Savvy Basics: Three Key Ideas for the "I Need to See It" Personal Style


Savvy.FISo you took the quiz, and determined you have an I need to see it personal style. Welcome to the club! That’s my predominant personal style as well — something that comes as no surprise to anyone who’s seen my desk or my dining room table. I need to see it people:

    • put things out so they’ll remember to do them or take them somewhere;
    • make “to-get-to” piles instead of “to-do” lists;
    • are frustrated by the clutter their piles create, but are not-so-secretly afraid that if they put things away, they’ll forget to do them.

When it comes to organizing, I need to see it folks need containers that let them see what’s inside, containers that can be labeled, or containers that provide a visual cue as to their contents. And, when it’s time to put things away, here are three ideas to keep in mind.

  • Subdivide drawers. As a rule, I need to see it people do best when our stuff is visible, but we can’t leave every element of our lives on display. Drawer organizers (store-bought or homemade) enable us to put typical storage spaces to use by rendering the contents of drawers and other closed-off spaces visible as soon as we open them. Multi-drawer units can be further de-mystified by labeling the outside of the drawer with the general contents of the inside (e.g. “paper products”). This is one strategy that helps me tame the fear that out of sight really is out of mind.
  • Lay it all out. Anyone who doubts that I need to see it is my preferred personal style should watch me pack for a trip. If I don’t lay it out (and that means practically everything except toiletries), it doesn’t make it into the suitcase. I can tell when I’m close to finishing my packing because one by one, all of the piles begin to disappear. I’m much less worried about forgetting things if I see the big picture as I plan. If you’re using this strategy for something besides packing, make sure to have accordion folders or containers you can label at the ready so that when it’s time to put things away, you can keep your piles intact.
  • Employ striking visuals. If color-coding is key, pattern-coding is even better. Even my file cabinet, which holds mostly archival storage, contains multi-colored file folders. I assign a hanging folder color to each of my classes, and, when possible, match the inside folders to the color for that class, and use that option to tag all the files for that class on my laptop. Even better are the distinctive, patterned file folders that tell me which pile of papers is inside the folder before I even open it up. Lately, I’ve gotten really lucky, scoring 3 packs of patterned folders in the dollar bins at Target. This concept can be extended to desk bins, storage bins, or any other container.

If you have an I need to see it personal style what are the key ideas you swear by? Share in the comments below!

Not an I need to see it person? Stay tuned for your style in a future post.

 For printable information sheets about containers and the styles, click here.
Copyright 2015 Lisa Hess



About Author

Lisa Lawmaster Hess has contributed articles to local, national and online publications, and is a blogger at The Porch Swing Chronicles, The Susquehanna Writers and here at She is the author of two non-fiction books (Acting Assertively and Diverse Divorce) and two novels, Casting the First Stone and Chasing a Second Chance. A retired elementary school counselor, Lisa is a lecturer in psychology at York College and enjoys singing with the contemporary choir at her church.

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