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Sidetracked Home Executives(TM): From Pigpen to Paradise Paperback – February 1, 2001

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Sidetracked Home Executives(TM): From Pigpen to Paradise + Get Your Act Together: A 7-Day Get-Organized Program For The Overworked, Overbooked, and Overwhelmed + Sink Reflections
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Rev Upd edition (February 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446677671
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446677677
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,954 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Pam and Peggy are so funny!
Lisa B
I first read this book about 16 years ago when I had just had my third child.
If you need help getting your life organized, this is the book for you.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

439 of 445 people found the following review helpful By "kangarex" on December 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
Pam and Peggy certainly know what it feels like to be living in total chaos, and they use that understanding to good effect in this book, showing step by step how they got organized. They don't take any knowledge or organizational ability for granted, and they have great senses of humor. Their card-file system will probably work for most people who are SHE's (Sidetracked Home Executives) because of their creativity, or just general distractedness.
If, however, you are a SHE because you're a frozen perfectionist, someone who never cleans because you don't have time to do it RIGHT, this is not the book for you. The card-file is wonderful - except that I'm entirely capable of spending the next 6 months making sure I've got the file system perfect without ever actually doing any of the stuff on it. There's also nothing to prevent you from overloading yourself with nit-picking chores and burning out. If these sound like things you would be prone to, then I would recommend "Sink Reflections" by Marla Cilley instead. She uses much of the same material as Pam and Peggy (she credits them as her inspiration), but her program is specifically designed for those of us who try so hard for perfection we get nowhere.
If perfectionism isn't your problem, then by all means go with Pam and Peggy. They're great fun to read, and however bad your house is, they will understand.
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220 of 227 people found the following review helpful By Quaker Annie on November 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book was my last resort in trying to put some order in my life. Now that I'm not working, there's no personal assistant to follow me around, reminding me of appointments, locating lost papers and plane tickets, or just generally tidying up around me. Trying to get organized, I'd tried a Palm Pilot, a Franklin Planner, promises, prayers, New Year's Resolutions and was seriously considering electroshock therapy.
When I recently gave up my busy work life to come a work-at-home mom, I thought one of the results would be a neat and organized home. My excuse for a more than slightly disorganized home was that, as a full-time traveling working single parent, two dogs, two cats and a tank full of fish, I was just too busy. My fantasy was that more time at home would cure that.
It didn't -- if anything, my disorganization seemed to expand to fit the free time. Worse, even with all the free time, without spending much time on housework, I never seemed to be able to find the time to do a lot of things I wanted to do. My shelves were filled with home craft materials, but even if I had the time to spend on a project, I couldn't seem to locate what I needed.
But when my fourth grader's teacher told me he was the most disorganized child she'd taught in 7 years, and then showed me his desk overflowing with papers, books and homework assignments completed but never turned in, I realized something had to be done. I was training him to live in CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome). Visions of my son in the future, opening his high school locker only to be buried alive, prompted me to find a solution for him -- which meant I needed to lead by example.
And so -- since nothing else had worked -- I ordered the book, and dubiously started to read it.
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118 of 124 people found the following review helpful By J. D. Fegler VINE VOICE on January 17, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just love this book! I have been using this system for 2 weeks now, and already I notice a change in my life. I am more relaxed, more organized and can focus on the things I WANT to do. Much of the book is funny accounts of the author's battles with clutter and disorganization. This is entertaining, but I wanted to get right to the heart of things. I am using their 3 x 5 index card plan. Basically, they want you to put all the chores that need to be done on index cards, filed with different colors according to how often they need to be done (daily, weekly, monthly, seasonally). You file the cards behind the appropriate date in an index card box. Each day, you just need to look at the cards to see what you need to do. I find it very helpful in that I get busy right away on what needs to be done and don't worry about other chores, because I have them scheduled for another day. The book has a chart at the back suggesting various household chores that need to be done, and places for you to add your own. Before using this system, I often felt overwhelmed just thinking about all the things that needed to be done, and ended up not doing anything at all! It really helps me to focus on what needs to be done and avoid wasting time. Now I have more time to do the things that I want, and I am happier and better organized. It is an easy system to apply and can be adapted to the areas where you are more or less organized. I highly recommend this book!
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76 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Rhonda Tolle-beaman on October 23, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I gave birth to my last child, I was going home with the little bundle of joy in my arms with 23 month old twins waiting on me. Also a nine year old and two step children who were at my house a lot...ages five and ten. (I am talking six children in all under the age of ll). As my husband drove me up the lane to our house I cried. He said, "Are you glad to be home dear". I couldn't talk, but if I could have I would have said..."I don't know how I am going to do this".

I have a real problem with distraction. My house was a mess. Three children under the age of 2. Three in diapers. I didn't have my own washer or dryer nor a dishwasher. Couldn't get all the food hot at once because of interruptions. Kept running out of staples..

Then my sister heard about this book on the today show. I took it very seriously. It took me two weeks to read and compile all the cards. I sat in each room of my house and listed slowly and methodically every single chore I wanted to "ideally" do.

Finally after much mental fatigue and work, my card file system was ready. Drum roll please.............

From that day on my house ran like a well oiled machine. Christmas cards and gifts on time, physicals for school scheduled early, grocery shopping done according to menus and everything in order. People often asked me how I did it. I showed up for things on time when parents with only one child couldn't make it.

Since that day I have probably given six of these books away to interested parties. Many people don't actually do the book, they just read it....doesn't help. But if you want a real solution to chaos...you can't beat this book. To this day I use this system. I am no longer as disorganized as I was when my children were little, but I still find it keeps me on track.
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