An Honest Review of The Clutter Connection


Last year I read a very interesting book by Cassandra Aarssen called The Clutter Connection, How Your Personality Type Determines Why You Organize the Way You Do (affiliated link).

The first time I took her test was on her website,, I came out as a “Butterfly.”  But when I read her mini online book detailing the four different organizing styles that are based on your personality, I thought I was a Bee who coveted being a Cricket!  (See her website for a quick explanation of the four Clutter Bugs.)

I bought this book since it goes into depth on the four areas, with color pictures, and I wanted to know more.  I was skeptical of her test and felt that the questions weren’t clear enough, so I took the test in the book several times on different days, and again after reading each of the four sections of her book.

I felt that on many of the questions I could answer “Yes” to 3 out of the 4 scenarios.  So one time I did this on all the questions, and then added up my score that way. 

Ultimately, I kept scoring as a Butterfly by 1 or 2 points over being a Ladybug, and my Cricket and Bee scores were even, and just a point or 2 below Ladybug.  I felt I was coming out too even across all the categories, which is impossible.  I was frustrated because I’d say to myself, “But I put things away!  I use drawers!  I use filing cabinets!  How could I possibly be a Butterfly?”

Then, finally, I realized that I was to take the test as if I had absolutely no organizational systems in place at all, what my natural state would be if I never tried to organize anything at all, and Wham! it worked.  I could see how and why I was a “Butterfly”! 

I’d been confused because I have many organizational systems in place that are working for me because I had already SOLVED many of a Butterfly’s typical organizational problems.  Since I am able to:  put folded laundry in drawers, put the peanut butter back in the pantry each morning, hang clean clothes immediately in closets, put papers in certain filing systems, put my make-up back into the drawer each morning, etc., my organizational successes were skewing my test results!  Once I realized I was to take the test as a newbie, and got my result as a strong butterfly, things began clicking for me. 

All at once I realized WHY I am indeed a Butterfly!  While I crave organizational simplicity, like a Ladybug, I must have lots of color, and I have the tendency to forget about things that are hidden in solid bins or baskets.  I’m always saying how boring brown house exteriors are, and how I just can’t stand brown or grey walls.  Black shutters, yuck!  An all white room?  Boring!  Unless you are highlighting some incredible items that are colorful and make the room pop!  Well, I like that

It really was revolutionary to me.  Things just clicked and I got what she was trying to convey. 

I was instantly able to go around my house and confirm WHY certain organizing styles worked for me, and why others didn’t.  I re-evaluated every room with new eyes.  I was able to go into my “junk” room and grab some trays and see-though bins with lids, and baskets without lids, and put them to work for me in a way that made sense, ensuring that I would be able to use them.  I moved forward with a new understanding that helped me not fall victim to every organizational technique and gadget in the stores! 

She helped give me CLARITY.  She showed me how everyone in my family organizes differently.

ONE YEAR LATER, these systems are still working perfectly for me!  Everything I organized is STILL working! 

Yet, during the reading of her book I kept saying, “I’m a Bee.  I’m sure I’m a Bee!”   Ultimately I realized that I am more of a Butterfly than a Bee because I must SEE my things or I forget about them:  mail, bills, pens, calendars, lists, coupons, library books.  I must organize these things on a macro level.  But my junk drawers, make-up drawer, bathroom items, and stationery I was able to micro organize after watching her videos.

I realized that, while I keep the majority of my jewelry in a large micro-organized case, what I want to wear for a given month is placed on a tray (macro) so that I don’t forget about it – because for me, out of sight is out of mind.  I forget I own holiday jewelry!

Books I’ve read and want to keep are filed on certain shelves.  Children’s books are on certain bookshelves, already read in one area, to be read in another.  History books are organized by the years covered in the book.  School books are organized by grade.  These seem to be micro organized to me.  But books I want to read in the coming year?  They need to be stacked on my dresser, in my sight line, or I will forget about them.  Macro.  I have the tendency to read about 27 books at a time.  I’ll read a few chapters over several days or weeks, get halfway through the book and move on to something new.  Then I’ll go back and finish a different book.

