Back to School With STYLE: Extracting Style-Specific Strategies from Type-A Organizing Advice

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Organizing by Style
I love infographics. I also love writing about organization as well as reading about it. So when I found an infographic about organizing my writing desk, I was intrigued.

It’s a lovely infographic — it really is — especially if you’re a Type A organizer.

freepik.com

freepik.com

But I’m not. And if you’ve been following this series, I’m guessing someone in your house — someone who probably uses a desk — isn’t either. So does that mean we simply dismiss this resource, closing it out and making it go away before it inspires anxiety and a crisis of confidence for us and the rest of the desk-dwellers in our family?

That’s one option. But another option is that we look for the things in it that ring true for our kids’ styles, and dismiss the rest — here comes the hard part — without guilt or judgment.

For example: A clear workspace is a wonderful goal, and with the right tools for your style, it’s achievable.

  • An I love stuff person will likely need a few prized possessions for inspiration, whether on the edges of the desk or on a bulletin board or shelves nearby, and will probably ignore the advice to “keep only those items that are essential for your daily use.” Keeping these items to a minimum and confined to the edges of the desk will achieve the clear desk goal with style.
  • The I need to see it person will forgo the drawer advice and instead, keep things visible via hanging pockets or (again) nearby shelves. Those with this style will love the stickies on the computer monitor, but will need to make sure to limit the number of stickies, as well as reading and replacing them regularly. Sticky note forests are too dense to be useful.
  • Cram and jammers, I see you eying those drawers. Your challenge will be to make sure that bottom (“away”) drawer doesn’t become the dumping ground for “everything else,” which, in turn, becomes crumpled, creased and unusable.
  • Drop and run organizers will probably note the complete absence of any tools that work for them on a regular basis. Tuck a rolling bin beside the desk or underneath it, if you have the leg room, so that you drop things somewhere besides the desk.
  • I love to be busy folks may need to designate each drawer for a different activity, and will certainly need a calendar somewhere in that workspace, whether it’s on the desk, on the wall or on the computer itself.
  • I know I put it somewhere organizers are likely to be fine once they establish a system for what goes in each drawer or on the shelves. Adding storage containers that can be labeled will also help, but having too many choices can add to confusion, rather than minimizing it.
    Photo: FidlerJan via Morguefile

    Photo: FidlerJan via Morguefile

The moral of the story? If your child wants to look like a Type A organizer when he’s really an I love stuff/cram and jammer, there’s no need to lose hope, or choose a simpler goal. He just needs to chart a path from here to there using his styles as a road map.

Copyright 2015 Lisa Hess
Logo background image:†”Unageek color” by Unageek (2013) via Morguefile. Text added†in Canva.

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About Author

Lisa Lawmaster Hess has contributed articles to local, national and online publications, and is a blogger at The Porch Swing Chronicles, The Susquehanna Writers and here at Catholicmom.com. She is the author of two non-fiction books (Acting Assertively and Diverse Divorce) and two novels, Casting the First Stone and Chasing a Second Chance. A retired elementary school counselor, Lisa is a lecturer in psychology at York College and enjoys singing with the contemporary choir at her church.

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