an organizing personality.  It's the way we approach an organizing project and the way we walk away from it.  Here's my take on the different attitudes people have when taking on a project.  I bet you'll see yourself in a few of them but you'll know which is your strongest personality.

Not-Enough-Action Jackson
This person has big ideas and the house full of supplies to prove it. He starts a lot of projects. He gets an idea, rushes to the store to get supplies and can't wait to get started. But the bags of supplies sit in the car unopened. Or if they make it into the house, the project gets started and he is super excited. But ¼ of the way into the project he realizes he forgot one item she really needed or he encounters a situation he didn’t plan on. He will then “take a break” to get the item or assess the issue. However, he never returns to actually complete the project. His house/craft room/garage is full of supplies for 101 projects that he will probably never finish.

Close-Only-Counts-In-Horseshoes-And-Hand-Grenades Renee
This person works diligently on a project until she sees actual progress. Once the pieces start to fall into place she gets so excited about how much better it is than when we started. And she stops. The job is 90% complete but she still needs to do those last few things to actually cross it off her to-do list. It may be that the accumulated trash or donation boxes sit in the project area waiting to be disposed of for weeks, or she get the entire closet organization system put into place except that one last rod that she needs to pull out the step ladder to put into place. Her projects look good. Her friends are (mostly) impressed. But there is always a remnant or two of "I still need to" hanging around making her feel guilty. She never gets to feel complete about the project and those remnants only create another clutter issue because she can’t put them away because her self-image says she’ll get to it “someday.”

Pie-In-The-Sky Kai
This person loves coming up with big ideas. He has a solution to every organizational project you can think of. But when the rubber meets the road his butt hits the couch. He doesn’t have project supplies sitting around but he may have a binder or basket full of ideas pulled out of magazines. And his web browser probably has 87 favorites in their "ideas" folder. He WANTS to be organized. He wants to want to do the work. But he doesn’t do it. It may be a lack of time or money or it may be fear that his reality in completing the project won't match his expectations. This person is a close cousin of CLWEA-Malone.

Can’t-Leave-Well-Enough-Alone Malone
For this person, no job is ever complete. Not because there are last-minute things that didn't get taken care of like the NEA-Jackson but because he, well, just can't leave well enough alone. When you stop by his person's house his first comment is to ask you to "excuse the mess" of their "unfinished projects" and you look around and scratch your head because everything looks great. For this person there is always one more tweak to make, one more cool accessory to add, one more way to make it “just right”. He can never enjoy the fruits of his labor for a moment or two.

If-I-Say-It-It’ll-Be-So Jo
This person thinks she is organized. She has a closet full of baskets and bins full of things. But looks can be deceiving and she couldn't actually tell you what is in each basket. As a result she owns 47 pairs of her favorite pair of scissors because she can never find the ones she was looking for. When she gets something new she puts it in a place that “makes sense” but then forgets why that place made so much sense in the first place and can't find it again when she needs to retrieve it.

I-Think-I-Can-I-KNOW-I-Can Diane
This person is the friend you want to emulate. She has a list (written or mental) of projects she would like to accomplish. Before tackling a project she assesses what is needed to finish it, how much it will cost, and about how long it will take. She tries to get everything she’ll need beforehand but she’s realistic. She knows there will be at least 1 trip to the hardware, home improvement or big-box store for each day that the project takes and she knows it will probably take her 50% longer than she originally anticipated. And she is okay with that. When she runs into an issue, she hops online to look for a solution, heads to the store to get the item she is missing or she calls in a spouse or a handyman to help with the task that is just a little too hard to do alone. When the job is "finished" she takes a small break to enjoy her handiwork and then gets back to work finishing up the little details - hauling out the trash, making a trip to the donation center, putting things back in place, returning her tools to the toolbox and returning unused supplies to the store for a refund. Then she sits back with a glass of her favorite wine/coffee/soft drink/water and enjoys the feeling of accomplishment before thinking about what's next on her list.

So, which one are you?

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