Get Organized Quiz: What Type Are You?

My intentions are really good when it comes to organizing my scrapbooking space, but the practical application can be a little elusive for me. What’s the problem? My creative time is valuable to me, and I want to make stuff, not put it away. That said, I know a functional system will help me spend more time scrapbooking. How do I know? Because on some days I take one look at my space, shut the door and go find something else to do.

I’ve identified three main styles of scrap-space organization: “über-organized,” “good enough” and “creative chaos.” What type of scrapbooker are you? Take our short quiz to find out!

The Quiz

1. If you put a piece of pretty patterned paper in a drawer or file, what happens?
a. It magically disappears. Poof!
b. Nothing until I take it out. I know it’s there and where it is!
c. It mingles with the other patterned papers already there.

2. You buy a bag of multicolored buttons. When you return home, you:
a. Place the button bag in a basket with the rest of your buttons.
b. Pin it to your inspiration board so you’ll use the buttons on your next project.
c. Sort the buttons by color into your button box.

3. You need a piece of red cardstock. To find it, you look:
a. In the red cardstock file, of course.
b. Right here in the third pile from the left, next to rub-ons I bought to go with it.
c. In my cardstock stash. The red cardstock is right next to the orange cardstock. Easy peasy!

4.  Do you own a label-maker?
a. Yes, and I use it with wild abandon. It’s so much fun to label things!
b. You bet! I use it to label closed containers and drawers so I don’t have to hunt for what I need.
c. No, I make my own labels . . . if I need them.

5. You just bought a new trimmer. Where does it go?
a. Right here on my desk because I use it all the time.
b. It’s on the shelf next to my desk.
c. I keep all my tools together in the closet.

6. Where are your scrapbooking magazines?
a. The last 3–4 issues are in a magazine holder in my bookcase.
b. I’ve got this month’s issue on my nightstand, last month’s issue in my car, the three issues before that on the coffee table and the rest in my bookcase.
c. I only keep the latest issue on hand. I cut ideas out of each issue and organize them in my idea file.

7. You just returned from a great shopping trip at your favorite scrapbook store. What do you do with your new goodies?
a. I set the bag on my desk chair. I can’t wait to pull everything out and play—it’s going to be so fun!
b. I put everything away so it’s ready to go when I have time to scrapbook.
c. I put away the staples: the cardstock, adhesive and inkpads. I fan out the patterned papers and embellishments on my desk so I can look at them and use them first thing when I’m ready to scrapbook.

8. Your best friend asks you to help organize her scrap space. How do you feel?
a. I’m happy to help out my friend. I know she’ll like having a tidy work area.
b. It fills my heart with glee—I love to organize!
c. Can’t we just get together to scrapbook? Hey, the more stuff we use, the less she has to put away. Win/win!

9. You decide to get rid of some of your older supplies. Holding up a piece of patterned paper, you say:
a. “Ooh! I could die cut it into butterflies, then ink the edges and apply a smattering of gold embossing powder to the wings. . . . I’m going to do this right now.”
b. “I think I have some ribbon that will look great with that.”
c. “This is so last season.”

10. What do you do with scraps?
a. I organize them with the rest of my full sheets of paper.
b. If it’s smaller than a half sheet, I organize it by color in an expandable paper file.
c. If it’s larger than a half sheet, I organize it with the rest of my paper. Pieces large enough to use for a card or tag or that can be punched or die cut go in a scrap box.

11. You buy a cute, pink, handheld star punch. When you return home, you:
a. Put it in your tool bin.
b. Store it with all your punches, of course.
c. Organize it with your star-shaped punches or accents.

12. How does your scrap space look right now?
a. Clean and organized.
b. Pretty neat.
c. It’s kind of a mess because I was working on a big project last night.

Your Results
Using the following key, add up the total number of points for the quiz:

1. A=1; B=5; C=3
2. A=3; B=1; C=5
3. A=5; B=1; C=3
4. A=5; B=3; C=1
5. A=1; B=3; C=5
6. A=3; B=1; C=5
7. A=1; B=5; C=3
8. A=3; B=5; C=1
9. A=1; B=3; C=5
10. A=1; B=5; C=3
11. A=1; B=3; C=5
12. A=5; B=3; C=1

Got your score? Check out the information below to see which organization style you are.
* 51-60: Über-Organized
* 41-50: Über Good Enough 
* 31-40: Good Enough 
* 22-30 Controlled Chaos 
* 12-21: Creative Chaos

For tips and tricks on organizing your workspace depending on which of the three styles you fall into, check out my “5 Degrees of Organization” article in the March 2009 issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine.

