STYLE Savvy: 3 Steps in the Right Direction


So last week, I used the “m” word: mess. I try never to use the “m” word because I find it judgmental, not to mention counterproductive to a positive outlook on getting organized. And honestly, it just slipped out in my last post. Had I thought about it, I might never have used it, no matter how apt a description it is for my current state of affairs.

Clearly, the situation at my house needs to change and a return to organizational normalcy needs to occur. Since I can’t add more hours to the day (that item has been on my wish list for years), nor can I quit my job to stay home and organize, all I can do is take it one step at a time. So here’s my plan.

  • Be patient, but not complacent. I need to recognize that sorting and re-organizing is a process, one that won’t happen overnight, and so patience with the timetable will have to be part of that process. That said, it’s all too easy for things that stay in the same place for too long to blend in and for clutter to become a permanent part of the landscape. I need to battle complacency by doing something — no matter how small — every single day to get things in order.
  • Use the tried and true. Among the things from my parents’ house are duplicates of things I already own, making this a good time to practice “one in, one out.” I’ve already done this with one piece of furniture (out of necessity — there’s not enough space in the room for both pieces), but I need to do it with the small things as well. After all, how many can openers does one person need? In addition, I need to practice “Don’t put it down, put it away!” consistently to avoid adding to the piles.
  • Aim for maximum impact. When we were unpacking at my dad’s new place, I zeroed in on a large box in the living room. Not only was it the biggest space hog in the room, but it was also filled with clothes — easy to put away. Unpacking that one box didn’t take long, but it cleared up a big chunk of floor space, which was both satisfying and visually pleasing.

Are you struggling with a space in your house that’s in need of a major organizational overhaul? If so, let’s do these steps together.

Copyright 2018 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.

Leave A Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.