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How to Organize (Just About) Everything: More Than 500 Step-by-Step Instructions for Everything from Organizing Your Closets to Planning a Wedding to Creating a Flawless Filing System Hardcover – Bargain Price, December 28, 2004

4.0 out of 5 stars 82 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As this massive guide shows, anti-clutter expert Walsh’s expertise extends well beyond closets and cabinets. The star of TLC’s Clean Sweep offers advice on how to organize your whole life, from education ("Plan Your Course of Study in College") to finances ("Organize a Loan Application") to social life ("Plan a Prom"). And while you may not think you need to know what to do in case of an Ebola outbreak, can it hurt to be prepared? Most of the 500 subjects are covered in a page of clear, commonsensical advice, with warnings and extra little tips highlighted along the margins of the page. You may think more than one page is needed to explain how to be happy, but Walsh actually offers a concise summary of the basic points found in hundreds of self-help books. You could save yourself a lot of time by getting this useful compendium.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Don't fool yourself. This is so much more than simple organization; in fact, cable TV Clean Sweep host Walsh has corralled 11 contributors to help cover the universe of how-to's. Inside the 16 sections are 501 activities, both the usual and out-of-the-ordinary tasks, from getting organized and planning a remodeling project to joining the Peace Corps or becoming an astronaut. Each features the step-by-step procedures, tips, a warning (if necessary), and "who knew?"--additional advice designed to make the activity a success: for instance, for running errands, arrange sticky notes in the sequence of the stops you need to make. A personal favorite may turn out to be the last activity--be happy--which features steps like dream big, make a conscious decision to be happy, eat chocolate, work out, find satisfaction in little things, and take care of yourself. A great humane reference anytime, anywhere, for any occasion. Barbara Jacobs
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; Just About edition (December 28, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743254945
  • ASIN: B0046LV1HU
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.7 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,655,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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