New 'organizing' book

Frankie_in_zone_7May 20, 2009

Oh dear--Julie Morgenstern has a new book out. Something... SHED approach.

In it she makes more of a distinction between de-cluttering--which you may need to do to "break free" of various issues and develop or find your goal--vs. organizing, which is what you do when you know what your goal is.

Well, that is her premise, at any rate, and part of the schtick for the book. She also purports to take a more measured approach than some recent frantic de-cluttering gurus.

If you find the right review, you can probably get as much as by reading the book.

Also I recently read a piece on how we avoid things if we have too much time to do them, by procrastinating down to the time sliver actually needed-- as well as too little time--we know we can't complete something--sort of discussing how to line up the optimal time chunks for various jobs and that the more you can recognize that, the better use of your time. In some ways that seems obvious, but the first part, how it can be counterproductive to tackle something with too much time allowed--is interesting.

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That hits close to home. If I have too much time for a project, I try to do it perfectly, and can get really carried away.

I started reorganizing a linen closet in my master bath Thanksgiving weekend. I ended up removing the shelves to strip, stain and apply a spar urethane (moisture resistant like they use on wooden boats) finish. While I had the shelves out to refinish, I decided to paint the interior of the closet, too. I finished the project Christmas day! It was all so unnecessary, and I don't think my towels are any happier.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 12:26AM
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Wonderful examples of being asked what time it is and then telling how to build a clock! I do the same thing, sometimes and I'm better off to just get it done and not get super picky about HOW it's done!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2009 at 4:11PM
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It fits in with the idea of having to-do lists broken down into categories by "time needed" or even "concentration quotient." It's not like we don't have these lists in our heads anyway, but sometimes it is helpful to have them in writing. So if you had PLANNED to do project A in the morning, that takes 2 hrs and some brain power, but life intervenes, or typical work changes crop up, you can shift to doing five 10- minute brainless jobs instead. This works best if the brainless jobs have to be done anyway--say by the end of a few days or week--so that you don't fall behind on the small routine things when you are derailed from a bigger project. The other obvious alternative is to have your big projects broken down into small tasks so you do some of those in the 10- minutes-es.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 6:49PM
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Frankie, thanks for making me aware of this book. I checked it out at the library and am reading it now. We are focusing this weekend on our garage again (OH MY) and creating space for a new vehicle purchase. The book prompted a discussion about my dh's old bicycle hanging from hooks in the garage, which we've had the entire time we've been married (28 years). He is now ready to let it go. WhooHoo! It's been helpful in bringing up past issues, and we're crossing a a very big threshold! SHEDDING takes practice, but there is hope.

I like how Julie Morgenstern describes SHED as a transformative process for letting go of things that represent the past so you can grow and move forward. The four steps of SHED are: Separate the treasures; Heave the trash; Embrace your identity; Drive yourself forward. I'm finding it helpful. I don't know why it becomes so emotional to let go of stuff!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 7:49PM
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I know what you mean. For some people, a bicycle may have represented a plan to exercise, or perhaps a former sport much enjoyed. The idea is not that you HAVE to get rid of the bicycle, but need to decide whether that is part of the now lifestyle, or whether now you're a walker, or what.

So the parts of the book I like are that it talks not so much about random de-cluttering, but seeing various piles of stuff as either being part of a good part of your life--stuff you need for a current hobby or project--or whether that's past, and how you can feel okay that it's past and see what new things (activities or identities, not necessarily new stuff-things) you are into now or envision doing and have your stuff aligned with that.

So a lot of my troublesome "stuff" fits in categories of been there, done that or, hmm, for some reason, I just don't think I'm really gonna get around to this, and if it's not for 10 more years, I probably can get the stuff I need then.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 10:26AM
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What came up in discussing the bicycle, where some things I hadn't known about. Like the fact my dh sold his car to pay off his student loan, and he used the bike to get around. He talked about it having a drum brake, which was safer in wet weather, and it being a 1950's Raleigh Sport. The discovery of all that was interesting enough, however when he asked if I would feel better if he fixed the bike and started riding it, my answer was NO. Drivers today are more distracted than ever before with texting and cell phones. Our city isn't set up for bike riding, and I don't trust that he'd be safe.

The emotions of making decisions are usually the hardest to get over. I guess it's going to take more practice, as we have a lot of stuff to SHED!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 12:42PM
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Lena M

Thanks for the link on this book. I really appreciated Morgenstern's philosophy:

"I donâÂÂt advocate the âÂÂtough loveâ approaches that make for entertaining TV�"or that people hear from genuinely well meaning friends, family, and even from inside their own heads: âÂÂDonâÂÂt think, donâÂÂt hesitate, get rid of that junk! Come onâ¦.itâÂÂs time to move on! What good is that stuff doing you?! Throw it all away!âÂÂ

"People who are shamed into throwing things away may comply in the moment, but they will feel sick to their stomach the entire time, and will quickly refill their barren spaces, ending up back right where they started. Cavalierly tossing things from your home, office or schedule (due to shame or pressure) never provides a lasting solution."


Here is a link that might be useful: Is Clutter Just Junk? 3 Common Myths

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 1:07PM
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the worst clutterbugs I know are perfectionists..they wait until they know they can do it right to do it and then make it an all day or all week project and seldome ever finish it.

myself i'm the kind of person that dives in both feet first..and finish it might not be perfect, but it is done..and done well enough

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 7:22AM
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