Decluttering & The Enneagram 

Decluttering can be difficult for many reasons.   In this episode of The Intentional Edit Podcast, Laurie Palau shares her knowledge and expertise on how your Enneagram results can help you tackle purging and make the decluttering process easier.



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Episode 70 - Simplifying Decluttering by Personalizing the Process with the Enneagram & Special Guest Laurie Palau of This ORGANIZED Life



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Full Episode Transcription (not edited):

Speaker 1 (00:00):

Decluttering can be difficult for many reasons. In this episode of the intentional edit podcast, Lori Palau shares her knowledge and expertise on how your Enneagram results can help you tackle purging and make the decluttering process easier.

Hey moms, welcome to the intentional edit podcast. Do you wanna stop feeling overwhelmed and finally get your home organized. Do you find yourself up late at night, worrying about how you are going to get everything done and not drop the ball? You are wondering where to start and what to do. There is never enough time in the day. The piles of laundry are building up and it’s already time for after school activities, homework, snacks, and carpool. Again, I’m Lauren. I too want an organized, clean home where my family can make long lasting memories and be present in the moment feeling like there’s never enough time to complete all the daily tasks is exhausting. So simplicity all around a healthy mule on the table at dinnertime and a family that contributes to the chores really is attainable. Stop telling yourself that you have to do it all or it will never get done, or that picky eaters will never allow for a complain free dinner. In this podcast, you will learn exactly how to declutter implement systems and maximize routines that remove the overwhelming unorganized parts of life. Bringing simplicity to your life and home. Come on. It’s time to create a life you love.

Speaker 1 (01:26):

We all want to know more about how to make the decluttering and purging process easier. Our special guest today is from bucks county, Pennsylvania. She’s a wife, mom, self-described homebody and coffee lover, and she’s an expert on all things related to the engram. Lori Pau is the author of the book, hot mess, a practical guide to getting organized founder of simply be organized, a lifestyle company, helping people live simply and works smarter. And she hosts the podcast. This organized life. I’m excited to have her here today because she’s going to share her knowledge with us and connect the dots between personality type and clutter through the lens of the engram. Hi Lori, thank you for being a guest on the intentional edit podcast today, recording this episode is kind of like a full circle moment for me because the first podcast interview I ever did was on your show. I think at least probably four years ago,

Speaker 2 (02:20):

At least I, we have to, I know we were talking about it before we hit record, but I’m gonna have to like go back into the archives and, and pull it up. And I told you for people for your listeners, it was such a great episode. It’s still one of my most popular, downloaded episodes. It was all about meal planning and prep and it, everyone loved it.

Speaker 1 (02:37):

Thank you. So I love that you’re here now on my show, we’ve gone back and forth with this, even though that was a long time ago, it was very fun. And I’m happy to have you here excited for you to share all kinds of information for us about personality type and how you can identify our natural tendencies toward clutter and what happens when we want or need to purge all through the engram.

Speaker 2 (03:01):

Let’s do it. I’m super excited.

Speaker 1 (03:03):

Can you start by just giving us a little bit of background on what the engram is, how it works and how you got started with using it as a tool in your life and really in your business?

Speaker 2 (03:14):

Yeah, absolutely. So the engram in a nutshell is a personality typology. Many of you have heard of it had recent kind of buzz in the past four to five years. In actuality, it dates back thousands and thousands of years Agram is Greek for nine types. And so there are nine core distinct types and each one of those types has specific characteristics and traits. What separates the Agram from other personality ologies that you may be familiar with like Myers Briggs or StrengthFinders or the four tendencies is that it looks at your unconscious motivation. So it’s the why you do what you do as opposed to the actual behavior. So for me, I found it very interesting because, well, a I’m a little bit of a personality type junkie. I like to pretend I’m a psychologist. And so analyzing people is just something I find and like fun.

And I like to do it for myself as well as the people kind of in my world. So I think it’s just having that knowledge and insight is really just helpful for me in life. And so when I first was introduced to the Igram, I just thought this is gonna be another great tool. And then the deeper that I went with it, I started to see connection points because of the work that I do as a professional organizer has always been focused in on the why, like clutter being the symptom, like what’s behind the clutter. Why did it get here? Like the pile, isn’t the problem. It’s how, like what caused the pile to get there in the first place? And so I started seeing the motivation and the kind of underlying theme being something that I could potentially connect the dots. And that set me down basically like a, a four year rabbit hole of research and conferences and books and any podcast teaching that I could get my hand on to learn more about the Agram so that I could essentially put together a framework, um, that allows me to use the engram as, like you said, a tool in my toolbox when I’m talking to people about where they might be struggling with clutter or what type of clutter they’re struggling with.

Speaker 1 (05:22):

Okay. So this is so fun for me. And I think part of this goes back to like you, well, you said you’re kind of a like personality type junkie. Well, my dad is an industrial organizational psychologist. I remember growing up, I would get to take some of these personality assessments. Of course it wasn’t the Igram at that time, we’re talking about like Scantron sheets with a pencil and then having it go into a machine to give you the results. I remember getting those results and reading and, and just finding it fascinating that I answered a few questions and it knew all of these things. And then I taught high school for a while and we used a test called the predictive index, which is not very detailed. It’s like such a simple test. It takes maybe two minutes to take, we would take those results and then help the kids figure out post-graduation opportunities and kind of maybe what they would align with what jobs would be good for them and things like that. So just hearing you explain all of this and it’s like, okay, this is another tool that you can use, but it goes so much more into detail. Where does someone go if they want to find out, like, what number are they? And they wanna learn more about the Ingram?

