STYLE Savvy: Strategies for those with a Cram and Jam Organizational Style

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No one can accuse the cram and jam organizer of wasting space. Whether it’s a desk, a drawer or a backpack, chances are it will be full-to-bursting before the cram and jammer feels the need to expand into a new space.

The one advantage to this type of organizational plan is that everything tends to be in one place, which limits the number of places that the cram and jam organizer needs to go in search of missing items.

As always, the key is to work with the style in question to make it as easy to put something away as it is to put it down, or, in this case, stuff it into an available space.

"STYLE Savvy: Strategies for those with a Cram and Jam Organizational Style" by Lisa Hess (CatholicMom.com)

Via Flickr (2011), CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

  • When it comes to organizing, those with the cram and jam organizational style benefit from flexible, medium-sized storage. If the container is too small, things will get smashed, wrinkled or otherwise ruined; too big and things will get lost. Using fabric bins without lids can allow the cram and jammer to stuff to his or her heart’s content without overloading drawers to the breaking point. A nightly dumping of whatever was carried each day (backpack, purse, tote bag) into a bin or other container affords the cram and jammer the opportunity to return what’s necessary to the bag from whence it came and toss or store the rest.
  • When it comes to list-making, try replacing scratch paper with notepads. That way, when one page is full (even by cram and jam standards), a fresh one stands at the ready. This consistent availability of a new writing surface might help curtail the need to fill up every last square inch on a single sheet of paper.
  • As for goal-setting, the cram and jam organizer might not have to make specific adaptations unless the tendency to overstuff spaces also extends to a need to overfill  time. If this is the case, and you or your favorite cram and jam organizer tends to cram each hour with tasks, leaving each day jam-packed, try creating a time grid. Divide each usable hour (no more than eight usable hours each day so there’s room for task overflow, if necessary) into no more than four increments with one task each. For every three grids in a row that are filled, leave the next one blank as a buffer against overscheduling. Use a bold marker to draw a heavy black line at the end of each day. Only urgent and important tasks can cross the line and extend beyond the eight hour day. Everything else will need to wait.
If you’re a cram and jam organizer, what key ideas do you swear by? Share in the comments below.
For more ideas on the cram and jam organizational style, check out my original post here.
Copyright 2017 Lisa Hess
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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 Catholicmom.com. 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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