Understanding why you are disorganized is the key to changing. Here's a story of how one messy person finally got organized. Well, at least got better!
Two Proven Steps to Finally Get Organized: From a self-proclaimed “Messy Monster”
Two proven steps to declutter: The first step is always the hardest. Step 1. Repeat with us: “We admitted we were powerless over our clutter and our house, car, and/or office, has become unmanageable.” Join Dragon Drool Anonymous: admit you have the Dragon of Defect, Messy Monster. Step 2. Get drastic! “Simple: Don’t have a lot of stuff to organize.”
I had to take my own advice on this one. I am a personality style expert. I teach people to accept and appreciate themselves and others who are different. I even teach about personality traits from a playing card game I developed (Personality-Ville: 13 Clue Cards to Your Personality Treasure). In fact, Clue Card No. 2 ~ Two Ways: Messy or Neat, is one of 52 playing cards that teaches about our natural tendency to be either “Messy” or “Neat.” I teach this stuff. But having knowledge of “why” someone does something, doesn’t stop the behavior. I had hit bottom and was ready for a change.
Below: Personality-Ville (PV) Two (2) Clue Card. The Extrovert/Feeling Royal Circus card for organization (or the lack of it!) "It's exciting to start new projects all the time. I also may have two, or more of something, because I can't find it! I try and try to be neat. I never can on a regular basis." This is so me~Kimberly West.
You see, well... I might as well come out and just admit, “Hello, my name is Kimberly, and I have the Dragon of Defect--Messy Monster!” As much as I tried and failed to be neat; and as much as I understood my natural tendencies, I finally had to admit: I will never be neat. I have other talents, I told myself. I had to make some drastic changes in my life. I was so tired of taking endless hours and days cleaning up the same mess over and over, shuffling the same piles from here to there, and back. It also really affected my love life.
Many times we pair-up with our opposite. Let’s just say that if my boyfriend of 10 years, is a quiet data analyst, I would be the extroverted, fun one. Even though we are both pretty laid-back, my clutter was really getting to him. There always seemed to be big piles of laundry. And piles of dishes. I got so tired of hearing, “Where’s the forks; we never have any forks. Where’s the clean cups? How many dishes can you go through in one day?” And on it would go.
Now my boyfriend wasn’t super neat either. We both fought the clutter war. And finally, we have won the war: well, maybe a battle. I did something drastic. I hid almost all of our silverware and dishes. I said to myself, “Self, you live in a tiny house. You don’t even have enough room to have four people over for dinner at once. So really, how much do you need?”
So, I packed up the extra dishes and put them away. I kept two of everything else: plates, bowls, cups, etc. I gathered up all the silverware and “hid” it. I took out exactly four forks, spoons, butter knives, and two cutting knives. I figured it would last us about a day. Oh, and I put out our four best towels and hid the rest. I also got rid of every piece of clothes I didn’t wear on a regular basis. It was liberating, if not a little scary. I told him, we were going to pay a price for this in doing many more loads of laundry.
Below: PV Two (2) Clue Card. I recommend many times to strive to be like The Royal Observatory Folks~take on a few projects at a time. Then move on to the next one.
And do you know what? It worked. For the most part. We really were forced to stop and just do the damn dishes right away! It really doesn’t take that much time. It’s also been great having more room in the cupboard. No big piles of laundry, either. So the water bill did go up; we just kept washing the same clothes and towels over and over!
But I can’t celebrate complete success. One day, I got lazy and in answer to him yelling at me one more time, “Where the hell is a forking fork?” I broke down and got out the hidden stash of silverware. So, now it’s better, but not perfect.
Hey, isn’t that part of the Dragon Drool Anonymous 12 Steps sayings? “Progress, not perfection.”
Note: Dragon Drool Anonymous is a real “tongue-n-cheek” 12-step sharing game and part of the up-and-coming Personality-Ville Clubs.
Here are the other cards in the Clue Card Two set of Personality-Ville: 13 Clue Cards to your Personality Treasure deck.
Below: Extrovert-Thinking PV Two (2) Clue Card. "I need to organize things because of my Motto: Achieve. I am driven to achieve as much as possible, for as long as possible! Quantity!"
Below: Introvert-Feeling. "It just takes too much energy to have things all organized. And besides, I know where everything is. It's my 'system.'"
