What's Your Personal Organizing Style?

by Ramona Creel

Create The Right Kind Of Storage

The game hide-and-seek is a perfect metaphor for the way that people like to store their belongings. “Hiders” can't stand to see anything sitting out — the desk or countertop must be clear of all clutter before they can concentrate. If you fall into this category, look for opaque and enclosed storage solutions — solid-sided storage tubs, drawer systems, cabinets with doors (just be sure to label containers so you know what's inside without having to open them!) Subdividing your storage spaces and files into smaller sections will also help keep your hiding places organized.

“Seekers,” on the other hand, tend to panic when things aren't right at their fingertips. They are afraid that if they can't see it, they will forget about it (and if it's a to-do, fail to take care of it in time). You can get rid of the piles by using open storage tools — clear plastic containers and stacking cubbies, file crates instead of drawers, shelves instead of closed cabinets. Just be careful about having too much stuff out all the time or you might get overwhelmed — see if you're comfortable putting things that you rarely use in closed storage, out of the way.

Understand Your Work Style

“Chunkers” like to commit a lengthy period of time to one project — they really know how to focus, and may not look up from their work all day long. My husband is one of these, and he gets very cranky when you break his concentration. The challenge for chunkers is to avoid outside interruptions — it's okay to let your calls go to voice mail, shut your office door, and let your colleagues know that you will be unavailable for a few hours. Just be sure to maintain a little balance in your day — schedule stretch breaks, make time to return calls, and don't forget to eat lunch!

“Bursters” are the exact opposite — they get bored working on the same task for hours on end, and prefer to spend a little time on this project and a little time on that one, hopping back and forth as the mood strikes. A lot of people think that multi-tasking is a one-way ticket to hell, but bursters can be unbelievably productive — if they set some boundaries around their time. Try to limit the number of tasks you're working on so you can actually finish all of them on schedule — and make sure you spend your day on high-priority, high-payoff items rather than time-wasters.

Tackle Your To-Do's

Do you prefer to start your work day with something simple or a challenge? “Breezers” find that knocking off a few quick tasks in the morning gives them the forward momentum and sense of accomplishment they need to last the whole day. If you find yourself procrastinating on bigger to-do's, break that difficult job down into several smaller, easier steps.

“Stumpers” prefer to cross the hardest item off their list first, so the rest of the day is a snap. But you may find yourself surrounded by “crises” because a lot of small fires started while you were focused on the big picture. Be sure to build in regular admin time for keeping those mundane items under control, so they don't turn into a problem.

© Ramona Creel, all rights reserved. Ramona Creel is a modern Renaissance woman and guru of simplicity -- traveling the country as a full-time RVer, sharing her story of radically downsizing, and inspiring others to regain control of their own lives. As a Professional Organizer and Accountability Coach, Ramona will help you create the time and space to focus on your true priorities -- clearing away the clutter other obstacles and standing in the way of that life you've always wanted to be living. As a Professional Photographer, Ramona captures powerful images of places and people as she travels. And as a travel writer, social commentator, and blogger, she shares her experiences and insights about the world as we know it. You can see all these sides of Ramona -- read her articles, browse through her photographs, and even hire her to help get your life in order -- at www.RamonaCreel.com. And be sure to follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.