“Know Thyself”: Because One-Size Organizing Doesn’t Fit All

Finally, an organizing book for the rest of us: the ones who look organized on the outside … until you open doors or drawers, and the ones whose stuff is all over the place. In Know Thyself: The Imperfectionist’s Guide to Sorting Your Stuff, Lisa Lawmaster Hess has created a do-able guide to embracing your unique combination of personal and organizing styles and working with them instead of against them.

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I’ve followed Lisa’s writing on organizing for years. Through it, I’ve learned that my personal style is “I need to see it.” We’ve talked together about my wish for an array of clipboards on my office wall, and last summer that wish became a reality. These clipboards, with a fluid arrangement that changes as the contents of the clipboards are switched out, help me keep on top of deadlines for my freelance work — and go a long way toward keeping piles of papers off my desktop.

Barb Szyszkiewicz clipboard wall organizing
My office “wall of clipboards.” Copyright 2019 Barb Szyszkiewicz. All rights reserved.

Parents: Don’t miss the chapter on helping kids get organized for school. Lisa is a retired elementary-school counselor turned college psychology instructor, so she has plenty of experience with students of all ages. And I know that her advice works: When I was a long-term substitute teacher for second grade in 2014, one of my students just could not keep track of his pencils and eraser. He’d leave them on top of his desk, and they’d roll off. Or he’d put them inside the desk, where that little indentation was supposed to keep them handy, but they didn’t stay inside his desk either. The pencil case he’d been required to purchase? That was shoved into the back of the desk, because finding it, opening it, inserting or removing items, and putting it back were way too many steps.

Lisa’s suggestions to think about how we work led me to the dollar store, where a 2-pack of drawer organizers was easy to find. One morning I brought the little bins to school and quietly offered one to my student, telling him that this was a special place where he could keep his pencils and eraser, so they wouldn’t fall on the floor. It didn’t work perfectly, but it was much better, and he could spend more time doing his classwork and less time looking for his runaway supplies. It’s a small thing, but small things matter, and I’m glad I was able to help my student without embarrassing him.

Lisa’s positive “you CAN!” attitude toward organizing contrasts with prescriptive “you MUST do it THIS way” methods. In Know Thyself, you’ll find tools to help you think about how you use and store your stuff — so you can make a conclusion about what will work best for you. That’s the only way to make sustainable change; someone else’s method is never as good for you as it is for someone else.

KNOW THYSELF book review Franciscanmom.com
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Copyright 2019 Barb Szyszkiewicz

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. I was given a free review copy of this book, but no other compensation. Opinions expressed here are mine alone.

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Monday Recap July 27, 2015

Monday Recap-What I've been writing

 

Thanks to the magic of prescheduling, I was able to attend the Catholic Writers Guild Conference last week–and leave my computer behind! There were many people to meet and lots of knowledge to absorb.

Guest Blogging

PandaClub-baseFor NFP Week, I was a guest blogger at Erin McCole-Cupp’s Will Write for Tomato Pie in her “Captive Panda” series. What’s a Captive Panda? Go on over and find out. I’ve met 3 out of 4 authors from that series (and am well-acquainted with the last one, as we work together at 2 different websites.) Thanks, Erin, for hosting this important discussion.

At Cook and Count

Tiny Potatoes with Parsley title cJust one recipe this week, and it’s for one of my very favorite side dishes: Tiny Potatoes with Parsley.

At CatholicMom.com

casting the first stone coverI reviewed Casting the First Stone by Lisa Lawmaster Hess, a fellow CatholicMom.com contributor who’s also a Jersey girl. She’s working on the sequel (I peeked. It’s good stuff!) This novel questions whether anyone can actually “win” in a child-custody battle.

 

Small Success: Getting Things Done Edition

Small-Success-Thursday-400pxThursdays at CatholicMom.com begin with a look at the past week’s Small Successes!

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I’ve been inspired by my friend Lisa Lawmaster Hess and working on getting things a LITTLE more organized around here. It’s a slow process. I did figure out that the set of small rocking chairs behind my desk, while cute, were too much of a temptation for me. They’re toddler rockers–one for each of my kids–and 2 are so small that no one but a small child can sit in them. So…they became tables for my Desk Overflow.

too much stuff on couch
Shameful.

I took All The Stuff out of those chairs (and out from behind those chairs) and it pretty much covered the whole sofa.

So I moved an upholstered chair into the space where the rockers had been, because I know I won’t pile stuff onto that chair. Then I put away All The Stuff.

And my living room looks a lot nicer now.

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It’s time to get ready for Lent, and I’ve been working hard over at Cook and Count to load up all the meatless recipes I can find. You can find all of them right here:  Meatless Recipes at Cook and Count.

Grilled Veggie Burrito:  recipe coming soon to Cook and Count!
Grilled Veggie Burrito: recipe coming soon to Cook and Count!

There are more to come, and as I post them, you can access them through this same link.

(AND I learned how to add a copyright line to my photos!)

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If you’re reading this through a link at CatholicMom.com, that’s because I successfully installed the link tool in the CatholicMom post. I’m in training right now to be the Substitute Blogmother during Sarah Reinhard’s upcoming maternity leave. (And she is super patient while she gets me up to speed on All The Things.) This was my very first linky-thing, and it worked! It worked!

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In other CatholicMom.com related news (AKA more shameless self-promotion), I have two posts about Lent that you might want to visit. Click on over!

Book review of 40 Days, 40 Ways

Tech Talk:  Lenten Inspiration from CRS Rice Bowl

Share your Small Successes at CatholicMom.com by joining the linkup in the bottom of today’s post. No blog? List yours in the comments box!

© 2015 Barb Szyszkiewicz