* Your friends call you the organization queen because your scrap space is immaculately organized. Organization comes naturally to you, and you enjoy taking the time to put your products in order. You can’t work (or play!) in a messy space, and you take pride in knowing exactly where all your products are.
* Everything has a designated spot and is neatly put away.
* You regularly sort your supplies and donate or give away out-of-date items.
* It may not be immediately apparent that your space is a scrap area. It may be disguised as an office.
* You are most like the following Creating Keepsakes editors, writers and Dream Team members: Becky Higgins, Beth Opel and Suzy Plantamura.

Q&A with Becky Higgins
I definitely feel more creative when my both my STUFF and my SYSTEM are in an organized state. Isn’t that strange?

Q. What’s your #1 way to stay on top of your stash?
I put away scraps and supplies with each layout that I complete. My stash doesn’t really have a chance to take over.

Q. What organization tip would you like to share with our readers?
Label everything. I have labels on everything from my albums to baskets of supplies to vertical paper holders. I save so much time not having to dig through everything to find what I need.

“Über Good Enough”
* You share characteristics from both the “Über-Organized” and “Good Enough” organization styles.
* While you pride yourself on your organization savvy, you’re okay with your products being visible. Not everything has to be tucked away in a file or drawer.
* Instead of putting away your tools, you keep them on your desk or within quick reach so you don’t have to pull them out and put them away every time you scrapbook.
* You are most like the following Creating Keepsakes editors, writers and Dream Team members: Lori Anderson, Brittany Beattie, Mandy Douglass, Jennifer McGuire and Cindy Tobey.

Q&A with Mandy Douglass
Q. Which style characteristics do you share with each type?
Über-Organized: I like to have a place for all of my scrap supplies. I sort according to color, pattern and theme with my paper, and I always make sure my small embellishments have a place for their type. I like to be organized when I scrap, and when I am done with one page, I clean up and then start again. I keep a binder full of articles and pages that inspire me; I generally throw the remainder of the magazine away. I also keep a sketchbook for those awe-inspiring moments!

Good enough: As much as I always try to have a place for everything, a straggler often stays on my desk for weeks and weeks. It seems that when I am on deadlines, I don’t have time to put everything away right after finishing my page, so sometimes a few days go by before I tidy up my office.

Q. What organization tip would you like to share with our readers?
Don’t go out and spend thousands of dollars on expensive organizational items because, if you are like me, you constantly change your organization style as you purchase more products. Buy organizational items that will allow you to add to your stash, such as small, plastic containers that don’t cost more than a few dollars apiece!

“Good Enough”

* You have a good handle on organization and a system that, for the most part, works for you. You don’t mind seeing your products out, but you can file items away confidently—knowing you’ll easily be able to find them when you need them. You like your space nice and tidy, so you clean up as you go because you’d rather spend your time scrapbooking than straightening up.
* You have a logical and functional organization system where each category of product has an assigned space.
* You have a few older items that you still like and that coordinate with your newer products. You give away the other “older” products three or four times a year.
* Your space is immediately recognizable as a scrap area. Scrapbooking products are neatly stored in a visible way.
* You are most like the following Creating Keepsakes editors, writers and Dream Team members: Kim Blackinton, Allison Davis, Maurianne Dunn, Ali Edwards, Maggie Holmes, Elizabeth Kartchner, Jana Lillie, Jennafer Martin, Joannie McBride, Kelly Noel, Amanda Probst, Candice Stringham, Jackie Stringham and Tiffany Tillman.

Q&A with Ali Edwards
“I feel like I am a mix of all three organization styles . . . tending towards Good Enough. Sometimes I am Über-Organized, and other times I exist in Creative Chaos.”

Q. Which style characteristics do you share with each type?
Über-Organized: I often begin and end with a clean workspace. Paper is sorted by color and manufacturer.

Good Enough: I have a logical and functional organization system where everything has a home. Many products are stored out in the open so I can see what I have (closed storage has worked for me from time to time, but I often forget what I have).

Creative Chaos: I definitely do not care if a product is out of date, and I do go through my supplies to purge things that don’t fit with my stories or are not inspiring to me anymore.

Q. What’s your #1 way to stay on top of your stash?
Buy less and evaluate the essentials often. I have definitely come to find that the less I own, the easier it is to simply focus on the photos and the words.
Q. What organization strategy would you like to share with our readers?
One of the ways I stay organized is by being ruthless with the amount of things I own. This has really happened over time as I have gone from wanting to have everything available to becoming really particular about the products I use. I don’t need more than one of anything (except cardstock—and even then I only use 5 colors—brads, and anything else I use all the time, like adhesive). You just don’t need all that stuff to tell your stories.