Speaker 2 (06:36):

Such a great question. So I’m gonna give a couple answers. Some one, one is the quick fix that everybody likes, which is where can I go take a quiz, right? Where can I take a test? And I get it because that’s normally like what my reaction would be now I do. There’s a ton of different assessments out there. Some are free, some are paid. I usually recommend people go. If they’re looking for just a free online assessment, you could go to Truity T R U I T Y. And I can send you a link, um, that you could just include in the show notes. Um, I’m not endorsed by Truity. I just they’re I’ve used them before, but I will say as my kind of cautionary, disclaimer, I believe there’s a there’s in any type of assessment, there’s a margin for error. And there’s a lot of studies that show that there’s a gross mistyping when people take these assessments, especially a free one, because there’s certain limitations.

Speaker 2 (07:33):

Now I will tell you I’m an NA gram eight and we can get to that. We can walk through the numbers and the types and characteristics I take in Trudy on different times on good days, bad days when I’m stressed, when I’m calm, every time it comes up, I’m an eight, I’m a very like tried and true eight. So for me, it’s been accurate, but I do know people that have taken it and there are certain types on the Igram that on the surface look similar because again, from the behavior, you’ve got two numbers that look similar, but what’s different is the motivation. So just use it with, take it with a grain of salt. If you’re going to take a test, take it with a grain of salt. And if you are interested in the grand view, this is something that fascinates you. I would encourage you to pick up a book, listen to a podcast because even just listening to other people who are that type talk about it, you can say, oh yeah, that does sound like me.

Speaker 2 (08:23):

Or that doesn’t sound like me. And so that’s really, I learned about my type, not from taking a test, but from reading a book, listening to all the different characteristics of the types and going, that’s definitely not me. That’s definitely not me. Oh, that’s me. And another thing, another indicator is they, they say they being the engram experts that I, who I listen to say that, you know, with the engram, it’s the best part of you is the worst part of you. So it’s not all about the good parts of you, but it’s like, when you hear those cringeworthy of like, oh yeah, yeah, that’s me. Like, this is how I handle a stressful situation. Even if it’s not your best look, that’s usually when you’re on the track that you know, that that’s your type I would, but that’s where I would start. If you’re looking for a, a quick jumpstart into the Agram.

Speaker 1 (09:12):

Okay. And then just tell us in reference to the numbers, are there certain numbers when you get the results that are more prone to having clutter in their homes?

Speaker 2 (09:23):

So that’s a great question. And I’m gonna say, I’m gonna short answer that and say no. And I think it goes back to kind of where my intersection of the work that I do comes in with the integrated, because I look at clutter in three different camps. I look at your physical clutter, which is the stuff that you see that people think of when the image that they conjure up with clutter. Then I talk about emotional clutter, which is the guilt, the fear that what if that holds you back from making those decisions? And then I talk about calendar clutter, which is being overscheduled overcommitted or not using your time wisely. So it’s not exclusively the productivity, but that’s a piece of it. And so I would argue that every single engram type has the ability to struggle with any of those types. It’s not like if you are this engram type, you have this, but I will say that I think that there are certain types based on characteristics of those engram numbers. That might be more prone to one over the other. If that makes sense.

Speaker 1 (10:29):

Totally makes sense. I would love to get into what you just said, where you can go through the numbers and yeah. Give us that info. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (10:37):

And the one other thing before I dive into that, cuz you, you mentioned this when I want, this is a point when you were talking about like the assessments that you did as a kid, which mm-hmm <affirmative>, by the way, if I had to go back into like, be a kid and be like, what do you wanna be when you grow up? I wanted to be, I would be an organizational psychologist cuz I think that’s the coolest job. Anyway, just quick side note there. But what I love about the anagram and I think this can go true for any typology that you want to get behind. But in my work being the engram, it’s great coffee. Talk to know what your number is, especially with the buzz around it. Now just culturally where people are talking about it, oh what’s your engram type. But really where the transformation comes is is what do you do with that information? And so what I love is peeling back the layer, like you said, there’s a lot of different layers with the engram, but it’s like, okay, so I know this about myself. How can I use this information to be the best version of myself? So for me, it’s, it’s knowing it is step one. But step two is how can I apply this, these strategies so that I live a less cluttered life, whether that’s less cluttered emotionally, physically, or with my time. So that’s kind of my why of doing this.

Speaker 2 (11:49):

All right. So type one, that ones are known as the perfectionist. Um, they’re also now being called, referred to in some circles as the improver. And so the unconscious motivation of the perfectionist is as what you would, what you would conjure in your mind. They wanna improve the world around them, but they are their harshest critics. So a one is more concerned about them, always putting their best foot forward. They are judging themselves harder than they’re judging you. And so ones, um, you would think of in, from the good perspective in organization, ones are gonna be your list makers. They’re a lot of times they’re rule followers, they’re black and white thinkers. And so these are all great strategies for organization. You think of all these things where ones can get bottlenecked is they can rewrite re-edit redo more times until it gets just right, which slows them down from execution or they’re waiting for the perfect moment to organize, fill in the blank.

Speaker 2 (12:52):

They’re constantly in this mode of editing and redoing and redoing that they don’t like check the box. It takes ’em so long to actually get to the point of checking the box. The other area where I, and again, I’m just really broads stroking it. We there’s a lot more detail to what I’m than what I’m saying. But another area where ones tend to struggle is with calendar clutter in the sense that a lot of times ones will take ownership over things, whether it’s in your house saying, I’m the one that knows how to load the dishwasher or I’m gonna put the lingerie because I like it folded a certain way or I want it to be just so and so what happens is they take on more. And so delegation is a really big area of growth for ones getting to that point that they can release that power. And that will allow them to reclaim time to focus in on the stuff that they need to do.

Speaker 1 (13:46):

Okay. So is a one, the type of person just listening to your examples. Mm-hmm <affirmative> where, when their kids need to start doing chores, it’s like they have to go back and redo the chores because they want them

Speaker 2 (13:58):

Okay. Yes. Yes. That’s a great example. Or they’ll just make their kids bed for them because it will be done. Right. And it’ll be done quicker. Okay. As opposed to having your kid pull up the sheets. And even though they’re like just, you know, they’re a little messy and wrinkled they’re

Speaker 1 (14:14):

Pulled up, but they’re all over the place,

Speaker 2 (14:16):

Correct? Yes. So yes, that, that is very characteristic of a what.