There actually is a Clutterers Anonymous; I just found it.
What do we each need? What can we not live without?
Find out in Personality-Ville®
Each of us has a natural preference of doing things and gaining energy a certain way. In today's challenging times, what can you NOT live without?
In Personality-Ville®, each kingdom has its own type of Royal Residence. This is like the four major temperaments of old. The introverts live in a calm Cottage and a cool Observatory; the extroverts live in a busy Castle, or fun Circus.
Cottage (introvert/feeling): needs peace, rest, and friendships. For the sake of the family, they can give up a lot, but don't ask them to increase their workload. Give them a day off in exchange for doing with less, and they will love you more for it!
Observatory (introvert/thinking): needs a sense of control and order. They can give up that new computer they have had their eye on, but don't take away their own office space in the house. Give them a gold medal with a personal inscription on the back like, "Perfect 10 for cleanest room."
Circus (extrovert/feeling): needs to have FUN and be the center of attention--this usually doesn't cost a thing! They could give up that fun trip to Mexico, but don't ask them to stop telling funny stories. The best gift you can give a them, is to listen and laugh at their jokes--priceless!
Castle (extrovert/thinking): must have a sense of accomplishment and control. They might have a hard time giving up their dream of starting their own business right now, but don't hamper their vision. Maybe now would be a good time to start a non-profit and lead a group of volunteers.
In today's challenging economy, many of us stop and ask ourselves, "What can I live without? What can I cut back on and still maintain most of what I had before?"
Some people, when in the mood, can really live on very little: They use bread sacks instead of plastic baggies; never go to the movies; buy clothes at second-hand stores; or only drive a few days a week. But there are a few things that some know if they "cut back on" it will zap precious reserves of energy.
Each personality temperament NEEDS certain things in life in order to thrive. Now, there are many things we ALL like, but imagine there is a little "energy treasure chest" within you. Each style has their own special things that "fill up" their Energy Treasure Chest.
People that live in the Cottage are easy-going, low-key, and people oriented. They need to have peace, keep the same routines, and maintain relationships. They can give up material things, but needs to increase their social interactions. Call an old friend and catch up--it's energizing!
In opposite style, a "Castle" person--who is an intense, goal-oriented extrovert--gets his blaze colored Energy Treasure Chest filled up by achieving things, and not wasting a minute of time. Castle folks can give up buying those "extra" things, but don't ask them to give up anything that saves them time.
Another extrovert lives at the Circus with a big, sunny circus tent. Their treasure chest gets filled up when they are allowed to have fun and shine! They will really have a hard time giving up the new, fun, fashionable clothes or shoes, but can make up for that by joining a comedy class for instance. A must have for a Circus person: a dishwasher--they can be sometimes pretty messy! (It's just not FUN to wash dishes!)
Last, but certainly not least, is our great people that live in the Royal Observatory. These are the intense, perfectionistic introverts. Their energy chest gets filled up by having the very best quality items. They will have a hard time giving up the latest technology. They need to keep a sense of control and excellence--they also need their own space to keep very tidy.
The most important thing to remember is that everyone is not necessarily like you! Each personality temperament has their own tempo, their own rhythm of how they do things, where they get energy from and how they make decisions.We all can "visit" different kingdoms, but usually if nothing else was affected, would go to a predominate "home."
Like a song of four-part harmony, each style is needed. And, we all need to practice the "Harmony Habit: Harmonize (adjust) your actions to be in tune with others--treat people the way they prefer!"
To get a visual sense of each style, get the book Personality-Ville Treasure Map to Life, the fun poster, or playing cards at www.Personality-Ville.MyShopify.com
The best way to start to organize, is to understand why you aren’t. What’s your personality style? And why. What’s your motivation? Answering these two questions should give some insight and even, to some, absolution.
Knowing your personality style is the foundation to whether you are naturally organized or not. Did you know that part of you, is inborn? This drive to have things organized is a natural desire that is deep inside you. You can take classes and understand all sorts of fun ways to get organized. If you are not wired this way, you will usually fight against being messy most of your life. I hereby give you permission to:
1. Accept yourself as you are. Repeat after me, “I’m not organized; and that’s okay.”
2. I will get help from others who are.
3. I will also help my organized friends with things they are not good at.
4. I will set up a schedule to have my friends come over so I will clean things up.
5. Get rid of all things you haven't used lately. Only have a few items of silverware, towels, clothes, etc. You only really need very little.
