Straightener Style Preference vs. No Rules Style Preference
The Straightener and No Rules Organizing Style Preferences are aligned around how well you are able to tolerate disorder. The ‘Law of Disorder’ happens as a part of life… it seems that there is an ever-expanding perimeter of stuff.
It’s pretty easy to figure out if you’re a Straightener…
…just have someone move something out of place in one of your arrangements and see if you’re compelled to move it back. Straighteners do not necessarily have OCD but other people can feel like they do.
Whereas Straighteners prefer edges to be aligned, No Rules people tend not to notice these details. They may simply be focused on other things or they may feel overwhelmed by a mess and feel helpless when it comes to maintaining systems.
It’s important to understand the origins of a No Rules organizing style preference so you know which remedies, structures and behaviors will have a higher likelihood of success for you.
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The Straightener Organizing Style
I was quickly able to identify one of my clients’ organizing style preference as a Straightener when she gave me a tour of her condo. At first glance it looked organized and lovely. But she was unhappy, she said, with how little space she had to put items away. She complained about the limited storage space in her elegant dining room cabinet so I started to open the drawers to see what was causing the problem.
In the very first one, velvet-lined for silverware, I saw neat little rows of — rubber furniture casters. When I asked her why she was keeping furniture casters in the silverware drawer, she peered in at them. “Well,” she answered, “they fit so nicely in there.”
Appearance (form or aesthetic) is more important to a Straightener Organizing Style than whether an item, space, storage system or habit is functional.
As long as it ‘looks good’, or ‘fits’ in the space, the arrangement doesn’t have to make sense or be functional in any way. (Consider the casters in this example…) So Straighteners may have piles of miscellaneous items all jumbled together, yet if the edges are aligned at right angles – they are satiated. At least until they need to find things. Without meaningful and functional systems – they can be just as disorganized as others.
To be organized, Straightener style personalities need to appreciate the difference between straightening (where things are pleasing to look at) and actual organizing (where the individual locations of those things have meaning).
The No Rules style presents a quite different orientation.
Rather than being concerned about appearances, they can believe that their time is better spent on more pressing or creative matters than organizing. They’re typically not very organized. (And many No Rules types can become downright righteous about their style behaviors.) No Rules types often feel organizing is either too much trouble, too time-consuming, difficult (or hopeless) to maintain systems, or simply be too overwhelmed with clutter to know where to start.
The’No Rules’ Organizing Style Case Studies
One of my clients, an artist, was presented with the gift of my organizing services from her daughter.
The daughter was concerned that her mom, recently widowed, would not be able to keep up with her late father’s meticulous maintenance systems for the house and wanted me to help her “follow the rules”.
The truth was, the organizing systems (developed by the late husband – according to his organizing style preference) were way too precise for her mother’s needs and preferred way of doing things; her mom was more relaxed and casual than her husband had been. The solution for her was to create very basic, categorical approaches for upkeep that worked with the mother’s more No Rules style preference.
[Tweet “It’s important to know what systems work with your organizing style personality. What’s your #SpaceStyle?”]
Another client was also a No Rules organizing style, but not by choice. (Cue: Intro Bethoven’s Fifth Symphony here…)
He and his wife had just had triplets, and he was inundated with new daily responsibilities as a result. After taking paternity leave he returned to his job at an advertising firm and found that none of his previous routines worked anymore. His lack of routine and habits (indicative of his No Rules style preference) caused him to show up sleepy, forget appointments, and be far from functioning with his previously accustomed ease (prior to triplets). As a result, it wasn’t long before he began to receive complaints about his performance.
He needed a new approach to his old job in order climb out from under the overwhelm that was exacerbated by his dominant style preference. He liked things easy… simple to do, simple to maintain. Previously simple meant keeping everything in his head. The biggest change we made was getting him to rely on his iPhone for simple To Do lists and random notes; whereas he had been able to keep everything in his head before, now he found he had to rely on the right tools to maintain his productivity.
This is an example of how life-situations, transitions and phases can affect someone’s coping behaviors, yet not necessarily change their dominant or preferred approach to organizing their space. Situational disorganization can strike any time life gets out of control! His No Rules organizing style preference indicates easy, low maintenance systems work best. When things become complicated, they are not attractive and no longer functional for one with a dominant ‘No Rules’ Organizing Style Preference.
For No Rules types, Finding unique remedies and solutions that serve your dominant organizing styles will include avoiding overly complex systems, knowing what the bare minimum is, and developing simple, yet sustainable systems to build confidence and promote consistency.
Building Systems for Your Organizing Style Preferences
It’s difficult to create customized strategies if you’re not aware of why you have the tendencies and habits that you do.
Understanding that there are different organizing style preferences and that current events can affect even the most proven strategies are the best ways to determine remedies and tweaks to your systems that will actually work. Investing in the right products to support your natural behaviors will save you time, money, frustration and heartache!
Once you identify your dominant preferences – are you an Everything Out™, Nothing Out™, Minimalist™, Saver™, Straightener™, or No Rules™? – you can begin to take steps to integrate more Flow Steps into your experience.
The Time & Space Style Inventory™ (TSSI™) evaluates your time style preferences and how you manage priorities, attend to details, and take action. By learning your dominant and strong style preferences, you can make the most of your time and choose to take actions that increase flow in your life. Consistently taking the Flow Steps in your styles of dominance will help you successfully manage your self, and your decisions about time.
Your Sanity Assignment! What Organizing Style Is Yours?
- What about these two style preferences resonates for you?
- Do you have any examples, tricks or techniques to share of your own?
- I invite you to pull back the curtain and reveal your techniques that work to manage flow in your environment in the comments section below!
EMBRACE your natural style!
Cena Block (sanespaces.com) specializes in helping moms design work on their own terms and build smart supportive systems that create time for living. A business coach and creator of the TSSI, Cena collaborated with author Sunny Schlenger (suncoach.com) to develop the first online assessment tool for time management and organizing personality styles. The Time & Space Style Inventory™ is a tool that not only identifies natural behavioral styles but also enables you to use that information to create a personalized roadmap to manage your time and space. Find Sunny’s book: Flow Formula: A Guidebook to Wholeness and Harmony on Amazon.com.