STYLE Savvy: Making Progress

Organizing by STYLE series by Lisa Hess (

Copyright 2017 Lisa Hess. All rights reserved.

As I race toward the end of the semester, my determination to keep things in balance still intact, I’m discovering the benefits that come with refining a system over time. I’ve noticed that several of the systems I take for granted have evolved with use.  Each success builds on the last, making things come together more quickly and creating routines that are not only easily integrated into daily life, but make daily life easier.

Here are three things that are helping me keep things together when they are in danger of falling apart.

Folders for my classes. This fall marked my eighth semester as an adjunct. I’ve tried many systems of folders, files and binders (what was I thinking?) since I started. Over time, a system emerged and, once I found the right fit, it stuck. I know exactly what has to go in my bag each day and keeping it all color-coded appeals to my I need to see it personal style. 

A pre-stocked bag. Last fall, I purchased an organizer that lives in my school bag. If I switch bags, I move it into the new bag so that I know I have everything I need, from an adapter for my laptop to writing utensils, including a white board marker in case I find myself in a classroom without one.

A way to organize my course stuff at home. This is the system that has taken the longest time to develop and, thanks to a recent family room makeover, I’m still putting the final touches on it. The closer I get to my mother’s adage (“A place for everything and everything in its place”) with respect to my school stuff, the more efficient I feel.

Developing systems that work creates not only a sense of organization, but peace of mind as well. When we know where things belong and when where they belong makes sense, we can find what we need when we need it and we feel prepared to tackle important tasks. Organizing by STYLE has helped me to approach not just my stuff, but also my life, with a plan that makes sense.

And that is a very nice feeling to have.

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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