I have a confession to make. I’m a little bit I love stuff.
When I introduce the styles at meetings and conferences and/or when people take the styles quiz, almost inevitably, someone asks if they can be all of them. My response is that, while it seems that way at first, for most of us, one predominant personal style and one predominant organizational style emerge.
That doesn’t mean, however, that traces of other styles don’t linger, influencing the way we do things. The I love to be busy style is a great example. Many people don’t love to be busy, but have had busyness thrust upon them by the multiple roles they play. For them, successful organizing and planning might very well mean taking strategies for the I love to be busy personal style into account, making it almost a secondary style choice.
Though my primary styles are I need to see it (personal) and drop and run (organizational), I can feel my I love stuff tendencies arise when I’m decluttering a space. I can be ruthless about many things, but I keep arguably more than my fair share of sentimental mementos. It’s not the thing I want as much as what it evokes — memories of times and places past. While I’ve gotten a lot better at getting rid of things I was saving only because I should save them, there are still plenty of extras that survive the purge.
Another time I can feel those stuff-loving tendencies rising up and clamoring to be heard is when I wander through the aisles at The Container Store or even my local Target. I want it all! Okay, maybe not all of it, but I’m intrigued by the sheer variety and quantity of organizers that are available. Again, I’ve made progress in that I only take home what I truly think I will use, but my basement is a testament to the fact that it hasn’t always been that way, and that I should always “shop” there before heading out to buy new things.
When I think about it, the connection between my primary I need to see it personal style and my secondary I love stuff tendencies is clear. It’s visual. The same part of me that responds to visual cues is emotionally cued by certain objects and drawn in by the visual appeal of pretty things. Knowing this, I can be more analytical about the choices I make, whether it’s deciding what to keep and what to toss or when to buy and when to pass.
In the end, which style prevails? For me, my I need to see it style steers the ship and runs the show. It’s more consistent than the I love stuff tendencies that draw me to a souvenir or a pretty organizer and, when pressed into service, my primary personal style helps me to organize sustainably. In the end, my prevailing style and its first runner-up work together so that I’m organized in a way that consistently works for me.
Even if I have a little too much stuff.
Copyright 2020 Lisa Hess