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Organize for a Fresh Start: Embrace Your Next Chapter in Life [Kindle Edition]

Susan Fay West , Jacqueline Musser
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

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Book Description

TRANSFORM YOUR HOME AND SCHEDULE so they perfectly meet your current needs and reflect who you are and what you value now. Changes and life transitions often leave people with unbalanced schedules and homes full of obsolete items. Certified Professional Organizer® Susan Fay West shows you how to make room for your new interests and responsibilities while honoring your past.

Inside you’ll find:

  • Step-by-step advice for decluttering and reorganizing every room in the home
  • Specific tips for where to start and how to stay motivated
  • Reflective questions and exercises to help you make “no-regrets”decisions
  • Time-management strategies to create and maintain a regular schedule

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Susan Fay West owns Space4U and assists people who have experienced life transitions by helping them downsize, organize and simplify their personal and business lives. She is a Certified Professional Organizer®, and a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), NAPO-Golden Circle, and the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization. She frequently speaks about organizing to various groups and associations in New Hampshire and is often quoted as an organizing expert for local media in her home state. Her website is and

Product Details

  • File Size: 447 KB
  • Print Length: 199 pages
  • Publisher: Betterway Home (September 22, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #886,490 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful but not groundbreaking January 1, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is primarily about organizing your home and also deals a little with time management. It is divided into the following sections:

- Live your life in chapters: the author encourages you to define your organization by your chapter in life, being willing to end previous chapters
- Set organizing goals: unfortunately, the worksheet approach isn't terribly useful on a Kindle. The author also trots out two overly-long, sometimes-arbitrary "mnemonic" acronyms as she creates steps for every letter in the words REORGANIZE and SIMPLIFY
- Establish and evaluate organizing systems - The Three Ps: People, Process, Products
- Finding time and staying motivated: chapters like this one are the strongest parts of the book, breaking down typical difficulties and providing practical ideas for overcoming them

- Evaluate your home and establish your objectives: a room-by-room analysis
- Deciding what to keep and what to remove: this chapter reminded me of the TV show "Clean Sweep"
- Reorganizing what's left: general theory and room-by-room ideas

- Organize your time during your transition: tips for overplanning for a time in order to create new habits
- After the event - What does your new schedule look like? : ideas for creating and managing goals

- Create systems that support you: some final practical tips

APPENDIX: more worksheets, a reading list, a handy chart on how long to keep documents, websites to visit, and an index

Overall the author's tone is friendly and helpful, and if your goal is organizing your home this would be a good starting point.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What do people want, a magic pill? June 5, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've seen numerous complaints about how the information here isn't new. How on earth is this a surprise to anyone? How many ways do you suppose there are to organize your life? Yes, I can break down the process into a few simple steps: 1) Recognize that you need to get organized, 2)Get rid of what you don't need. 3) Figure out how you use what's left and put it away accordingly 4) Keep on it or it won't stay organized. Same is true with your time. 1) Make a calendar 2) Use it.

The point isn't coming up with new and more exciting ways to organize your time, your space, your belongings, the point is to find a way to to think about that organization that works for you. West says as much in the book. The hardest part is working out how you think about your life, how you live it. Once you've accomplished that, the physical organization becomes a lot simpler.

West covers a lot of ground here, and she does it pretty well by breaking it down into goals and motivation, physical space and mental space (time management.) Most people could benefit from reading at least some of this book and putting the advice here into play. As far as I can see, if you work this program, you will get organized. But the burden is on the reader; you have to do the work.

If you're looking for some sort of magical solution to your organizational handicaps, this isn't it. It's simply another commonsense approach to pulling your life together, but it's one that will require you to give some serious thought to how you want to live your life. If you're not prepared to do that, keep on looking for the magic pill.

I've also seen a handful of one-star reviews based solely on the fact that the Kindle version of this book didn't work properly. That's not what a review is for, that's what customer service is for.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By taleeya
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As a chronically disorganized person, I kind of hoard organizational books. I didn't really look closely at the book until a got it, where I saw the sub heading: "Embrace Your Next Chapter in Life.". Which I thought was perfect, since I have just moved out on my own, without any roommates for the first time!

