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Organizing For Your Brain Type and The Family Reunion

The book Organizing For Your Brain Type by Lanna Nakone is one of the most useful books I have ever purchased. No doubt I will write about it more than once simply because there is so much to learn that condensing it into one blog post would not do it justice. In this particular installment, I will give a brief description about what the book is about then describe how we used it in an unconventional way at our family reunion.

This is a book about organization. What makes it unique within the “declutter, feng-shui, get organized” genre though is that it recognizes that there is more than one way to skin a cat and it is based on brain types.  The book opens with a survey of 50 multiple-choice questions that delineate your brain type: Maintaining, Harmonizing, Innovating, or  Prioritizing.  The author draws on the work of Dr. Arlene Taylor, a brain functioning specialist, to define the four types.  For instance, the Maintaining type is a traditional organizer, one who is habitual, accurate,  punctual but perhaps a little rigid.  The Harmonizing type is holistic, and nurturing but maybe too sentimental to throw anything away.  The Innovating type, who is usually known as “the type who can’t get organized”, is creative, adventurous, but also easily sidetracked.  The last type is Prioritizing  which is a logical problem solver but a little on the judgemental side.

The Story: Even though I grew up Michigan, my 2 brothers and I were closest to my 3 cousins from Nebraska.  Whenever we would get together, our time was always too funny and too short. A couple of years ago, I tossed this book into my bag just to see who might take the test.  I can never pass up a personality test! I had already established that I was an Innovating Style organizer (also known as a C type),  one who is good at improvising and adapting but also prone to distractions.  We discovered that our group was comprised mainly of Innovators and Maintainers although my husband, a surgeon, was the lone Harmonizer of all things (I found out through this test that he was the one most likely to bring sticky buns to a meeting!).

Throughout that weekend, we found ourselves identifying each other by our brain types: “Hey Maintainer, (the type that would rather not share), can I have a bite of your sticky bun?”  “Hey Harmonizer, how about some mood music!”  “Hey Innovator, what time is church? How in the hell would you know?”

Then it happened.… One of my specialties is corn on the cob roasted on an open fire. To do this, the corn has to soak for several hours in the laundry tub.  On that fateful day, I came home with a few dozen ears of corn, dumped it into the laundry tub, and turned on the water. Then I walked away because I am a flaky-headed Innovator C type.  Approximately 10 minutes later, one of my younger guests came running up the stairs, “Annie!  There is a broken pipe downstairs.”  I came downstairs, looked up and saw water gushing through the ceiling.  “Hmmm… we just had this place remodeled.  How can there be a broken pipe?”  THE CORN!!!!!!!  I ran upstairs to find water pouring out of the laundry tub!  Oh my goodness, I had left the water running! Now it was pouring onto the floor and down to the lower level (luckily, that particular part of the cottage was unfinished). When the crisis had passed and the mess was cleaned up, my cousin’s wife remarked, “An Innovator should never leave the corn!”

Thank goodness there was no damage and we could laugh about the shortcomings of the Innovator!

Footnote: To find additional information on this topic, the author, Lanna Nakone has a website called

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Stay tuned, Uncle Terry. As you can see, I am procrastinating like a “C” type but I guarantee you will like the final product. It will be oozing with Creativity!

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