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.
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.
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.)
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!
Below: Here's a quick video to introduce you to the four Personality-Ville kingdoms.
1. Know thyself. First, you need to determine who the heck you really are! Understanding your true self--how you energize, make decisions, your natural internal speed--is the foundation for true authentic living. How can you even start to address if you are wearing a mask if you don't know your true, natural self. Taking a personality test can give you some results. But there's a twist. It's important to answer the questions not "as you usually do," but imagine yourself naturally living your life without any interference.
One way to get to your natural personality, is to think about how you would really like to live your life. If you had the money to live any way you want to, with no influence from family, friends, bosses, children or anyone else, how would you live? A definitive way is to pick the answer that gives you the most energy, not necessarily “how you normally” do something, but looking at how energizing it is. Also look at what the motivation is. Why are you doing it “that” way?
2. Get to know each other’s true self in a fun, open way. One system that could be useful is a colorful symbolic "Treasure Map to Life" with four kingdoms that help you visualize abstract concepts. This map is of Personality-Ville and its kingdoms of the Royal Castle, Royal Circus, Royal Observatory, or Royal Cottage. Each one has its own musical tempo. Take the test as a couple and determine which kingdom is most like your natural style, the one that gives you the most energy. You find your natural part to Life’s Song. Sharing the results can bring a deep feeling of understanding between the two of you. Using this system by putting up the colorful map on a wall, can remind you to “take the mask off” and just live in your “natural kingdom.”
3. Understand that when you adjust your behavior to suit your mate, think of it as a song and you will sing "harmony" to their lead--sometimes. That's the key. Sometimes you sing lead and sometimes you sing harmony. According to Personality-Ville.com, this is called "The Harmony Habit: Sing your part to Life's Song and adjust (harmonize) your actions when needed."
According to "www.Personality-Ville.com," one way to help visualize and understand this abstract concept of different personality styles is to use a system of visual symbols.
It's based on various levels of detailed information given in a visual/symbolic map. The most basic is an understanding of personality styles. This is done with looking at four different style "homes." Extroverts: Castle or Circus. Introverts: Observatory or Cottage. Or a combination of each.
Each kingdom has its heroes (Aces) and dragons, showing the struggle as we each deal with the positives and negatives of our personalities.
Below is an example of a wall poster to help remind us how to "Tame our Dragons." It states: "No Dragon Zone!--Strengths, when taken to the extreme, become Dragons of Defects."
One of the unique aspects of this program is the use of visual images to quickly sum up an abstract concept. In this case, they have created a set of colorful dragons that take on characteristics of four different personality styles.
The premise goes with one of their benefits: "Understanding a person's Dragons of Defects~knowing what to expect~helps reduce stress." When your "dragon" comes out, it's visible to everyone~a little "Dragon Drool" can be seen. This is also the name of a new card game.
A brief summary of these Dragons of Defects and how to handle them during family events, is outlined by Personality-Ville founder and "Queen," Kimberly West of Mason City, Iowa.
She states, "The four Dragons of Defects are grouped into two categories. From The Family of Extrovert or Introvert. The Extrovert Dragons are, 'Bossy Barker,' and 'Chattyeth.' These two are very easy to spot because they are loud and intrusive. Tips for getting along with them. Bossy Barker likes to be in control. So give them something to control! A game, an event, the meal preparation, etc.
"Chattyeth likes to talk, a lot! So give them a place to do that. Maybe plan on them being the 'emcee' or 'Santa' choosing the presents and giving them to each person~talking much of the time.
"Now, the Family of Introvert's Dragons are 'Perfectooth,' and 'Snoozoth.' Perfectooth likes things and people to be 'perfect.' They really like to be in control and have the best, highest quality presents/events. One way to help them during this time is to let them be in charge of one very important aspect of an event.
"Snoozoth is another Introvert Dragon. It doesn't take much to understand what this Dragon needs. The best thing you can do for this quiet introvert-type? Nothing. As in, don't give them a thing to do! And it would be really nice if you had a place for them to rest or even lie down if need be. Set up a guest room, with a lock on the door, for anyone who needs to stop, pause and rest. They will love it!"
Below: New Card Game
In order to teach these concepts, Personality-Ville has come up with some unique ways to do that. They have recently finalized a set of playing cards and wall posters/maps that has all of the dragons, and the "heroes" of each Personality-Ville kingdom to help tell the story of our differences. The site states this is for use by business, education and personal venues.
All of this new, colorful artwork is being woven into West's new version of the book, "Why Can't Everyone Be Like Me?"This book is part of a new personality style system based on what West calls, "A symbolic language of colorful images and fun vocabulary that unites different types of personality tests under one "roof." "Personality-Ville®, Language: One For All," as she calls it.
Can't wait for the revised version? Original versions of her book, "Why Can't Everyone Be Like Me?" can only be found in most North Iowa libraries, as it is sold out and out of print.
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.