Maintaining Style


The first organizing style in Lanna Nakone’s Organizing for Your Brain Type is called the Maintaining Style.


The “maintaining style” is what most of us think of as organized. It’s the practical, traditional approach that you’ll see displayed in magazines. It can be frustrating to think, “I should be able to use traditional file cabinets to store papers.” Not all of our brains are designed this way. Or, “I should be able to color code my clothes and keep them that way in the closet.” Again, we’re not all wired that way, and it’s not productive to think we’ll get there if we just try harder.

I worked in a corporate legal office when I first moved to NYC. Each of the lawyers there had their own office. I realize now, that while they were all very good at what they did, their organizing styles represented the vast differences in how their brains were wired organizationally, and it showed up in what their offices looked like.

Jenna, I’ll call her, was a maintaining style. Her office was always super neat. Inside a vertical file cabinet, were a row of meticulously hand-labeled files for every category and subcategory of her professional and personal life. She loved to spend afternoons labeling the contents of her supply cabinet. I had the occasion to visit her home, where her walk-in closet had several sock drawers, in which black, brown and navy socks were separated by shade, and by sock height.

While many of us drool over the magazine pictures displaying such maintained spaces, it’s helpful to know, that most people’s brains are not wired in this style, just as most people will never look like the models on the covers of beauty magazines, no matter how much dieting and makeup skills they acquire.

Read on to find and fall in love with your own style….


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