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Household Hints Book

Organizing from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern Organizing from the Inside Out
by Julie Morgenstern

Paperback: 262 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.79 x 9.22 x 6.13
Publisher: Owl Books; 1st edition (September 15, 1998)
ISBN: 0805056491

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Amazon.com: It's about time! Julie Morgenstern has written an organizing book that covers a new way of looking at the task of organizing effectively without labeling or blaming the person behind the lack of organization. Rather, she says, people who don't organize just never learned how to organize, through no fault of their own--after all, it's not a skill that's taught in school. That said, she gets down to work helping you figure out an organizing system that will really work for you, not a system based on cookie-cutter filing concepts or special storage units.

Morgenstern's "from the inside out" system begins by laying out the possible reasons for a failure of organization: technical errors (like having a complex organizing system that breaks down), external realities (like not enough space for your belongings), and psychological obstacles (like fear of failure--or success). Then, her Analyze and Strategize steps help create a plan of action based on your needs and goals, and the brief chapter called "Attack: Getting the Job Done" offers basic ideas for making space. The largest section of the book, "Applying What You've Learned," addresses the specifics of organizing workspaces, home offices, living spaces, and storage areas. Each section has a "How Long Will It Take?" box that gives a realistic time estimate, and Morgenstern's "Julie's No-Brainer Toss List" for each area gives the permission and encouragement that most of us have been waiting for to get rid of things we'll never use again. The section at the end, "Tackling Time and Technology," is worth its weight in DayTimers and PalmPilots. Whatever your organizing issues are, you're not a hopeless case, and you don't need special equipment--just a little understanding of the problem and a willingness to plan before diving in.

Book Description: Veteran professional organizer Morgenstern has spent years honing the principles of organization into a simple, and universal system. Organizing from the inside out(developing a plan tailored to each individual's psychological needs(ensures, once and for all, a system that won't break down.

Morgenstern explains the basic concepts(analyze, strategize, attack(then provides tips gleaned from her years of experience with offices, home offices, mobile offices, children's rooms, kitchens, garages, and storage spaces. Organizing From the Inside Out will be welcomed by corporate executives, entrepreneurs and the self-employed, working parents, students and city dwellers in small apartments(anyone facing an overwhelming amount of clutter, both physical and psychic. Also provided are useful chapters on time management and taming technology, critical elements in any modern organizing scheme.

Ingram: Julie Morgenstern, founder of Task Masters, offers a three-step organizing system that can be applied to any space or situation. The plan is tailored to each individual's psychological needs and ensures, once and for all, a strategy that won't break down. 20 photos.

Book Info: Presents the secrets to organizing any office, home, or schedule using simple plans that start with understanding your individual goals, natural habits, & psychological needs, so that you can work with your personality rather than against it. Paper. DLC: Home economics.

About the Author: Julie Morgenstern founded an organizing consulting firm, Task Masters, ten years ago, and is a board director of the National Association of Professional Organizers. Her clients include Fortune 500 corporations, and she has appeared on Today, Good Morning America, and ABC World News Now. She lives in New York City.

Customer Reviews
Believe the Hype, November 8, 2002
Reviewer: mjh1963 from Sydney, NSW Australia
If you're like me, you've collected quite a few books on clutter, as well as all that clutter than you live with. I've drawn some useful information from all of them, but none have been as useful as Organizing from the Inside Out. Morgenstern's book encourages you to rethink your clutter problem in terms of a program that is tailored to suit the clutterer as an individual, whose desire for organization can be realised through some clear guidelines and inspiring suggestions.

Morgernstern's book suggests that clutter problems can be diagnosed and remedied by a careful reappraisal of what it is about you that makes you have a problem with organization. Morgernstern doesn't confuse antiseptic environemnts with organization, and she doesn't lose sight of the pleasure many of us have in finding ourselves in "busy" environments. What she does give is a compelling account of how organizational problems occur, and some clear-headed advice for dealing with them. It's striking that though her approach feels quite sensitive to individual differences, she formulates solutions that are simple, logical, and stick in your mind.

Unlike most other clutter books I have read, nothing here made me cringe, or think that Morgernstern didn't understand why people love things. Her style is chatty but precise. If you're thinking of buying just one book to sort out organizational problems in the home, I recommend this one.

