Lisa Hess considers ways to approach our organizing trouble spots - with STYLE.
It happens to all of us. We get frustrated with the clutter, we dig in, we get organized....
And much too soon, we're back to where we started.
Why is it that we can get organized but we can't stay organized?
Often, it's because the systems we put together when we're in a hurry aren't as well thought out as the ones we come up with when we can take our time and really think about what works for us on a day-to-day basis. As a result, we end up using whatever we have on hand, or stashing things wherever there's space without really thinking about the desired end result, which is easy upkeep.
How do we get there? There are two answers. One is by using our styles and the other is approaching our trouble spots with STYLE.
Start with successes.
When we're overwhelmed, it's hard to see what's working because so many things are calling out for our attention. Take a step back. Where is the eye in the center of the storm? Your successes are probably hovering close by. These are the systems you want to replicate so that you can stay organized for the long haul.
Take small steps.
Taking even five minutes at a time to sort, clear and rescue clear space from within the clutter yields a huge payoff. Trust me on this. Even better, the more we do this, the more likely we are to only need five to fifteen minutes to dispense with the clutter.
Yes, it has a home!
Or, if it doesn't, you've found a starting point. As you sort, cluster similar homeless items together. That will make it easier to determine the size of a home these things will need and which home works best for you (see successes, above) because it makes it easy to both put things away and retrieve them when you need them.
Let it go!
People tend to find this one either terrifying or cathartic. Keep in mind that letting it go doesn't have to mean throwing it away. It can mean selling it, donating it or passing it along to someone else who'll love it as much as you did (Ask first! And be prepared to graciously take no for an answer). When you sort, give yourself the luxury of a "maybe" pile so you can part with those tough-to-let-go-of items gradually.
The goal. Didn't reach it in a single session? I didn't expect that you would. Easy upkeep arises over time when we find homes that work for our personal and organizational styles for all of the things in all of our piles. How does this happen? By replicating our successes so we know what kind of home-hunting we want to do in the first place.
It's a process. Want to know more about your styles? Take this quiz.
Copyright 2021 Lisa Hess
Image: Pixabay (2014)
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.