STYLE Savvy: A Few of My Favorite Tools


Maybe it’s the transition between the end of the semester and the beginning of summer or maybe it’s the weather, but I’ve been in an organizing mood. I’ve always enjoyed organizing, but since I’ve started using style-based strategies, I like it even more. I know which tools work for me, and I’m quick to say “thanks, but no thanks” to those who suggest strategies that sound great but don’t work for me (binders and file cabinets, anyone?)

In addition, I surround myself with tools that I know will work. Here are a few of my favorites.

  • A label maker. Sure, you can hand print, but not only are printed labels easier to read, they also make everything look neat and uniform.
  • Accordion folders. These formed the basis for my tax paperwork last spring and came in handy for storing old presentations I uncovered while cleaning the basement. They work well for corralling not only papers, but index cards, receipts and small notes — and there’s no need to punch holes or worry about things falling out the sides.
  • Topless bins. What other kinds of bins would a drop and run organizer use? My favorite find was file bins with open tops that allow me to see the (often color-coded) files they house, helping me transfer the concept of filing papers to an I need to see it-friendly method. Open containers make it as easy to put things where they belong as it is to put them down, which is a definite advantage.

Photo via Morguefile, CC0 Public Domain.

How about you? Are you a cram and jammer who likes flexible containers that expand to allow for one more thing? An I love stuff person who likes shelves and other open spaces that display your treasures? An I know I put it somewhere organizer who likes clear bins and drawers? An I love to be busy person who has a different bag for every activity?

What are your favorite organizing tools?

Copyright 2016 Lisa Hess


About Author

Lisa Lawmaster Hess has contributed articles to local, national and online publications, and blogs 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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