“Controlled Chaos”
* You share characteristics from both the “Good Enough” and “Creative Chaos” organization styles.
* You’re frequently changing up your organizational system, in hopes of finding a better way to maintain your space.
* You have more products than comfortably fit your space, but you’re reluctant to get rid of them because you have so many cool ideas for how to use them.
* You are most like the following Creating Keepsakes editors, writers and Dream Team members: Emily Falconbridge, Jessica Sprague, Kelly Purkey and Mou Saha.

“Creative Chaos”
* Yes, you do have an organizational plan, thank you very much—and it’s just as creative as you are. It doesn’t fit traditional organization models, and your scrap area can get a bit out of control when you’re immersed in a project. Your creative time is precious to you, and cleaning and organizing your space is the last thing you want to do.
* You have designated areas for products that may be arranged according to product type, intended project, purchase date, available space or even a mix of several organizational systems.
* You don’t care if a product is out of date—you might need it on a future project. Once or twice a year, you go through your products and get rid of consumables that aren’t your style anymore.
* Your space is immediately recognizable as a scrap area. Products are highly visible. It can range from tidy to hurricane-chic within a matter of hours.
* You are most like the following Creating Keepsakes editors, writers and Dream Team members: Lisa Bearnson, Lori Fairbanks and Megan Hoeppner.

Q&A with Lisa Bearnson
Q. What’s your #1 way to stay on top of your stash?
Becky Higgins taught me years ago what the word “SPACE” really means: Sort, Purge, Assign, Categorize, Every Day. My scrapbooking is a lot easier and goes faster when I follow these simple steps. However, I get caught in the “Creative Chaos” mode where I get so excited to create a page that it’s a lot easier to put all the supplies aside from my last page and start on the next project. I should just learn to put things away to begin with.

Q. What organization tip would you like to share with our readers?
My friend Patti Coombs taught me this cool trick: Organize eyelets in fishing bait boxes. They are more compact than the normal cases, plus they won’t spill and make a mess (something common with the original eyelet containers).

Q&A with Megan Hoeppner
I like the idea of referring to my space/organizational style as “Creative Chaos.” It’s much happier than the words I usually use to describe my room—“messy,” “out of control” and “disaster zone,” to name a few!

Q. How do you differ from your organization type?
The only area where I differ is in how I organize. Rather than keep everything out in the open, I store my goodies in bins, drawers and boxes (for the most part). But I have to admit that this isn’t an ideal scenario for me, as I’m often left searching for that must-have product I know I have somewhere. Hmmm . . . perhaps it’s time I change up my approach.

Q. What’s your #1 way to stay on top of your stash?
I don’t know if I ever “stay on top” of my stash, but I do try to keep it under control by giving things away that I haven’t used for a while. I do giveaways on my blog. It helps me keep my stash from taking over, it increases my blog comments, and it makes my readers happy. Plus, I can rest assured, knowing that my much-loved items are going to good, deserving, creative homes—a winning situation for all!

Q. What organization strategy would you like to share with our readers?
Organize according to your scrapbooking approach. If you’re inspired by products like I am, it’s probably a good idea to keep your supplies where you can easily reach for them when you need a jolt of creative energy. Sometimes I’ll hang some of my favorite patterned papers on the wall, where they can inspire and motivate me. You can also frame a few of your favorite patterns for a little decorative flair!
If, however, you’re more of a photos-first scrapper, you may find that keeping a few of your favorite photos in your creative space is a better way for you to go.

If it’s the story that gives you your creative direction, I would suggest organizing your items by theme. That way, you’ll know right where to reach when you’ve settled on the story to scrap.

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Surprise, surprise. I scored a 56....
Type of Organizer
What a great article and quiz. Scoring a 29 was not a surprise. At this moment I have paper spread over 2 tables as well a 6 ink pads from an album I made for my nephews fiance's shower. I recently moved to a much smaller room-both our grown sons had to move back home (economy victims). After 3 1/2 months I still don't know where to put things. My best friend and I are going help each other-she wants to learn how to scrap and she is an expert at organizing and keeping organized. It doesn't get much better than that.
This was absolutely great. I enjoyed taking the quiz and knowing where I am with myself. It provides me insight on where I need to improve my organized space and makes it less stressful for me to find supplies. It's so much easier when things are organized.
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