Speaker 1 (14:20):

Okay. That totally makes sense.

Speaker 2 (14:22):

Well, moving on to choose and again, I’m giving you super like 3000 foot overviews. There’s a lot more that we can talk about, but I’m

Speaker 1 (14:30):

Just gonna yes. But I mean, even your examples with the one are so relatable. It’s like, okay, anyone listening to this can think I identify with this? Or I don’t because this is me or this is not

Speaker 2 (14:40):

Right. The twos are known as the helper who doesn’t wanna be a helper. Right. And again, there’s no bad numbers. Right, right. Before we started talking, you’re like, it’s my number bad. I’m like, no, there’s no bad numbers. Um, and every, every single type has amazing qualities. And every single type has areas that they are growth opportunities. And the other thing about the Igram like, if you look at the diagram, just from a, it has, it looks like a hands on a clock. And then it’s got all these wacky arrows that point in different directions. The beauty of the Agram is we all have a dominant type, but there’s a little bit of each type in all of us. So you might be like, I sound like a couple of these. Well, there’s a little bit of each one of us and all of us, we’re not like linear people. And that’s the beauty of the Agram is that it is a fluid, it is a, it is a fluid process. Um, but it’s just, there’s everybody has one dominant type. So the, again, when,

Speaker 1 (15:32):

When you take the test too, and you get the results, it’s almost like a little bit like of a confidence boost because the way that the results are written, you’re, you’re just like, oh, like I am all these wonderful things.

Speaker 2 (15:43):

And every type, again, every type has amazingly good qualities. And, and a lot of times those amazing qualities are the same things that can come back to bite them in the butt. And I’m gonna explain that I’ll and I’ll use my type as the example on that one, but the twos are the helper. So again, who doesn’t wanna be a helper, they are what you would stereotypically. And again, I’m stereotyping here. They would think of like your homeroom mom, your, somebody needs a meal. I’ll be the one to draw. I’ll make you a meal. I’m the first one to sign up for. Carpool ones are very much the first one to put others first before themselves. I’m sorry. Did I say ones? I’m sorry, two twos. We’ve got it. Sorry about that. Yes. So that’s okay. Yes. Thank you for clarifying twos are very much like I’m gonna put everybody before me. The unconscious motivation of the two is that they assign their worth by how much people like them. And it’s not like on a superficial level, but it’s this unconscious motivation where I need to do good. So you’ll like me and you’ll need me again. That’s a slippery slope because they’re doing things and it’s not that they’re not doing them authentically, but they’re tying it to like, I have to do this because that’s how I get. That’s how I receive love and affect and attention. And so separating that is really, is really important.

Speaker 1 (17:05):

Okay. So they need that external validation.

Speaker 3 (17:08):

Yes. And, and really it, you know, again, you talk about if you’ve ever talked about like the different love languages, you know, there’s not, you think about service, like acts of service for twos is great. Like that’s what they wanna do. I wanna help, you know, I wanna help you. I’m gonna serve. I’m gonna put your needs before mine. And that’s great. I mean, we want, I, I come from a place of service professionally. I come from a place of service spiritually. And, but at some point you have to put your oxygen mask on first for twos, that can be a slippery slope until twos hit a wall. And then, then they kind of shut down. But so twos, a lot of times physical clutter might accumulate for twos cuz they’re so busy going. They’re not at home enough, whether they’re running their kids’ places, whether they’re, you know, taking care of aging parents or helping a friend or volunteering a church or whatever, fill in the blank.

Speaker 3 (18:00):

You and I both know taking care of your home in terms of the physical clutter, you, someone has to do it. So if you’re constantly on the go and you’re not there to do it, it’s just going to pile up. So for twos, actually, a very good friend of mine at two. And I was just at her house yesterday and on the surface, everything’s great. But it’s like you open the, you know, a drawer cabinet and everything is everywhere, but she is always going. She’s always going with her kids. She’s super active and doing a lot of things. And that’s just not her priority until the clutter boils up to a point where then she’s like at the state of overwhelm and crisis of like, ah, I need your help. So I think, you know, twos need to just understand first of all, that. And so that it’s okay to prioritize yourself again, that can go into any of these different three clutter camps, the physical, emotional calendar, but just thinking about how can I do both? And I think choose, wanna do everything for everybody and feel like they have to be the sacrificial lamb. And I think you could have a blending of the both hand

Speaker 1 (19:06):

As you’re talking, I’m imagining different people. I’m like, oh, that person’s a two. That person’s a one. So yeah. Keep going. Let’s hear about threes.

Speaker 3 (19:14):

All right. So threes are known as the achiever and they are there. We twos feel like that internal need to be liked and help people threes feel like their worth is tied to their work. So achievement. Okay. And so even if you’re a stay at home parent, if that’s your job, like you’re all in. So this again, you can apply this in whatever season of life you’re in, whether you professional, whether it’s at home, whatever that looks like for you, but the work that you’re doing, it’s all in. And that is very important to threes that threes also. So threes are what I call shape shifters. They have this innate ability to give people what they need in that, in that moment of time. So if you’re with this group of friends and they need this, you’re that for them and it’s not inauthentic, it’s just, they are, they have this innate ability to turn on the parts of their personality that need to be shown in that moment.

Speaker 3 (20:15):

Because you know, like you have your friends that are your partyers, you have your friends that are your get coffee. You have the people that you do this. And so threes are very in tune with knowing what the room needs. They can read a room really well. They’re very charismatic in professionally. There are a lot of leaders and they’re very quick decision makers. There’s a couple types on the anagram threes being one of them where they are quick at making decisions, threes, because appearance is really important to them. They don’t like clutter and every three I’ve ever interviewed or spoken to. And I live with a three, there’s actually like a physical reaction to clutter. Like it really, it makes them uncomfortable, anxious and stressed. And so a lot of times what a three will do is look to do the quickest, get to the result, the quickest way doesn’t mean.

