If you've been reading these posts for a while, chances are you've already begun connecting the dots and using your personal and organizational styles to re-vamp parts of your home or office. You may be foisting this way of looking at things onto unsuspecting family members as you identify their styles and choose containers that you believe will work for them. Maybe you, like me, have even seen progress.
Understanding how you've made that progress is a key element of the E in STYLE: Easy Upkeep. Did something click into place once you understood how you organize best? Do baby steps lie at the heart of your success? Did changing your containers to match your style make it easier to put things away now and find them later? Or, was it simply assigning homes to wayward items that helped you create spaces that work for you?
If you've had some successes (small or large), take a moment right here, right now to congratulate yourself before you read any further. If you're so inclined, share one in the comments section.
Why did I feel the need to stop and put you in the spotlight for a minute there? Because it's important to celebrate successes as a means of keeping in mind that progress and perfection are two different things. Progress is worth celebrating, not only because we all deserve a pat on the back from time to time, but also because it's a key element in Easy Upkeep. Knowing what works in reality because it has a proven track record for you is the key to keeping the momentum going and keeping motivation high when...
...life happens. And when it does, another key part of Easy Upkeep is troubleshooting, via questions like these:
- What do I always have trouble finding? (That item needs a home).
- Where do I put this? (That item also needs a home, and perhaps not in your home).
- What part of my home or organization process is still not quite right? (Too many homeless items? Wrong containers? Wrong system?)
As you walk through your home, how do you feel? Can you spot your successes? Can you make a plan to improve upon the areas that drive you crazy?
Once you know your styles and your preferred tools and methods, a cursory examination of a spot that's not quite right is enough, in most cases, to reveal what you need to change, making STYLE look something like this as we approach our own organizational challenges:
Start with successes (What can I keep exactly as it is?)
Take small steps (How can I just make a small dent here?)
Yes, it has a home! (What's here, but belongs somewhere else?)
Let it go (Do I really need all of this?)
Easy upkeep (What will make this space both functional and attractive?)
My house is still a work-in-progress, and it always will be. But when I look at the areas that need improvement through an I need to see it/drop and run lens, it's much easier to brainstorm solutions and create a space I want to spend time in.
Thanks so much for coming "back to school with STYLE." Beginning next week, we'll continue to branch out with organization applications for adults in the new "STYLE Savvy" -- same time, same place :-)
Copyright 2015 Lisa Hess
Logo background image: "Unageek color" by Unageek (2013) via Morguefile. Text added in Canva.
About the Author
Transplanted Jersey girl Lisa Lawmaster Hess is the author of a blog compilation, three novels, and three non-fiction books, including the award-winning Know Thyself: The Imperfectionist’s Guide to Sorting Your Stuff. A retired elementary school counselor, Lisa is an adjunct professor of psychology at York College of Pennsylvania. She blogs at The Porch Swing Chronicles, Organizing by STYLE, and here at Catholicmom.com. Read all articles by Lisa Hess.