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Waste of time
on 27 December 2013
Eight years ago I was relatively disorganised and messy, although nothing chronic. Still, it was a cause of frustration for me, as I wanted to be neat and tidy. I could not keep the surface of my chest of drawers clutter free. My kitchen drawers were disorganised. I had never given sufficient thought to the storage items I needed. I used to waste 5 minutes every day looking for my car keys as I never kept them in the same place. The final straw came when one of my bags was stolen from my trolley at Heathrow airport on my way back from a holiday in Chile. I decided to take urgent action and to work through the pain barrier to create order in my life.
I read Julie Morgenstern's book "Organising from the Inside Out". I was so happy to find that being organised was a skill you can easily learn, rather than a gift you are somehow born with, or not, as the case may be. I applied Julie's organisation techniques to my living space. It wasn't easy. It took me a few weeks to apply her principles to my whole flat and office. I was really dedicated to turning over a new leaf and did not slack at all. I can honestly say that I have never looked back and have never been messy since. I am now regarded as an extremely neat and organised person. It has made me so much more efficient at work and so much more relaxed at home.
I therefore read this book in the fortunate position of being someone who is not disorganised and does not live with clutter. I have moved many times, and on each occasion have shed unnecessary clutter. I could probably therefore give very good advice myself.
I was disappointed that on finishing the book I did not learn anything new at all. I also think that for someone looking to get on the path to being organised and clutter free, Julie Morgenstern's book is far more practical.
On a style point, I did not like the way the author refers vaguely to people throughout the book, but gives no character detail, so it is impossible to identify with these people, and it seems like they could even be made up. For example "Jo was delighted with his reorganised cutlery drawer. It cheered him up every time he used it." I think it would have been better to write something along the lines of "Jo was a client of mine. She was a 40 year old hairdresser and single mum. I worked with her on ... She was delighted with her cutlery drawer ...". One can then feel the depth of character and start to identify more.
The writer's style is perfectly eloquent and organised. However, it is not practical enough and for that reason is disappointing. Also, I think it is important to have balance in one's life. At page 195 of the paperback edition that I have, the author advises the reader to go through your action tray and to-do list make sure you are on top of all those niggling household jobs. I actually disagree with that advice. Have a read of "Get everything done and still have time to play." I think that gives good advice on not beating yourself up over having items remaining on one's to do-list, particularly if they are not really that important to do. In fact, the author of that book does not like to-do lists at all and gives very good reasons to support his views.