Speaker 3 (21:02):

So efficiency is really important for a three efficiency is great, but that is, doesn’t always mean that it’s going to be the best solution long term, because I always tell people the best organizing solution is the ease of retrieval. How quickly can I get it when I need it? And a lot of times a three is so intent on getting it away. They aren’t strategic in going, is this the best place? Or do I even know, am I just absolutely putting it away? So I don’t have to see it, look at it, touch it, feel it. I think for threes, they can do a lot. They, like I said, what’s great is they can make decisions quickly. They don’t struggle with the emotional that maybe some of the other types do. Like a two might be a little bit more emotional and factor in feelings. Threes can make decisions a little bit more strategically, which is awesome. But I think they have to worry about slowing down and recognizing that not everybody works at their pace and understand why, cuz I think underneath the surface threes have a real emotional response to clutter, even though they’re not emotional about clutter, like sentimentally, if that makes sense.

Speaker 1 (22:09):

Totally makes sense.

Speaker 3 (22:11):

So yeah. So that’s, that’s threes and I see a lot of when I work with couples or a lot of times if one couple’s a three and the other isn’t and they’re just a little bit more what I call clutter blind. Like they’re just, it doesn’t, they don’t see it. You know, the people that you walk in, they just don’t doesn’t stress ’em out. They don’t see the breakfast dishes out. They don’t see the laundry and that person is married to or lives with a three there’s usually tension because that really affects a three a lot.

Speaker 1 (22:40):

Yes. Okay. So you have to learn what you can do to eliminate some of

Speaker 3 (22:44):

That. And that’s why I think learning the Agram as a whole is important. Not just knowing your type, because if you can understand this, it allows you to have understanding and grace for people of like, oh, this is why they are doing this. This is why they’re micromanaging or this is, and again, it’s not an excuse, but it gives you an insight that maybe you didn’t have the language to understand before

Speaker 1 (23:06):

For sure.

Speaker 3 (23:07):

Our fours. So the fours are known as the romantic or the individualist. And one of my daughters, I have two girls and one of my daughters is a four. So I know a lot about the fours as well. So your fours are feeling, feeling, feeling people. So they are, if you, again, to stereotype and have this like image in your mind, they’re like your brooding musician artist and everything is like emotion and deep. They’re sort of, they are comfortable in that like melancholy state for fours because everything is, has so many layers. And like life is just filled with texture. That execution also can become difficult for four because they need to experience things. And so when it comes to clutter, I used to before way before I knew the Agram, I was trying to, you know, parent my child and be like, okay, it’s time for us to like declutter your toy box or clean your room or fill in the blank.

Speaker 3 (24:00):

And everything had feelings. And she would, that’s what she would say. She’s like mom, but this has feelings. I’m like, it’s, it’s a piece of yarn that is in the bottom of your backpack. And she’s like, but it has feelings. Now fast forward to me understanding the engram, I was like, okay, I can totally understand the through line. I just didn’t have the language door. Did she to be able to kind of connect those dots? You’re not gonna eliminate those feelings. But what you could do is set boundaries for a four, right? They’re going to have to go through that process. They’re the person that’s gonna say. I remember when I wore this concert t-shirt and it means a lot to me. So as somebody, whether you’re going through this yourself with a spouse, with a kid, or if you’re a professional organizer and you know that you’re working with somebody who’s a four or somebody who struggles with emotional clutter, you’re gonna wanna have more margin for that job, cuz they’re not gonna be as quick at making decisions as a three would be.

Speaker 3 (24:54):

They’re going the need to their process is going to take a little bit longer. So you wanna give them that space so that they’re not white knuckling it, but you also wanna give them some boundaries so that they don’t go down a rabbit hole. Okay. So we’re gonna, we’re gonna sit in it for a few minutes and then we’re gonna make some decisions. So you’re accepting who they are and not trying to be like counter intuitive to what’s natural for them, but you also want to just help them, encourage them to move the needle. And I will say my daughter’s now 18. And you know, she’s obviously drank this Kool-Aid for me, her entire life. She’s developed strategies that have, she still struggles in certain areas with clutter, but she knows strategies about, I know whether that’s I have to limit this to three of this, you know, or I only have 10 minutes to make a decision. You know, there’s not one right way. But I talk about in the work that I do like different strategies for each type that will, that you can apply though for fours. It that’s, that’s been very, very insightful because emotion is, is a big presence for them.

Speaker 1 (26:00):

Absolutely. And just listening to you talk, it’s like the way you approach someone that is a one is completely different than a four and you can get results based on your approach.

Speaker 3 (26:11):

Absolutely. And again, like I talk about in addition to the types of clutter, I talk about like main clutter pitfalls. So you talk about procrastination and indecision and overwhelm and guilt and you can have people procrastinating, but they do it for different reasons. And that’s, what’s really interesting. It’s like, okay, we know you’re procrastinating, but the reason why one procrastinates is very different than a reason why a six procrastinates, which is very different than a reason why, you know, a nine procrastinates. And so if you can understand that, then that person can have that light bulb moment and go, oh, I got it now, you know, and that I can stop myself. Like, okay, I hear that, that voice in my head or I hear that negative talk or I’m hearing this, so now I can name it and move through it as opposed to just going, I don’t know why I can’t relinquish control, you know, or I, I don’t know why I can’t, I struggle with this. So it’s just helpful because it again provides context and language

Speaker 1 (27:07):

For sure.

