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Week 9 Reflection Question

See Bee & Bjorkland (5th ed) pp. 280-281-- Personality Trait Structures-- and think of what your closet looks like today. How would your rate it on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 (orderly) to 10 (messy)? Do you consider the messiness or orderliness of your closet a personality TRAIT or STATE. Explain.


This is an easy one for me: my closet rating would be an easy 8 with occasional spikes to 10. Clearly I have a messy closet trait with very rare states of frustration that result in a complete ordering of my closet's contents. This state of frustration only last long enough for one thorough straightening and stacking, then it is back to what often ends up being years of 8-ness. In fact, at present I have two 8-level closets going-one in the bedroom and the other where I keep my sports stuff and off-season clothes. My wife probably doesn't see the humor in this (she of the 3 or 4 closet-ness), but she also doesn't seem to mind that much as long as we each have our own unique closet space. I think I have convinced her that my closet is like a holy place for me. It is where I keep my high school football practice jersey, and the first t-shirt I ever received for running a race and a Pendleton shirt-jac that my mother bought me for my 18th birthday (I thought I was getting a car). It's like a walk-in memory box. Then there are the holiday-themed boxer short and really bad looking tie collections. I could go on and on and on, but you get the idea.

On the other hand, if we were talking about sock drawers, I have to say, that mine would be right up there at the 2 or 3 level. I sometimes even sort them by color-but that's probably another story.

I am definetely a 1.5 on the scale. My closet is very orderly. My shoes each have a slot for storage and are arranged by style of shoe and color. My clothes are hung in the same fashion, by style and color. I have one wall of my closet for clothes that need to be folded. These sweaters are also arranged by style. It is not unusual for me to reorganize my closet if I feel it has become too messy or if I need to get rid of some clothes. The last time I reorganized, I took 8 garbage bags of clothes to the Good Will. I am a clothes pig but an organized one.

My closet organization is a personality trait for me. My whole house is that way. I cannot function well at work unless I am very organized.

I would have to rate my closet at about a 3-4. I'm a pretty organized person however; from time to time as life gets really busy I tend to let some of that smaller stuff go. Typically I hang all my pants together, than my shirts, than my sweatshirts and fold most of my sweaters in a tub. Usually after doing the laundry I put everything away, hang what needs to be hung and fold what needs to be folded. I rated myself a 3-4 because occasionally I let my clothes sit out for a while.

I usually clean out my closet once a year, which isn't as good as a 1 but better than a 10.

For me I would have to say this is a state because what I do really does depend on what else I have going on in my life.

On a scale of orderliness, I think my closet would rate as a 2. Clothing and shoes and other misc. items are pretty much separated into their own areas (my husband has his own side, and I have the other) and we do try to have some order in our tiny closet. This order is definitely out of necessity as our closet is very small and we don't have much of a choice. If chaos reigned, we would not even be able to enter our closet, much less find anything. However, I have become more motivated with cleaning out [closets] as a direct result of having moved many times! Once you move a couple of times (or help your family and friends move), you can begin to realize how much clutter can accumulate and you also realize that you don't want to continue to pack and move that clutter! So, now my husband and I make it a point to go through our closet at the end of each season to pick out the clothing we don't wear or use anymore (or doesn't fit!) and donate those items to Good Will or the Salvation Army. It's actually a pretty nice feeling to create a little more space in our little closet!

I think that the closet organization would reflect a personality trait in me, as I like to be as organized as I am able to be, and this helps me to be more efficient in daily life.

I can go anywhere between a 3 and an 8. Right now my closet is pretty orderly. I just went through it and donated some stuff to Goodwill. I think my closet reflects a lot about me, actually. The shelves in my closet are full of my pre-baby clothes that I have yet to fit back into! I am saving these for "some day" when I finally lose the baby weight, haha. I think this shows my tendency to look ahead to perhaps unattainable goals, no matter how far in the future they may be. The bottom of my closet is where I keep my hamper for dirty clothes. It is often loaded with old clothes and towels and things that I just don't feel like washing. It gets so full with this stuff that I actually end up just throwing my dirty clothes on the floor all around the hamper. I think this is a reflection of my procrastination issues. Someone else (namely, my husband) might ask why I don't just wash those things or get rid of them. Since they are in one place and don't really bother anything, I just tend to forget about them or just put off washing them. I do eventually break down and take care of these things, but probably not as quickly as I should.

