• Lauren Hass

Determine Your Organizing Style...It's Not One Size Fits All


When it comes to organizing, many of my clients ask, "well, what do most people do?" And my answer is that everyone is different and there's no one correct way to organize. Your preferences and tendencies determine what organizing strategy will work best for you.

Here are three questions to ask yourself as you determine how you will organize the items you love, use or need...

  1. Are you a "stuff out" person or a "stuff away" person? Some people like to see everything -- out on shelves or counters, in clear bins, easy to see and access. They want their stuff organized, but prefer* it to be out. "Stuff away" people are the opposite – they don’t want to see their stuff and want things organized behind closed doors, perhaps in opaque bins to minimize visual clutter.

  2. Do you want to spend more time searching or more time putting away? If you tend to quickly throw items in random places instead of putting them away properly, you likely need to spend more time searching for something when you need it. If you take the time to put it away in a specific spot, you will be able to find it quickly. How would you prefer to spend your time?

  3. Do you want everything in matching bins, products decanted into clear jars, books arranged in rainbow order...or is it sufficient for you that everything has a home, regardless of what the home looks like? Clients of The Home Edit definitely prefer the former, but this preference comes with a higher price tag. The latter may be less aesthetically pleasing (think shoe boxes, iPhone boxes and mismatched bins you happen to already own), but allows you to be organized at a lower cost and less of an environmental impact.

Once you determine your style, you may find it easier to determine how to approach organizing. And if you live with others, it’s worth having a conversation with them as well about each person’s answers to these three questions. Organizing is not one size fits all and sometimes you may have to compromise.

Happy organizing! *Some people, such as those with ADHD, may need for items to be out to remember that the items are there. That's why my client’s husband went to buy more granola bars when there were none left. He didn't think to check the pantry backstock, where there was a whole new box. It's also why it may be more helpful for you to keep the printer paper out on a shelf, as opposed to away in a cabinet.

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