Downsizing Aging Parents’ Homes: Energy, Organization + Personalities– Part 2 continued

According to the Myers-Briggs (its short-cut name) I am an ESTP and I’m positive my husband is an INTJ, even though he’s never taken this inventory.  Very simply, our preferred way of doing things (which is what the Myers-Briggs scores) is quite different, even though we share values and the way we look at most things.

Note the first of the 4 letters.

My husband, the high-scoring “I” personality type–thinks before taking action. Example: the student who wants to digest the question and carefully think out the answer before raising his or her hand. On the other hand, the high-scoring “E” personality types’ hands go up first, even if they have only a partial answer. More outwardly active describes the “E” personality type. (Teachers learn the slow-to-raise-their-hand-kids may have just as good or a better answer than the kids with the quickly raised hands.)

Then there’s the 2nd letter showing our preferred way of looking at things–the Forest or Trees? High-scoring “N” types see the forest first (the overall picture, macro). High-scoring “S” types see the trees first (the specifics/details, micro).

We both scored high on the third letter “T” (thinking).  The other option is an “F” (feeling) and while I scored higher on the “T” part, I scored pretty high on the “F” part also–which happens. High-scoring “T” types begin thinking when looking for answers; “F” types lead with feelings.

Lastly, my husband’s “J.” High-scoring “J” types judge quickly; they put the facts together, make a decision. Done.  On the other hand “P” types take longer to make decisions–they’re thinking of every possible option.

This is all very simplistic. Yet it helps us appreciate others’ ways of doing things.

So how do we go about organizing for downsizing and moving?

As we work and organize with others–and realize we may approach things differently and still have successful results–we share the burden.

My husband and I give each other space to work in our comfort zones, although I’m certain my husband secretly wonders if I will even get through all the drawers, closets, boxes, papers etc.

He in his “super-organized fashion” decided to tackle the boxes of stuff in the attic first, then go to the file drawers.  I tackled things as the spirit moved me.  First: my clothes (closet and drawers). It felt good to give some away to people or to those clothing drop boxes, and to see closet and drawer space expand.

We both agreed about books we would keep, so that was easy; meanwhile, his boxes have been emptied, material shredded, keepsakes and meaningful stuff saved.

Needless to say, my pile of saved objects is larger than my husband’s due to my “P” inclination.  I see many future uses for things, which causes delayed decision making.  I must remind myself I did score much lower on the “J” part of my preferences.  And I know my “P” inclination to save could keep me from ever finishing the task ahead, so at times I make judgments–dumping things I’ve come to realize I’ll never use again, before I can change my mind.

My scattered successful attempts are not nearly as noticeable as my husband’s dozens of empty cartons and cleared folders, but I know I’ll finish by our deadline.  Fortunately, he leaves me alone to plow through in my own way. After many years he realizes I do meet my commitments on time, my way of doing it is just not his way.

If you want to delve further into Myers Briggs, check out the organization’s site:  click My MBTI Personality Type then MBTI Basics or  / Indicator and scroll down to “Types.”

You can take the inventory on line although I can’t judge the sites. (I took it in class, under the guidance of a professional.) So I add a disclaimer as to its validity but for fun you might try the site above or

PS. The “S” in my  ESTP initially saw the specific contents of our home as overwhelming. But once I found a specific starting point that inspired me to action, I was on my way.

Good luck!

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