Summer Reading~Organize Your Life

Chicalicious Readers. .I MUST share this fabulous book I read. The Get Organized AnswerBook: Practical Solutions for 275 Questions on Conquering Clutter, Sorting Stuff and Finding More Time and Energy.

Ladies, I must confess . . . I used to be a packrat and a clutter junkie. Prior to my big move, I had closets full of things I did not need, clothes that I never wore, and beauty products that I never used. I held on to items for ‘sentimental value’, when ironically, I didn’t even put them away with the care I supposedly had for them. I can honestly say that after reading this book, I have become more organized than ever. This book helped me realize that having mess in our home and/or workplace can cause stress, and negatively affect my mood. I thought about the times I was late because I couldn’t find my keys or wallet, or the times I declined company because I knew my apartment was a mess.

The dedication at the beginning of the book is sincere. The writer acknowledges those of us who have good intentions when it comes to organizing, and encourages us to tackle each day in “bite-sized pieces”. Jamie Novak has and endearing and sweet nature, like a friend who really, really want you to organize your life. I assumed the book was going to hurl demands at me about completely changing my life, but I was wrong.

The ideas in the book are simple, but effective when put to use. Each chapter breaks down a different organizing challenge, and various methods of tackling the issue. Some of my favorite tips include:

*Creating higher storage spaces in homes that lack basements and/or attics

*Maintaining a master grocery list to make meal planning easier

*Keeping important documents in specified folders

*Finding local charities to donate unneeded items

This book helped me get to the root of my disorganization problem. It breaks down the 7 basic types of disorganizing personalities. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be shocked when you discover how many of the types you identify with. Reading this section made me realize how much of a problem I had.

If you haven’t noticed, clothing is my weak spot. My closet was a wreck. I would buy what I liked, mostly on impulse. Most of my purchases have a “story”. For instance, there’s a shirt that I would never wear again, but I keep it because it’s the shirt I was wearing when I met Big. Then the dress I snagged on Ebay, because it reminded me of something Carrie from SATC would wear, but didn’t fit me as nicely as I thought it would be. And of course I still have my prom dress, and the leather capris I wore to after prom. All items I will never wear again. After reading Chapter 3 (Organizing 101), I separated all of my clothes into piles based on what I regularly wear, what I rarely wear, what I won’t ever wear again. I donated at least 2 garbage bags to charity, gave a bag away to a girlfriend, and let my sisters fight over a bag. I couldn’t believe how much better I felt about my wardrobe after weeding through it. I also made a decision to curb my impulse buying. I keep a list of my clothing, so that when I shop, I’m not buying the same stuff. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bought something, and found its twin in my closet (hangs head in shame).

Another tip I enjoyed. . . . as a Cheap Chica, I am BIG on samples and freebies. Little shampoo bottles, lotions, eye shadow pigments, lipstick samples, and everything in between could be found in random places in my apartment. I started storing them all together in a clear tote. Now they’re all in one neat space and out of sight, and I only order ones that I 'm truly interested in trying.

The author, Jamie Novak, is an absolute expert in the field of organizing and de-cluttering. This book is very well written. Anyone who has questions about getting rid of clutter and sorting out the mess in your home should grab this book immediately! If you are serious about becoming a more organized person, and living a clutter-free existence, then this book is perfect for you. The end of the book even includes an action guide to starting a discussion group with other people who need to tackle their disorganization issues. You don’t have to do it alone. How sweet is that? The book is available in bookstores and online.

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