Organizing for Your Personality

The format depends on a combination of your personality and that which you want to accomplish. You must organize your portfolio so that it clearly shows your.

Organizing Habits

* Left-Brainers You tend to crave designated locations for everything. Because you like to sort, options with compartments can be especially satisfying. Left-leaners often prefer to keep things out of sight, so boxes that stack nicely in drawers or closets are appealing. Categorizing by date or event comes naturally, and multiples of identical storage options (say, matched photo albums) feed your urge for extreme order.

* Right-Brainers Forget about trying to adhere to strict rules. Your keep-it-neat plan should capitalize on your pull toward the creative and the emotional. Containers you already own and love can be motivating. Investigate your clutter patterns: Do you drop your necklace on the bathroom counter when you're getting ready for bed? Maybe you need a wall hook by the sink to catch jewelry. If it works for you, it's correct.

Ideas for the Left-Brainer

* Keepsakes Varied in shape, keepsakes can be a headache for the neatnik. Think in terms of matched containers (your usual preference) in different sizes for the just-right fit you crave -- one for letters, one for theater programs, for example. Inexpensive divided boxes with depth let you sort ephemera (matchbooks, seashells) and stack it all nicely in a drawer. Where to buy: Medina boxes by Tozai Home, small, $82, and large, $98: Birch boxes, $30 for four, Unfinished-wood divided boxes, unfortunately, are no longer available.

* Left-Brainer: Jewelry Divided acrylic trays play to the left-brainer's love of customization, providing the option to subcategorize (one tray for rings, another for necklaces) or implement a plan that speeds up a morning routine (accessories that are worn together stored in a row). All pieces are easy to locate, and earrings stay with their mates. High-frequency trays can stay out, while others can be stashed in a dresser drawer.

* Left-Brainer: Photos Boxes with photo labels are great for single-subject sorting (one for each child, say). They can hold discs, too, so you can unify your digital and print collections. Flat archival boxes protect larger prints and vintage photos. Small albums are perfect for individual trips or events.


Ideas for the Right-Brainer

* Keepsakes A memento collage above a desk lets you bask in memories. Start in the center of a bulletin board with a bright piece and build out, creating a dense but relaxed grid. Funky boxes, like those here masquerading as vintage books, hold 3-D items. Found containers (chocolate tins, gift boxes) catch random objects, like ticket stubs, and glass shows off shells.

* Right-Brainer: Jewelry You're prone to tangles and forgetting what you own. A display keeps everything visible and knot-free. Hang jewelry from elegant insect pins on a foam-core board that's been covered in velvet and framed. (Pushpins stuck into a small bulletin board are fine, too.) A bust can hold a special necklace (or five). Flip over a glass and perch a bowl on top for rings and pins.

* Right-Brainer: Photos Load pictures into bright boxes (which are easy to spot), and buy some scrapbooks. (Stash decorative tape, photo corners, and labels nearby.) When you have a few minutes, stick a couple of photos into a book, jotting down the corresponding memories. Use broad themes, like "kids" or "parties," so there's no pressure for detailed sorting.