One thing about this book is that it is small, which makes it difficult to read. I also think it does a bit too much 'pre-work'. The "physical act of organizing", as the book says, doesn't start until half way through the book on page 94. It is also very low on pictures, which I think definitely belong in any organizational book, for some much needed inspiration. She also seems to promote hiring an actual organizer throughout the book. If I wanted to do that, I wouldn't be buying a book!

That being said, the book is well written, as well it has a unique angle - organizing for a fresh start after a life change. There are some charts and worksheets in the back (But as I said, the book is small, as well as the paper shiny, so in this day and age, a website link to print out your own on larger paper would've given the book the bonus to make it a full 4-star book). Anyone wanting to to prepare themselves or help transition to a new chapter in their life might want to pick this book up to check out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Compassionate, but too broad, advice May 24, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The author of this book uses a gentle, compassionate tone, and I like that a lot (I don't respond well to tough love), so I was very optimistic about the advice she was going to deliver. "While you're going through a major life transition, it's difficult to focus on your regular day-to-day life, including housework and keeping thing organized." I found that to ring so true. Anyone who has ever had her life severely shaken up by a life-changing event (whether bad or good) will relate to this.

And I think the concept of specifically addressing the organizational needs of people in transition is brilliant. However, I was disappointed in the advice that followed. There was nothing really fresh; for the most part, this is the same advice you'll find in any organizational book. The one thing unique to this book is that the author does continue throughout to be understanding and emotionally supportive. If you are severely shell-shocked by changes in your life, you might find this book to be motivational and helpful just for that reason alone.

I went through a series of life-changing events three years ago, and I feel like I could still use some help in adjusting to my new realities. I'm living in a smaller home, my family size has doubled, and we've relocated to a new town. I've had trouble downsizing and organizing and expanding my responsibilities to include new people. So, even though I've had a while to adjust, I should still be a perfect target audience for this book. But I think the author tries to be too all-inclusive. Can a single book appropriately address the needs and situations of both widows and new moms? Both divorcees and brides? No, it just doesn't feel right.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
I bout this book to get some help with organizing and after reading it realized the only help I am going to get is my own lol. But it gave me great ideas@!
Published 3 months ago by Sherry
5.0 out of 5 stars I bought 12 as gifts!
Great guide for those needing help fitting their surroundings to a new life style. After reading this book, I bought 12 as gifts for family and friends. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Grandma Of Four
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it
loved it
Published 7 months ago by Nay
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
not enough time to read
Published 7 months ago by Sharleen Taira
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
thank you.
Published 8 months ago by Terry Sullivan
3.0 out of 5 stars it's ok.
Basically a bunch of ideas for organization that have already been done, but put into a cute little book and a fresh title.
Published 15 months ago by GothicPoohBear
3.0 out of 5 stars just ordinary
it had a lot of things I've read before. for me personally, it was a little too complicated and I was expecting it to have some examples I could relate to, but that's just my... Read more
Published 22 months ago by eva sochocki
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Thanks for a great book. I think we can't get enough about organizing our stuff and better yet, getting rid of stuff. Big help and in great shape and fast service.
Published on February 22, 2013 by K8
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful
A very useful 'how to' guide for anyone facing or going through a transition in life such as divorce, arrival of a new child, job change/loss, change of living circumstances, empty... Read more
Published on January 28, 2013 by Stella
4.0 out of 5 stars Not just another book on organization
This book is not just about organization, but it's about getting a fresh start, beginning a new chapter, for example if you're expecting a baby, or if you're getting, or recently... Read more
Published on January 17, 2013 by Megan Bostic
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More About the Author

Sue West is a Certified Organizer Coach® Her specialty is working with organizing clients through big life changes - organizing life before, during and after - merging families, the empty-nest stage, downsizing, post-divorce, death, caregiving/aging parents, major career change, pre-retirement, and into retirement. She works with clients and teaches about organizing our 'stuff,' our time and life. She is a Certified Professional Organizer® as well, and holds specialty certificates in life transitions, AD/HD, and chronic disorganization from the Institute for Challenging Disorganization. MBA, Babson College, Massachusetts, and French Studies BA, Smith College, Massachusetts.

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