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Wouldn’t it be amazing if you were born with stellar organizational skills? That you just knew how to live with less, keep everything tidy and labeled, and in its proper place? One can dream I suppose. To be honest, I’ve been blessed with pretty good organizational skills. What I haven’t been blessed with is the continuing motivation to ALWAYS keep stuff organized. You know what I mean. There are those times in life you just say eff it – organization is the furthest thing from your mind.
Recently, I received a copy of Jane Stoller’s Organizing For Your Lifestyle to review. At 129 pages, it’s a quick and easy read full of organizing and decluttering goodness. My first impression? OMG, this woman gets me. Sweet Valley High books? Yep, I had those and I kept them organized too. Single? Check. Well-paying job? Well, sort of – that’s a “used to have” for me. Expert in adapting? Oh yea, I’m with you sister!
While you may not have organized your Sweet Valley High books or followed a similar life path, that’s okay! There’s a lot you can learn from this book and Jane’s experience in adapting to new cities, countries, and types of homes.
About the Author – Jane Stoller
Jane is a (mostly) single girl with no kids and a well-paying job. She’s lived in many different places around the world, and usually in fairly small spaces. She travels extensively and has learned the art of traveling light. After receiving numerous requests from friends to clean and organize their closets, she decided to write Organizing For Your Lifestyle to share her passion for organizing and to help others.
Organizing since she was six years old, she knew that organizing was a part of her. Most of her practical organizing experience comes from living in small spaces and having to adapt.
Her philosophy is that “organizing is a lifestyle, but isn’t a one-size-fits-all.” Ultimately she believes you shouldn’t have to change who you are to stay organized, instead, it involves maximizing who you are as an individual.
What did I love?
The organizing vision and quiz. The book’s focus on why. I’m a firm believer in understanding why we do the things we do. Honestly, it’s the only way to figure yourself out and then take corrective action. You know, it’s kind of like why do you shop so much? If you look at your life, you might find that you loathe your job, or maybe you’re unhappy in your marriage. See? Why is a big deal. And of course, it can help you figure out why your organizational skills are less than stellar.
What’s my organizing vision? To be organized like a hotelier. You know, one of those chic French boutique hotels that label everything. Sadly, this isn’t happening, because well, I’m still purging things.
What’s my ideal closet? Okay, this is a no-brainer. I’d love a closet like Carrie Bradshaw’s in Sex and the City II. Yes, shoe heaven and designer clothing nirvana! That’s my vision.
These questions get you thinking and motivated to put a reason behind getting organized. It’s a great trick and one of the things I loved most about the book.
Uncovering Your Organizing Style
Have you ever asked yourself why you want to be more organized? I mean, really seriously considered why you wanted to do it. Was it a passing fancy or was it something deeper? At the outset, Jane has you answering questions about your organizing vision, your ideal closet and uncovering your organizing style. It’s unique and a fantastic idea. It gets you into the right mindset before digging into decluttering.
The Science Behind Organization
This chapter is all about the links between being organized and staying healthy. I mean, have you ever noticed that you’re super stressed when you can’t find anything? It feels like chaos right? Delving into the science helps us to understand the impact organization has on our budget, well-being, focus and even our ability to buy less.
Breaking your clutter down room by room
Pretty self-explanatory here – Jane walks us through her experiences and tactics for designing and organizing your closet, organizing your bathroom and kitchen.
A few bits I enjoyed:
Pg 31 Items that would never be part of a Parisian wardrobe
Pg 50-51 Organizing your shoes and a neat trick for those who love designer shoes. Do you keep original boxes?
Pg 54-55 Handbags – Need I say more?
Pg 58-59 Aptly named “Sobering Up Your Toiletries.” This section dives into the toxins living in your cosmetics and offers some interesting alternatives for how to purge toiletries. Hint: Start with toxins!
Pg 67 – Love the cute tip on this page for organizing towels and Jane’s perfect find for Makeup towels.
Pg 74 – Because, you know, folding a fitted sheet is always a pain. I’m still no master at it.
Pg 77 – “Plan to be skinny” Yes lovelies, you read right, you can plan to be skinny. Jane digs into some of her grocery shopping tips and why she keeps fruits on the counter.
Who doesn’t want to travel light and be organized? I always dread coming home. Unloading my suitcase and having to launder everything and get it all organized again. Yikes! Jane extols the virtues of having a travel wallet, keeping travel sizes on hand, and using carry on luggage. Check out pg 99 Jane’s Fave Carry-on Essentials.
How do you organize your books? Alphabetically? By how pretty they are? Personally, I always kept them in storage bins and rarely put them out. Lately, I’ve gotten into the habit of stacking them by theme and color. This one’s a quick chapter on keeping books and magazines sorted.
How do you sustain organization?
Yes, it is a challenge staying organized. You pick something up, drop it off in another place and there it sits. Out of space, out of time and in the back of your mind causing chaos. You walk by it and know it’s in the wrong space and yet, you don’t take the time to put it back. Sustaining organization is key to keeping things simple in life. A quick 10 minutes every day will keep your life less chaotic.
No organizing book wouldn’t be complete without a few words on keeping all your stuff organized. Jane offers some unique tips on keeping everything organized for good. I love her tip for storing out of season items and keeping a consignment bin.
All in all, there are some great tips, tricks and life experiences shared in Organizing For Your Lifestyle. Understanding why you want to organize should be at the top of your list, and I like the fact that Jane puts it front and center. Jane’s practical advice will help you get organized and stay organized for good. I’m looking forward to more from Jane – I would love to see a book from Jane showcasing her closet design skills.