Start with successes gets us off on the right foot, reminding us that, even when things seem cluttered and overwhelming, there are things we are doing right that can serve as building blocks for our organizational systems.
Take small steps reminds us that we don't have to do it all at once. Each step takes us closer to the goal of being organized enough to find what we need when we need it.
Yes, it has a home reminds us that when our things have homes, it's easier to put them away, which keeps things neater.
Let it go can be a challenge, particularly to those with an I love stuff personal style, but becomes less intimidating when we consider that letting things go doesn't have to mean throwing them away.
Easy upkeep is when we know we've arrived. Although we may not arrive at this step in every area at the same time, we know we've reached Easy upkeep when our systems feel almost effortless because they are working with our styles, not against them. We may not be perfectly organized or completely clutter-free, but we're managing our stuff instead of letting it manage us.If the thing I talk about most often is how this is a process, the thing I talk about least often is probably Easy Upkeep. Once we've journeyed to this wonderful peak of organization, how do we set up camp there? Here are a few ideas.
- Value the clear space. Resist the urge to drop and run or put anything in newly cleared space! You worked hard to create this oasis of neatness, so you should enjoy the accomplishment.
- Put your systems to work. If you've set things up based on your styles, Easy upkeep should be a snap. And, even if the setup isn't perfect, it should work well enough that a few tweaks can take it from good to even better, so...
- Adjust where necessary. A little trial and error can be a necessary part of establishing a system that works. When you've got a strengths-based foundation, trouble-shooting is easier because you can actually put your ideas to the test. Every time you adapt an existing system, it gets better and it informs future organizing as well.
Copyright 2018 Lisa Hess
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.