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72 Reviews
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253 of 297 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Need help organizing - this makes it doable
I own over 30 Get Organized books and by far this is the 1 that has made it finally happen for me. The author is witty and straight forward. Organization Tasks are broken down into categories (i.e. kitchen, bedroom, etc.)and are assigned to you to do during a specific month of the year. However, where this book made a difference for me is each month is broken down into...
Published on January 9, 2008 by CandyKarma

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150 of 191 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good idea, not so great execution
This book has a great premise, breaking down a specific organizational task over the course of a month, and has you writing a journal while you do this. So why only 2 stars?

Too much info about the author. We continually hear about her own experiences, her high-end clients, etc.

Too much focusing on the past in the journal exercises. The more you...
Published on April 19, 2008 by ReadNReVu


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253 of 297 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Need help organizing - this makes it doable, January 9, 2008
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I own over 30 Get Organized books and by far this is the 1 that has made it finally happen for me. The author is witty and straight forward. Organization Tasks are broken down into categories (i.e. kitchen, bedroom, etc.)and are assigned to you to do during a specific month of the year. However, where this book made a difference for me is each month is broken down into weeks, and each week we are given assignments to be completed that are not overwhelming ... just baby steps that are part of the huge overwhelming mess we have created by being unorganized. I highly recommend this book as it holds your hand and never allows you to have to decide "what am I going to do next". It takes the guess work out of organizing, and where my hiccups come in, is trying to decide where to start - well this book removes that by braking everything down for you. Very simple organizing education, it is like having your own personal organizer with you every step of the way, every day.
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95 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Start organizing your life inside and out!, February 10, 2008
I read this in during a time of my life that felt most disorganized, chaotic, and out of control. My mom gave me this book, and I thought it would just be about physically organizing my home, but instead, it's actually about organizing yourself mentally and emotionally then physically.

The author takes you on a step by step process of imagining and reflecting on why you are the way you are--why you are always late or why you impulse buy or why you can't seem to find your keys. Through reflection, you are able to organize yourself internally and then begin the challenging but completely doable process of clearing and organizing your living space.

It also has a helpful section about moving, which happens to be a timely project for me (my husband and I are moving cross-country in a few months).

I plan on giving this to all my friends!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Year to an Organized Life, February 7, 2011
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I happened upon this book in a store just before the new year. I browsed it and was already inspired. Well, after starting it for the new year I thought of so many friends I would want to share it with. I actually did pick two of my friends to purchase the book for, via Amazon, as a New Year's celebration gift (just to have a reason). Well, like I told those two friends; it's easy reading, great tips and advice and no rush to run through it. It's set up weekly and for a whole year so the pressure is limited. This book is laid out January through December and it is best to start in the actual month that you are in for tracking purposes, and because it addresses holidays and seasons. Yet, the great thing is that you don't have to start like I did in January, you can even skip around if you have too. Start in March and work your year around that way if you want! If you are like me and feel overwhelmed with chores and hopes to organize you will love this set up. It asks good questions to help get to the core of your problems which is organizational therapy :) and teaches accentials to being organized. Some may already know these things, but I for one already in the first month have made a big change thanks to my new information. My kitchen looks great and works more efficiently! One of my friends just sent me an email thanking me again for the book and saying that she has felt some confirmation with it, things she has tried or thought to try. She is inspired too! To share that feels great!
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150 of 191 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good idea, not so great execution, April 19, 2008
This book has a great premise, breaking down a specific organizational task over the course of a month, and has you writing a journal while you do this. So why only 2 stars?

Too much info about the author. We continually hear about her own experiences, her high-end clients, etc.

Too much focusing on the past in the journal exercises. The more you dwell on the past, the harder it is to make the future better.

She calls herself the Zen Organizer, but there is a lot of New Age content in the book also. Would rather have had more organizational tips.

She has an entire month dealing just with Thanksgiving. Really. If she'd combined it with Christmas and New Year's, as "holiday planning", it would have been plenty.

The chapter on moving was pretty good, but should have been written with lists instead of all the good information being buried in paragraphs (and this was also a problem in other chapters).

Overall, I would rate the book 2.5 stars. Good premise, and several good organizing tips, but it gets bogged down in places. Check it out from your library first--you might prefer her approach to that of FlyLady.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Suggestions Are Brilliant -- Now How Do I Get Motivated to Start Organizing?, October 27, 2008
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D. Summerfield (Missoula, Montana) - See all my reviews
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I loved reading though this book and imagining what my life could be like if I implemented the wonderful room-by-room systems outlined here. The book made me feel as though I could really finally clean out my attic, find time to vacuum under the beds, balance my checkbook, plan ahead for meals, and recoup a large tax deduction from Goodwill after I collected and donated all my family's unused clothes, toys and knick-knacks. And I'm going to do every single one of those things -- after I start my novel and truly dedicate to flossing everyday.

Unfortunately the book does not come with Dobby the House-Elf to actually perform all of these tasks, or at the very least kick me in the behind until I start doing them.

But my personal shortcomings aside, this is a wonderful reference for those enterprising slobs who can actually do more than daydream about being able to start each day without digging through the laundry mountain for clean underwear and coming across that earring they lost five months ago.

