Lisa Hess offers a way to evaluate the one-size-fits-all organizing solutions that fill our inboxes and news feeds at this time of year.
'Tis the season for organizing tools in your inbox! Every day this month, I've gotten at least one email from a newsletter or retailer with some tip, trick, or tool that promises to help me get organized.
I say that not because I don't think I can get more organized—I have, and I will continue to improve. I say that because no one tool is right for everyone. All of those well-meaning emails operate under the assumption that the tool, tip, or training they're featuring holds the key to organization for everyone.
This is not the case. One-size-fits-all organizing works about as well as one-size-fits-all pantyhose—or one-size-fits-all anything.
That's not to say that there's no value in the email offers that come pouring in in January, ready to assist everyone who made a New Year's resolution to get organized. But, before you buy:
- Are you excited about this tool?
- Does it fit your styles?
- Does it make (or imply) a promise you think it can deliver on?
- How will you use this tool?
- Is it a good fit for your space (or, in the case of a course, a good use of your time)?
- Can you imagine yourself using it successfully?
- Does it resemble something you’ve tried but rejected 100 times before?
- If you have to create space for this organizer, is it worth the space you’re giving up?
- If you have to make time for this course, is it worth the commitment?
- Why is this item calling out to you?
- What do you really need?
- Is there a simpler solution?
- Do you already have what you need on hand?
- Is this more of the same or is this really something new?
The last thing we organizing works in progress need is another thing to find a home for or another demand on our time. Before you hit "buy" on that "get organized quick" scheme, make sure it's a good fit for you. If it is (and sometimes it is!), happy organizing!
Copyright 2022 Lisa Hess
Image: Canva Pro
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.