Let’s face it, it’s good to be organized. Period. The problem is some of us, are…uh, I hate to say it, but we are not organized; okay, we are just plain MESSY! But we also are usually really nice, and/or funny, but mostly we are lovable!
One is an extrovert, they are the life of the party. They get easily distracted and hey, it just isn’t “fun” to be neat! The other, is the low-key introvert. Their motto would be “Relax.” It just takes too much energy to be organized.
Now, the naturally organized people fall into two categories also. One is an extrovert. They are organized so they can accomplish many things at once, usually with the help of others. The other, is an introvert who is very organized so they can slowly, and quietly, perfect their master project alone.
The bottom line is this. Take some drastic action. You can try and change, be better, etc. Depending on your situation, you may need to just totally admit that you will never be neat. If you do, then you need to take drastic action to change the situation. My number one tip: PURGE your stuff! Get rid every thing you haven’t worn, or used recently. Give it away, sell it or just pack it up.
Below: Here is the set of Personality-Ville Clue Card, Two (2) Card: Two Ways ~ Messy or Neat. You choose which one is most like you. (Take the rest of the quiz by getting the book, playing cards or free online test.)
Video: General traits of each kingdom in relationships:
Often, we naturally choose our opposite. In Personality-Ville these two kingdoms would have no "common borders." In other words, neither gets energy the same (8 card) or make decisions the same (5 card).
When these preferences are not the same, we call this a "Harmony" match. When they are the same (example: 8 Energy Card is both: Extrovert, getting energy from external sources) we call this a "Melody" match. There is no "Best" match for this card/preference or any other Personality-Ville card matches. Any combination can work well, yet every combination has its possibility to entice our Dragons of Defects to come out.
Looking at these two kingdoms together, they can have a great "Harmony" to balance their lives. Let's say, The Castle is Kim, and The Cottage is Len. Kim is going to be go, go, go, always wanting to Accomplish something. When Kim does things Len's way, they both get to Relax in The Cottage way. If both were from The Castle, they would Accomplish much, but have a hard time Relaxing and stopping to "smell the roses."
It's the Great Maestro's Way that we were naturally created with different energy levels and preferences of doing things a certain way. We each have a natural internal tempo. This is the basis of the Personality-Ville Four Mottos Song: "Relax, Learn, Achieve, Play, keeps your Dragons far away!"
Use Book One: Personality-Ville Quiz-Game Activity, during quality-time together. There are many activities in the book like taking a personality quiz, sharing those results with a group, making a welcome banner for their door, finding their top talents, looking at what their dragons of defects are, and more.
There is a new way to determine what would be a good major for students. Where you live in “Personality-Ville” determines your natural career choice.
Which one gives you the most energy? The Royal Castle, The Royal Circus, The Royal Observatory, or The Royal Cottage? Each has its own motto, speed limit, and other preferences. (Castle=Motto: Achieve, Speed 100+. Circus=Motto: Play, Speed 80+. Observatory=Motto: Learn, Speed 27.5. Cottage=Motto: Relax Speed 20ish)
Below: Four Kingdoms of Personality-Ville
A student must know what, and how, their energy reserves get filled. Taking a personality style test usually can do this. However, many questions ask you, “Which choice do you usually make?” I think a better question would be, “What choice gives you the most energy?” This will lead you to your natural temperament. Example: When you are around a lot of people, do you feel energized? Introverts get energy from themselves—internally. Extroverts get energy from external ways, outside themselves. Think of introverts like a high quality Winnebago RV, they are “self-contained.”
Understanding this is paramount to what type of career you should go into. This has nothing to do with being “shy.” There are extroverts who get shy and introverts who are very self-confident. If you are an introvert and feel pushed to go into a field that say, your parents went into—head of a noisy, high-energy sales force—your energy reserves will be spent quickly.
An introvert must have access to quiet in order to replenish their energy reserves. Preferably, a place to be alone. This is a most basic, yet so important fact to know about yourself. It is an inborn quality that cannot be changed. Nor, should it be. According to personality style expert, Kimberly West, “Like a song of four-part harmony, each personality is needed.”
