STYLE Savvy: Start with Successes


Copyright 2017 Lisa Hess. All rights reserved.

Today’s post is the first in a series on using the STYLE process to take your organizing to the next level. 

My home is by no means an organizational showplace. When I say I’m an organizational work in progress, I’m not kidding. I no sooner get one area under control than another demands my attention. And, when I’m tired and overwhelmed, it’s easy to revert to the worst aspects of my I need to see it personal style and drop and run organizational style, which invariably leads to clutter quickly replacing clear spaces.

It’s a process.

But every day, I make my bed. When I read in one of Marcia Ramsland‘s books that making the bed instantly tidies better than half of the room, I decided that the two to three minutes I’d spend pulling up the covers and tucking them into place yielded perhaps the best effort-to-value ratio of any organizational task I faced.

When I stop looking for perfection (the things I do every single time and/or every single day) and focus instead on tasks I perform habitually (most of the time), it’s easy to spot organizational successes. The counter in the kitchen where we used to dump our mail improved tremendously once I found a style-based solution to the influx. Assigning homes to the things I most typically drop when I’m in a hurry served to clear up not only floor space and counter space, but also to allow us to use furniture like sofas and chairs for their intended purpose: sitting. Using a visual system (labels, color-coding, patterned file folders) for paperwork eliminated the “guess what’s in this manila file folder” game.

These successes matter. They remind us that we know what we’re doing, no matter how lived in or imperfect our homes and organizational systems may be some days. When we focus more on what’s working than what isn’t, not only do we feel better, but we learn what to replicate other areas, and what to strive for to make our hot spots into neat spots.

Organizing by STYLE series by Lisa Hess (

Copyright 2017 Lisa Hess. All rights reserved.

The first step in getting organized by STYLE is to determine the styles that define you. In addition to taking the styles quiz, one way to do this is to see what works for you — to identify your successes. Doing this will help refine your styles and determine the strategies that take you from frustration to organization.

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.

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