Back To Blog

What's Your Decluttering Style

Organized Linen ClosetStill Not Organized – Here’s Why and What to Try in 2021!

Clutter can often be a sign of a chaotic lifestyle and it can also represent a very depressed person. You might have ready many articles on the subject and tried a variety of ways to clean up your own space but within days it’s right back to the same old trend of collecting mail or papers you really don’t need.  That’s because you haven’t found the decluttering style that best fits your lifestyle. There’s no one way that works for everyone.

First, it’s the beginning of a new year and that can get people motivated to declutter their home and/or office space. It turns out, people have different approaches to organizing—how to do it, and what they want to get out of it. A new organization strategy, Pixie, caters to these different types. It's the brainchild of Kelly McMenamin, author of "Organize Your Way: Simple Strategies for Every Personality."

"How you organize is hardwired into your brain," she explains. "It’s why some keep tons and rarely declutter, and others squirrel everything away in filing cabinets and declutter regularly. The trick to getting and staying organized is to figure out your organizing style, and then build systems that work with your natural tendencies rather than fighting them."

Rather than giving out the same style to every client, Kelly has them complete a survey to find out what Pixie style they have; Classic, Fun, Organic or Smart. You can choose your style from the descriptions below.

The reality is if you haven’t gotten organized after being at home for a year, you need to try a new style.

The Classic Organizer

46% of the population fall into this category and are the most traditional organizers. You finish what you start and feel best when following a routine and completing a task. You are very structured, you make your bed every day, set up coffee the night before and put your clothes away at the end of the day. Basically, you run a tight ship.

However, in your entryway piles happen and you hate them. This year try adding opaque bins with covers, so you aren’t greeted with chaos and use a shallow dish for mail to not allow it to pile up.

In the bedroom order really matters to you even if it’s hidden. Consider investing drawer separators for lingerie and socks and take the time to fold your underwear. This will create a wave of calm over you when you open the drawer.

In the bathroom you need a schedule so plan on cleaning out your medicine chest every January and throw away anything that’s outdated or hasn’t been used in the past year. When you put things back keep out only the essentials and hide away the rest. The less that’s out and the more that’s hidden, the happier you will be.

When you make it to the kitchen vow to only use see through containers this year. An organized fridge will bring your organizational personality more joy.

If your home office doubles as a bedroom, living room or spare room, find a way to visually “close up shop” at the end of every day. You’ll never relax staring at a printer.  If you don’t have a secretary desk to literally cover everything up at the end of the day, consider using an under the bed storage container to put everything into and under the bed for office storage. This is a quick way to get things out of site and enable you to unwind at the end of the day.

The Fun Organization type makes up 27% of the population. Easy going and adventurous you are easily grounded which means bills get paid and work gets done even if you don’t make a to-do list every day.

Fun types are flexible so while they do make their bed everyday it can happen at any time and doesn’t need to be done first thing in the morning. This also applies to things like doing dishes and putting clothes away.

You’re likely to leave your house on a whim so a small dish or container to always place your keys won’t hold you up.

In your bedroom you like color so why not organize your clothing and jewelry by color. Even better, turn all the hangers in your closet backwards and as you wear an item put it away with the hanger in the correct position at the end of every season, you’ll see what you didn’t wear, and it will make it easier to pack it up and donate to a local 2nd hand shop.

In your bathroom store extra toilet paper and cleaning supplies under the sink and out of sight but easily assessable.

In the Kitchen the “I might use this” mindset means you hold on to excess, useless items more than other types. Clean out your pantry and cupboards and throw away anything that’s expired. Anything you find you have an excess of could be donated to your local food pantry.

In your home office try using colorful desktop file boxes for filing.

The Organic Organization Type

This is about 15% of the population and includes the idealists of the world placing personal growth and relationships above anything else. Order develops naturally, your homes are usually described as homey, you tend to surround yourself with photographs of loved ones and enjoy having décor that tells a story.

Organizational types have the hardest time letting go of sentimental things.

Place a small bowl in your entryway for keys but make sure it’s small enough not to dump in a pile of doodads because you will. (piling is your nature). Try to separate your stuff in to piles with a purpose stashed in multiple bins.

Step one to organizing an organic bedroom is to replace all your mismatched hangers with huggable hangers and hang all your clothes except socks and underwear. The same hangers keep everything on the same plane and make it easier to see what you have as opposed to stuffing it in a drawer – you forget about things you can’t see.

In the Bathroom “out of sight is out of mind” so it’s best to store large items under the sink and pull out all the small things that can go on an exterior shelf.

In the kitchen add some extra shelves so you can keep things organized behind closed doors but still assessable.

In your home office, an Organic visual memory benefits enormously from the tactile and visual habit of writing things on paper. Use a large visual wall calendar to keep track of appointments. If you see your schedule plainly on the wall it’s easier to remember and keep track of things.

The Smart Organizational Personality makes up only 10% of the population yet CEO’s, Presidents and people in charge are this type. You are adept problem solvers, are driven, and set a high standard for everyone, including yourself. Your home reflects your passions, whether that’s tons of books—many of you are bibliophiles—or awards or photos showcasing your career. Despite being a piler and a collector, you don’t enjoy things being helter-skelter.

In the Entryway get structured bins to store magazines, newspapers, or a household in basket with lids tucked underneath them to create a cleaner looking space.

In the bedroom you’d rather drape your clothes over a chair at the end of day so hang some double hooks inside the closet and take the lid off the hamper so it’s easily assessable.

In the bathroom keep essentials out on open shelves and visible in acrylic containers with lids removed. A little visual clutter doesn’t bug you and you’ll end up using all these items anyway.

In the Kitchen you usually toss extraneous things in a pile somewhere but eventually the visual clutter will annoy you. Clean out one drawer in your kitchen for a junk drawer. The junk drawer is your unsung organizational hero for all things that defy categories in your life.