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Organizing Tips That Fit Your Personal Style

As Published In Smead Organomics
Organizing Tips That Fit Your Personal Style

Publicity -- Smead Organomics

It’s difficult to provide universal tips that will solve real organizing challenges for every reader. The problem with generic suggestions there is that each person has a different organizing style — figure out your style, and you’ll have a better idea about the techniques that will help you. Anyone who tells you that there is only one right way to create order is wrong. There are as many ways to get organized as there are people on the planet. The key to success is making the most of your own personal preferences.

Create The Right Kind Of Storage

The game hide-and-seek is a perfect metaphor for the way that people like to store their belongings. “Hiders” can’t stand to see anything sitting out — the desk or counter-top must be clear before they can concentrate. Hidey-types should look for opaque and enclosed storage solutions, like file wallets and pockets. Subdividing files and drawers into smaller sections using guides or classification folders will also help keep those precious cubbyholes better organized.

“Seekers” tend to panic when things are tucked away. If they can’t see it, Seekey-people are afraid they’ll forget about it — and if it’s a to-do, fail to take care of it by the deadline. The best way to get rid of piles while keeping them in plain sight is by using open storage tools (clear plastic containers and folder file crates instead of drawers, shelves instead of closed cabinets). Just be careful about having too much stuff out all the time — try to get comfortable putting things you rarely use in closed storage.

Understand Your Work Style

“Chunkers” like to commit a lengthy period of time to one project — they know how to focus, and may not look up from their work all day long. The challenge for Chunky-folks is avoiding outside interruptions. It’s okay to let calls go to voice mail and shut the office door. Just don’t forget to maintain a little balance in your day — schedule stretch breaks, make time to return phone calls, and don’t forget to eat lunch!

“Bursters” are the exact opposite — they prefer to spend a little time on this project and a little time on that one, hopping back and forth and multi-tasking as the mood strikes. Bursty-peeps can be unbelievably productive, if they set some boundaries around their time. Try to limit the number of tasks you’re working on so you can actually finish all of them on schedule — and make sure you spend your day on high-priority, high-payoff items rather than time-wasters.

Tackle Your To-Dos

Do you prefer to start your work day with something easy or a challenge? “Breezers” find that knocking off five or six quick to-dos gives them a sense of forward momentum and accomplishment. But it can be easy for Breezy-sorts to procrastinate on the bigger, scarier tasks — try breaking a difficult job down into several smaller steps and tackling a few of those in a row for that same feeling of satisfaction.

“Diggers” prefer to cross the hardest item off the list first, so the rest of their to-do list is a snap. But Diggy-dudes may end up the day surrounded by crises because a lot of small fires started while they hyper-focused on the big picture. Be sure to build in regular weekly admin time for keeping those more mundane items under control — so they don’t turn into a bigger challenge than necessary.

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Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and

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