Lisa Hess shares three reasons she's thankful for her decade-long organizing journey.
I can hardly believe that Know Thyself: The Imperfectionist's Guide to Sorting Your Stuff has been in print for more than three years, let alone that I've been planning and tweaking STYLE-based organizing for more than a decade. As someone who's always been "organized in her own way," I absolutely do practice what I preach. Regular readers know I have an I need to see it personal style and a drop and run organizational style, both of which are in evidence on a daily basis (abundantly so when things get busy and/or I feel tired or overwhelmed), but I am now much less likely to push the panic button when this happens. Not only do I know there's a path forward, I have a map to follow.
But this journey has been personally rewarding from more than a tidiness perspective. As we approach Thanksgiving, I wanted to share three key things about this journey for which I'm grateful.
Embracing my styles has helped me to accept myself.
Yes, there will still be piles, especially when things get hectic, but I no longer see that as a character flaw. For one thing, there will be fewer of them and, in addition I now know what to do with and about them. Visual cues (color-coding, anyone?) and one-step organizers that work with the way I think make it just as easy to put something away as it would be to simply put it down.
Embracing my styles has helped me to both narrow and expand my options.
No more trying to squeeze my stuff into containers that aren't a good fit like one of Cinderella's stepsisters trying to fit into that glass slipper. Accepting the way I think and organize has taken me from ugly stepsister to triumphant princess of organization who readily rejects anything ill-fitting, knowing that some day, her organizational prince of a tool will come -- the one that's meant for me, as I am. In addition, it's freed me to be more creative in my approach. I don't need a fairy godmother -- or permission -- to look at an old container in a new way.
Embracing my styles has helped me help others embrace their own.
As rewarding as it is to feel as though I'm no longer losing the clutter wars, it's perhaps more rewarding to see someone else's face light up when they realize they aren't hopelessly disorganized just because binders and file cabinets don't work for them. It's heartbreaking to see bright, creative people beat themselves up over something as insignificant as clutter, and watching other people get excited by the possibilities of non-traditional organizing is a wonderful feeling.
While I'm on the subject of gratitude, I'd be remiss if I didn't share how grateful I am for all of you who read these posts, who've read my book and/or shared this information with friends who organize differently. Getting organized doesn't have to be exhausting and time-consuming, nor does it have to mean that you limit your worldly possessions to a select few. It takes being honest with ourselves, being patient with ourselves and, from time to time, stepping back and taking in the wider view.
But no need to do all of that today because, when it comes to organizing, it's a process.
Copyright 2022 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.