STYLE Savvy: Seeking Solutions to Common Organizational Obstacles

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"STYLESavvy: Seeking solutions" by Lisa Hess (CatholicMom.com)

Image credit: Pixabay.com (2018), CC0 Public Domain

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could reach a point where we could say, “Done! Organized!” — and it would be true? But in the real world, there are always new things to add, old things to sort and life changes that necessitate re-thinking our strategies. In addition, there are day-to-day obstacles that make organizing a challenge. Here are three of them.

The problem: An overbooked schedule.

Try as we might, we often say yes to one — or ten — too many things. When our schedules get busy, we get tired, and perhaps a bit lazy as well. Even the best systems get ignored in favor of the easiest option.

The solution: Do what you can. Work within your established systems to keep clutter to a minimum and, when things pile up, as they will, don’t despair. Give it Five! as often as you can until you have time to set things right. And when that time arrives, step back and see what you’re dealing with before you default to your default. Have you uncovered chinks in your organizational armor? If so, making some adjustments now — new containers, new location — might make a difference the next time your schedule spirals out of control.

The problem: Tiny spaces.

I love our little house — most days — but, oh, what I wouldn’t give for a walk-in closet! And our Cape Cod is a luxury home compared to the tiny apartments college students and city dwellers routinely call home.

The solution: The right storage. Look for containers and furnishings that are tall or stackable (maximize vertical space), fit underneath furniture, and/or do double duty. Check out places that offer unusual items (import stores, flea markets, consignment shops, and secondhand stores) that can fit into small spaces or function as whimsical touches and practical storage. While some kids’ furnishings are obviously designed for children, others are often just the right size for smaller adult spaces. In addition, many dorm furnishings can be a lifesaver in small, non-dorm residences.

The problem: Transition times.

Holidays and transition times — back to school, moving, life changes — bring such promise. Unfortunately, they also bring new tasks to pile on top of our day-to-day responsibilities.

The solution: Lists and schedules. Write it all down, even if it’s just one big, long and somewhat intimidating list. Then, little by little, assign the most important of those tasks to time time slots. When we move things from a generic list to a specific time, we’re more likely to actually do them.

When challenges and obstacles arise, remember to be patient with yourself. Every baby step forward is a step in the right direction.


Copyright 2018 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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