The 3rd Organizational Personality Type is The Spreader. Of all the OPT’s, the Spreader will be the one who will have the most challenges in getting organized for a new pet. As their name states… they spread. Open a drawer in their hall table console, and you will find a treasure trove of things, keys, glasses, tools, snacks, stationery, bills, etc. It is not that they don’t want to have an organized system in their home for their adorable new pet – literally, they don’t know how other people do it. Have you heard of the old saying “A place for everything and everything in its place”? Well, for the Spreader, this is not so simple. They know there should be a place for everything — they just can’t keep it to one place. If they could, they’d always put it there. So, today we are going to examine how their clutter happens and offer professional organizing tips on how to keep on top of things so that they can always find what they are looking for in a timely fashion.
The Spreader Dog Owner
We have already examined the Piler and the Nester as dog owners and learnt about their unique organising styles. The Piler needs to be aware of how they store and organize in their home so that it is easily accessible; they need to allow enough appropriate storage space, and categorize by time and location. With the Nester, we learnt that they tend to personalize their environments. Thus they need to be aware of organizing the dog’s toys, supplies, and keepsakes in a specific location or they run the risk of these things either clashing with the style of the home or taking over altogether. With the Spreader, their challenge is in the very act of putting things away. They can load a dishwasher because the dishwasher, by its very design, tells us: “Cutlery goes here. Plates go there.” But a cabinet? A drawer? They don’t have a clue about how to manage those. For the Spreader, a drawer has four walls, a handle to open it with, and space inside to put stuff in – end of story.
One day they’ll put their sunglasses on the hall console, the next day, that same pair of glasses might end up being put on the kitchen counter, or coat pocket, or handbag, or office drawer. Though they might share a lot in common with the Piler, in actuality, the Piler stores like with like, albeit in a piling manner that involves tactical manoeuvres to access, while the Spreader will mix it up and tends not to be consistent with where they put things or what they organize them with.
“physical clutter overloads your senses, increases stress, and impairs your ability to think creatively”
It is not that Spreaders are untidy; they most certainly love and thrive in a tidy and well-organized environment. It is more that they are not consistent in how and where they put things away. The problems arise when they can no longer work at the pace, and in the style, they thrive in because they either can’t find what they are looking for quickly or have no clutter-free space to work at. However, give them an intelligent system and specific to their needs, and they will use it. Indeed a team of researchers at UCLA in a study published in 2012 titled “Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century” observed 32 Los Angeles families and found that all of the mother’s stress hormones spiked during the time they spent dealing with their belongings. What is interesting about these studies is that they reveal physical clutter overloads your senses, increases stress, and impairs your ability to think creatively.
Our pets pick up on our emotions, and if you are overwhelmed, they will be too. So, if only for the sake of the new pet, it is important to put an organizational and storage system in place that will allow you and your new fur-baby thrive together.
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A Place For Everything And Everything In Its Place
The key to helping a Spreader getting organized and ready for a new pet in their lives is by following that old saying: “A place for everything, and everything in its place”. By this, I mean a specific, singular location. It does make sense to put the dog’s leash in the hall (after all, you are going out the door with the dog for a walk, and that is where you will need it), but if you are a Spreader, you have to assign 1 place in the hall. And that specific, singular storage location must be 1 hook, or 1 basket, or 1 shelf – not just the hall. I am a Spreader, and in preparation for our new dog, I have allocated a hook (the only hook) in my front hall closet and back hall closet for storing the dog’s leash and harness. I have a basket under my hall table console to store the dog’s toys and grooming supplies. Likewise, in my kitchen, I have 3 baskets on 1 shelf-drawer for storing the dog’s food, treats, and medications. And that is it. No mixing in with other things or in other rooms. If I can’t find what I am looking for (because as a Spreader, I am consistently not consistent), I know that there is one of three places to look. It takes the overwhelm out of it and means that I can get ready and out for that walk in the park all the more sooner in a more relaxed state of mind.
5 Drawer Labelled Unit:
I like this a lot as a pet storage solution for Spreaders as it is compact, and the drawers are labelled – which makes maintaining a clutter-free and organized storage area very easy and clear for a Spreader. Here’s a link to how one owner labelled her drawers. Pet Supply Drawers
This is the drawer storage solution I am using for organizing our new dog’s food, treats and medications. It is easy to access, easy to maintain, and you can close the cupboard door, and it all hides away!
The Spreader’s Pet Zone:
- Don’t mix with other non-pet related things.
- Clearly label drawers, baskets, shelves, or hooks for storage.
- Have a regular time that pet toys and supplies are picked up and put away
- Keep it simple, keep it clear, and keep it always in the same place.
Check out my other posts on getting organized for a new dog using my Organizational Personality Type System:
Free Professional Organizing Advice for you!
We could all use something to look forward to right now. I want to do something that will add value to your life to help you during these confusing and challenging times. When you are organized, there is less chaos, less overwhelm. An organized home can bring you a sense of calm, ground you, and help you feel more in control. It is one of the things that we can influence and control despite what’s happening in other areas of our lives or communities.
I am offering a “mini organizing consult” for free, share it with your co-workers, family, AND friends on Linkedin, post it on Facebook, or Instagram, or Twitter. Let everyone know because I want to give back and help you. Now is when people really need it.
So, if you would like some help getting your pet’s things organized, all you need to do is complete this FORM; attach a photo of 1 area in your home or office that you need organizing help with. Every week I am going to choose at least one person to work with. Here are a couple of readers I have helped already:
- How do I declutter my makeup drawer?
- How to organize my students planning notes and supplies while teaching online