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on February 6, 2005
It's hard to describe a book of over 500 pages as superficial, but that's exactly what it is. Chopping up complicated problems into a half-dozen "steps" might make them seem more achievable, and it does make fairly entertaining reading, but it trivializes the very real problems that I think most people would buy a book on organization for. I don't think it will help you get a handle on your paperwork or household clutter, won't help you organize your weekly schedule any better, and won't give you a more serene approach to inevitable problems. Elements of those challenges are touched on in dozens of one-page chapters, but not in a systematic way. This book makes you work way to hard to dig out the advice you need.

Reading through the other reviews, I note that most say they look forward to reading the book or plan to keep it as a reference. That's fine, but it doesn't make it a great book on organization for those who want to get or stay organized. For them, a single page to "Create a Flawless Filing System" is inadequate and a comparable amount devoted to "Become President of the United States" is absurd.
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VINE VOICEon March 11, 2005
I had high hopes for this book based on the 5 star reviews, and they were not even close to being met. Many of the lists were overly simplistic without any helpful organizing tips at all. Even more annoying was that virtually every list crossed referenced at least one other list, so one had to keep flipping around to get some sort of cohesive idea of what the organizational tips were. Perhaps if less time had been spent on titles like "how to win an academy award" , "how to fend off pirates" and/or "what to do in an ebola break out" (I am not kidding, these are actual lists)and more on actual real life organizing, I would have gotten much more out of this book.
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on July 25, 2006
Perhaps if the book had been titled differently, I wouldn't have been so disappointed. It seemed like many articles would be a stretch to be categorized under organizing and so specialized it seemed like many people wouldn't even find helpful: "Become a concert violinist," "become a catholic nun," "Organize an archeological dig," "start a knitting circle," "organize a film festival," etc.

Those subjects that were helpful were so short and general that it seemed to be total common sense, and usually could be distilled into 1. clear out the place 2. toss what you don't need 3. go shopping for things to help you organize and 4. put it all back neatly in groups. I'm being overly simplistic but those who are looking for detailed nuts and bolts for getting organized will be disappointed.

If they had called it "500 Ways to Getting It All Together" it would have been more appropriate. However, calling it a book on organizing only fits in a loose sense.

On the positive side, I do have to say it was a nicely organized book in terms of layout and logical order!
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on December 31, 2004
I've been following Peter Walsh's advice since "Clean Sweep" was first broadcast, and it makes a world of difference. To have this advice - and more - in one place, accessible at any time, is invaluable! He addresses just about anything that comes up in life - home and garden, personal issues, office, social, careers - you name it! Each entry has step-by-step instructions, along with "Tips," "Who Knew?" and "Warning" notes on the sidebar. The instructions are clearly written and easy to follow. Anyone who is "born organized" will find that this is a great confirmation of what they've been doing...and they will still learn more tips! A definite 5-star rating, and worth every penny! You won't regret buying this book - I've read a lot of organizing books, but Peter's is definitely the best of the lot!
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This acquisition is perfect if your purpose is to organize a household methodically. The author provides details on how to

weed junk mail, establish tickler files and calendar important

deadlines. The book assists in balancing home life with work,

budgeting and "to do lists". The volume even covers the details

of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, as well as junk food avoidance.

The author provides websites for selling off unnecessary personal

items. i.e.

- Craigslist.org

- Bidadoo.com

- Monster.com job search

- Half.com

- Makeovermatic@substance.com

Purchase this book if your purpose is to bring permanent

organization into your house for the foreseeable future.
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on January 4, 2006
I didn't want information about organizing a block party or winning the Tour de France, just my clutter filled closets! I thought this book was about organizational skills to help you learn how to conquer your clutter. Learning how to direct a film or become a model just wasn't the type of information I wanted.
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on January 5, 2005
I'm a semi-organized person faced with a wildly disorganized life and I soooo appreciate finding a book that gives me organizing specifics on various projects in a clear, helpful and non-intimidating way rather than ask me to roto-rooter my brain and actually BECOME more organized before I can tackle the chaos! The book itself is a clever and witty read, and although I picked it up to help with My Major Life Changes (planning a wedding this year, among other things...)I've just enjoyed thumbing through it and letting it inspire me to try some things differently...great as a New Year's resolution helper!
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on April 16, 2007
There are two kinds of people looking for organizational help, those who need ideas for how to organize and those who need to know what to organize. This book is for the latter.

If you're like me and you know you need to do SOMETHING but either constantly take on too much at once or don't know where to start, the short common-sense reminders will help you focus and finish. You can work on one page, get it done, then flip to something else that catches your eye and start a new project. When you're done with that you can take a break and read one of the more entertaining and esoteric entries on becoming a nun or winning an Oscar or something. It's great for those of us who prefer to be told what we need to take care of (like making a will or which medical test we should have done at what age) but want flexibility on our approach.

If, on the other hand, you're someone who knows what needs to be done but you need to know the best place to hang some hooks or whether you would be better off with a file cabinet or stacking letter bins, you should look elsewhere. This book may be too flexible for people who prefer to be told exactly how to approach things but like a flexibility on what they need to work on.

If you find Flylady's control journal too regimented, this book may suit your personality better because you can skip around at your own pace, but if you are an avid Flylady its flexible, open-ended approach will probably be a little frustrating.
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on January 7, 2005
At last, a guide to making my chaotic life simpler. This book has short, to-the-point information that has already made so many things around our house run more smoothly. I love Peter Walsh's show, and here too he doesn't lecture, just lays out loads of practical ideas in a simple tip format that even the most disorganized person can follow. My current faves are teaching kids about money and organizing our photos. Don't be intimidated by its huge size--I found the (500!) topics witty, easy to read and short--most are only a page or two long. Plenty of surprises and laughs--who thought getting organized could actually be fun? I may not need to impress a date,

survive a coup or plan a block party, but now I know how to!
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on March 22, 2008
This book has its good points and bad points.

THE GOOD: The 500+ lists cover a number of organizational topics including organizing your spaces at home, organizing your finances, preparing for life events (sending kids to college, wills, etc) and just miscellaneous tasks (organizing a block party, preparing for house guests. The sections on organizing spaces and paperwork/finances contain quick lists on how-to organize your life, which I will probably use. These contain some good information since I would assume this is the area of the author's expertise. Other lists have fun and inspirational ideas, like "Decorating for the Seasons", which provides some suggestions of how to freshen up your home's look as the seasons change.

THE BAD: With so many topics covered, I just can't imagine that the author is an expert on them all. If I am looking to prepare for childbirth, I would be more comfortable reading an entire book on the topic written by someone who is an expert in the area, rather than reading a one-page summary. I had similar thoughts about the list for Feng Shu. Many topics are really too complex to be adequately covered in a short list, but the lists could serve as a quick refresher for someone who already knows something about the topics. As other readers have mentioned, some lists I'd never use and seem almost silly like "Become a Movie Director" (not one of my goals in life) or "Win the Tour de France" (not likely for me).

Overall, it's an okay book that I'll probably refer to as a starting point for some of my organizational projects. But, I'm not looking to it as "expert advice" in all areas since some topics just can't be covered in a short list. Certainly there are a number of sections that I will never use or read at all because they're just not relevant to my life.
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