While I don't really view my closet messiness as a trait, I think it can be looked upon as a means to evaluate my personality traits.

Hmm. I am wondering if any of you would be willing to guess where I fit knowing that I have 5 sons, one husband, a dog, and a mother living with me. First, I would say that I consdier myself lukcy to have worked my way up to even having a closet that I can call my own. It is small but very 1-ish piece of territory that is mine and mine alone. For the last 30 years of my life, I have shared a closet with numerous other people's belongings many of which did not belong is a closet. For example, in my opinion nothing that has a heartbeat or is capable of growing mold belongs in a closet. My sons, on the other hand did not share that belief. On the orderly scale, my personality trait is to be 1. But then I have to remind myself that I am surrounded and live in a 10 state of orderli-ness.

I would have to agree with several of those who commented that their closets vary in degree of orderliness depending on what else is going on in their lives. I'm somewhere around a 5 right now and vary up to an 8 at times when life is calm. I'm taking 9 credits right now and have a significant commitment to kids in traveling soccer approaching. That means the closet and it's orderliness will not be a priority for the short term. My husband is one who has a very neat side to his closet. Everything in his living space goes in EXACTLY the same spot every time. I tend to think that things are organized if they're in the right drawer (versus the right spot in that drawer); if they're in the right cupboard (versus an exact spot in that cupboard); if they're in the right room (versus in an exact spot in that room). He says that my motto is "Everything in it's place and nothing ever in the same place twice". I guess he sees that as my disorganized trait where as I see the opposite as his persnikity trait :-).

Whew!! I hope nobody out there is really reading this blog too much. I think we are getting realllly getting into some personal stuff here! :) These comments have been great! For the classmates that I know from other courses, NOW I really understand you! Anyways, coming from a fairly large family, where I don't really remember how things worked when I was growing up, so I was probably mostly an 8-10 then.(7 children and 5 brothers, kind of like Katie K now) I'm probably more of 4-6 now, with a wannabe 2 when the spring time comes around. I do have to say however, one of my favorite TV shows as of late is "Monk" and I would assume he's everybody's hero when it comes to oneness. For those of you who haven't seen it, the main character has a terrible OCD problem and is also a homicide detective who compensates with his illness to solve murders. I think this little test speaks to the necessity to be flexible with yourself and other people when it comes to differences. However, when you are in an environment with somebody on a day to day basis, this is easier said then done, if one person is not so tidy and the other is! Its interesting to see how our oldest who is in college now and used to have a fairly messy room when she was here, but here dorm room is very neat and tidy! (comes from her mom, not me).

I would have to rate my closet at a 3. I normally keep it very clean but right now we are in the process of renovating the rooms the closets are in so I really don't have a closet. Well, one room actually serves as the entire closet for everything kept upstairs until the other rooms are done.
I think that closet orderliness, over the long term is a personality trait, but short term could make it a personality state. If you just did laundry and don't have time to put it away; but you need a couple items in your clean basket a.s.a.p., you are apt to throw the basket in your closet and dig out what you need, leaving other items on the floor. The urgent need overrides your want to keep a neat closet.
What an interesting question this time!

Interesting that you should ask this question, since I just completed the first wave of cleaning out my closet a couple of days ago! I’m glad you’re limiting the ‘state’’/’trait’ question to just the closet. If my whole house were under scrutiny I would be in serious trouble!

My closet is continually evolving in various states of chaos and neatness, so on the scale of closet clean as a trait I'd say it's a 3. I share my closet with my husband, which gives me a weak alibi for failure to achieve a 1! Actually, I don't think I could say that I've ever had a closet clean trait of a 1. I don't think it's in my nature to have a 1. I have a pretty lofty ideal of a'1' closet. If it were a 1 I'd have no margin for error! Besides, I save too much, and am just now pushing myself to let go of things that I've held on to for sentimental or hopeful reasons. ( I do a lot of "I remember when...", or "you never know when you might need..."!) I really appreciate tidiness and order. I like to be able to find things. I can also be overly attentive to details. But I'm also impulsive and frequently rushing to get somewhere. As a result I tend to drop and run, with good intentions of putting the clothes away when I return. When I reach a state of 5 in the closet I take the time to organize it. My husband likewise appreciates order, but it is according to his chosen method, which sometimes is not in accord with mine. Our respective behaviors definitely affect the state of the closet at any given time.The bigger challenge for us as a couple is that I will drop in neatly ordered piles, and he stuffs. But I guess then we are talking about habits. How do habits correlate with states and traits?

