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285 of 287 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable! No more pig sty for this Messie
Before I comment on this book, you need to know that I'd spent the previous 20-something years of my life as a chronically messy person. If you'd walked into my childhood bedroom, my college dorm room, or any of the apartments and homes I've had since graduating, you would be greeted with the same dismal scene: Clutter everywhere...papers, books and magazines covering...
Published on December 12, 2001

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33 of 41 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much talk, not enough "how to"
I felt that this book spent too much time talking about "why" someone is a Messie. If you're looking for in-depth analysis of why you might have issues with housework, this is the book for you. If you're looking for some fast ideas on how to keep the house tidy, there's better books out there (such as "Sink Reflections" or "Confessions of an...
Published on June 25, 2003 by Homemaker in IL


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285 of 287 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable! No more pig sty for this Messie, December 12, 2001
By A Customer
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This review is from: The New Messies Manual: The Procrastinator's Guide to Good Housekeeping (Paperback)
Before I comment on this book, you need to know that I'd spent the previous 20-something years of my life as a chronically messy person. If you'd walked into my childhood bedroom, my college dorm room, or any of the apartments and homes I've had since graduating, you would be greeted with the same dismal scene: Clutter everywhere...papers, books and magazines covering every surface and stuffed into or under every piece of furniture...clothes draped on anything and everything. More often than not, to reach my bed would entail an acrobatic series of leaps and hops through my bedroom so as not to disturb the falling-into-each-other piles. It was utterly depressing both for me and for anyone who had the misfortune to visit. And yes, I'd tried every cleaning/organizing technique known to humanity.
Two books changed that forever. One of them was this book. Why did a single book finally make all the difference? As Sandra Felton admits, it's because she is at heart a "Messie" herself, and therefore she understands our plight -- unlike the maddeningly perfect Martha Stewarts of the world who just DON'T understand! But beyond that, Sandra speaks to several problems I have that have contributed to my chronic disorganization: namely, ADD, perfectionism, procrastination, and "decision anxiety." Sandra applies this insight to solving the plight of the Messies, with an approach that involves both how you think about organization and how you actually set up your home and office for organizing.
An important distinction between The New Messies Manual and other books on organization: While many books address EITHER the act of clearing the accumulated clutter OR the "how to" of maintaining an organized home, few discuss both to my satisfaction. The New Messies Manual addresses both, beautifully -- first it holds your hand as you tackle the nightmare of a hopelessly cluttered home, step by step; then it guides you through establishing systems that WORK for the Messie-minded person.
Some of the key tips I gleaned from this book are:

