What’s Your Organizing Personality?

Published Wednesday, July 28, 2010 1:15 PM

Organizing is a bit like fashion-preppy, punk, polished, professional-in the end everyone gets dressed, but with individual style. And just as fashion choices are inspired by personality, so too are organizing choices. Match your personality with the right organizing options and you have a winning outfit, ahem, I mean, a winning organizing style.

What's your organizing personality?


You're a big picture thinker who thrives on stimulation. Be as inventive in your organizing options as you are in life. Open bins and baskets provide you with the broad overview that makes sense for you. Embrace favorite colors or patterns to help with sorting: line your shelves with cardboard boxes in your favorite color. Organizing can be happy. Use an oversized bulletin board or chalkboard for highly visual reminders to help with time management. Repurpose beloved mementos to help with organizing: a wedding tray can collect mail by the front door; children's pottery can capture small electronics. Use tote bags to store files, or old trunks or luggage for rarely used files.

Buttoned Up:

Your closet is color coded; you're most relaxed when your trouser pleats are knife sharp. Bring that attention to detail to your organizing life. Invest time in setting up a filing system that works for you. Your love of order will help you maintain it. Decide if organizing by color-coding, alphabetizing or by status (priority, pending, etc.) makes the most sense. Invest in a label maker if you don't already own one. It will be your go-to tool. Schedule time on your calendar for organizing. You are likely a list-maker; make your to-do list do double-duty by prioritizing it with a system of A,B,Cs. Group like-priorities together, or sort tasks by location, or time required, and watch your productivity soar as you move through the list with purpose rather than haphazardly.

Easy Breezy:

Your style is comfortable, flexible. You want to be organized enough to function happily, but without giving it a lot of thought. Why sweat the small stuff? Consider outsourcing your organizing to a professional. Have someone get you up and running with an effective, easy system and then just keep up the maintenance. Or you may want to establish a hybrid piler/filer system by identifying key organizational needs, setting up a system to tackle them, and then letting the rest of the chips fall where they may. There is no one way to organize, you know that. See what works for you and then revaluate if your needs aren't being met. It's all good.


You wear what you want, where you want. And you don't want to be told to organize. No problem, color coding and creative bulletin boards aren't for everyone. Figure out what you need to function and keep it bare bones. Perhaps you want to manage your paperwork using the "what should I grab if the house were on fire" rule of thumb. Make an accordion folder of must-have documents and add a flash drive of electronic copies and irreplaceable digital media such as photos. Then call it a day. Or maybe your rebellious streak has a different bent. You live and work with filers, and you long to be paper-free altogether. Go for it. PDAs, electronic billing, and a host of digital tools can set you free from paper. Organizing rules should only be followed if they work for you. Be a rebel, but be a rebel for your own cause: the cause of finding the organizing process that works for you!

Organizing is individual. Embrace what works for you.


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# Demelza said on Tuesday, January 10, 2012 4:11 AM

Keep it cmonig, writers, this is good stuff.

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Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization.  Believing in  "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.

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