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Organize Now!: A Week-by-Week Guide to Simplify Your Space and Your Life Spiral-bound – October 24, 2008
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I have to admit that the cover of this book played a part in my purchase and the inside of the book is just as pretty with preppy, perky, springtime colors. It is a hard cover book with hidden spiral binding which allows the book to stay open at the page being read.
Great organizing book for those who just want to get it done!
I felt that there were some problems with the order of the chapters. I would have liked to jump into this book and feel like I'd accomplished a tangible difference in some area of my home. But the earliest chapters in the book are about organizing your mind - with suggestions like making lists of life goals, starting a journal, buying a datebook, etc. I think that I would have accomplished more if I'd selected some chapter out of the middle of the book - like "Organize Your Linen Closet" or something along those lines, and started with that first. That would have been better for getting some momentum going.
The book focuses on organizing financial papers, photographs, recipes, music, mail, and other paperwork and small collections of items long before it gets to the big, messy spaces. I found this counterintuitive. I would have preferred to organize the garage, kitchen, etc. before I got too wrapped up in things that take up a more limited amount of space and are really just filing projects. Another weirdness of the order of the chapters is that, while you could of course start reading this at any time of year, the early chapters of the book do seem to assume, in all their talk about new calendars and new starts, that you've picked this up as part of a New Year's resolution - but if you do start the book in January and follow the chapters in order, you won't get to cleaning up your porch, tending to your yard, or planting the garden until late October, and "Organizing for Back to School" won't happen until late November.
The book doesn't get to "Organize for Emergencies" until chapter 51 - though the book stresses that this is the most important thing you can do. I'd suggest skipping to this chapter early on, as it's a fairly easy one but very critical. In my opinion this should come much earlier in the book.
Most of the last 8 or 10 chapters are special occasion chapters, like "Organizing Your Pregnancy" and "Organize Your Holiday". At least "Organize Your Holiday" does come as you're approaching the holiday season, if you did start in January and follow the numbered weeks of the year. But then it's a little depressing and a lot anticlimactic that the book ends with Chapter 52, "Organizing After a Loss".
What I'd suggest is re-sorting the table of contents to fit the time of year that you start the book, your own priorities and your preferences regarding whether to start with big-picture projects first or small detaily filing ones. Then cross out all the chapters' week numbers and write in your own.
Because each chapter is formatted like a 3 or 4 page checklist, the chapters really tend to get repetitive. For every room or space you're instructed to sort things into piles: Keep, Toss, Sell or Donate, etc. and the various basic storing, labeling, organizing advice is pretty similar for many different areas of the home.
There are a number of editing mistakes (incomplete sentences, spelling errors, etc.) throughout the book that can be slightly annoying.
Overall I've read this whole book now over the course of some months, and am somewhat more organized than when I began, but have a long way to go, and don't think this particular book will get me the rest of the way.
This book is broken down week by week in discrete subparts, such as organize your email or organize your car. You can start at any point (I started on week 17, organize your car) and it goes through step by step, THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO DO! You can check the items off one by one and there is a place to list additional items that are pertinent to you. There is then a list of items on HOW to stay organized for that particular area. Many of them I have put on the calendar to keep me in line, others are just habits that needed to be formed. Often there were items I hadn't even thought about.
By breaking it down into smaller parts, and adding a checklist, it is much easier to tackle items and see progress. The car only took a couple of hours and then I was able to do another project. Seeing progress is very motivating!
There are additional weeks provided that probably don't apply to everyone (organize a move, organize a new baby) but that very well could come in handy.
This is a book I will certainly use, all the others are going off to the used book store!
Who doesn't need a little help getting control their space? This book has a great layout of one-week-at-a-time organizing goals. You can pick any week to get started; there's no need to go 'in order', pardon any pun. I especially love the check-off lists so one has a feeling of accomplishment right away. For my sister and I, who, collectively, are University students going for Ph.D. and M.A., respectively; have two boys in college and one in kindergarten; work a combination of 4 jobs; plus all that goes with life and family, this book is a pleasant guide to staying prepared and staying sane. Thanks!
And the best part? It makes organizing not-so-daunting. The book is there to help. Not add to the chaos.
Organize Now! also helped me organize so many aspects of my life.
My Papers. My High-Traffic Areas (living room, kitchen counters, pantry, refrigerator, bathroom, dining room...). My Personal Spaces. My Storage Areas. My Special Events (parties, trips, etc).
Jennifer Ford Berry helped bring me through all the different areas in my home. But each area has its own week, so I wasn't wrestling with organizing the living room, and then running to the kitchen, and then to the laundry room, and then... well, running out of gas.
Organize Now! makes everything manageable.
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