Some days, nothing seems to come together. Lisa Hess explains how to troubleshoot your organizing process with simple strategies.
Sometimes, I struggle to find topics for my posts – so much so that I opened a recent post with these two sentences:
I didn't forget to post yesterday. It was just one of those days when no post seemed to come together and so, by the end of the day, I decided to try again tomorrow. ...
It occurred to me almost as soon as I typed that opening that that's just how we sometimes feel about organizing. Some days, nothing seems to come together and so, by the end of the day, we decide to try again tomorrow.
And when tomorrow's story is different, we feel great. We make progress, we restore order, and we file yesterday under "difficult days" and move on.
But, for many of us who struggle with organization, the next day isn't any different and, before we know it, we end up with a succession of days where nothing seems to come together. Pretty soon, it feels like things are falling apart.
When I wrote Know Thyself, I framed STYLE as a process—and it can be—but sometimes, we can use it to trouble-shoot.
Feeling frustrated and down on yourself?
Start with successes. Zoom in on what you're doing right, and build from there.
Pressed for time, or struggling with where to begin?
Take small steps. Choose any avenue in, no matter how small or insignificant it seems. Just start. Often, that's the hardest part.
Overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff you have?
Maybe it's time to Let it go! No, you don't have to toss that whole pile, or get rid of things you love. Just sort one of those piles with an eye toward what should stay and what can go. Lightening the load makes it easier to organize what's left.
Can't figure out why there's a pile-up of things in places they don't belong?
Take a look at one of those piles and ask yourself if those items are homeless or if it's true that yes, it has a home. Put the items with homes where they belong (or delegate that job to the family member with the drop and run organizational style who put it down instead of away) and then find homes for the rest.
Easy upkeep feeling not so easy?
Maybe you've outgrown your container (or perhaps it wasn't style-specific in the first place). Or maybe homeless items have taken up residence and need to be returned to their rightful residences.
STYLE works well as a process for big projects but for the everyday accumulation of clutter, sometimes one simple step will do. This is particularly true when you've planned your organizational systems with your personal and organizational styles in mind.
And sometimes, our best organizational advice comes from Scarlett O'Hara. Tomorrow (really) is another day.
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.