Speaker 3 (27:08):

Okay. So fives, so our fives are known as the observer and they are your very analytical people. So your fives are going to be the people that research things. If you are familiar, if anybody listening out there is familiar with Gretchen Rubin and her work with the four tendencies, um, questioners again, I don’t have a scientific data to say that this is for sure, but in my, in my research, a lot of questioners are fives because they are all about understanding. They wanna take action when they have all of the information in front of them, where fives can get bottlenecked is because they’re very like they’re in, what’s known as in Igram language is the head trier. They’re very, you know, head focused is they use logic and facts to make decisions. Emotion doesn’t necessarily come in in the way that it would for some of the other types.

Speaker 3 (28:03):

But they also want time is very important to five. So time measuring and how they use their time is very important where fives can run into trouble is they mistake the research from the execution. So let’s apply this into organizing talk five is going to organize their garage. So they’re gonna go online and they’re gonna research garage systems and they’re gonna go down a rabbit hole and they may even have people come out and they may measure. And they may look at all these different things and they’re gonna say, well, I could do it this way and I could do it this way and I could do it this way. And they’re spending all of this time planning and figuring it out, but they don’t really pull the trigger or they mistake the pulling. They mistake the research for the actual execution.

Speaker 1 (28:48):

So fives are my clients where I’m always saying stop, pinning and start doing

Speaker 3 (28:55):

Absolutely. Okay. AB yeah. Well they could be a five. They could also be a there’s again. It’s I don’t wanna say that that’s I don’t wanna stereotype them, but that is one thing is they are, it could be out of fear. It could be out of wanting choices, but there there’s a large, you know, I don’t wanna just say if you’re just doing that, that means you’re five. I don’t wanna, you know, mistype anybody then get hate mail for that. But, um, I think that is something

Speaker 1 (29:20):

It’s not a hundred percent, but it is more likely to be that

Speaker 3 (29:22):

Character. Right. And a lot of times fives will also you’ll find because fives are about efficiency differently than a three is, but they want to almost hoard stuff. So my friend’s, husband’s a five and we have this running joke because he is the type of person that goes to Costco and stacks up on things. Even if they don’t need them, like they have, I call, I basically call it like a bunker in their house that they’ve got, you know, spaghetti sauce and toilet paper and all this. And he is like, because you never know. And I would rather just get it and it’s not. So it’s almost like a, not that they’re hoarders, but they’ll hoard on to stuff because in their mind they’re being efficient of accumulating stuff because, oh, well, I’ll just buy it in bulk and I’ll buy it now. But what happens is for a lot of times you don’t necessarily have the space in your home for fives.

Speaker 3 (30:12):

And where do you draw the line of? Like, I don’t really need, it’s not really practical or we have enough of this. So fives can struggle with physical clutter because they’re overanalyzing the situation of, well, it, but it’s cheaper if I buy it in bulk. So I should just buy it in bulk. And it’s like, yeah, but you live in an apartment and you don’t really have a lot of room for back stock. So I think that there’s other ways, but it all comes back to it’s very brain focused. It’s all up in their head, much less in their heart or their gut, like some of the other night numbers on the Agram.

Speaker 1 (30:46):

Okay. This totally makes sense. I just recorded an episode, I think about when to buy in bulk, like when that is a good idea. And when it doesn’t make sense,

Speaker 3 (30:53):

Oh, I have to listen to that. I, I that’s that’s it’s like, so yeah, we get this all the time as professional organizers. Um, okay. So six is six is, are known as the loyalists and we, again, love six is who doesn’t wanna be a loyalist. So six is unconscious motivation is, has to do they’re your worst case scenario thinkers. So they’re, they, um, they’re all about making sure they wanna feel safe and protected and they wanna have facts. So a lot of times at five, six wing, if you hear the wings, they’re the numbers on either side of you, of people talk about that. There are, they’re both in the head space and you are, well, what if I need that? You know, I see this a lot with paper clutter and sixes. Well, what would happen if I got rid of it? Or what if I need this again?

Speaker 3 (31:41):

And well, when was the last time you used it? So that’s when they’re struggling with emotional clutter, but more out of fear and less out of sentiment where two might struggle with a two or a four might struggle with emotional clutter out of sentiment. Like, oh, my kid made this or this reminds me of a time, a six might struggle with emotional clutter going, what if I need it? So it’s more of that white knuckling, like fear based if I got rid of this, what would happen? Kind of a thing when you’re working with a six and a lot of times, sixes are really, what’s helpful for six is having an accountability partner. Sixes just want that permission and validation, not from like an attaboy validation, but just like reassurance that they’re on the right track like that they’re making the right decision because sixes are the ones that’ll doubt themselves and go, mm, maybe I, maybe I should go back out to the garbage and get that.

Speaker 3 (32:33):

Or maybe I was too premature or maybe, and so they start to kind of craft these stories. And so if you’re, if you are parenting a six or you are a six or you’re working with a six, I think it’s really important to just conversationally and calmly in a not judgemental way, say, see through like, let’s say through, so you get rid of this bank statement and you get audited or you get rid of this and you get, okay, so what, what would happen? You know, what do you have to do to get this? How, what would you have to do to get yourself out of this hole? What would happen if you got rid of this phase and your mother-in-law came over, like, let’s talk this scenario through. And sometimes when the sixes start to really work through, then they get to this point of, okay, my fear or insecurity is being irrational.

Speaker 3 (33:25):

And I can reclaim that control, having the patience to work with them. And the more often you start to like, it’s like building a muscle, the more often you do it, the easier it will become the more quickly you’ll be able to make decisions. So a lot of times six is, you know, when I first work with a six, they’re not, you know, they take a long time to make decisions, but then over time they start to realize that like the other shoe isn’t gonna drop or nothing bad is gonna happen. Um, and so again, having those strategies of how to address, you know, the fears of a sex is really important.