Now, let's talk about basements!

I'm so glad to hear everyone's voices...I really need your company when I'm studying. On-line courses are a big challenge for me!
Happy Spring Cleaning, Everyone!

I rate my closet a 2. I am fortunate to have lived to the age where I only have a husband with which to share space. We do not live in a large house but we do have separate closets, small, but we each have our own. For me, the orderliness of my closet is a trait. I have always liked to have items organized. I do have piles of books & papers in certain areas of the house. However, I do know what is in each pile. (If I can find an item without having to look more than 2 places, I think that counts as being organized.) But, I digress, there are no piles in my closet. At times I rebel against orderliness & leave ny clothes on the floor. It feels liberating to leave items where they land. This is a temporary 'state' & the clothes are always where they should be by the time I retire for the night. I have a question, what is Spring Cleaning?!

I forgot to author my comment. I opened with "Interesting that you should ask this question...".
Katie M.

My opinion of what a "1" closet is sounds like what has been mentioned before, no room for error. I would have to say that right now my closet is a "1", but usually I could rate it a "2" I suppose. My wife and I are getting ready to move out of our apartment and into a house (hopefully the weekend of April 14th) and all of my extra things are packed in boxes. The closet is looking empty.

Usually, though, there is a designated place for everything and everything belongs in it's place. This may sound awful, but the clothes don't get put back in there until they are ironed then they are hung back up on their hangers. I see this as a personality trait. I believe it was Melissa that mentioned the transition state of clean clothes being in your closet until you can get to them. I have fallen into a weekend routine (totally out of character, I know)where I wash and dry all of our work clothes first, then while the children's clothes are being washed and dried I do the ironing. That way all of the laundry is completed at the same time.

Tim, Ahhhhh. What did I do wrong? I want to be reincarnated and meet a man who knows what an iron is. I suppose you were too young for me...but where were you when I was looking for a husband?

Alright, I guess I have to answer this! I've put some thought into this one - especially this question of trait versus state. So, upon thoughtful internal verbal exchange with myself, I have decided that I am semi-neat - a 3 or 4 (which would be my personality trait) but that my most frequent life state is chaos. So my closet right now is probably a 6 or 7 (especially when compared to Amy or Tim). Things are hung up, shoes are mostly on the shoe rack but there are some sweatshirts, etc. up top that are sort of thrown there and some little items that I've hidden from the kids (their toys that I'm hoping to donate to Goodwill) stuffed in the back. When I am ambitious, I will sort clothes by putting all my long sleeved shirts together, short sleeved together, pants, etc. This happens once or twice a year but, again, is based on whether life allows. My husband and I share a closet (a small one I might add) and his side is....well....a 15? I've finally resorted to kicking everything that is his right into the corner of his side of the closet because I just can't stand to walk over it anymore! When it spills over to my side, I just shove it all back! Its worked for me. The state of our lives (working, kids, both my husband and I being especially social) has lead to a state of chaos that has severely affected my ability to be as organized as I would like, to truly express my personality! But, I do believe this is a state because I know that when I have more time, I am very much an organizer - I even enjoy it! This weekend we stayed in a hotel and I found that when the kids and husband finally left for the pool the first thing I did was pick up everyone's clothes, fold them, put them into suitcases, and make the beds! I just couldn't leave the room such a mess!

It's been fascinating reading everyone's comments! I'm actually a little suprised to see so many people in the lower 1-4 range... I was expecting the class to be more spread out along the scale.

I would say that currently my closet is probably a 5 or 6, which is pretty good for me (although if some of you 1's were to look at it, you might call it a '10!') How can I describe it? I have tons of clothes packed in - mostly hanging. It looks alright, but there is no organizational system, except that pants are one side and tops on the other. The shelf above is a little messy, as that's where folded items go and I have a tendency to throw them up there and let them land where they land...

