This is the 5th in a series of posts describing different styles of space management. The first four styles: (1) Everything  Out (2) Nothing Out (3) Right Angler (4) Pack Rat and (5) Total Slob.

Total Slobs tend to adopt the Pack Rat style in the way they put items anywhere and everywhere and seem to see their surrounding world as one giant surface waiting to be covered. But they differ in the sense that Total Slobs don’t intend to save things. Rather, they just accumulate as they go along. With their ineffective systems (or with no systems whatsoever) they have great trouble cleaning up and finding things in the rubble. And their habits can make life difficult for the individuals around them.

Total Slobs tend to:

– identify with Oscar Madison, the character in The Odd Couple who stuffed his brown tie into one of his brown shoes in order to keep track of it

– feel bothered when asked to pick up after themselves

– have trouble understanding why other people are annoyed with a mess

– look around a room and don’t see the clutter

– think that they have more important and creative things to do with their lives than keeping things organized

People can be total slobs for a variety of reasons, including insufficient organizing skills, lack of perception, depression, feeling like a non-conformist, or rebellion.

Total Slobs usually have more difficulty getting organized than do the other styles. Changes can only be made if they’re motivated and persistent, do things gradually, and maintain a sense of humor. Ultimately, they have to accept responsibility for themselves and their environment.

It helps to create systems that are as convenient and simple as possible. For example, they should try to pick up only a dozen things at a time, or do pick-up during TV commercials. Leave clothes to be put away on one chair. Try to clear off the chair every few days or when the pile topples onto the floor. And use incentives to reward progress, or plan something special to work toward. 

Total Slobs need to remember to:

1. Accept responsibility

2. Take it slowly

3. Adopt simple systems

4. Keep motivated with different kinds of inducements

P.S. For more on managing these space styles, check out How To Be Organized In Spite of Yourself. Next week I’ll conclude the series with tips on what to do when different styles collide.

One Response to "Personal Style Series: (5) The Total Slob"

  1. Pingback: Sunny Schlenger’s SunCoach Blog » Blog Archive » Personal Style Series: When Different Styles Collide

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