love shit like this. I spend all of my time in the doctor’s waiting room digging around for copies of Real Simple so that I can learn 10 Ways to Speed Up Dinner Prep Time, because I actually feel like just reading these things makes me a better/thinner/more efficient person. I enjoy motivation.
The Get Organized Answerbook – Jamie Novak
And for the most part, Get Organized is fairly motivating. Set small goals! Throw things away! Have a designated spot for your keys! But it’s kind of blandly helpful, and only a few things I hadn’t heard before (one awesome tip that might only seem awesome because I haven’t got any kids, but you be-childrened bunch let me know if you think this would work: give your kids a set time [10 minutes, say] to clean up their evening’s toys, and anything they leave behind you lock up in the ‘Saturday box,’ never to be seen again [until the next Saturday]. Ehhh? Simultaneously natural-consequencing them for not cleaning everything up AND making old toys seem new by holding them hostage?)
There’s a teensy bit of fear-mongering about clutter making me fat (from the stress? From not being able to find my healthy snacks?) or causing me to shred my birth certificate, and some rather outlandish claims made just to flesh out a list (Top 20 Ways Disorganization Makes You Poor: #16. You’ll have to hire a tutor for your kids because the clutter will cripple their homeworking. This list should mayhap have ended at 15).
And then some of Novak’s statements are flat-out wrong. She recommends deleting not-so-good photos from your camera as you take them to prevent a cluttered hard drive, but it’s often difficult to tell which ones are unflattering on that teensy camera screen, PLUS deleting photos straight from the camera kills batteries. She tsks you for losing 15 minutes waiting for take-out because you forgot to defrost something from the freezer that morning, but neglects to mention the half-hour plus that you GAIN by not having to cook that thing that you defrosted.
And then at one point she recommends that I store a child’s homework in a folder ‘standing up on the countertop between the sugar and flour canisters.’ Is this not both unnecessarily precise and a bit presumptuous?
Some of her advice seems a bit dated, although the book appears to have been written in 09. She recommends putting condiments in to a muffin pan ‘instead of using messy bottles,’ but this must have been in the Pre-Squeeze-Bottle Era (PSBE), because I can’t see how a muffin pan would be less messy than several tidy squeezers. She goes on and on about what to do with your printed photos and duplicates and negatives, and then tosses in a quick nod to digital photography, as though we all still brought our film canisters to the 1-Hour Foto.
ALL THAT BEING SAID, I can see this being an excellent resource if you are DROWNDING in your mess. The steps are small and mostly manageable, and if they are a bit inane, they at least make you feel smarter.