Why Personality Matters When it Comes to Getting Organized
Being disorganized sucks, and it’s stressful! It’s why home organization is a growing industry with television channels dedicated to it, not to mention magazines, books (ahem), and stores. But there is no one-size-fits-all solution to organizing, and different people have different ways to do it. We started PixiesDidIt as a roadmap to understanding yourself, and the organizational style of people you live with. But why does your personality matter when it comes to organizing?
Why Personality Matters
Well to start, understanding your personality type makes life easier. Let’s say your idea of bliss is a cup of coffee and the newspaper by yourself, but you work as an equity trader, talking to people all day. After a workday, the best way for you to “recharge” would be to carve out at least thirty minutes of alone time. It doesn’t mean you can’t go out to drinks, laugh, and have fun with friends and colleagues, but it’s helpful to know that you’d be more relaxed if you’d gone for a walk by yourself or done some solo activity.
The same is true for organizing. Knowing what you prefer to do with your shoes when you get home, where you dump your mail and how long it stays there, and when you make weekend plans will give you peace of mind like nothing else. Knowing your personality type is helpful because there’s no need to feel bad about yourself, change all your habits, or reinvent the wheel to stay organized. The distinguishing characteristic of our PixieType categorization is the research behind it- we studied people’s organizational habits in their homes as professional organizers. We jokingly refer to ourselves as organizational anthropologists because we don’t judge, be we notice everything. That’s likely the reason why so many friends of ours are apologizing for their disorganization when we visit.
Some critics argue that the personality-type theory is junk because people can get different results when they take the same personality assessment at different times. Well, of course, they can if they answer differently. Others complain that type theory unfairly pigeonholes people and doesn’t account for personal growth. The truth is people change their answers on tests for a variety of reasons. Are you taking the assessment at home or at work? Does your response to a given situation vary depending on the people you’re dealing with? Who are you comparing yourself to? You’re never 100 percent one way or another, and recent memorable experiences can nudge you towards one response or another. In the end, you must identify with the personality description. Period. If it doesn’t feel like you, it’s not you.
From what we’ve observed over a lifetime of knowing each other and the last ten years of working with clients of all sorts of personality types, there is never going to be one “right” way to organize. Each organizational dilemma is going to present its own specific set of problems that demand a unique solution. Some of us are never going to hang up our coats on hangers like Mr. Rogers- even some “neat” types have difficulty doing so because that’s not how they were raised- and some of us are always going to have to do the dishes before we go to bed. There isn’t one best solution- just the best one for you.
Major Differences in Personality-Types
While helping clients handle home and life issues, we found five major and consistent differences in personality type-related tendencies:
- Certain personality types use To-Do lists religiously; others use them on occasion and never refer to them again.
- Some types have a knack for decor..others, not so much.
- Some types throw away cherished possessions with ease but collect plastic bags like grocery stores are going out of business; other types can’t throw away sentimental things but have no problem ditching those plastic bags.
- Some types make piles everywhere; others do it more sparingly.
- Some types forget things hidden behind a door exist; others would be lost without their filing cabinet.
Many organizational tendencies correlate to personality types because they are hardwired, which is why we don’t scold clients or expect them to make drastic changes to their predominate habits. Our solutions work around your reality.
The four Pixie types are a blueprint for us organizational experts — but identifying your type doesn’t just benefit us. It’s the first step on your way to organizational bliss and the customizable functioning of your household — whatever that ends up looking like. The point is to find a way of running your household so that it feels easy and right. Want to know what your PixieType is? Take the quiz! As you fill out the quiz, keep in mind that there are no wrong answers. The more authentically you can answer each question, the better the chances are of us being able to truly help you achieve your goals. So, no shame, no blame!