Lisa Hess ponders the role of self-acceptance in overcoming our organizing challenges.
Sometimes, it's hard to accept our styles.
Although the heart of organizing by style is embracing our default styles and building from there, let's face it: sometimes, it's hard to let go of what we think we should be doing. When we come up against an organizing challenge and someone suggests a tried-and-true tool like a binder or a file cabinet, we might be comfortable saying they don't work for us, but still a bit sensitive to the eye-roll or argument that may follow.
I mean, those tools work for everyone, right?
Only they don't. And finding what does can be a challenge. It can require reconfigurations that we love but others don't understand. (Just ask my husband what he thinks of my open-top files in the family room). It can reinforce the idea that, for us, organizing hasn't always been second-nature.
Only it can be.
I've been organizing by style for thirteen years and I don't miss filing cabinets at all. In fact, I've even been known to invite the occasional pretty, visually appealing binder back into my office, provided it follows my rules. And, while I still revert to piling when things get busy or I'm in the middle of an organizing project, it's a temporary stopgap measure, not an organizational system. Most of all, I protect clear space now with a ferocity I didn't know I had when it came to organization, and I'm immune to the eyeballs of my audience when I do so.
Never come between a Jersey girl and her clear space.
I know I've said it hundreds of times before, but organizing is a process. But, the process of accepting ourselves as we are -- whether it comes to organizing or anything else -- isn't always easy or fast. So, let me ask you this: is organizing by style working for you?
If it is, keep doing what you're doing because it only gets easier with practice.
And, while you're at it, tell that inner voice that's making it hard for you to accept your styles (Your parents? Your sixth-grade teacher? That girl in your math class who always had everything together and got straight As?) that you've got this.
The more you tell them, and the better you get at this, the more you'll believe it, and the better you'll get at strengthening perhaps the most important organizing tool of all.
You've got this.
Copyright 2020 Lisa Hess
Image: Pixabay (2015)
About the Author
Lisa Lawmaster Hess is a transplanted Jersey girl who writes both fiction and non-fiction. Lisa’s latest book is 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. She blogs at The Porch Swing Chronicles, Organizing by STYLE, and here at Catholicmom.com. Read all articles by Lisa Hess.