Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Organizing from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern (1998, 262 pgs.)

I've been checking more things off of my project list than my reading list lately, which actually gives me time to do some reviews at a more leisurely pace. This book about organization is probably one of the reasons I haven't read too much--when I read about organizing, I just have to do it! I am a moderately organized person who gets excessively excited when I get to create order out of chaos! This book isn't so much about what knick-knacks to use, but gives you a process for finding out why some areas of your home or office are in disarray, as well as a step by step process for figuring out the best way to fix it, based on your own personality and any issues you may have. I actually learned a few things about myself psychologically that really affect all areas of my life.
My first task to tackle was to do something about what we have affectionately named "The Pile" on the kitchen counter--a stack of a variety of school papers, ads, coupons, etc. that sometimes gets to resemble the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Any time any one is looking for something, I say, "Look in The Pile." I know that I am not going to file everything right away, and some of these items I don't want to file because I like to have them on hand-like the ads for the week and forms that need to be filled out. So now they are in a tabbed file box and everything just goes directly in there rather than on The Pile, and things are easier to find. This solution may not work for everyone, which is Morgenstern's point--we all have our own natural habits and psychological needs that will influence our strategies to organize.
My next project is my nightstand. I would post a picture, but it would just be too embarrassing. It must be a sign that I'm getting older that I regularly have Tums, mentholatum, two inhalers, and cough drops always within arm's reach at night. I just need to find a way to arrange all of those items along with books, glasses, phone, alarm clock, etc. in a way that will keep it all from falling off every time I grab something! Wish me luck!

Rating: 4.5/5


  1. I can sooo relate to the kitchen counter Pile! Your solution sounds like a good one. Any suggestions for "The Drawer"? :-) Good luck with the rest of the organizing!


  2. I need this book badly. I'm actually not an organized person at all but I really want to be. I actually spent over an hour this morning looking for my newest running shoes which I haven't seen for several days. Through inspiration undoubtedly, I finally looked in a suitcase that had been in my room but that I had finally put away about a week ago. There they were. Thank goodness! I was afraid that my 2 year old had put them in the recycling bin and they'd been taken away (he does things like that).

  3. I am on a bit of an organizing book kick right now so I am going to have to check this one out. I have heard of Julie Morgenstern but never read any of her books.

  4. I liked this book, too. The other organization book I love is Sink Reflections by Marla Cilley (The Fly Lady). Now, if I just did the things they suggested, my house would be looking a lot sharper!