If your organizational habits provide a window into your personality, then by extrapolation your work, personal, and home stuff may be sending multiple messages to other people. Sam Gosling’s research has uncovered that what you have, how you maintain it, and how you display it all leave clues about your personality. An interesting question related to his research concerns the impressions people form of our profession based on our personal belongings. Could how you display your home provide a window into your professional demeanor – into your dependability, your work habits, and your ability to get along with other people?
Some individuals experience a disconnect between how they maintain their home and their office, despite the fact that perceptions are quickly created. It is at home when people “let their hair down,” and when you may see snippets of their true selves on display. A slovenly approach to personal decor works at cross purposes in creating the image you wish you project. I once heard of an executive who asked prospective recruits to drive him to lunch, under the ruse that his car was in the shop. He uses this excursion to inspect the potential recruit’s car’s general condition, its cleanliness, and its appearance. A dirty, unkempt vehicle may speak volumes about a host of seemingly unrelated things.
Everything about us leaves behavioral residue in the mind’s eye of other people. We create an impression by default, whether by deliberate manipulation or by unconscious inattention.
The Ultimate Garage: Smart storage add-ons and good planning save space and eliminate clutter. Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications: Storage. Spring, 2011.