The same is true for an extrovert. West says, “I didn’t know that I was an extrovert; that I needed to be around people. I had the opportunity to go from a receptionist to the corporate cash manager for a Fortune 500 company, and I wasn’t going to say no to that advancement. I did very well; so well, I was induced into Who’s Who of the West. The problem was, computers came along in the 1980s and I lost all interaction with my international and U.S. contacts. After I did everything on a new 'Wang Computer,' I would just melt away everyday and didn’t understand what was happening to me.”
West went on to say, "This was the main reason I became a speaker and an author. Being in front of people—while it made me a little nervous—energized me, big time! I loved to help others and would get a rush being in front of them and giving them important insights into their personality style.”
Personality-Ville is a new treasure map to visualize the four main personality temperaments. It’s a quick and easy way to “see” where you live in the kingdom. There are the two kingdoms of the Family of Extrovert: Castle or Circus. And two from the Family of Introvert: Observatory or Cottage. Each one is special and there are no “best” kingdoms. There also is a get-to-know-you sharing game that goes with the personality quiz.
Below: Video of a large banner that could be used in a company setting:
What’s a great way to motivate and energize your employees without using money? Identify their “Personality Style Motto” and give them things that match it!
In Personality-Ville®, each kingdom has its own type of Royal Residence and motto. This is like the four major temperaments of old. The introverts live in a calm Cottage and a cool Observatory; the extroverts live in a busy Castle, or fun Circus.
Cottage (introvert/feeling) Motto: Relax. They need peace, rest, and friendships. For the sake of the group, they can give up a lot, but don't ask them to increase their workload. Give them a day off in exchange for doing with less, and they will love you more for it!
Observatory (introvert/thinking) Motto: Learn. They need a sense of control and order. They can give up that new computer they have had their eye on, but don't take away their own office space. Give them a gold medal with a personal inscription on the back like, "Perfect 10."
Circus (extrovert/feeling) Motto: Play. They need to have FUN and be the center of attention--this usually doesn't cost a thing! They could give up that fun trip to Mexico, but don't ask them to stop telling funny stories. The best gift you can give them, is to listen and laugh at their jokes--priceless!
Castle (extrovert/thinking) Motto: Achieve. They must have a sense of accomplishment and control. They might have a hard time giving up their dream of starting their own business right now, but don't hamper their vision. Maybe now would be a good time to start a non-profit and lead a group of volunteers.
Here's a great idea: ASK THEM what would be energizing for them. Maybe have all employees take a short survey with certain choices and a blank section for them to write in. Be creative; have fun!
Understanding the principles of different personalities is one BIG way to have an impact on brother/sister relationships.
Some of these concepts are realizing that introverts and extroverts gain and spend energy differently. Specifically, introverts lose energy being around many people, while the opposite is true of extroverts. Knowing which one you are as a parent and which one your child is, will affect many decisions through out the day.
Benefits include: Knowing what to expect reduces stress. Celebrating all personality styles equally increases self-esteem. (This includes parents not pushing their personality style onto their kids, or only favoring the kids that have a similar personality style as they do.)
Families that have learned this important concept either from a book, taking a quiz, or playing an educational game, fare much better than those who have not.
Have the whole family involved with this. The brother and sister could take a personality quiz and in one system, the Personality-Ville map, they could “place” themselves on the map location that represents their preferred way of doing things. There are four “kingdoms” to choose from: Royal Castle, Royal Circus, Royal Observatory, or Royal Cottage. The kids can see what they have in common and what their differences are. It’s a visual way to understand an abstract concept.
Another idea is to set a weekly family sharing time where every member is heard. It could be set up like a 12-step group where one person speaks and the others listen. (It would go something like this, “Hi, I’m Bobby.” The group would answer, “Hi, Bobby.” Bobby speaks—while the others say nothing— “Well, I’ve have a good week this week at school. I wish I did better on my test, but I was really nervous. Thanks for letting me share.” The group then responds, “Thanks, Bobby.” Then another person shares.
There is a fun get-to-know-you game called “Dragon Drool Anonymous” that does exactly that. It’s based on the principle that we all turn into our “Dragon of Defect” when tired, sick, stressed, or just not being aware.