I have over 12 years experience working in business environments, helping organizations  with efficiency, company moral and productivity.

Specifically, busy professionals, parents and entrepreneurs call me when they want to be more efficient with their time, their processes and systems so that they can be more productive with less overwhelm. They want to be organized because they want their life back.

So why is it so difficult to organize our spaces?

The first reason is because we were never taught how to! Not in school, not in college, not at home. We may be taught how to tidy, how to clean but not how to organize.

The other reason is because we have relationships with our environments. We have relationships with the things we put in those environments and we have relationships people in those environments too. When it comes to how people behave “organizationally” in their environments – I have broken it down into 4 types.

The Spreader, The Piler, The Filer (or “I’m All Right Jack”), and Nester. I created the “organizational type” system because I noticed one major area being consistently ignored when it came to tackling office overwhelm, clutter and moral. There are three areas to examine when dealing with organizing an office environment – indeed any environment. They are as follows:

  1. Environment: You have a specific space within which you work or live and this space can’t shrink or enlarge. What you have and what you do in that space must fit into it if it is to function properly.
  2. Function/Activity: What you do in that space, how many people use it, and how many activities happen in the space also affects how I approach creating the right organizational solution.
  3. Personality Type. The organizational type you are also affects how you interact with the space.

The Piler

Meet the PILER: They don’t trust systems, if it’s out of sight it’s out of mind, they’re worried they won’t find it again. So they pile. They pile on their desks, they pile on the floor, they pile on the window ledge. If there’s a surface – it has a pile on it. The great thing about these kinds of people are that they are the master of multi-tasking. They have all kinds of projects on the go, are active members of committies and love what they do.

Q: Recognise yourself?

The Spreader

Meet the HIDER/SPREADER: They are unique in that they are both sides of a coin. You’ll recognize them in one of two ways. Either they will have what kind of appears like an organized space but when you open a drawer, a door, look under their desk, behind the door. Yikes!!!! Complete chaos. The other way you will recognize them is because literally everything will be everywhere, all over their desk, spilling out of drawers, cupboards. Nothing organized. The fantastic thing about the Hider/Spreader is that they have the most amazing minds. They are innovators. Their mind is full of ideas and thoughts.

Q: Recognise yourself?

The Nester

Meet the The Nester: You can’t miss these folks. They have practically every room of their home in their office. Pictures, wardrobe, photos, blankets, first-aid, food. Their office is a home away from home. And that’s the best thing about them. They are also like your home away from home. They are welcoming, they cheer you up, they care about that plant that never gets watered. They care. The Nester humanizes every office.

Q: Recognise yourself?

The Filer (or “I’m All Right Jack”)

And finally I’d like to introduce you to THE FILER They command attention because seriously, they file, their desk is never covered in clutter, they personal belongings all over the office. The life blood of any successful, smoothing running organization –  they are accurate and agreeable. So what’s wrong with them!!!! Well, on the downside they can be heard to say occasionally “If it ain’t broke why fix it?” and they are probably responsible for the walls lined with large ominous filing cabinets dating back eons. And that means that they can be the very people who can miss opportunities to grow and improve efficiency. There’s always room for improvement after all.

Q: Recognise yourself?

Next week I examine  the challenges of each Organizational Personality Type and suggest tips to help each of them. Stay tuned!