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Living Organized: Proven Steps for a Clutter Free and Beautiful Home Paperback – January 5, 2010
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From the Back Cover
Develop strategies for mess-free living! Everyone wants a beautiful home--one that welcomes visitors gracefully and provides a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. But as we go through life we acquire all sorts of stuff that clutters up our lives and our houses. And a beautiful home is just not possible if every nook and cranny is considered fair game for storage! Now you can win the clutter war. Sandra Felton, The Organizer Lady, shares her insight on the best ways to bring out the hidden beauty in messy houses. She makes housekeeping less overwhelming for the organizationally challenged with -interior design tips -inspiring stories from the organizing trenches -advice for coping with a messy spouse or child Don't settle for a messy house. Learn the strategies you need to get organized and stay organized. Who knows? The house of your dreams could be right under your nose. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Sandra Felton is the founder of Messies Anonymous and is the author of several books, including the best-selling Messies Manual with more than 350,000 copies sold. She is a frequent guest on national radio and TV shows and lives in Miami, Florida.
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There is a lot of time spent on psychology (right- and left-brained people); testimonials for the author's previous works and the support group she founded, Messies Anonymous; and one part in the end where it appears that an interior decorator takes over for a chapter or two to give some advice on decorating, not organizing as the title of this book implies. There are worksheets of a sort at the end of each chapter; these might work well enough with a print edition, but how would they work with the Kindle edition I read? I realize that the Kindle is simply a digitized version of the print book, but some things simply do not work and, though they cannot and should not be cut from Kindle versions, are -- well -- a waste of space.
What was I looking for? I had hoped that this would offer more advice about what to keep and what to toss, how to properly keep the keepers, and for how long. There wasn't much of that here.
I downloaded this to my Kindle for free, but it still cost me several hours to read through this. Don't bother. I'll be deleting this one from my Kindle soon.
Felton spends at least half of the book discussing how Messies' brains work -- including right brain / left brain differences, typical Messie coping strategies -- shopping for new clutter tops the list. Messies are typically stuff-focused and youth-focused; we like to surround ourselves with stuff, particularly stuff that evokes memories of our youth. Because our stuff is meaningful to us, it can be difficult to part with. We are also paralyzed by indecision because our brains race off in many different directions, cause us to think about so many possibilities, when we're trying to make a decision. We don't make decisions in what others would deem a logical, linear manner. We also become so connected to our things -- when we try to declutter or clean, we can get sidetracked easily. We're impatient.
If all this sounds familiar, read on. If not -- this probably isn't the book for you. After the first 100+ pages which is really about how the Messie mind functions, Felton gets into some practical tips for Messies, providing ideas for each room and area of the house. Much of the focus is on helping Messies understand how life will really be better if we are willing to take the risk of parting with our precious stuff.
One thing that distinguishes this from other "organizing" books is that is acknowledges and validates the Messie mindset -- it doesn't attempt to turn Messies into Neaties (which would not be a long-term solution), rather it helps Messies cope with their ingrained tendencies.
One minor comment -- Felton writes as if her audience is primarily married women caring for husbands & families -- which it probably is. If you're single or a man, this might not resonate so much with you. It's got useful tips nonetheless --
This book is also extremely sexist. A previous review got it right. It says your husband and kids are worthless and will not help. Then later in the book, there is a letter written to the husband that basically tells him that the writer knows it's been hard on him having to put up with the 'messie' in his life all these years. He has probably even tried to change her messie ways several times in the past but she has to want to make the change. This would not have been so irritating if they had left it a little more gender neutral. Use spouse instead of wife. This is all the wife's fault? Probably not.
The tone of the book is very condescending. The little stories seem as though they are written for a child.
I was going to give this book a little credit and say that it helped motivate me to clean my own house up but I was already motivated or I never would have chosen to read the book.
I would not recommend this book.
Even looking past the obvious sexism, I couldn't find much that could be considered practical regarding new ideas for organization. About half the book talks about the psychology of what the author calls "messies", and the rest was just common sense. Nothing new. Nothing of value which I didn't already know.
Very disappointing indeed.
the book from Amazon so I could have him read it and understand why I'm not like him! thanks so much for writing this very crucial book that I believe can really help this 71 yr old "Messie"!