The Five Best Books To Organize Your Life, Home & Family. I will proudly stand and tell you that my home is delightfully decluttered.
Mind you, that’s doesn’t mean organized, but after having to intervene time and time again with my father who was a Level 5 (oh, yes Level 5, baby!) Hoarder, my kids are lucky if they can open a birthday gift before I’m asking them if they really want to keep that or shall we just move that right along to the Goodwill pile?
But it’s really the case of the peanut butter and the chocolate–one doesn’t work without the other. You can’t really be organized when you’re sorting through piles of papers to find that overdue parking ticket, but a clear, de-cluttered countertop still doesn’t mean you have any idea whether you paid the bills or not that week. So, yeah. I have work to do this year, too.
The Five Best Books To Organize Your Life, Home & Family
SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life: A Four-Step Guide to Getting Unstuck: is a wonderful beginning point if you literally just have no idea where to start. Author Julie Morgenstern walks you through making your priorities and seeing them through.
Organizing Plain and Simple: A Ready Reference Guide With Hundreds Of Solutions to Your Everyday Clutter Challenges: frankly, I think getting the family on board with the whole plan is much tougher than doing it yourself. This is a great resource for flipping through to find answers to particular challenges, like why The Todd insists on leaving little piles of change all over the house instead of the nice little change basket I left for him on his dresser? Oh, wait. A little too autobiographical, huh? Anyway, you have your specific organization issues, I have mine.
I happen to love Peter Walsh and will happily watch any tv show or read any book he puts out there. If you’ve read through his wonderful columns in “Oprah” magazine, you’re likely already a fan. But the approach he took in Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?: An Easy Plan for Losing Weight and Living More is fascinating–because Peter asserts one of our main problems with obesity in this country is the dynamic we have with clutter and the need to buy more stuff. He gently goes through reasons why we buy and what purpose it’s really filling for us. The fascinating thing is how many people relate afterwards that they lost weight along with the clutter and anxiety. It’s all intertwined.
If you need beautiful images to reinforce your hard work, take a look at 200 Tips for De-cluttering: Room by Room, Including Outdoor Spaces and Eco Tips (200 Home Ideas) for inspiration. Daniela Quartino explains that our purpose is larger–the clearing and saving of the planet. If you feel strongly that protecting the earth’s resources is important, you’ll be amazed at how empowered you feel starting the process at home, with your family and in your finances.
We’ve talked before about “eating the elephant, one bite at a time.” It’s very easy to become so overwhelmed that you just never start. One Thing At a Time: 100 Simple Ways to Live Clutter-Free Every Day. Instead of making it your every waking moment’s obsession–(Editor’s note: I’ve tried this and the offspring, my boss and even the pets start whining about it) take a simple step every day. One leads to another, and all of a sudden you look around the realize that you are Lord Of All You Survey.
5 More Simple Suggestions:
1. You don’t want to/have the time/want to spend the money for books? Try Audible free for 30 days and get a free book you can listen to on your PC, iPhone or tablet, including any of the 5 suggested here. (Editor’s note: leave a sticky note on your pc or set a notice on your phone to cancel before the 30 days is up if you don’t want to continue.) There’s also Free eBooks.com with a good selection.
2. You don’t want to bring more “stuff” into the house, even if it’s an organizing book? Remember that Suggestion #1 keeps away any new clutter from your life.
3. You work best with papers to rustle in a workbook, lists to check off? Money Saving Mom has a wonderful list of free printables you can use to create your own command central.
4. You don’t work well alone? Consider working with 3 or 4 close friends to help each other–meet one Saturday a month at someone’s house and tear through that bad boy. Having friends ask you “why are you keeping this sweatshirt with the 80’s style torn-out neckline, WHY?” can be incredibly helpful. Plus, eight hands are better than two when it comes to getting stuff done.
5. You feel so paralyzed that you don’t even know where to begin? Pick one drawer. The silverware drawer is good. Buy a nice clean silverware sorter (plenty at the Dollar Store) and clean out that one drawer. Take all the weird implements like the potato masher that you don’t use on a daily basis and put them in another drawer or shelf not used as often. Make it clean and spacious. Take a picture and leave it on your phone or print it out and put it on the fridge. Admire the spotless drawer and your general Awesome. Then pick out another small, manageable target you can complete in 30 minutes or less. Do that tomorrow.