Pack-rat, Perfectionist, or Procrastinator

posted by Andrea | 08/13/2010

I’ve worked with a lot of people and pitched a lot of clutter over the past few years; it’s been a blast! However, it can be challenging to help so many different people find the best way to organize and manage their space; especially since their “P tendencies” always seem to get in the way.

Confused?

I’m talking about Pack-rats, Perfectionists, and Procrastinators — which one are you?

We are all plagued with one {or more} of these ‘P tendencies’ from time to time; and they ALL get in the way of simple, organized living. Want to overcome your P’s, get more organized, and be more productive? Keep reading!

Pack-rat:

I’ve never heard a pack-rat say they enjoy being a pack-rat…have you? Many pack-rats feel a sense of security from their stuff {I know, this sounds crazy but it’s true.} Unfortunately, pack-rats aren’t able to enjoy their things because they can’t ever find what they need.

The obvious negative to being a packrat is having a very cluttered home and a very stressful life.

So what can you do?

  • Start Small: Challenge yourself to toss five items per day for a month. By the end of the month, you’ll lighten your load by 150 items! Everything counts and if you can find more than five things a day, all the better!
  • Don’t Bring More In: If you toss five things on Monday and then go out and buy 20 things on Thursday…you are worse off!
  • Get an outside perspective: Ask an encouraging friend or relative to help you weed out some of your stuff.

Feeling overwhelmed? Visualize how clean and open your space will be with less stuff.

Perfectionist:

Did you know that perfectionists are often very disorganized? It’s true; the majority of my clients show signs of perfectionism.

Perfectionism often prevents people from starting a project because they don’t know the “right way” to do it. I even know perfectionists who won’t clean their homes because “it will just get dirty again”! {That’s like not showering because you’ll get dirty again — come on!}

So what can you do?

  • Take baby steps: Focus on one small area at a time and finish the entire project before you move onto the next area. Each small project is a big step towards your eventual goal.
  • Realize that there is no ONE correct way to organize: The only wrong way is not to start at all.
  • Be realistic about your expectations: The homes you see in magazines are staged. No one lives in them. There are no kids, no pets, none of life’s normal problems or challenges. Give yourself a break!

Feeling overwhelmed? Remember that doing something is better than nothing at all; start with 10 minutes today.

Procrastinator:

We’ve all been here a time or two, right? However, for some people, procrastination is a way of life, causing lots of stress and disorganization. Procrastination can lull you into a false sense of productivity by completing meaningless tasks while deadlines on important tasks inch closer.

So what can you do?

  • Determine why you procrastinate: Are you unsure of the tasks that need to be done? Are you unsure where to start? Once you know the issues, list 5 things you need to do and get to work.
  • Be honest with yourself: If you know you’re not going to do something, don’t even put it on your list.
  • Find a cheering section: Let someone know what you’re trying to achieve and ask them to cheer you on and keep you accountable. Often, that’s all it takes.

Feeling overwhelmed? Buckle down, make a Top 5 List, and tackle your most dreaded task first.

What about you? Which “P” are you?

I’m a bit of a procrastinator… but mostly just a Purger!! I know, that’s not on my list, but I toss everything! Are you a purger too?

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8 comments

  1. Tweets that mention Pack-rat, Perfectionist, or Procrastinator « Simple Organized Living -- Topsy.com

    08/13/2010

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sarah Scott, Andrea Dekker. Andrea Dekker said: Are you a Packrat, Perfectionist, or Procrastinator?? Find out — http://ht.ly/2pb4p [...]

  2. Becky

    12/07/2010

    Is there any hope for me if I am a little of all three?!?!?! The empty space feels empty to me, I see open floor space and look for something to fill it, much to the dismay of my husband. I am trying to purge but throwing things away feels so wasteful.

    [Reply]

  3. heidi @ wonder woman wannabe

    02/03/2011

    I enjoyed your assesment – great ideas to mull over for sure!

    [Reply]

  4. Jen

    07/27/2012

    I’m a perfectionist and my husband is a pack rat. It’s a difficult combination to make work when it comes to clutter because he gets defensive and I get overwhelmed. But we’ve come a LONG way, and when we put our house on the market next year, we’ll only have a few totes of things to store during staging because we have so much less stuff!

    [Reply]

  5. Cathy

    07/27/2012

    LOL – loved this!
    I am a perfectionist who married a purger (everything not nailed down gets thrown out) which brings out the paranoid pack-rat in me!

    but anyway, ALL the above tips sound helpful! Thanks!

    [Reply]

  6. Vicki

    07/27/2012

    I procrastinate because I am a perfectionist! I fi can’t do it the right way, the way it is supposed to be done, then I don’t do
    it!

    [Reply]

  7. Jess

    03/19/2013

    Oh nooooo!!! I’m all three!!!!! Help!!! So now I have multiple tabs open with ‘ppp cure’ suggestions (thus the virtual packrat), all of which I am overwhelmed by, and want to ‘perfectly’ perform.. which will not happen, hence I procrastinate!!! Lol!!! Seems your top 5 list is the most possible for me, though I swear I’ve done this before. I know there are a pile of stickies around here that I’ve packed away for perfection..!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Ha! Your comment made me laugh out loud Jess!

    [Reply]

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