STYLE Savvy: Creating a Haven

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"Style savvy: creating a haven" by Lisa Hess (CatholicMom.com)

Image credit: Pixabay.com (2015), CC0/PD

One of the main goals of organizing, though we don’t often think of it in such terms, is making peace with our stuff. Balancing what comes in with what goes out. Finding homes for things and creating routines so we don’t live constantly surrounded by clutter.

Creating a home we want to live in.

This will look different for each of us, depending on our styles. While some of us dream of clear surfaces as far as the eye can see, others are happiest surrounded by a few of our favorite things. Either way, the three ideas below can move us toward homes that are havens, even when storms rage outside.

Keep the things you love … So often, we equate organizing with getting rid of things, but that’s only part of the equation. The things we love are part of what makes a house a home and stripping things down to the bare bones doesn’t work for everyone. If you love it, don’t set it free. Find it a place of honor where you can appreciate it and set something else free instead.

… and find another home for the things you don’t. Letting things go is an unavoidable part of the organization process, but no one said getting rid of something can only mean throwing it in the trash. Some of us derive great satisfaction from filling garbage bags with things we no longer want or need and dragging them to the curb. Others prefer a little resale therapy (yard sales, consignment shops) or finding our once-beloved items the perfect new home in someone else’s place of residence. Letting go of what we no longer need is necessary; a one-size-fits-all destination or method is not.

Don’t neglect aesthetics. Storage can be attractive and functional and the best storage usually is. When choosing the tools you’ll use to keep your home in order, think of the mood you want to create. Vibrant? Fun? Funky? Refined? Neutral? If you think that seems like a lot to ask of a container, maybe you need to think outside the filing cabinet. Boring, basic drawers can be spiced up with new knobs. Bins come in a rainbow of colors, patterns and styles. Ottomans with room for toys inside can be sleek, chunky or padded. And those are just the items intended to be used for storage.

There’s no rule that every object must be used for one purpose and one purpose only (just ask anyone with an I love stuff personal style!) Finding new uses for well-loved items, whether baskets, dressers or something else entirely is part of the fun of organizing by STYLE. Once you pick up the stuff and put it away, how (besides uncluttered) do you want the room to look? What mood to you want to create? Your organizing solutions should play a part in creating that mood.

It’s easy to get mired in the practical side of organization and to forget that organization is a means to an end: easy upkeep that fits our lives and our styles.

And makes us glad to be in the space we are in.


Copyright 2020 Lisa Hess

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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 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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