Morgenstern gives great advice, September 24, 2002
Reviewer: Shana Norris from North Carolina, United States
While the approaches Julie Morgenstern offers in this book may seem simple and obvious, there are many of us who need a book like this as a kick in the behind to get started. Morgenstern offers practical advice and doesn't try to force you to change yourself to fit into her idea of how organization should work. She tells you to observe your home/office and figure out how to make organization work WITH you. The advice offered in this book has helped me on my way to living in harmony with my home and habits. I find that I can keep things cleaner and I don't freak out when company stops by unexpectedly. Everything has its place and returns to its place after use. I actually know what I own now! No more messy cabinets with three or four duplicate bottles of lotion because I couldn't find the last bottle when I needed it.

The BEST organization book ever!!!, September 20, 2002
Reviewer: A reader from Ogden, UT United States
I loved this book. Julie Morgenstern really know what she is talking about. She puts getting organized into such basic steps that anyone can get their stuff in order.

excellent book on organizing, September 15, 2002
Reviewer: Tony White from Sammamish, WA USA
Very good book. Its the right length, developing its points fully enough to be grasped thoroughly enough to allow you to really change your behavior. If you are disorganized and don't know how to get started this book will get you on the right track.

Logical book with helpful hints, August 26, 2002
Reviewer: tracy6675 from Watertown, MA United States
This book is helpful for those of us who are chronically unorganized. Essentially, she says you need to organize according to your habits, have a plan before you start, label, and tackle one area at a time. She also gives example of problem organizers, so that the reader can identity themselves and where their problem may lie (do you have too much stuff, are you putting something too far away from your activity, do you have a "home" for everything?)

Some readers may think the information is somewhat obvious, but for chronically messy people who really need a way to proceed and have failed organizing things in the past, this is a great book.

I thought I was the only one!, August 8, 2002
Reviewer: Sunnye Tiedemann
I mean, surely no one else would set up a careful file system then not be able to find anything because she couldn't remember what fit into the various categories she'd set up! Medical records could be either in an individual person's file or filed by month, depending on whim. The problem, I discovered through reading this book, is in analysis. First you figure out what doesn't work and why, then you create a plan that works. It's all very individualized and sensible.

I've read lots of books on getting organized and they all impose their own system. This one teaches the reader to evaluate his/her own situation, including psychological resistance to getting organized, then goes on to suggest several solutions. I found tips on staying motivated particularly helpful since I had a mammoth chore ahead of me when I started.

The concept of containerizing is also especially useful in a rather large household. Things certainly stay neater now!

I do recommend this book to anyone who suspects that life could be a little better organized and flow just a little smoother.

At least I can get a start on getting organized now, July 28, 2002
Reviewer: Diana Slater from Moorpark, CA United States
This book gives step by step instructions for how to get organized. Some areas didn't apply to me and I wish she had a resource list but other than that, it was great.

Not the easy solution, but the one that works, June 10, 2002
Reviewer: A reader from Portland, Oregon
For years, I've thought I was disorganized. I never carried a datebook, calendar, and cringe at the thought of a PDA. Even though previous 'organizing' titles have stressed the importance of this, and 'systems' in your home and workplace, for some reason, I never could keep them up. Strangely enough, I never missed an appointment, or lost a phone number, though, and bills never got paid late. Still, the stacks around me clamored to be 'organized'...

I had a huge breakthrough while reading this -- I wasn't disorganized, I was just *messy*. I knew exactly where everything was, even though it seemed totally random to everyone else. So, trying to make myself stick to artificial systems was simply going to fail. What I needed to do was clean up.

And strangely, after I realized I wasn't really disorganized, the cleaning part was easy.

This book is more about *thinking* about how you handle things, and insight into possible reasons for your behavior. Don't expect a reminder to clean your bathroom sink every morning, or to lay out your clothes for the next day (frankly, if you really require that, what you probably need is Intensive Remedial Housekeeping 101) -- but it will help you think things through.

Helped even me, May 9, 2002
Reviewer: sandrammorrison from Cincinnati, OH/Covington, KY United States
This book goes into the psyche of the disorganized person. There are many types and I identifed my issues and now know how to work around them.

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