STYLE Savvy: Restoring Order in Minutes a Day

"Restoring order in minutes a day" by Lisa Hess (

Pixabay (2016), CC0 Public Domain.

It never fails. When I get busy or overwhelmed — or both — my personal and organizational styles gang up on me.

And an unfettered drop and run/I need to see it style is not pretty.

If I’ve been good at following my own advice (which sometimes happens), the things I’ve dropped and run from all have homes.

The trick is to get things back where they belong, which manages both our stuff and our stress. When time is at a premium, as it always seems to be at this time of year, here are a few ways to restore order.

  • Count ’em up. Set a goal of a certain number of items to pick up and put away within a given time period. Whether it’s starting the day with a goal of returning a certain number of items to their homes before bedtime or a game of beat the clock when you have only ten minutes at your disposal, any dent in the growing piles is a positive step. When things have homes, even small stretches of time can yield big payoffs.
  • Tackle a hot spot. Every house has them — the places that seem to attract piles. Sort the piles by room in the house and move each stack of misplaced merchandise to the room where it belongs. Let the family member who “owns” the room take it from there.
  • Assess the logic and quality of the homes you’ve assigned. If your efforts to put things where they belong is hampered by the fact that their homes are inaccessible (or perhaps nonexistent), it’s time to rethink their locations. Finding them a home that works might mean they’ll stop turning up like bad pennies.
In an ideal world, we always have time to return things to their homes, which are logical and conveniently located. In the real world, things pile up and we sometimes run out of space. Being patient, flexible and keeping on top of things, even if only a little at a time, helps keep things manageable.
Even when we’re busy or overwhelmed. Or both.

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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