Learn About Organizing for Personality Types

Organizing Style and Personality Type

Do your organizing systems work well for some clients, but not others? Every person views the world through different eyes, and you need to understand your clients’ uniqueness before you can create solutions that will help them to get and stay organized.

Organizing strategies are more likely to be effective when they take your client’s personality type into account. You can therefore do your clients a great service by familiarizing yourself with the various personality types, the challenges they face in terms of organizing, and the solutions most likely to be helpful.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) is one of the most reputable personality assessments available. Based on the psychological theory of Carl Jung, it’s been in use since 1942, and has been updated many times to keep up with changes in language and society.

After completing the MBTI® Qualifying Program in 1999, I became fascinated with the way that our personality type affects the way we deal with time and space, and read everything I could find about the subject. I also conducted my own research, collecting data from online surveys, workshop participants and individual clients, and used the information I gathered to develop an organizing profile for each of the 16 personality types.

Each personality type faces a unique set of organizing strengths and challenges.Click To Tweet

I’ll be publishing those profiles here on Your Organizing Business over the next few weeks, but first, a little background information.

What is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®?

The MBTI® is a self-report questionnaire designed to help people determine their personality type. It doesn’t measure skill, intelligence, or mental health. Your responses to the questions on the MBTI® indicate your preferences in four major areas, which I’ll explain in detail in my next post.

Why study the MBTI®?

Personally, knowing about your personality type can help you understand your motivations, natural strengths, and potential areas for growth, and enhance your appreciation of people who are different from yourself.

Professionally, your clients will thank you for developing organizing solutions that work in harmony with, instead of against, their natural preferences!

Please note that you must meet specific educational requirements before administering the MBTI® with your clients, but training is available all over the world.

Learning about personality type and the way it influences our relationship with time and space was one of the reasons I decided to become a professional organizer in the first place, and I’m sure you’ll find it fascinating too. Check out these books to get started.

A former professional organizer, I’m now a Web Designer and Care Plan Specialist. I love helping others succeed by sharing the knowledge and insight I’ve gained through marketing my own business for over 15 years! When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

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Comments

  1. I’ve heard of Myers Briggs in high school in my psychology class. Very interesting stuff. I look forward to reading your perspective on the topic. Thanks for sharing the background.

  2. I am an INTJ on the Myers Briggs test, it is spot on. When i did my Professional Organizing course through QC Design School, part of the course was personality types and how to work their individual needs, fascinating.

  3. Hi Janet,
    I love MBTI and have done it twice with co-workers which is always so interesting to see who is the same as you and who is different. I was trying to find my results (and I have them somewhere, maybe at my workplace) Anyway, I have one tiny point for extroversion so I am a huge introvert which as we know makes it challenging to get out there in the world. I have mastered it for the most part but it really doesn’t come easy. I will post my score if I can come across it in the next couple of days. Look forward to more of your posts.

  4. My whole family has taken the test and found it to be very accurate. I do think that our personality types influence what solutions are likely to have “sticking power” when it comes to organization. As with all things, no single solution is perfect for everyone, even if there are universal principles at play.

    • That’s a very good point, Seana. During my training program, we grouped with participants who shared our same type for one of the exercises. My partner and I reported several things so differently that we were kind of looking at each other suspiciously, as it doubtful that we were the same type!

  5. Learning more about ourselves and others is essential. Assessments like Myers-Briggs give us insights into personal preferences and patterns. While I don’t like to “type” people, I do like to understand them. It’s especially helpful to understand strengths. When we work from that place, it’s amazing. There are many others too like Tom Rath’s Strengthfinder 2.0 or Denslow Brown’s Processing Modalities.

    I’m an ENFJ.

    • I took the Strengthfinder a few years ago and was very disappointed, because it identified my strengths but left me asking “Now what?” I also didn’t like the fact that you had to purchase a hard-cover book to take it, and that the book is useless to anyone else. But maybe that’s changed since then.

      I’m not familiar with Denslow’s Processing Modalities, but I know she’s brilliant, so I’m sure it’s a great tool.

      And I’m not at all surprised that you’re ENFJ. 🙂

  6. Hello,
    Can you tell me the personality type of most professional organizers?

    I am an ENFP and seeking admin assistance is setting up my office and keeping it in order. Paperwork and minutia are exceptionally challenging for me and I want to hire the right help.

    Someone who is humble, non-judgmental and can cater to my very odd way of operating. I am 23 years into managing our expensive household, 1 Million dollar medical business of my husband’s and 1 start up business for me. We have 3 teenagers and the paperwork remains out of control. It feels terribly fiscally & orderly irresponsible. Thanks so much.
    Shelly Kacki

    • Michelle, when I took the survey, I expected to find that most professional organizers were SJ types, and was surprised to learn that it wasn’t that cut-and-dried. Although many are drawn to the profession due to an innate sense of order, there are just as many others who have struggled with disorganization in their own life, and after learning organizing techniques, are now happy to share their acquired skills with their clients.

      That said, in a situation like yours, it’s often beneficial to work with someone with a very different type than your own, so their strengths can offset your weaknesses.

      Hope this helps!

  7. This is so helpful! I remember so many questions on the CPO test being about personality types! I knew that personality types should be taken into account but I didn’t think it would be several test questions. This really helps be in coaching and mentoring these days!

    • Although I originally studied the MBTI as a career assessment (since that was my line of work at the time), once I realized it had many other applications, I wondered if it could be used to help people with organizing. When I attended my first POC meeting and the guest speaker talked about personality type, I knew I was onto something.

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