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Organize & Create Discipline: An A-to-Z Guide to an Organized Existence Hardcover – December 26, 2013
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"Organize & Create Discipline is a great blueprint for getting your home and your life order. From A to Z Justin has nailed it!" Peter Walsh/ Clutter Expert
What I love most about the O.C.D. system is that it not only tells you how to organize, but also how to avoid the mess in the first place. Genius!" Hayley Barna/ Co-founder of Birchbox
"Justin's incredible story is compelling and unique. He's turned a deficit into a strength and has become an invaluable asset at Apartment Therapy. Run, don't walk, to read this book." Maxwell Ryan/ Founder, Apartment Therapy
From the Author
Writing this book was a challenge for me; not in the context of supplying simple, powerful, and unique organizational advice, but because I wanted to open up and tell the story of what growing up with OCD was like and why my OCD came about. My organizational tool chest will continue to grow as my company, the O.C.D. Experience, grows, but one thing will always remain consistent: my belief that striving to overcome obstacles and chaos will always lead to a positive outcome. I know from experience.
Organize & Create Discipline is my first published work. Having ADHD and OCD made focusing my thoughts for a book a very complicated task. It's tough to perfect the content when you're stuck dwelling on whether the headings should be centered or left justified. I was very fortunate to be able to collaborate with my dear friend and TV writer Arthur Gradstein. I approached him one day with a small manuscript, organized alphabetically from A-Z, filled with content that I knew would help people simplify their lives and improve their relationship with their space and "stuff". However, it was missing the spark that would get people honest and laughing at the things we are all guilty of when it comes to organization, something I'm able to do when I help people in person. Arthur helped me not only stay focused when writing this book, but also helped me transfer my passion and humor to the page in a clear and concise way. Together, I feel we managed to deliver the most relevant organizational book on the market.
Organize & Create Discipline is a "Choose Your Own Adventure" of organization. Growing up in the 80's, I loved Choose Your Own Adventure books because no matter which way I decided to go, there was always fun journey. I wanted to model this book off that experience because most organizational books are boring and become exhausting after a few pages. With humor, interactivity, success stories, and a few of my own personal O.C.D. extremes, this book breaks the mold. I am proud to be able to share it with the world.
If this book helps you in any way, I urge you to leave thoughts and comments so I know I've succeeded in my journey. After all, this book, and my life's goal, is all about helping people!
All my best, and remember... "NOW IS ALWAYS BEST TIME!"- Yul Brenner's character in "The King & I"
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I first heard of this book when Justin posted on a thread I started on Amazon's Gold Box Forum entitled "hoarding, disorganized, OCD--HELP!!" The first post reads:
<<< "Do you hoard stuff? Are you messy and disorganized? Are you obsessive/compulsive? Well, I am and my name is legion.
....I contributed to the GBF site, below: "what do you have too many of, but you still buy more?" and realized a huge source of depression and sadness in my life is having too much stuff and living in a chaotic mess rather than a clean, tidy haven. I hoard crafting supplies, books, newspapers, my son's paraphernalia, papers of all sorts, Christmas and other decorations...and much more. I am disorganized to the point of distraction. My DH, son and I are so unhappy as a direct result.
....Please share your stories of problems with and solutions to this chronic epidemic we have in America with acquisition of more stuff than we know what to do with." >>>
(If you want to see it, just click on Today's Deals at the top of this page and scroll down to the discussions.)
This thread is now in its 12th generation. People can't talk about these matters enough. In almost 5 years hundreds of people have posted and thousands have read the thread. Justin (the author) posted on the thread touting this book and, I think, his website just 2 weeks ago. Someone reported it (it's against the TOS to advertise yourself) and Amazon deleted it. HAPPILY, I saw the post before it was deleted and ordered this book on the spot.
In the 5 years of the thread and after 9 years of serious work to get my home under control, I can report that I'm about 85% of where I want to be. I have mild OCD and mild ADD and when these are paired--which is most of the time, I think--they exacerbate each other. (I also have mild bipolar disorder for which I'm effectively treated. My shrink says that ADD should stand for Attention Direction Disorder and not Deficit because there's no lack of attention...usually just the opposite. We hyperfocus on many things at once and wind up scattered, exhausted and having accomplished nothing.) So I can really relate to Justin's struggles. What is remarkable is that he took his much more serious OCD that so stymied his happiness as a kid and turned it into a goldmine of information borne of self-discovery and a lot of research. He used to be an actor on a soap and is now a professional organizer. For good reason.
Justin speaks of his OCD as a familiar companion, something that was part of his evolution into adulthood. He didn't realize till years later that every kid doesn't organize the entire house when the folks leave for a 2-week vacation. Or that it's unusual that in learning his lines for the show, it was so important in using his highlighter that if the blocks of bright yellow were not exact, he'd beg his mother to reprint the page so he could make them perfect.
Bryce Dallas Howard wrote the Foreword. Who? She's only the daughter of Ron Howard and has appeared in several movies including performing Hilly Holbrook in The Help. She's very important because she was Justin's first professional client. Apparently he did a great job and his career has blasted off.
I'm not sure which I like more, the form or the substance of this book. The substance would be great ideas and Justin gives them in so many humorous ways: of the plastics for leftovers in your kitchen, he suggests: "Try not to keep the lids in a separate location from the containers. They are a family and you don't want to be a home wrecker." This cracked me up and now I have a visual of keeping the lids right under the neatly stacked pile--small containers inside large ones.
But then the form is engaging too. Normally books with chapters in alphabetical order are a snooze-fest. But here, the sections on specific areas that are often chaotic are ORGANIZED so that you can find them easily. Within almost every section are words that are in capitals and bold-faced: these point you to related sections to the one you're focusing on. For example, as you're reading about Counter Space you will find Cabinet, Bathroom, Kitchen and Spices. In the section Laundry Rooms, there are Cleaning Supplies, Tools, Closet, Cabinet, Clothes, Dressers and Socks. Every one of these words is its own section so you're constantly flipping back and forth between related concepts and it makes reading feel quite spontaneous and relevant.
Another great feature is the numerous gray boxes that dot most pages. They are "O.C.D. Approved Technology," "An O.C.D. Success Story," "An O.C.D. Summary," or an "O.C.D. Extreme." These quickly become self-evident and are shorthand for making key points. One example is an O.C.D Summary of a dresser drawer: Organize it by dumping everything out, Create dividers or whatever you need to make the drawer most useful, and actively Discipline yourself to keep using the drawer the way you set it up until the stuff becomes unwieldy...then you just start over.
I've purchased dozens of books on organizing over the years and gotten very little out of them (even Peter Walsh's!) but this one hits me where I need it. I'm already looking at my craft room and books differently and happily congratulating myself on the processes in the book that I already do.
I heartily recommend Organize & Create Discipline.