* Write down an image of your life as an organized person (seems simple, but really makes a difference when you visualize how you want your organized life to run).
* The most important habit you can get into is that of Doing It Now. (Yes, all organization books beat us over the head with this rather obvious "tip." But something clicked when I read The New Messies Manual that's pushed me to really make this a habit -- and it really does make a world of difference! The Procrastinator's Creed on page 186 is worth the price of the book. I've printed it in a beautiful font on art paper -- what, you expect me to do calligraphy?!--framed it, and keep it prominently in my home office.)
* Create activity centers (a box where you keep items such as gift-wrapping supplies, crafts supplies, camping gear, etc.), and clearly LABEL them. (I've found the clear plastic boxes from the Container Store ideal for this.) Again, other books recommend this, but something about the way Sandra describes this system gave me the kick I needed to actually do it.
And much MUCH more. Sandra's resource list at the back is also outstanding.
If you are a nearly-perfect Martha Stewart type who needs tips on alphabetizing your two hundred perfectly-crafted scrapbooks, this is not the book for you. But if you've struggled much of your life to get and stay organized, especially if you are a perfectionist or a procrastinator or think you could have attention deficit disorder, I urge you to read this book.
FYI, the other book that impacted me just as much was Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston. I know, these books on the surface are completely different, but I believe they complement each other wonderfully. Whereas Clear Your Clutter gave me the motivation I needed to want to clear the clutter once and for all (she talks among other things about the direct relationship between clutter and depression, and other good reasons for WHY to clear the clutter), The New Messies Manual hit closer to home for me in terms of HOW to clear the clutter and then stay that way.
Clutter-free for five weeks, and counting!
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174 of 174 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Martha Stewart I ain't--but I'll never be ashamed again, April 11, 2001
This review is from: The New Messies Manual: The Procrastinator's Guide to Good Housekeeping (Paperback)
Recently, I made friends with another mother in the neighborhood while our children were playing outside. She and I chatted on the phone a few times, but she had never seen the inside of my house. I told her that I had a hard time keeping the house clean, and she said that she had the same problem. Then one day she visited me for the first time. I could tell she was trying to not look shocked, but it was instantly apparent that her version of a "not clean" house and my version were pretty different. The truth was obvious. I was a Messie. As soon as she could gracefully do it, she scooped up her kids to leave--probably to save them from the imminent danger of whatever was underneath all that stuff on the barely-visible floor. This had happened to me many times before, and I was totally depressed and discouraged. I have struggled my entire life trying to keep my living space clean and organized. I would have just hidden myself in the closet, but there was never any room. My mom was a "cleanie" and I figured I was just a lost cause.
This book was a godsend. Other housekeeping hint books I have read and tried to follow are oriented towards the average to clean type person and I just ended up feeling more and more inept. Sandra Felton knows what being a Messie is like, and takes the shame out of it by explaining why we are the way we are. She then helps you to learn what you need to do in order to change. It outlines a simple, straightforward approach to housekeeping that is easy to follow and makes sense. I was able to start implementing her plan before I even finished reading the book. Her "this is a marathon, not a sprint" philosophy has kept me motivated to keep going and not get discouraged and slip back into old habits.
The changes this has made in my life are fantastic. I can invite people in the house without total embarrassment. The "piles" (fellow messies know what these are) are gone and I can see my kitchen counter now. I can even find all my keys, bills, important papers, and children. My friends and family are amazed. This book offers more help than any therapist or antidepressant. Try it!
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65 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple Solutions for My Chronic Disorganization, March 8, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The New Messies Manual: The Procrastinator's Guide to Good Housekeeping (Paperback)
I highly recommend this book for people who are chronically "messy" homemakers. I have to admit that the book did discuss too much of the "whys" of messiness, but if you can get past the first part of the book, you will be surprised that the second half of the book provides just as much of the "hows". I have read quite a few de-cluttering and organizational books, which have been very helpful, but this one has helped in a way that none of the others have been able to. I have been struggling with a messy house for the last 13 years, and after 3 months, my home is organized! I've tried lists and time schedules and they just don't work for me. However, the "flipper" idea in the book works like a charm! It helped me from getting overwhelmed by distributing small jobs over a period of a month. Cooking and grocery lists are much simpler now also. If you are sick of having a home that you are embarrassed to show your guests, read this book!
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49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When you are desperate to organize your house humor helps, October 19, 2000
By 
Isabella Fenn (Long Beach, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The New Messies Manual: The Procrastinator's Guide to Good Housekeeping (Paperback)
I have started many self-help books and don't finish them because they are dry and preachy and don't motivate me. The systems are usually so complicated that I don't even want to start. I don't need a book that compounds my problem. The New Messie's Manual made me laugh as I recognized myself and others and got me motivated to change things. Usually I read and don't take action. The style of writing is light humorous and very helpful. It is the best self-help book on organizing and cleaning that I have ever read. It is so good because reading it gets results. I highly recommend it.
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understand Your Personal "Whys", October 18, 2000
By 
Elizabeth Beveridge (Burlington, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The New Messies Manual: The Procrastinator's Guide to Good Housekeeping (Paperback)
This insightful book tells the story of everyone who tries to keep house and somehow never manages to get it together. Not only does it help the reader understand why they are the way they are, but it offers simple, helpful baby steps to achieve a pretty house. If you want to invite company over without blocking the three days before they come to get your house ready, if you cringe when company arrives unexpectedly, or if you just can't fit another box anywhere, this book is for you. It gives you the tools to become a successful average housekeeper. This book is definitely a keeper... You'll want to read it over and over again.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If I Had Only Known, January 25, 2005
This review is from: The New Messies Manual: The Procrastinator's Guide to Good Housekeeping (Paperback)
I passed this book up on several occassions due to the "messies" title....sounded so juvenile. If I had only known what good it would do me to read it!!!! The previous reviewer hit the nail on the head when she said that this book works because the author is a reformed messie herself - her thought processes were exactly the same as mine!!! I felt I'd found a soul sister! She "got it". She understood my confusion and sometimes flat-out inability to complete my housework. I was a stay-home mom for seven years and got absolutely nothing accomplished in the way of housekeeping. Even though I had the whole day, my house was never "put together". How I wish I had read this book way back then!!! Thank you Mrs. Felton for such a well written and insightful book. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone with trouble getting it together in their home. Even if you think the term "Messie" is a little juvenile.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A No-Stress Way To Recover from Messiness!, May 17, 2003
This review is from: The New Messies Manual: The Procrastinator's Guide to Good Housekeeping (Paperback)
I'm a "cleanie," with a "messie" daughter. (We call her Messie Jessie and she's almost 20-years-old.) But, I wasn't always a cleanie, so even though I bought a copy of this book for my daughter and each of my two messie stepsons-to-be, I read it, too!
As a former messie, it took years of beating myself up - cleaning marathons that took days so that I could have company for a few hours - to learn much of what I read in this book. I read it because even now if there's any easier or better way, I want to know about it. Plus, my daughter needs help and I wanted to help her as best I could.
Did I learn anything new? You bet I did! Some of what I read I learned the hard way - over years of frustration and experimentation - and I got several great NEW ideas, too.
Here's what I highly recommend. Buy this book and READ IT! Read all of it - not just parts. The insights and advice are well-organized, sensible, and priceless - they can give you your life back! Or better yet, you can begin to enjoy a new one - in a stress-free home environment! Thank you, Sandra Felton!
(OK, I'll give the book back to my daughter now :-)
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Messie helping another Messie!, February 3, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The New Messies Manual: The Procrastinator's Guide to Good Housekeeping (Paperback)
I have struggled all my life with order and neatness. I longed for a better way of life. If you are a messie YOU know who you are. Sandra's words will encourage and pull you along to a more organized and neater you. She tells you why you have such bad habits and how you can change. This book is a KEEPER. I have had it for about 4 years and I pull it out every now and again when my "vision grows dim." She is one of us ladies, and she does not look down on you--exactly the opposite. She makes you feel you are a person of dignity, worth and value.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I recognized myself instantly!, October 23, 2000
By 
S. MOORE "ssmesq" (Alexandria, VA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The New Messies Manual: The Procrastinator's Guide to Good Housekeeping (Paperback)
I loved this book. I kept finding things that applied to me, but somehow I didn't think anyone else did them. Things like leaving open closet doors, and losing things constantly. I am already using the methods in the book, and my friends are borrowing it and buying it as gifts for their friends. Great insight into the "messie" personality.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Eye Opener, September 1, 2003
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The New Messies Manual: The Procrastinator's Guide to Good Housekeeping (Paperback)
I was very impressed with this book. Instead of a list of things to do, such as wipe the dog's feet, it addresses the value systems messies have and what keeps them from being neater. It was good to hear from a reformed messie and not someone who is obsessive-compulsive about housework.
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