From The Beacon: Read up on ways to beat the clutter

When I was first asked about the topic of “getting organized” I had to chuckle. Moi? Write an article on how to get organized? In all honesty and humility, I consider myself to be a reasonably organized individual, but it is not my strongest suit. In the interest of full disclosure, I was given the option of choosing another subject for this article, but I decided it would be a good exercise in self improvement if I tackled this topic.

There are numerous areas in our lives that require us to be organized in order to function at an optimum level: our family life, our home, and the workplace or school, are the primary examples. And what better time than the beginning of a new year to begin organizing a part, or parts, of our life that could perhaps use some attention? The first thing that I plan to tackle is my clothes closet; and an area at work that needs to be better organized is my desk, so that, too, will be dealt with soon. BCL, as well as SCLends Consortium libraries, have a number of books on getting organized, and below are a few examples of what are available. As always, books that are not owned by your local branch library can be requested from another BCL library or SCLends Consortium library and sent to your local branch. Hopefully, one or more of these titles can give you “definite structure, arrange, put in working order” (Webster’s Dictionary definition of “organize”) or “to make things efficient and functional” and “to make sure that everything has a home” (Laura Leist’s definition in her book, Eliminate Chaos). Hmm…after cleaning up after dinner last evening, I think I may have to add to my list organizing a few cabinets in my kitchen!

Laura Leist, author of Eliminate Chaos, is an organizing consultant and owner of a company with the same name that provides organizing services for individuals in their homes, small businesses, and corporations. Leist adds personal stories to her organizing suggestions throughout her book and includes many full color photos (not only the “before” and “after” but “in between”) of clients’ homes. Her main point is to sort and weed first before organizing.

Julie Morgenstern is also an organizing consultant for individuals and corporations and founder of an organizing company, Task Masters. Her book, Organizing From the Inside Out: the Foolproof System for Organizing Your Home, Your Office, and Your Life, 2nd Edition, was a NY Times bestseller. The author gears her book towards those who have difficulty staying organized or who seem to never be able to get completely organized, and her goal is to help individuals and businesses get on the right track and stay on it. She also argues that there is no “one size fits all” way of organizing; every situation is different.

Never Check E-Mail in the Morning: and Other Strategies for Making Your Work Life Work, by Julie Morgenstern. What? Don’t check your e-mail in the morning? Read this book to find out why and get your work life more organized and consequently more fulfilling and less stressful.

The Organized Student: Teaching Children the Skills for Success in School and Beyond, by Donna Goldberg and Jennifer Zweibel. Goldberg is former librarian and founder of a consulting company, the Organized Student. Along with Zweible, who works with her, she has written a good basic guide geared for parents and their middle school students.

Julie Morgenstern, along with her daughter, Jessi Morgenstern-Colón, has written a book directed to teens, Organizing From the Inside Out for Teens: the Foolproof System for Organizing Your Room, Your Time, and Your Life. The mother-daughter team provide many suggestions and advice for teens, basically using the same approach and philosophy found in Julie Morgenstern’s other books on the topic, but with a teen twist.

And, finally, a special program note … In keeping with “January is Get Organized Month”, this coming Wednesday, January 19th, at 6:30 pm at the Beaufort Branch, Jill Weaver, Professional Organizer, will share her insights to help you stay organized over time. Make an immediate impact with her simple steps for organized success!