Updated: Jun 25, 2022
Let's start with some background on how I have learned to move away from the idea that there is one way to organise your home and that every organised home should be based on the same principles.
Some of the most insightful organising skills I have learned have been from Cassandra Aarssen https://clutterbug.me/ Like me, she is not a born organised person and has developed her method over years of watching and learning from her family and clients.
As my interest in decluttering and organising developed I had seen simillar patterns emerging as Cas. There are four basic ‘Tidy Up Styles’. She categorises them as different clutterbugs - Butterfly, Bee, Ladybug and Caterpillar.
I use what I have learned from my own observations and what I have learned from Cas and other industry experts, whenever I start on a decluttering and organising project.
So let me show you the 4 Great Questions to ask yourself which will help you discover your own style of tidying up so you will succeed next time!
WHERE are you most comfortable in your home?
WHY does this area work for you?
HOW DO YOU DEAL with your belongings in this area?
HOW DO YOU FEEL about having your belongings around you?
Questions 1 and 3 are both about observing how you behave in your home and how you look after the belongings you have. Questions 2 and 4 are looking at finding your own specific style. This is not about your ideal, not how you wish you organised your belongings but about how you actually live now and what can we learn from that to create a system which will work for you.
Is there somewhere in your home where you feel that you have some sort of a system which is working for you?
If not, where do you spend most of your time?
Now, observe closely if there are any patterns to how you store things in this area.
Are the things you need surrounding you readily available to use?
Do you have shelves or cabinets which you use for specific things?
Do you have piles of things everywhere?
Do you stuff things in boxes or drawers?
Do you keep adding to your piles?
Is it important that you can quickly see and access your things?
Do you keep putting things in cupboards and drawers and buy extra storage to hold your things?
Is there order in your piles of belongings?
Do you keep things in categories or are they stored randomly?
Do you get pleasure and comfort from having your belongings around you?
Are you overwhelmed by the volume of things you own?
Do you crave clear worktops and flat surfaces?
Are you struggling to find things?
You may get anxious when you see piles of things everywhere. You would rather your belongings were organised in a cupboard, leaving your home feeling calm and uncluttered but if it is an effort to put things away it doesn’t get done!
Maybe you want and need your belongings to be close at hand, easily accessible but this means your belongings are taking over the house.
OK! Now you have answers to these four questions - HOW DOES THIS HELP YOU?
If you have answered the questions as honestly as you can, making sure you are looking at how you live now and NOT how you wished your home would be, you will have a good idea how to move forward with your decluttering and the type of 'Tidying Style' you have.
Now you need to work to your strengths.
If you prefer to have your belongings hidden from view and to be sorted in detail you need to take your time working toward this goal. It has already proved to be overwhelming to try and sort everything in the kind of detail you want so you need to move back a step and begin by sorting into general categories, putting them away in their designated home or zone and moving on to the next general category. Once you have done this you can go back and ‘micro’ organise your things. This is when you can categorise, file and label to your heart's content!
If you prefer to have your belongings hidden from view BUT you know you won't file in any detail or fold and spend a lot of time putting things away, you need to look at storing your belongings in containers which are easy to throw things into and get things out of. These can be stored in cupboards, out of sight.
If it is important to you to have easy access to your belongings, but you get overwhelmed when you can see everything, look for storage which accommodates this. Open shelving for files with matching boxes all clearly labelled so you know and can see exactly where everything is, for example, will keep things orderly, together, available and yet it will create an organised harmonious feel to your space. Use lots of clear labels on your containers so everything is easy to get out and put away.
Finally, if you love to have your belongings around you and want to be able to appreciate the comfort of knowing where everything is, use see through containers and easy to access storage with no lids. Make it easy to get to all your favourite things but also easy to put them away! Display the most precious and know that you can simply reach into a basket to find the rest of your belongings!
Maybe you fit entirely into one of these categories - most probably you fit into more than one depending on what area of the house you are looking at! In Cas's Clutterbug System I am a Caterpillar in the bathroom and kitchen and a Ladybug everywhere else!!
In the bathroom and kitchen I have everything in cupboards, as much as possible, with clear countertops. The cupboards are organised and categorised ( at least that's how I try to have them! Three adult children with different tendencies to me tends to disrupt matters!)
In the rest of the house I don't like to have lot's of belongings out but at the same time I don't like spending a lot of time sorting and tidying so although things are put away and have homes and zones these areas are not neat or 'micro' organised. We know where the placemats and coasters go in the dining room but they are just tossed into the drawer. I know exactly what is in my bedside cabinet but it is just thrown in there at the end of the day, however, I know exactly where to look for my hand cream, journal or a spare pen! In short, I know where things go and they get put away but it is easy and takes no great effort!
Do you see where you are in these different 'Styles of Tidy'?
If you would like to go into more detail with me to discover how knowing your 'Style of Tidy' can help you organise your own space contact me via the chat / message on my website or use the links at the end of the blog ↓↓
Behind the scenes I am working on developing www.lindajharper.com You will get access to all the different free resources, monthly newsletters and depending on what level you want to join, there will be workbooks, prompts, coaching calls or even 1:1 and virtual organising sessions where we can work together and determine the best way for you to declutter and organise your own home!
I am really excited for this new development for lindajharper.com ! Please comment below if there is anything you would love to see - I am at the development stage so any ideas could be incorporated if they fit into my plan and add to the overall offering!!!
You can comment below ↓↓ or look at the end of the blog for all the ways you can contact me privately. I love hearing from you with all your ideas and photos of the areas you are working on!!
You can message me on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Linda-J-Harper-Professional-Declutterer-and-Organiser-107805011001601.
I am also on Pinterest and Instagram if you need some inspiration! https://www.pinterest.co.uk/adnilenaj1314/boards/