Are you a saver? Do you have one of everything? Do you stash items you may need someday?
We all have natural habits and approaches to time management and how we organize space. Sometimes our styles work well for us, but when we do not understand how to work with our natural styles, we can get in our own way and impede our best intentions. Understanding what can work for us and what does not impacts the overall quality of our life. You Never Know If You’ll Need It Someday!
Is ‘I should save this because it could come in handy someday’ your flagship motto?
Do tools, accessories, clothes, and other objects that have either never been used, used little, or have outlived their usefulness lurk in your closets and cabinets?
Storage space packed to the gills typically indicates a Saver Organizing Style Preference. Often Savers believe in creative repurposing. Everything has a purpose, right? If Flea markets and clearance racks feel like magnets you may be a dominant Saver Organizing Style. You may be super creative and giving, however you may also struggle with having too much. If you purchase items you do not need, too often, you eventually will outgrow your storage space.
Wrong. Although reuse and recycling is a wonderful motto, realize the value of things does change over time. Straighteners and Minimalists have learned this. Therefore, although Saver Styles typically have altruistic motives, saving everything has a very, very dark underbelly. Let’s unpack it.
Savers Find Peace When They Have Everything They Need
When you have things on hand, it’s convenient and helpful. Joy and security may result from accumulating items. However, usefulness diminishes as collections grow. What good will an item serve if you can not find it when you want to.
Savers (erroneously) think that virtually everything may come in handy someday. They don’t subscribe to the idea that the ‘value’ of things changes over time. Savers see their accumulations as insurance of something to come and feel secure as a result of these tendencies. Savers often feel they “may need it one day” – and use this as a reason to save, store, and sometime stock-pile items. An items’ possibility is a reason to keep “perfectly good” items they “paid good money for” even if they have no use for them now nor in the foreseeable future. Some Saver tendencies may have developed in families of origin, where saving meant survival. These Savers may have behavioral and psychological triggers connected with their things.
Typically Savers hold on to collections, never taking essential steps to cull and purge collections. This leads to having items long after they’ve expired. Out of date clothing is one thing. Styles change, and things go in and out of fashion. However, eventually, storage space runs out. At some point, everyone needs a wardrobe update.
The Dark Side of Saver Style
But for savers, things can get more serious. Of course, there’s the rotten, outdated food, long-expired meds, and general overwhelm. But, savers often ‘miss’ the resale market altogether. Left unchecked, Saver s outgrow any space because they struggle to decide when to let go of items.
Additionally, some savers truly struggle with guilt and anxiety. Facing fears of separation, guilt and anxiety is hard and cloud your judgment about an item’s value. Too many items overcrowd physical space, so many savers pay for off-site storage. The desire to clear things out can cause anxiety because the Saver cannot distinguish value – everything is equally important. These items connect her to the past and she may be unwilling to compromise that connection. She may also feel she lacks the time to take on the task of clearing things out or be clueless about disposal or donation options.
Some savers struggle with an incomplete past or may have grown up in a hoarded household. These homes were not conducive to learning essential organizing skills. Typically, hoarding affects family systems at a deep and profound level. If you grew up surrounded by clutter, you will do well with professional assistance. Professional Organizers can get you started, and help you move through the difficult decisions necessary to remedy your space. Another style preference that struggles with clutter is the No Rules Organizing Style.
A Saver’s preference to ‘save everything’ can cause discord in the home or workplace. You may not even be able to find important tools or necessary supplies. Too much-ness also makes items difficult to locate or inaccessible. Co-workers and family can become overwhelmed or stressed when they cannot locate what they need. Cluttered storage spaces and a constant chorus of “I know it’s here somewhere” create tension and confusion about priorities.
How Saver Styles Can Organize More Effectively
Saver organizing style types are the personalities who struggle with too much. Excess of anything can easily turn into clutter because typically living and storage spaces are limited in size and scope. Savers should review their stashes to be sure they are easily able to find, use, and enjoy what they save. They should work to stop the inflow of items if their collections are overrunning their spaces, as well as avoid holding onto items they no longer need or use.
Savers often struggle with letting go of reading materials that are not current and may hold onto them as reference. When working to diminish clutter, Saver’s need to review and minimize collections so they fit within the available space, then reserve space for future items. They should focus on only obtaining new items that serve a specific function or give them pleasure. Some Savers who display deep psychological attachments to items and life long struggles with clutter will do well to seek expertise and professional counseling to address and modify hoarding and/or compulsive tendencies.
Flow Steps for Saver Organizing Style Personalities
There is hope for Saver Style Types! Knowing more about your style preferences help Savers take action to reduce collections, slow accumulation, and arrange items effectively for later use. Savers can learn to assign value, and create simple workflows. Flow is “natural, effortless unfolding of life in a way that moves us toward wholeness and harmony” (from The Power of Flow, Belitz and Lundstrom). The gateway to flow is awareness, being present in the moment, and learning to effectively manage your inner experience. Knowing more about your organizing style preferences can help you shift your space and get organized for good.
Flow Steps are simple choices to help resolve tension and restore freedom within your space.
Here are some basic Flow Steps that can help a Saver to enhance workflow:
- Identify what you actually use and enjoy – create a system – catalog, itemize, and label to locate easily.
- Take time to define value on collected items and realistically decide whether the potential will ever be actualized.
- Place bags or boxes inside your storage systems so donations are easier to purge bit by bit.
- Start on your small spaces rather than overwhelmed areas.
These are just a few ways to use your natural style to create a more pleasing workflow experience. Once you identify your dominant preferences you can begin to take steps to integrate more Flow Steps into your experience.
The Time & Space Style Inventory™ (TSSI™) helps you learn your organizing style preferences. You’ll learn ways to arrange space, manage the disorder, and better understand real, sentimental, and cash value. By learning your preferences with TSSI, you can make the most of your style and finally get organized for good. When you do, you’ll increase flow in your space which lowers stress. And with less stress, you’re more able to successfully manage your inner experience. EMBRACE your natural organizing style! Make it work for you – take the Time & Space Style Inventory™ and identify your time and space styles and enjoy your life
Cena Block (sanespaces.com) specializes in helping ADHD high performers and entrepreneurs design work on their own terms and build smart supportive systems that create time for living. A business coach and author, Cena collaborated with a professional organizer and author Sunny Schlenger (suncoach.com) to create the Time & Space Style Inventory – a tool that not only identifies natural behavioral styles but also enables you to use that information to create a personalized road map to manage your time and space.