STYLE Savvy: The Season of Organizing

"STYLE Savvy: The Season of Organizing" by Lisa Hess (

Via Pixabay (2014), CC0 Public Domain

The downstairs bedroom in our house was never a bedroom. Before my daughter was born, it was an office. When she was a toddler, we turned it into a playroom. And every year, after Christmas, we played the “how do we fit the presents in the playroom?” game.

Organizing a small house is a little like putting together a jigsaw puzzle; when you find the perfect fit, the picture is quite lovely. Until then, when the pieces are scattered on the table (or under the tree…and in the hallway…and in the playroom), it’s hard to imagine how it will all come together.

As my daughter outgrew the need for a playroom, it gradually morphed into a family room/man cave. A few weeks before Christmas, my husband bought a table to use as a desk — in the playroom/family room/man cave, which is already quite well-stocked. To fit the table into its designated space, we need to sort the stuff, thin the collections, and rethink how we’ll store what remains.

Phase One was begun before Christmas, when my daughter started sorting through various bins and containers. Phase Two began last week, as I sorted through files so we could move the file cabinet to make room for the table/desk. A couple of hours and several tall stacks of papers (some to recycle, some to shred) later, the desk was put into place.

By the time this post goes live, I hope that Phase Three — the portion of the project in which the remaining puzzle pieces must be put together — will be complete. As I write this, I have a few ideas, made possible by the items that were removed as part of Phase One and Phase Two, but I suspect that luck will also be an essential ingredient, much as it is (for me, at least), when I’m putting together the pieces of sky in a jigsaw puzzle.

In the end, the old will have been culled and removed to make room for the new, and the next phase of the room will begin, along with the new year — which seems only appropriate.

And then, this week, as schedules begin to return to normal, I will move on to the next project: my office.
Wish me luck.
Copyright 2017 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.


  1. I am working on my office right now too. My desk (top) is done, and I’m happy with it. But the rest of it is still partially buried under an almost-finished (delayed) Christmas project as well as a few items that need homes somewhere else in the house. Baby steps…

    • Baby steps, indeed! My desk top was done…then undone…then done….All in all, the desk looks pretty good. The biggest issue in my office is the countertop where everything got dumped at the end of last semester. Now that we’ve got the playroom/mancave set up for my hubby and got my files transferred, I’m hoping to make progress there.

  2. I redid my office in the summer. I just redid my bedroom and closet (what a mess that was!) because we got new carpet –just the push I needed. And now after the holidays it feels like I need to start the whole house all over again. Everything feels cluttered and full of stuff! I guess I just need a full declutter-run everywhere!

    • Tami, I just tackled my closet yesterday — there should be some upcoming closet posts in a few weeks! I’d forgotten the “one in, one out” rule that makes decluttering easier. With new stuff to add to the closet, it was less painful to say goodbye to the old.

      Good luck! Thanks for your comment 🙂

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