The is the second of a 5 part series on different styles of managing space and how to make your natural syle most productive and comfortable.

Nothing Outs are the total opposites of Everything Out individuals. They crave uncluttered and unobstructed space. They equate a clear surface with a clear mind, and feel claustrophobic unless they can throw out their arms and touch empty air. And until they run into problems, they believe they’re being organized when they shove things out of sight.

A good example of an N.O, was the folk-artist client who contacted me when she needed help sorting old folk-art publications she’d kept in her home studio for years. While we sat in her kitchen talking, prior to tackling the studio, I happened to see her To Do list on which she’d noted the following items:

– Put final coat of shellac on plaque for Gunther 

– Check on date for museum exhibit

– Make soup

– Do load of laundry

Clean dirty broiler pan that’s in hall closet

When I asked her about the last item, she smiled and shrugged her shoulders. “Well, it seems like less of a mess around here when stuff is in the closet.”

Nothing Outs can easily live a life of illusion, believing that they’re well organized and have everything under control while behind closed doors there’s chaos. But you can enjoy clear surfaces and still make effective use of your space by following these guidelines:

1. Create workable filing systems for both active projects and longer-term storage.

2. Set up a personal planning book or computer program to keep all facets of your life organized in one place.

3. Use a desk with a rolltop/flip-up panel that will hide all from view.

4. Get closed stacking drawers or a cart on wheels for additional storage that can be moved from sight.

5. Redo the insides of drawers, cabinets, and closets with space extenders that compartmentalize open space for more efficient arrangement.

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4 Responses to "Personal Style Series: (2) The “Nothing Out”"

  1. Tina

    March 7, 2008

    I am mostly a “nothing out” person, you know, a home for everything and everything in its home?! I also like working on one thing at a time. I can pop back and forth between jobs, but do not like to have more than one job out on my desk at a time. But I would worry then too that I might forget something since it was out of sight. So I made myself little check lists and that way I wouldn’t forget what I needed to do, what I had done and what I was still in the process of doing. Also, at the end I had a visual – a check list completely checked off. Ah, the satisfaction.

    Now that I am home with my children and much more distracted and NOT wanting to do anything other than enjoy and care for them, I find that I tend to leave things out (i.e. bills to be paid) for fear that I will forget to do them. But then once I handle them, I have the clear counter, another visual and ah, the satisfaction!

    Now maybe I’m an innie and an outie! 🙂

  2. sunny

    March 7, 2008

    Yes, you can be both. It’s called being flexible when you need to be. 😉

  3. Pingback: Sunny Schlenger’s SunCoach Blog » Blog Archive » Personal Style Series: (4) The Pack Rat

  4. Pingback: Sunny Schlenger’s SunCoach Blog » Blog Archive » Personal Style Series: (5) The Total Slob

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