I’m not at all organized in my normal life (just ask my long-suffering husband), but I pride myself on writing well-organized stories. And I owe it all to the nut graf.
“Nut graf” is one of those pretentious journalism school terms, but the concept really revolutionized the way I write. It refers to the early paragraph that gives the crux of your story “in a nutshell.” My cranky Intro to News Writing teacher referred to it as the “So What?”: It’s when you answer questions like, “Why am I reading this? Why do I care?” for the reader.