Have you ever spent your entire weekend cleaning, decluttering, organizing and tidying just to have to do everything all over again the next week?

A woman screaming at piles and piles of books, papers and other things that cover every inch of the space.

Cassandra Aarssen, organizing expert, host of HGTV's Hot Mess House, blogger, YouTuber, and podcaster, says there are 4 unique organizing styles: ladybugs, butterflies, crickets, and bees.

By figuring out what your organizing style is, you can organize your space and keep it that way, whether you prefer to organize things simply or focus on the details.

Icon of a ladybug; red with black spots.

icon of a yellow and orange butterfly

icon of a green cricket

Icon of a yellow and black bee

Ladybugs: Simple Organizers

Look at the photo below. What do you notice about how it's organized?

Two tall cabinets bookend a shoe organizer. The organizer has dark brown bins with labels with shoes directly below it.  Photo credit: Clutterbug YouTube video

Ladybugs thrive on a hidden organizational system with broad categories when it comes to putting things back where they belong. Some examples of that are:

  • opaque bins on top of where the shoes are

  • two tall cabinets that bookend the shoe space


You're helping your ladybug friend organize their closet. How would you go about doing this? Choose all that apply:

Butterflies: Simple Organizers

Look at the photo below. What do you notice about how it's organized?

An open shelving unit with opaque baskets. A desk, laptop, and lamp are in the middle of the open shelving unit.  Photo credit: Clutterbug YouTube video

Butterflies want their everyday items to be easily accessible. In this photo, you might notice the following:

  • open shelves

  • large baskets

  • containers holding objects

Mary and Joakim share an office space. Mary wants her belongings beautifully displayed on open shelving in many categories for each specific grouping.

Joakim, on the other hand, doesn't love open shelving but he'd rather have fewer categories for his things. And he wouldn't be upset if he could corral his belongings in an opaque bin or basket.


What kind of organizer is Joakim?

Crickets: Detailed Organizers

Watch this one-minute clip of the creator of these 4 organizing styles, Cassandra Aarssen, as she explains the ins and out of how a cricket organizes their everyday items.

In the video, she explains that crickets are "hidden organizers" who like their items to be "out of sight" when they're not using them. They also have "a tendency towards perfection."

A kitchen cabinet. A spice organizer sits on the middle shelf. Photo credit: Freepik

Edison separates his spices by cuisine but further categorizes each spice into additional categories such as soups, salads, and main courses, which can all be found in one of his many kitchen cabinets.


What kind of organizer is Edison?

Bees: Detailed Organizers

As you watch Tik Tok below, note how the person uses clear containers to store items in the same category. Bees want to see their most frequently used items out in the open. The majority of the like items are grouped together and in their very own spots.


A person opening a messy drawer.

By now, you should have gained more clarity when it comes to understanding how to organize your space. You might be one of the few lucky ones where one organizing style will apply to all of your spaces.

For most of us, however, we'll probably veer towards multiple styles or we're a combination of all of the styles. Use this as a guide to figure out what works for you in the particular stage of life you're in and don't be afraid to change things up if things aren't working for you.

My Organization Compromises

When I first started organizing, I was a bee. While bees are visual and micro-organizers, due to time constraints, I had to make some compromises like in the photo below.

This setup would be most appropriate for a ladybug because everything is hidden and in large categories.

The reason why this works is because I barely have any closet space where everything can be out in the open. Having everything out in the open next to my bed was an eyesore for me, so I chose this system for my clothing instead.

I had to make another compromise when I organized my shoes. The photo below is better suited for a ladybug rather than a bee like me since you can easily close a closet door and the shoes will be out of sight and out of mind.

However, because I typically don't wear shoes at home and only needed to access my shoes when I was leaving my home, it made more sense to have my shoes as close as possible to the door.

Since I didn't have the space for a shoe rack that would sit on the floor by the door, I opted for a vertical over the door hanging shoe rack instead.

As a bee, it's often difficult when organizing to have my most frequently used items on my kitchen countertops in a small space. But after scouring the internet for solutions, I purchased a non-rust shelf for my kitchen counters and stored all of my essentials on it.

If you have a small kitchen, stacking things vertically on shelves should allow you to get organized.

A non-rust shelf beside a stove. It holds spice bottles on the bottom level and other products on top.

Take Action

An stop motion animation showing a closet being organized with multiple containers.

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