Speaker 1 (34:03):

Okay. Okay. I’m love, I’m loving this. I’m just taking

Speaker 3 (34:05):

It all. Yeah. Okay, good. So your sevens, your sevens are known as the enthusiast and again, love of seven. I mean, your sevens are your life at the party. They are your fun people. So if you have like a meter of a range of emotions, your sevens are on the like really, really super fun to hear. They don’t really like to show that melancholy side where fours are that like uncomfortable in that uncomfortable sevens don’t they don’t wanna go there. Like they’re just, and again, it’s not that they’re being inauthentic. It’s just, they are very glass, half full people where I would be like a forge they’re comfortable with a glass half empty, like that is their that’s their baseline. A seven is a glass half ball. And we love that about them. Um, but sevens are very future focused like your threes and your eight.

Speaker 3 (34:58):

So they’re, you know, we didn’t really get even get into the orientation to time, but you know, every type is either past present or future focused. And so your sevens are future thinkers. They’re like the planners, the planners of a trip planners of a this, whatever it is. So they’re always thinking about what’s ahead. And because they like fun, they don’t necessarily intuitively thrive on routine because routine on the surface sounds like wa Wawa, where if you can reframe it to this routine gives you freedom to do the things that you wanna do, like using your meal planning as an example, instead, it might be like, well, I just wing it. That’s great. But if you do meal planning, then you can, don’t have to waste time, feel stressed and anxiety. And then you have more time to go do the fun things where sevens will oftentimes mistake routine for boring.

Speaker 3 (35:51):

And what will happen is they will end up feeling stressed and overwhelmed because of a lack of planning because they enjoy the spontaneity, sevens, love spontaneity. And again, I think it’s about reframing it to being a, both, and you can still be spontaneous and have a, and have some sort of structure. But again, if you’re always going and you’re constantly taking, if you work all week and then you’re away for the weekend and no one’s mowing your lawn or doing your laundry again, clutter’s gonna accumulate. So you have to build that in to your schedule or outsource it to somebody else to do, because what happens a lot of times, sevens will just go, go, go. And then when they finally are at home, they’re stressed and overwhelmed because everything’s been sort of neglected because of all the fun that they’ve been having.

Speaker 4 (36:41):


Speaker 3 (36:41):

So those are my sevens. Um, but the great thing is, again, they’re super smart and it’s just a matter of finding that right system for a seven. That makes it fun. So whether you’re setting timers and saying, we’re gonna do this, and at the end, we’re gonna have this reward. The reward could be like, we’re gonna go out and play sports. We’re gonna go get ice cream. We’re gonna, whatever it is, fill the blank, but making it fun. If your kid is a seven making, organizing, make it like a race or a game, there are ways that you can spin it so that it doesn’t seem like it’s just a boring old task cuz sevens don’t like boring tasks, right? The eight eights, my number. So I can the best person to ever speak about somebody. These type is somebody who is that type. So I can speak about the eights.

Speaker 3 (37:28):

So eights are known as the challenger on the surface eights are. And when it comes to organization, eights make a lot of decisions quickly. We are quick decision makers. There’s a lot of eights in leadership positions, threes and eights, a lot of times. So that are kind of gravitate in those, those areas, which is really good for kind of running a business and organizing and all the things. What happens where eight can run into trouble is we are least access center. Like we don’t use emotions often. We’re very, very practical, which is great because it doesn’t mean that we personally don’t struggle with emotional clutter, but the other people in our sphere, our spouses, our kids, our coworkers may not be at the speed of light of an eight. And so we tend to overpower overstep, be unintentionally overbearing. And so these are kind of the, the dark side of the eight is that we will take over.

Speaker 3 (38:29):

So we will take over differently than a one will take over cuz a one will take over because they wanna improve it and make it better. And perfect. And eight will just take over because we can just do it faster. And we, we, we can do it better and people will just offset to an eight, so eight and I can speak for myself counter. Clutter’s a big thing for eights because we can handle a lot. So we do a lot and I’m in this myself right now and I’ve learned how to create margin and say, no, but I run a business. I run a big charity event. I have to go pick up my kid from college. I have all of these different things on my plate. And when people find that there’s somebody that’s a doer and does things well and can good, be good at juggling.

Speaker 3 (39:11):

A lot of different things, not necessarily multitasking, but just juggling a lot of different things at once. People will gravitate to that. If you’re a mom like me, you’ll see, you know, the moms, the parents at the PTA or whatever, if you’re at work, it’s the people that are always going to sign up for this committee or church or whatever. It’s always the same people. You have to be mindful. If you are an eight to create that margin, set, some downtime, say learning how to say no or not now, right. That this is not the right time season for that. And then also just slow down and have a little bit more empathy for people like I’ve had to. And hopefully it’s like age of maturity as well, but again, not barreling over people because that can become a problem when it comes to clutter and organization, as well

Speaker 1 (40:02):

As you’re talking. I it’s so funny because you said at the beginning, everyone has a little bit of every number mm-hmm <affirmative> and so I’m listening and I’m like, some of them, I have a lot of, some of them I have a tiny little bit, but there really is something in all of these that applies to me. But I’m, I’m not any of these numbers

Speaker 3 (40:23):

Yet. Right? I, well, let’s see. Let’s hear we go. So now we’re, we’re rounding it out. Rounding the bases with the engram nines, which are known as the peacemakers or the peacekeepers and I, my other daughter is in engram nine and I have to say, and people that ask me before and I love my engram type and I just wish I knew it when I was younger. Cuz I think I would’ve been a healthier version of myself and a little bit more self-aware of how I came across. But if I could be any other number on the Igram, I would be a nine cuz I think nines are just fricking awesome. Like they are just awesome. I mean I think every people, all types are awesome, but there’s something about engram nines that just like hold a special place in my heart. Um, they, engram nines are just go with the flow people.

