I’ve told myself stories my whole life about why I can’t seem to stay organized. I’m just a natural slob. I’m just too damn lazy. I have no motivation. It’s not like I didn’t try – I tried hard. I scoured Pinterest for pictures of an organized pantry, the perfect filing system, the best way to fold your t-shirts. And I spent a bajimillion dollars on organizing systems. Baskets and bins and jars and boxes and cannisters. And it looked amazing. Until I did laundry. Or went grocery shopping. I just couldn’t keep it looking like Pinterest. So I went back to my stories and just figured there was nothing I could do – it was me that was the problem.

But you know, I just couldn’t accept that. I am a perfect pretty pretty princess, damn it – there can’t be something wrong with me. And by god I was right. It wasn’t me – I was trying to use an organization system that was made for somebody else (like that weird lady on Pinterest with the Perfect Pantry), not for me. Ok, so great, but what kind of organization system would work for me? Here’s what I discovered.

The Four Characteristics

There are really just four characteristics that I think can define pretty much any person’s organizing style. You’re either a visual or hidden organizer. And you’re either a detailed or a big-picture organizer. How these four are combined will define your unique organizing style.

Visual / Hidden Organizer

This characteristic mainly deals with your every-day stuff. Mail, jackets, shoes, small appliances, vitamins, makeup, dryer sheets, etc. Do you like to have them out on view, because ‘out-of-sight-out-of-mind’? Or do you prefer to not see them, and stash them behind any door that has space, or shoved into any drawer with an inch of room?

Detailed / Big-Picture Organizer

This little characteristic deals with how you stash or display your stuff. Do you chuck all of your makeup into a big basket and dig through it each morning? Do you just toss your t-shirts into the dresser drawer (or on the back of the chair)? Or do you have a little box for eye shadow, a little box for mascara? Do you Marie Kondo the hell out of your shirts when you put them away (or on the chair)?

Putting Them Together

If you make a 2×2 matrix of the four characteristics, you’ll get these four organizing styles:

Click here to take a short quiz to determine which block you fit into! There is just one rule to this quiz: answer the questions as you currently are, not how you wish you were or how you know you will be someday! Once you find your bug, come back here to see what systems will work best for you!

Systems For Your Bug

Bees

Things that work:

  • Pegboards – these makes bees very happy. Use them everywhere! Craft room, garage, kitchen, bathroom.
  • Clear jars, bins, and baskets – Use these in varying sizes, depending on how “micro” you go with your organizing. Clear bins are great for the compartment-in-a-compartment organizing that bees love!
  • Hooks – hooks are great for bees because your items are visual, and bees won’t tend to overload the hooks
  • Open shelving – shelving of any kind makes use of vertical space that is imperative for visual organizers. Use clear bins on the shelves to further organize.

Butterflies

  • Large, clear bins – use them everywhere; spices, makeup, medicines, snacks, toys, craft supplies.  Wire bins also work very well for butterflies.
  • Labels – labels will be a visual reminder of what is in the bin, making it easy (and acts as a reminder to put things away) for you to put things away. 
  • Keep it visual – look at clutter hot spots and ask, “how can I design a visual organizing solution for this stuff?”
  • Vertical Space – Use magazine racks or open shelving.  Using the vertical space in a room will allow you more real estate to store your items neatly, and keep them in view!

Ladybugs

  • Solid containers with no lids – no lids is key to making this system successful. Ladybugs will not take the time to remove a lid to replace an item.
  • Labels labels labels – since the bins are solid, this is crucial so it’s easy to replace items after their used.
  • Drawer Dividers – Ladybug drawers can quickly become out of control. Using drawer dividers or small containers inside the drawers allows for some corralling while still remaining easy to use.

Crickets

  • Stackable storage – having lids is not a problem for crickets. Crickets will take the time to remove the lid to replace an item. Think bento boxes here, and use smaller containers inside for micro heaven!
  • Use open baskets or bins – since Crickets tend to procrastinate until they can do things “perfectly,” open bins work well in the areas where things tend to pile up.  When the bin is full, it’s a visual reminder that it’s time to put things away
  • Start macro – this is so hard for Crickets who are just getting started designing the perfect Cricket system. You’ll want to have a pile for the red pens, the blue pens, the red pencils, and the blue pencils. Nay nay I say – create a space for “writing utensils” and micro sort later!

I hope these tips help you get started! And thanks to Cas, from Clutterbug, for the training on this system and the use of your bugs!!! xo

What Type of Organizer are You?

Jun 25, 2023

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