I recommend purchasing this volume and keeping it on your bedside table -- for the shaming factor, if for nothing else.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful, September 23, 2008
By 
D. Schepp (Texas Panhandle) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
A picked up one helpful "jewel" from this book. That you need to understatnd what, in your past, makes you behave the way you do in order to change your behavior. This tidbit made it worth the cost of the book and the time to read it. You can staighten things up, but if you don't change your behavior, then it won't last. Other than that, the "Just Do It" attitude and the importance of taking things a step at a time are well presented in this book.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best, with caution, September 7, 2011
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I'm an organizing book "junkie." This is the best I've found. That could be personal/timing-related. Leeds approach is to go through your house in a year, one area/month. That month is divided into four weeks of reading. Usually the first two weeks of reading is motivation, planning, and her past experiences/clients, etc. The meat is in the last two weeks of each month with specifics for doing the work. I've used the book as a bit of workbook, adding notes, lists, plans. I did my worst room (along with real life) in about two weeks. She has a zero condemnation approach which entails setting up the environment which is absolutely essential to succeed in organization. There is no "clean your sink" advice.

Her approach is a basic three-fold: eliminate, categorize, organize (like things contained.) With this focus firmly in place, the projects are less over-whelming. But do take breaks!

There is a lot of New Age in the book. For example,(from memory) burning incense in a hotel room releases the spirits of previous occupants. Surrendering belongings from deceased relatives, releases their spirits. Huh? But if you can ignore that "clutter", the book is valuable. While Leeds seems to be a single, city-dweller, she is sensitive to the organizational needs of families, even large families. She does have the ability to guide the reader to plan and "zoom-out" in order to consider your space with fresh perspective.

I do not share her New Age views and found that content to be surprising, unnecessary clutter, and a bit offensive. I came to this book for organizational help, not spiritual indoctrination. Four stars for unnecessary, distracting New Age clutter in book. Otherwise I'd give it five stars for the help I've found.
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145 of 196 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Covers way too much territory to explain a simple concept, April 29, 2008
On page 24, Regina Leeds says just about everything that needs to be said on the subject: "Everything you do needs to be scheduled". This happens to be the same message David Allen delivers much more effectively in his "Getting Things Done".

Of course, saying it is a lot easier than doing it, which is why people like Leeds and Allen can count on their books selling year after year.

Leeds takes the approach of teaching you how to organize your life over the course of a year, with new projects every month. For me, the approach simply doesn't work. Too much territory is covered. For example, I'm not going to be moving into a new home, so that chapter - and the month's project - is wasted on me.

Also, Leeds is a bit too "New Age" for my personal taste. Tidbits like an "affirmation" for the month strike me as treacly. August, for instance, tells you: "I am guided with ease to my new home. I embrace the life waiting for me. I also bless and thank my current home. I release it to the new occupants. I am thankful for all the participants in this transition."

Regina Leeds has quite a following, apparently, but I don't think I'll be joining it.

Jerry
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Do It, December 31, 2009
I've searched for the perfect book on organizing - and it doesn't exist. That's because my needs are specific, my patterns of procrastination unique etc. But nearly perfect is Regina Leeds' Organized Life. Leeds teaches a basic set of techniques for not just getting organized, but staying organized. People often want to be spoon fed. Hey guys, wake up! Maybe it's that kind of passivity and laziness that got you where you are! Leeds invites the reader to explore his/her life, keep notes, and really look at WHY YOU SHOULD ORGANIZE - WHICH IS TO HAVE MORE TIME TO HAVE FUN. Sure, Leeds gives personal examples, and has her own style. I think a book on organizing without that would be very dry and boring. But as well, Ms. Leeds provides ample margins for jotting personal notes. I wouldn't get too hung up on style and structure. If you work with this book for awhile you will understand the philosophy, and the logical steps you yourself can take to improve your life, and do more with less stress. The point is the author offers both concrete advice and inspiration. It worked for me. I used the techniques in this book over the holidays and had my best Christmas in years. I got more done with less stress. Don't wait to find the perfect book on organizing. Write your own, with the help of this author! This author's a great coach. Take what works. A real plus is the spacious size of the book with plenty of room to write your own notes.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great motivation and helpful weekly to-do lists, October 22, 2013
My family struggles with clutter. My justification for working full-time used to be that I could buy my family whatever we wanted, when we wanted it. That combined with our hoarding of papers, pictures, toys and every small kitchen appliance has resulted in jam packed cupboards and cabinets. I confess we even have boxes of pictures and stuff that I have not opened since we moved into our house 14 years ago. We all like to take things out, but we don't always put things back where they belong.

I found this audiobook at my library and thought it would give me the motivation to get our clutter under control and our house organized and boy did it! I love how Ms. Leeds breaks down the organization projects, tackling a room each month. I love her "Zen organizer" approach to tackling the room: first, she asks questions that make you think about why it has gotten to this point; second, think about how you envision the space via dream boards (Pinterest woukd work well these days);third, get down to the nitty gritty of clearing out what is not needed and fourth, simple solutions to get it organized and keep it that way. I like how she breaks down a to-do list week by week to make the task more manageable and less overwhelming.

As a narrator, Ms. Leeds has that perfect calming Zen like voice. She explains her theories about clutter and organization clearly and gives relevant real life examples to help illustrate her points. She gives spiritual and motivational affirmations at the end of each chapter if you like that kind of thing. They are a bit cheesy for me but I take it with a grain of salt and as a reminder about how I should value myself, my home and the possessions that are important to me.

While the audiobook is very helpful, I think this is one of those books I will keep a hard copy of so I can take advantage of those to do lists and helpful advice. I have been tackling my closets one by one, and this book has helped me keep motivated in making our house more of a home. The best compliment came the other night when my oldest son told me he was glad I decided to stay home because I was happier and making our home nicer and more organized. I love small victories!
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