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Knowing your ‘brain side’ can help you get organized

Here is an example an organized closet. Professional organizer Beth Randall says how persshould approach getting organized depends whether they

Here is an example of an organized closet. Professional organizer Beth Randall says how a person should approach getting organized depends on whether they are right-brained or left-brained. | Sun-Times Media file photo

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Updated: October 27, 2012 6:08AM

PLAINFIELD — Are you right-brained or left-brained? Knowing your personality type can help you get and stay organized, according to Beth Randall, a professional organizer, owner of the business Joe Organizer and Plainfield resident.

“Sometimes when people are struggling with being organized, they just need to consider their personality type,” Randall said. “It can make things so much easier.”

Although few are exclusively one or the other, those who tend to be right-brain thinkers are more visually oriented when it comes to their homes and office spaces, Randall said.

“They want to see their things and have them in sight,” she said. “They tend to be more creative and think in images.”

Those who lean toward left-brain thinking are more logical and analytical, Randall explained. They like making lists and planning in advance.

“People can be both right-brained and left-brained,” she said, “but one or the other will be stronger.”

Know your brain

And understanding how you think can be just the thing to get your spaces under control.

An example would be with shoes.

Randall said a messy closet can turn the morning routine into a nightmare when a matching shoe can’t be found or a particular pair seems to have disappeared entirely.

Right-brained people need to be able to see those shoes clearly. Organizing them in clear boxes can keep them nice and neat and yet very visible.

Left-brainers may want to keep their shoes in their original boxes, labeled on the end for easy identification at a moment’s notice. A shoe rack would work for either personality, as the shoes are all lined up in a row, visible and yet displayed in an orderly manner.

Those of a right-brained nature who have problems organizing jewelry may want to make a creative corkboard with plenty of push pins for hanging necklaces, bracelets, scarves, and other accessories.

This satisfies their bent for the artistic while keeping their jewelry out in the open and yet organized.

“That would be too much clutter for the left-brained, though,” Randall said. “They could store their jewelry in a jewelry box with little compartments for each piece or even an ice cube tray in a drawer.”

Satisfying both types of people would be a hanging jewelry organizer with clear plastic pouches that can live in the closet.

A place for everything

Paperwork of all kinds is another common organizing problem, especially for right-brain thinkers.

“For them, filing papers is not fun,” Randall said. “It’s a dreaded task. But this is a time when they can get creative. Buy colored file folders and jazz them up and make it a fun thing.”

For every personality type, though, she said, there is one important basic rule, and that’s having a place and a process for everything in the home.

“You need to define that place where each item is going to live,” Randall said, “then get in the habit of putting things back where you have defined they go right when you are through with them or right when you walk in the door. Have a place for everything. How your things are in their places can be a right- or left-brained thing.”

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