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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Organized Fast-Track

Book Description

In our materialistic, time-crunched society, lifestyles are compromised by disorganization and clutter. In a 2008 National Association of Professional Organizers survey, 65 percent of respondents noted that their household was at least moderately disorganized, 71 percent said their quality of life would improve if they were better organized, and 96 percent of respondents indicated that they could save time every day by becoming more organized. A survey by IKEA reported that only 11 percent of Americans know where their Social Security cards are. Unfortunately, the problem has gotten so out of hand for so many, they have no idea where to begin.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Dedication
  4. Copyright
  5. Contents
  6. Introduction
  7. 1 The Fast Track to an Organized Life
    1. What Is Organized, Anyway?
      1. Organizing Myths and Misconceptions
      2. One Right Way—Yours
    2. Components of an Organized Life
      1. Controlled Clutter
      2. Robust Routines
      3. Organized Spaces
      4. Well-Managed Time
    3. Where Do I Begin?
      1. Start Where the Shoe Pinches
      2. Decide on a Target Component
      3. Set Up Control Central
  8. 2 Gearing Up for Self-Change
    1. Discover Your Organizing Style
      1. Your Clutter Tolerance
      2. File It, Pile It, or Deny It?
      3. Your Time-Management Style
    2. Overcoming Personal Roadblocks
      1. Excuses, Excuses
      2. No Time to Plan? Plan to Fail!
    3. Identifying and Setting Goals
      1. Define the Goal
      2. Break It Down
      3. Face the Goal
      4. Study Setbacks
    4. Self-Coaching and Accountability
      1. Be Your Own Cheerleader
      2. Finding Support from Others
  9. 3 Kicking Clutter to the Curb
    1. Causes of Clutter
      1. Delayed Decision Making
      2. Deferring Action
      3. Denial
    2. The STOP Clutter Method
    3. The Clear-a-Thon
      1. Assessing Household Storage Options
      2. Setting Up Temporary Holding Areas
      3. Sustaining the Clutter Clear-a-Thon
    4. Establishing Clutter Preserves
  10. 4 Clutter Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
    1. Conquering Your Clutter Demons
      1. Sentiment
      2. Scarcity Thinking
      3. Perfectionism
      4. Procrastination
      5. Rebellion
      6. The Miser
    2. Setting Up Clutter Checkpoints
      1. Designate Space
      2. Set the Time
      3. Set Conditions
    3. Exploring Deacquisition Strategies
      1. Borrow, Don’t Buy
      2. Utilize Online Access
      3. Make the Most of What You Have
      4. Buy Good Once
  11. 5 Habits, Routines, and Activity Centers
    1. Getting Your Habits on Your Side
      1. Anatomy of a Habit
      2. Habits for an Organized Life
    2. Building Routines into Daily Life
      1. Crafting Robust Routines
      2. Automating Life’s Activities
    3. Creating Activity Centers for an Organized Home
      1. Essentials of an Activity Center
      2. The Household Launch Pad
  12. 6 Routines of an Organized Home
    1. Housecleaning and Home Maintenance
      1. Daily
      2. Weekly
      3. Monthly
      4. Seasonal
    2. Managing Meals and Menus
      1. Menu- and Meal-Planning Basics
      2. Shopping Tips
      3. Keeping Order in the Pantry
    3. Wardrobe Planning and Clothing Care
      1. Planning Family Wardrobes
      2. Creating a Laundry Activity Center
      3. Crafting Clothing-Care Routines
  13. 7 Crafting Organized Spaces
    1. Assigning Household Real Estate
      1. Location, Location, Location
      2. Hot Zones and Black Holes
    2. Clever Containment Strategies
    3. Storage Options High to Low
      1. The World Beneath
      2. Look Up High
      3. On the Walls
      4. Double-Duty Doors
    4. Organizing Multiuse Spaces
  14. 8 Organized Spaces, Room by Room
    1. Organizing Kitchen and Food-Storage Areas
      1. Setting Up Kitchen Activity Centers
      2. Creative Kitchen Organization Ideas
    2. Bringing Order to Bed and Bath Areas
      1. Creating Blissful Bedrooms
      2. Bathrooms That Work for You
    3. Creating Orderly Family Rooms
      1. Activity Centers for Shared Spaces
      2. Storage Ideas for Entertainment, Books, and Music
  15. 9 Tuning Your Time-Management Skills
    1. Boosting Your Calendar Power
      1. Create a Single Calendar
      2. Basic Routines for Time Management
      3. Shared and Household Calendars
    2. Crafting To-Do Lists
      1. The Master To-Do List
      2. The Daily To-Do List
      3. The Supercharged To-Do List
    3. A Procrastinator’s ABCs
      1. Take Action
      2. Break It Down
      3. Create Momentum
  16. 10 Conquering Household Paperwork
    1. Creating a Home Office Center
    2. Establishing Financial Routines
      1. Mail and Paper Handling
      2. Bill Paying and Financial Management
      3. Filing
    3. Setting Up Household Filing Systems
      1. Action Files
      2. Basic Files
      3. Classic Files
    4. Quick Tricks to Conquer the Paper Pileup
  17. 11 Getting Organized in the Workplace
    1. Surviving an Alien Organizing Style
      1. Time Management
      2. Space Allocation
      3. Clutter Variances
    2. Controlling Workplace Clutter
      1. On the Desk
      2. In Your Space
      3. Managing Data Clutter
    3. Organizing Office Spaces
      1. Making Your Office Work for You
      2. The Organized Computer
    4. Office Routines and Time Management
      1. Building a Workaday Routine
      2. Creating Calendar Checkpoints
  18. 12 Handling Bumps in the Road
    1. Get Family Members on Board
      1. Set the Standard
      2. Consult, Don’t Confront
      3. Establish Household Routines
    2. Get Organized for a Move
      1. Create a Move Planner
      2. Label Everything
      3. Pack Me Last
    3. Plan Holidays and Celebrations
      1. Set Up a Holiday Planner
      2. Break It Down and Begin Early
      3. Stockpile Gifts and Greetings
    4. Last-Minute Company
    5. Reclaim Your Organized Life
      1. Revamp Your Control Center
      2. Corral Creeping Clutter
      3. Learn from Your Mistakes
  19. Appendixes
    1. A Organizing Resources
    2. B 10-Step Organizing Plan
  20. Index
  21. About the Author