Speaker 3 (41:13):

And a lot of times, especially with mistyping when we talked about the top of the episode on the surface twos and nines can oftentimes get interchanged and you think about, okay, peacemaker helper it’s the motivation is very different. Again, the nine’s motivation is to not rock the boat where eight are like bring it. I don’t care about conflict. Like I just wanna get the job done. I don’t mind about breaking a few eggs. Nines are the opposite where nines are like, we just want everyone to get along. We don’t want conflict. Nines are just kind of chill people. And what happens is when it comes to clutter and organization is a lot of times nines can become what I call clutter blind, where it just doesn’t stress them out where like a three, like I said, they walk in and they see that, you know, they come home from work and they see stuff all over the place and it stresses them out.

Speaker 3 (42:02):

The nines are like, it’s fine. Like it’ll get done when it gets done. Don’t sweat, the small stuff kind of thing. And so having that self-awareness of a nine, um, is something that I think is really important. Um, one of my good girlfriends is a nine and we were just having this conversation. Um, this morning on our walk is 9 cent procrastinate a lot. And what the problem is for a lot of nines is they’ll procrastinate until the 11th hour and then they’ll get it done and then they’ll get it done and it’ll still be great. So you don’t have that, that motivation to change that procrastinating behavior because you’re like use it as an example for school, my daughter would procrastinate for studying for a test until the, you know, until the night before or doing a project. And then she’d like cram it all in and she’d get an a, so what’s your motivation for wanting to change because you still get an a or I can just let all my laundry pile up and I’m gonna do it all on one day and I’ll just power through and it gets done.

Speaker 3 (43:04):

It’s hard to wanna change that motivation when you’re seeing well, it’s working out, the problem is long term. It’s ultimately not sustainable and it’s not really good for you to just continually just procrastinate, procrastinate, procrastinate, cram it in and then repeat that cycle. But for nines, a lot of times that’s, they can apply that to different areas of their lives. And again, this is not all nines. This is not everybody. Another area of struggle for the nines. And this is where I think an accountability partner is really can be helpful for nine is the prioritization. When we talk about organizing, whether it’s organizing your space, organizing your calendar, you wanna prioritize because our to-do lists are so long, right? What are the most important things that need to get done? What’s the urgent versus the important, what do we need to do? You know, is it the squeaky wheel that gets the grease or is it really what we need to be focusing in on?

Speaker 3 (43:58):

And nines oftentimes struggle with knowing how to prioritize. They will see a list of 10 different things that need to get done and just do what’s right in front of them. Even if that’s not really the most important thing to move the needle in what they need to do. And so having more objective viewpoint to say, okay, let’s look at this, what’s our timeline, what do we need to get done? What’s our priorities. And having that external accountability to talk it through and it doesn’t have to be professional. It could be a friend, it could be a spouse, a coworker, whatever, to just help you kind of figure out we’re gonna do this, this, this can be helpful.

Speaker 1 (44:38):

Okay. So this would be a great example for why having good systems and routines in your house makes things happen because if your natural tendency is to procrastinate or all these things that you’re just saying, a system can change this.

Speaker 3 (44:54):

Totally. Absolutely. Absolutely. And again, I think at the end of the day comes down to reframing routine to equal freedom, as opposed to routine, trying to hold you back. If you can look at what are the areas that I want to do more of, what can I do and what is standing in my way? You know, how can, how can I find a routine to help simplify that, right? Whether that’s meal planning or laundry or mail or fill in the blank, how can a routine help me not be as stressed, overwhelmed, frustrated, fill the blank.

Speaker 1 (45:33):

Yes. And that, okay. So thank you for taking the time to explain all those. I know that was super brief on each one.

Speaker 3 (45:40):

I know very top line, so I didn’t hit everything. So if I you’re that type and I didn’t hit on your characteristic, I, I can give you more detail <laugh>

Speaker 1 (45:47):

Yes. Okay. So, but, but we have a basic understanding of what every single number is. What do you do like in your capacity? How can someone use this knowledge with where they identified their number? How does knowing all this help in the decluttering process?

Speaker 3 (46:04):

Great question in the framework that I have developed. So I’m in the process of writing it a, into a book right now as we speak, but I have a digital course or framework on the website that you can go and download. I have the master one that does all the nine types or the mini course. If you know your type of writing, you just wanna learn about yours. That’s totally fine, too. What we do is we look at, we go deep with each number. And so what we do is we look at all of the characteristics, not just the top line characteristics of that, of, of that each particular number. And we say, where you focused using, let’s see the three centers being your head, your heart, your gut, how are you making decisions? What is your orientation to time? Do you, are you somebody that’s forward thinking?

Speaker 3 (46:51):

Do we need to stay more present? Are you somebody that is constantly going down memory lane and looking at the past, how do we bring you up and to not falling into these pitfalls? So we take the characteristics of your type. And then we apply it to my framework of like looking at the different types of clutters. So identifying where do I feel most dominant, the physical, emotional calendar, clutter, and where, what are the five of the five clutter pitfalls? Where do I tend to, where do I tend to fall into? What are the, what are sort of the patterns of behavior that I can identify going? Yes, I do this. And so once you can identify that, which I, we walk through, we can then go, okay. So what are some strategies that I can apply? I know some facts, I know these are strengths of my type and these are areas.

Speaker 3 (47:37):

I call them strengths and struggles, right? This is an area where you struggle. So a two is gonna struggle to say no. When somebody asks them to do something, they’re just in their gut, like in their, you know, in their core of who they are, they wanna say yes to everybody, they’re people pleasers. And so we know that. So I’m not trying to change you from being a people pleaser, but what strategy can you apply and say, okay, I know this about myself and this is where I struggle with clutter. So what are the specific actions that I can do, whether it’s each day or in a different scenario and walk through those to try to reduce that, reduce that type of clutter in my life.

Speaker 1 (48:17):

I love this. I’m obsessed with everything that you’re saying. And when we finish this call, like I’m going straight to your website to get all the other information it’s so good. And it makes things that for most people, you probably struggled with your entire life. It’s like, okay, this is why, and this is how I deal with it.

