STYLE Savvy: Shopping with STYLE

1
"Shopping with STYLE" by Lisa Hess (CatholicMom.com)

Via Pixabay (2017), CC0 Public Domain

A month or so ago, a friend who reads all of my organizing posts raised a semi-rhetorical question: “How do I stop myself from buying all these cute organizing accessories?”

How indeed.

Buying containers, planners and organizing accessories is a sign of optimism. We’d like to believe that somehow, somewhere, there is one single tool that will conquer our organizational challenges and leave us put together, on time and well-managed.

I’m a big fan of optimism, but that’s a lot to ask from one tool.

Still, I’m also a big fan of organizers, too, especially when the price is right. Over time, however, I’ve learned how to avoid the purchases that give me buyer’s remorse and bring home the tools that truly assist me in my (never-ending) quest for organization and time management.

Here are the three reasons I’ve come up with to leave that miracle organizer on the store shelf instead of bringing it home.

  • It doesn’t fit your styles. If I’ve learned nothing else, I’ve learned that trying to organize counter to my styles backfires every time. No matter how pretty, cheap or practical the storage, if it has too many steps or puts things out of sight, it won’t work. I’ll drop and run instead of following a multi-step organizational process, and I’ll forget all about papers put in a drawer, pretty box or file cabinet. If I want to remember to do it, I need to see it. Your styles may differ from mine, but, as you hold that lovely item from the clearance rack in your hands, ask yourself if it’s a match for your styles. If not, you’re better off spending your money on a fancy coffee or breakfast at the diner.
  • You have nowhere to put it. This is really difficult to admit when you find something in your price range that does fit your styles. But, think about it. Does bringing home something that will remain homeless, drifting from one spot in your home to another, create an organizational solution or an organizational problem?
  • You don’t have a purpose in mind for it. My love of organizers has made this puzzle piece the last one to fit into place. Admittedly, I’ve purchased things when my purpose was slim, to say the least; unfortunately, many of these “tools” are still sitting in my basement, waiting to be put to use. Now, on the occasions where the item seems to be a must-have, I make sure the store is easily accessible, I know its return policy and I give myself a deadline. It must find a use before the deadline arrives, or back it goes. Consequently, I take fewer chances and have a much higher success rate.

Much as we’d love to believe the hype, there is no one perfect tool that solves all of our organizational issues. We are the brains behind this organizational operation, and the containers and planners and folders merely tools at our disposal. When we align the tools with the brains of the operation, we emerge victorious. So, when you go shopping for all of those wonderful tools, be sure to bring your brain along with you.

Copyright 2017 Lisa Hess

Share.

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.

1 Comment

  1. I like your point that this is a sign of optimism! I guess it explains my shelf full of (mostly unread) organizing books, not to mention the plethora of free ones on my Kindle. If I find that one magic tool/idea/plan, it will cure my organizing ills! But most of those books/tools/ideas/plans, as you observe, don’t happen to fit MY style (or the styles of the other people who live in this house.)
    What I really need to do is give myself permission to delete those organizing items and books that don’t fit my style, and move them along so they can bless someone else whose styles they DO fit.

Leave A Reply

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