Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Finishing Up with STYLE

Photo: cohdra via Morguefile
Okay, 'fess up. When I told you last week that the final element of Easy Upkeep is looping back to the STYLE process, did you try it out? Or, have you gotten lost in the details and completely forgotten what the STYLE process even is? (That's okay -- I can identify). In case you need a refresher, here it is again:

Start with successes.
Take small steps.
Yes, it has a home!
Let it go.
Easy upkeep

The good news is that going through the steps in this process as you troubleshoot should be much  easier now than it was before. Knowing your styles and having the right tools — those details that are so easy to get lost in  makes this process go faster as we move from letter to letter in a focused, knowledgeable fashion. 

Once you know your styles and your preferred tools and methods, a cursory examination of a spot that's not quite right is enough, in most cases, to reveal what you need to change, making STYLE look something like this as we approach our own organizational challenges:

Start with successes (What can I keep exactly as it is?)
Take small steps (How can I just make a small dent here?) 
Yes, it has a home! (What's here, but belongs somewhere else?)
Let it go (Do I really need all of this?)
Easy upkeep (What will make this space both functional and attractive?)

My house is still work-in-progress, and it always will be. But when I look at the areas that need improvement through an I need to see it/drop and run lens, it's much easier to brainstorm solutions and create a space I want to spend time in.
  • I know better than to store things in cardboard boxes with lids because that works at cross-purposes to my I need to see it style.
  • I've learned that it's a waste of time to store frequently used items in out-of-the way places. Not only is that a basic organizational no-no, it also works against my I need to see it style, and so, if it's too much trouble to retrieve, I'll just leave it out -- not a good plan.
  • I know that if I want to maintain order, I need to make it as easy to put things away as it is to put them down. Why? Because my predominant organizational style is drop and run.
  • I know that attractive containers not only beautify a space, but unique, attractive containers help me to remember what goes where. Once again, I need to see it at work. Visual cues help me to keep track of where things belong.

Bottom line? Knowing my styles allows me to achieve success, even if I can only do things one baby step at a time (which means some places in my house remain a work-in-progress). Getting rid of the excess and finding homes for my things reduce clutter and increase efficiency. And setting up a system that works with my styles allows for easy upkeep, because I'm working with my natural tendencies, not against them, or trying to make a plan that works for someone else work for me.

How's your upkeep going? Share your successes and frustrations in the comments below.

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