My Organizing Epiphany

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A Life Less Cluttered  — doesn’t that sound enticing? 

When I came across Christine’s website, Organizational Enlightenment, and saw her new book, A Life Less Cluttered, I offered to do a review.  She agreed to send me a copy, and as soon as it arrived I dove right in.

I expected the book to be a manual of systems for organizing my life, but this book is not just another organizational handbook.  Christine puts it like this.

One thing that I did not want for this book to become was another organizational manual full of specific systems and processes (or skills) for organizing.  Chances are you’ve read many books on the subject and there have been many pointers and organizing tips that you’ve attempted over the years.  I wanted the focus of this book to be strictly on you and your organizing epiphany.

When I first saw that, I have to admit, I kind of snorted and rolled my eyes.  Cause I’m so ladylike and refined.  And also.  Because I have not read a lot of such books, and that is actually what I was wanting from this one.

But as I read on, I realized that the reason I am not as organized as I would like to be isn’t because I don’t know the skills and systems.  In chapter four, when she listed the various types of clutter hounds (no, Christine does not refer to her readers as clutter hounds, that is my paraphrase) I realized that I don’t fall into any of those categories.  I’m not a Saver or a Gifter or a Shopper or a Collector. 

(I know you are all thinking, Delusional much?   Of course you’re a shopper!  But she’s not talking about the kind of purposeful shopping that I do.  She’s talking about the kind of shopping where someone can’t turn down a good deal and buys things they don’t need or really even want just because they can’t pass up the sale and then keeps everything around just in case they might need it in ten years — that type of shopper.)

Any-WHO.  As she explained methods that should be in place before you can have an organized home, I realized that I already do most of those things.

So why am I not as organized as I want to be???

I guess you could say I had my "organizational epiphany" in chapter 11.  When I read the quote from Barbara Hemphill of Taming the Paper Tiger, "clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions," I realized THAT is the root of my problem.

I am so indecisive, and I get so overwhelmed with trying to decide where things should go that I just leave it all out for another day.   I procrastinate because I don’t know what to do with it.  And it’s easier to just pretend like it doesn’t exist and go sit down at my computer and read blogs.  I kind of knew this about myself, but to hear it put so succinctly makes me realize that this characteristic is the cause of my frustration with my disorderliness.

Christine doesn’t leave me high and dry.  Although she says this book is not full of organizational systems, and this is true, she gives very practical advice on how to set up an efficient and consistent system that will work for your individual situation IF you’re willing to follow it.

Then in chapter 14, I had my second epiphany.  When my house gets really out of control, it is only because
I am too lazy to put forth the time and energy to keep up with the
systems I already have in place.  I don’t need better systems necessarily.  I need more self-motivation.  And this isn’t something that Christine can help me fix.  This is something I have to find within myself.  But she does give some helpful tips for time management and reminds us that if we keep our goals in mind, we will be more motivated to do what it takes to achieve them.

As for the rest of the chapters, much of her advice is very near and dear to my heart, and I found myself yelling Preach it, Sistah! every time I came across another piece of advice that I liked.  But I had to stop because my husband was starting to look at me strange.

I would love to reiterate all these fine points to you, but then you wouldn’t have a reason to go buy her book, now would you?  If you have ever struggled with organization, A Life Less Cluttered is a great place to start.  (And also, Christine’s webpage, Organize It Today details a full list of all the services she offers.  If you are frustrated with your lack of organization, you will want to check this out.)

And now for the fun part!  If you would like a signed copy of Christine’s book, I will be giving away my copy.  It is in pristine condition; I only read it through one time, so it’s like new.  Just leave a comment and tell me if what your biggest organizational hurdle is.  On Friday, I will choose one person to receive the free copy.  And the rest of you can purchase the book through Christine’s store.

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Obligatory Disclaimer: I receive no compensation for reviewing products on my blogs.  The only thing I get is a free product, which I sometimes keep and sometimes giveaway.  I promise that everything I say in these reviews is my honest opinion.