Organizing for Your Brain Type by Lanna Nakone, M.A. is a nifty book on organizing and a fabulous guide to understanding your own organizing “type.” It has saved me a lot of “compare and despair” when I was able to recognize that not everyone’s organizational style matches that of corporate America or the traditional solutions offered at Staples.
When, I’ve introduced Lanna’s 4 major styles in workshops, participants have also found relief and empowerment, knowing their style may even look “messier” than what they’d expect, but it it speaks to their own strengths and best ways of staying organized for themselves.
Another very helpful benefit from looking at the 4 different organizing styles, is gaining a better identification and acceptance of others’ brain types/organizing styles that may be different than your own. For instance, I see this with couples very often. Much conflict can come from expecting someone you live or work with to be able to use your system for organizing, when it doesn’t work best for them. Understanding what WILL work best for them, can help you devise systems or methods of utilizing your space so it’s a win/win for everyone.
In a nutshell, the four major organizing styles Lanna outlines are:
1) Maintaining Style
2) Harmonizing Style
3) Innovating Style
4) Prioritizing Style
I’ll go into each style in more detail in my next posts…..if you’re eager to glean more now, check out Lanna’s Organized World.
Keep everything visible.
Does this mean keep everything out, and never use closets, drawers and pantries?
NO……it means, even when using these spaces, organize them in a way that allows you to see everything you have. Which brings us to the priciple:
Have enough room for everything you store.
Don’t use drawers to jumble piles, or stack items on top of other items – this leads to “out of sight, out of mind” syndrome, which has us hunting frenetically for items and re-purchasing what we already have.
Keep like items with like items.
The more we think and store in categories, the less our brains have to work, and the more time we save looking for what we need when we need it.
Most of us have a silverware drawer, where we keep forks, spoons, and knives separated. We wouldn’t think to keep some forks in the bathroom, some on the coffee table, some in bed. But we often don’t give the same consideration to the other items we possess. Whether it’s “loose” categories like the silverware above, or stricter sub-categorizes like “forks with forks”, “spoons with spoons”, think of other categories you can group and house in one area: books, desk supplies, yoga equipment, for example.
The categories don’t need to make sense to anyone else but you. If “things that make me laugh” is a category for you –think how nice it will be to put your hands on that stash on your next rainy day.
Organizing Equilibrium….or “One In; One Out.”
For every new item that needs a home, look to let go of one worn, expired, unused, or unwanted item.
Make the homes for things close where you use them.
This picture-perfect example above is kind of like organizing eye candy — it’s a drool-worthy ideal, and yes, it comes from a magazine — kind of like looking at the supermodels on the covers of beauty tip magazines.
Below, is another picture, perhaps less “perfect”, but demonstrates the same principle of making what you use most, easiest to find:
The Queen of organizing principles: A place for everything, and everything in its place.