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Organize for a Fresh Start: Embrace Your Next Chapter in Life Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The point isn't coming up with new and more exciting ways to organize your time, your space, your belongings, the point is to find a way to to think about that organization that works for you. West says as much in the book. The hardest part is working out how you think about your life, how you live it. Once you've accomplished that, the physical organization becomes a lot simpler.
West covers a lot of ground here, and she does it pretty well by breaking it down into goals and motivation, physical space and mental space (time management.) Most people could benefit from reading at least some of this book and putting the advice here into play. As far as I can see, if you work this program, you will get organized. But the burden is on the reader; you have to do the work.
If you're looking for some sort of magical solution to your organizational handicaps, this isn't it. It's simply another commonsense approach to pulling your life together, but it's one that will require you to give some serious thought to how you want to live your life. If you're not prepared to do that, keep on looking for the magic pill.
I've also seen a handful of one-star reviews based solely on the fact that the Kindle version of this book didn't work properly. That's not what a review is for, that's what customer service is for.
- Live your life in chapters: the author encourages you to define your organization by your chapter in life, being willing to end previous chapters
- Set organizing goals: unfortunately, the worksheet approach isn't terribly useful on a Kindle. The author also trots out two overly-long, sometimes-arbitrary "mnemonic" acronyms as she creates steps for every letter in the words REORGANIZE and SIMPLIFY
- Establish and evaluate organizing systems - The Three Ps: People, Process, Products
- Finding time and staying motivated: chapters like this one are the strongest parts of the book, breaking down typical difficulties and providing practical ideas for overcoming them
REORGANIZE YOUR SURROUNDINGS
- Evaluate your home and establish your objectives: a room-by-room analysis
- Deciding what to keep and what to remove: this chapter reminded me of the TV show "Clean Sweep"
- Reorganizing what's left: general theory and room-by-room ideas
MANAGE YOUR TIME
- Organize your time during your transition: tips for overplanning for a time in order to create new habits
- After the event - What does your new schedule look like? : ideas for creating and managing goals
- Create systems that support you: some final practical tips
APPENDIX: more worksheets, a reading list, a handy chart on how long to keep documents, websites to visit, and an index
Overall the author's tone is friendly and helpful, and if your goal is organizing your home this would be a good starting point. If you're more interested in general life organization with greater emphasis on your life outside the home, I would also recommend Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.
One thing about this book is that it is small, which makes it difficult to read. I also think it does a bit too much 'pre-work'. The "physical act of organizing", as the book says, doesn't start until half way through the book on page 94. It is also very low on pictures, which I think definitely belong in any organizational book, for some much needed inspiration. She also seems to promote hiring an actual organizer throughout the book. If I wanted to do that, I wouldn't be buying a book!
That being said, the book is well written, as well it has a unique angle - organizing for a fresh start after a life change. There are some charts and worksheets in the back (But as I said, the book is small, as well as the paper shiny, so in this day and age, a website link to print out your own on larger paper would've given the book the bonus to make it a full 4-star book). Anyone wanting to to prepare themselves or help transition to a new chapter in their life might want to pick this book up to check out.
Can't imagine it, eh? Well, neither could I, but I still had to do it. Let's just say that this book was just what I needed. Nothing can do the work for you, but when I was faced with a mountain of overwhelming responsibilities, Organize for a Fresh Start gave me just enough help to stay sane. (Or, at the very least, somewhat sane.)