Speaker 3 (48:38):

Thank you. And I, what I love about it is that it gives you language. You know, I use the example like I did with my younger daughter, where for years, I just knew that she thought everything had feelings and was just very emotional when it came to things. And I knew that. And so I could have gone through my entire life without knowing the engram and that’s fine, but having this inside of wisdom, would’ve saved me a lot of yelling. <laugh> her a lot of tears. And I could have applied strategies that would’ve probably been more effective to get her, to make decisions than me kind of really just forcing something that was counterintuitive to her, because I was like, why can’t you just make a decision? Because for me, that was an easy thing. Like, you want this, or you want this, like that happened.

Speaker 3 (49:28):

But knowing this gives people language, as we said at the beginning, it’s not the end all be all, but it’s an another tool in your toolbox of strategies that you can apply. And that’s really what I want this takeaway to be for people is saying, I think that any, the engrams, a great tool to help it just in relationships and interpersonal development, but specifically when it comes to talking about clutter and, and being able to articulate where and why people are struggling has been really where I think the value can come in in the work that I do.

Speaker 1 (50:03):

Um, so it’s so helpful for, to learn about yourself and to come up with these strategies and solutions for yourself, but also in your relationships, whether that be personal relationships or in your workplace, I’m in the beginning stages of searching for a new VA and I’m like, Hmm, they’re gonna take Agram and I’m going to use this to my advantage, just as you’re talking, I’m like, this is an amazing tool for that type of thing too.

Speaker 3 (50:28):

A hundred per a hundred percent. Absolutely. And you know, I didn’t even, you know, I don’t even touch on that in the work that I do, but yes, in business, in work, it is so great. Especially if you have entrepreneurs that are listening, when you have a small team and you’re working with people, understanding where you and knowing like this is where I might be a little bit weaker. So I need somebody that is, that’s strong, where I’m lacking as a professional organizer. It’s nice for me to have somebody on my team that, and I’ve learned over years to be able to sit and have grace and empathy with people, but there are professional organizers that are like, I just wanna get it done. And that’s great, but you need the people that are willing to sit with the fours of the world that need that extra. I don’t wanna use the word codling, but they just need somebody to sit there and go through that process with them.

Speaker 1 (51:18):

For sure. For sure. Okay. You’ve given us tons of information today. I love it all tell people where they can find you, because I know people are going to want more information and to really dive in and find out all the details.

Speaker 3 (51:32):

Oh, awesome. Absolutely. So thank you very much. So the best place to find me is at my website, which is simply the letter B like boy, So that’s my hub for everything. You can find us on YouTube, our, um, Instagram, Facebook, all the things we’re all there. And then from there, you can find the engram and clutter course if you’re interested. So if you wanna, if you do wanna check it out, um, use the code, edit E D I T 20 for 20% off either any of the mini courses or the master course, which is all the different nine types. And again, it’s really, really comprehensive. Like it goes deep into all the different aspects of the personality to give you kind of like a full well-rounded view of, of how the, how that type shows up in the world. I also have a podcast called this organized life. And as a, again, Lauren’s been guest on the show and we’re gonna have her back on done series on the Igram. We have another one coming up. And so definitely check that out as well, since you’re all podcast listeners.

Speaker 1 (52:39):

Okay, great. Thank you so much. I have one final question to ask you that I ask all of my guests and I just want to know what is one area in your home that you would outsource or one task that you would outsource if you could, and one thing that you don’t doing,

Speaker 3 (52:55):

Oh, that is such a good question. I am going to say the one thing that I would outsource is laundry. Now I will say my husband does laundry. We it’s this running joke and we call him laundry, loving Josh, because he does laundry. I do not enjoy LA. I don’t mind doing it. It’s the folding it and putting it away that I have no, if I don’t ever have to do a little laundry, my life would be complete. So thankfully I have a husband who not only does it, but actually enjoys it. So that’s great. But if he were not around and somebody could say, here you go, we have a laundry ferry. That would be it. And thing that I don’t mind doing is, um, any type of like, organizing, like organizing clearly, which I think sounds cliche, but like we wanna redo the pantry. We wanna redo a cabinet or a drawer. Like I like doing those types of projects. So that doesn’t

Speaker 1 (53:45):

Bother me. It’s so funny because I’ve done a couple interviews in the last week or two. And laundry is the winner that everyone,

Speaker 3 (53:53):

Oh, it is.

Speaker 1 (53:53):

Yes. Everyone’s like find me a solution or a person to come in and do the laundry.

Speaker 3 (53:59):

Yeah. I, I just I’m like, Ugh. I, I don’t know why. I just, I just don’t get any

Speaker 1 (54:05):

Well, and it’s one it’s just ongoing. You can never get away from it. Yeah,

Speaker 1 (54:09):

Know. So I understand that one. Thank you so much for being a guest on the intentional edit podcast. This was so much fun. I feel like I learned so much today. All this Ingram information has me wanting to learn more and more. So I’m heading over to your website and I’m sure our listeners feel the same. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and helping us with tools to simplify and declutter today.

Speaker 2 (54:32):

Thank you for listening to the intentional edit podcast. If you found today’s episode valuable, tell your friends about it by taking a screenshot, sharing it on social and tagging me at intentional edit. I’ll be back soon with another episode in the meantime, find and be sure to follow intentional edit on social platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook, to ensure you catch future episodes, click the subscribe or follow button. Now I am grateful for a five star rating and review from you. Be sure to let me know what you liked about this episode and what you want me to cover in the future.






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lauren - intentional edit

Lauren is the founder of Intentional Edit, a home organization and lifestyle company focused on consciously editing to create efficient and organized spaces.  Lauren believes that a functional home that looks and feels good has a positive influence on all aspects of life.  Creating systems that allow for the home to function more efficiently, therefore, eliminating most of the clutter and chaos is her priority.  While trends come and go organization is always in style!


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