Can I say that I think my closet, in one way, represents a trait, and at the same time represents a state? It represents my personality trait, in that it is not a '1,' it never will be a '1' and I don't even strive for a '1.' So, I think that my personality is just not a '1.' (for that matter, it's probably not a 1-3) At the same time, the current 5-6 rating MIGHT be (sad to say) a state. I asked my husband what he thought my closet was on the messiness scale; I was sure he'd say '10.' However, he admitted that I'm probably around the middle of the scale, but modified it by saying that if I had a bigger closet (say a walk-in) I would probably be more around the 8-10. I have to admit that this may be true... Because the closet is smaller than some, I have to switch out my summer and winter clothes, which of course, keeps it a little more orderly than having everything in there at the same time. So maybe my true personality is an '8,' but because of the current situation (small closet) I'm keeping it around a 5-6...?

A funny story: A month or so ago my mom gave me a new sweater... A few weeks after she gave it to me, I couldn't find it. I couldn't remember if I left it in the car or if I even brought it home for her house in the first place... then the other day I found it: hanging in the closet. :) Go figure.

Well I would say that my closet ranges from 2-5 depending on what is going on in my life at any given time. Since I live alone I looked at a few of my closets, at this moment they are all about a 3 (I won't mention what the attic or the garage looks like though!). I wouldn't necissarily say that how organized I keep my closet is a personality trait, but I would say that personality traits I have lead to the way my closet appears. When I have taken on too many tasks my closet (and the rest of the house for that matter) tends to get pretty messy. Or even more true to my personality is that I don't care about those details and when an opportunity arises to do something more interesting, than clean the house, I take it. This is something I struggle with though, as I can't sit down to do homework or bills unless the house is clean, so often I will look for something outside of the house to do and ignore what I need to get done. Good thing my closets are relatively clean right now or I would have had to clean them before writing this!

I live in a very old house, so the closets are really small--yes, even smaller than at Jessica's house :) The size of my house, and closets, forces me to be organized, so probably around a 4. I do not think I will ever be a 1 or 2. My stuff is organized enough so that I can find what I need most of the time, I guess that's a trait since it's been pretty much the same so matter where I've lived. However, I have a huge tendancy to let things pile up (more likely on the dining table, not in the closet) when I get busy. Like Lory, I have a lot of other things (socially) that I want to do instead of cleaning, but will almost always clean before I do homework. I think that the busy-messiness is a state, because eventually, I will get sick of it and decline an invitation so that I can get everything back in order.


I am a 9 on orderliness scale. I had to drop from a 10 to a 9 for fear my "orderliness" would drive me or others nuts.

As you know/stated before, I am a J raised by a German woman. My closet is organized, color coded, and arranged seasonally. I also discard all the items I do not need every season and send them to the Goodwill or the consignment shop. It is good for the chi (energy) to clean out what you do not use. "Use it or lose it." I made $500 consigning things last year. My mom is helping me move stuff to my sisters and she says I have far too many clothes and does not know why I need 22 pairs of black shoes. But I use them.

For me I beleive it is a personality trait that was influenced by how I was raised (reared-proper English). My grandmother ironed every Wed and she ironed sheets and underwear. I am a working girl, I don't have time for that but I do iron everything I wear...including jeans.

I however, am letting some things go. I believe at the end of your life you reflect on your experiences, not your organizational skills.


My bed needs to be made every morning but when I close the closet doors what is inside does not have to be perfect. I consider my closets to be a 5 because I do have things hung and in shoe racks.
I do not color code because I frequently arrange my closet by what I wear together so I can find things quickly. I also only clean my closet once a season so I can put the clothes I wear in the closet by my bed. This is like the question about whether you lower the toilet seat or which direction you unroll the toilet paper! If you or who you live with can handle it-then it works!

Looking at my closet today, I would rate it a 2. Shoes are on a rack, clothes are hung in groups, shirts, pants, skirts, and belts and scarves have their own area as well. This sounds incredibly anal, and it kind of is, but most of you can relate to how stressful working full time and going to graduate school can be. Having things like my home and office in order helps me to stay on track, feel more in control and be less stressed out. Starting the day spending ten minutes looking for something clean to wear makes me stressed out and it carries through my day.
I would consider my orderly closet a personality trait as most of my home is very orderly and clean. However, my closet has not always been this clean. I would say that this trait is one that I have consciously developed. Being very scattered is one of the traits that I have as a person with a learning disability. It has taken a lot of discipline to achieve a good balance between anal and messy. The glove box of my car is another matter entirely!

gucci 1911 5102: Adult Learning & Development: Week 9 Reflection Question

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