I must have visual reminders to help me remember.  I have appointments such as eye doctor and dentist visits on my calendar (micro), but for sales, coupons, and bi-monthly orthodontist appointments, I must have the coupons or reminders taped to the wall next to my calendar, so that I’m constantly reminded of them (macro). 

As I mentioned in my Organized Women Do THIS in January post last year, I have many types of filing systems.  For important papers that I must keep for a long time, like insurance information, I have a system with a lid by my desk (micro).  But I pile things on top until I get around to filing a few times a year (macro).  Yet for everyday receipts, I open a desk drawer and pop the receipt into an accordion file by month – I don’t file by subject, because the chances of my having to look at the receipt again are small, yet I do not want to toss the receipt (macro).  I drop all my tax receipts into their own easy to use case binder (macro).  So, my preferred filing system is MACRO, not micro!  She was right, I am a Butterfly!

Cas explains all the reasons why we do the things we do, like what I’ve explained above, and which systems will then work well with your ClutterBug personality! 

However, there are still categories I haven’t yet organized.  My desk is still messy, though much improved, and my dining table is still my office/ homeschool desk which is always covered with papers and piles that need to be dealt with, though they are all macro organized.

The Importance of Color

Color, and the absence of color, affects me greatly.  When I bought my first house all the walls were a dull pink, with teal carpet.  I knew hardwood floors were underneath the carpet and I could easily see past the drab pink walls and visualize white and yellow in the kitchen.  But I remember remarking, “I know why this house is for sale. The pink walls drove the couple insane.”

Stevan Dohanos 1953

I later found out the couple was divorcing; and research on color proved me right! “While pink’s calming effect has been demonstrated, researchers of color psychology have found that this effect only occurs during the initial exposure to the color. When used in prisons, inmates often become even more agitated once they become accustomed to the color.”  Psychology of pink

While I like the color pink on clothing, I cannot stand the color orange, unless it is on a pumpkin, or an autumn leaf.  There, it is beautiful.  On clothing or walls?  No.  From:  Psychology of orange  “Orange tends to be a controversial color.  People tend to either love it or hate it.”  Orange is very blatant and vulgar. – WolfKahn.  My thoughts exactly!

The relevance of knowing my “ClutterBug Type” was proved to me again this past November.  We were given a free night’s stay at a motel chain, and we were on websites deciding where we should go.  We would find a city we wanted to visit, but when we’d look at pictures of the rooms, I’d say, “I absolutely cannot stay here!  It would drive me crazy!”

I had such a strong, negative reaction to the décor and carpets.  Many were all brown – the bedding, carpet, furniture, draperies.  Terrible.  Some rooms had orange circles on the floor!  What was the designer thinking?  It was hideous!  The newer rooms were all grey – I had the same reaction.  These carpets had wavy lines that made me seasick just looking at them online.  The artwork was crazy geometrical designs.  I would have had to hang a blanket over them! 

My husband was astonished at my strong reactions – we were just going to sleep there, what did it matter if I didn’t like the décor? 

But I am a Butterfly, and I must have beautiful colors.  Brown, orange, and grey are colors that I dislike being surrounded by.  A vacation is supposed to be relaxing, and I wouldn’t be able to relax in such an ugly room!

I then showed my Darling Husband my ideal, though we vetoed the location because it was in a party location near a casino, but he could see the difference in the beauty and relaxation level of the room and grounds. 

We ultimately decided to go to the Pepper Tree Inn in Santa Barbara where the rooms had a more neutral white and pale green palate, and the gardens and pools looked beautiful and refreshing.  (They were, and we had a beautiful sunset from our balcony, plus the rooms were comfortable, with complimentary candy, cookies, fruit, and bottled water, and they had a surprisingly good restaurant on site.)

The bottom line of reading and implementing The Clutter Connection:  It is revolutionary because it is simple and makes sense!  I highly recommend it!  I also recommend watching her ClutterBug YouTube channel.  Cas is both informative and entertaining!  Be sure to watch to the end of each video – some of her stories are hilarious!

May God bless you as you create a cozy, comforting, clean, and clutter-free home!





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