Friday, January 12, 2018

Organizing for Your Lifestyle by Jane Stoller

(Picture from Pinterest category pale pink notebooks and pens.)

An editor has given me Jane Stoller's book "Organizing For Your Lifestyle",  and I agreed to write a review. 

To order:

I know it is very hard work to write a book, so I want to read this one carefully, especially because it has so much well-planned detail in it. Here is how it has helped me so far as I have read it:

Due to the tremendous amount of activity in my life - sewing for myself and others, extending hospitality, traveling to see family members, meal preparation (we try to eat at home most of the time)  and other things that absorb my time, organization has fallen off the wagon, and I mean really off!

I am not naturally organized and am always looking for a better plan. This shows how to adapt organization to your own way of life.

The book rightly suggests that it is a great deal simpler to organize when there are not so many things to sort through, and the chapters feature different rooms of the house.

Several good points Jane has made (as I have read so far) are:

-There is a connection between disorder in the home, and anxiety. The anxiety lessens as you get more organized. 

 I know anxiety is a big concern today, as it weakens the body and mind and produces all kinds of maladies. I listened to a health practioner, an MD on a radio program back in the 1970's giving hands-on remedies for anxiety, and one thing he suggested for women at home, was organizing a spice collection or a kitchen drawer. He said after moving one or two things, check how you feel and then move and organize more. The hands, he said, engage the mind and trigger off a feeling of well-being when organizing.  I have tried this even when I have been ill in bed. Reaching over to tidy up my side table and dust everything with a clean tissue, put me at ease and helped me rest better.

-Personal  organization tailored to your own lifestyle can make you healthier. 

Jane makes the point that your excercise and eating habits are better when your posessions and your rooms are culled and organized. I know this is true, because I am less likely to grab just anything to eat, when I am not so frustrated and confused by a disorganized kitchen, and I'm more eager to excercise when my house is in order.

-Decluttering helps us feel better. My mind whirls and spins with a thousand disjointed thoughts when I am not organized.  As anxiety increases, the fight-or-flight feeling (mostly flight!) takes over and causes loss of focus on the things that would bring on the most calm.

-We sleep better when we are organized. 

-We spend less money when we are organized. In my own case, I know if I had the money I spent replacing things I lost somewhere in the house in the last 45 years, I might be rich!

These points alone are enough to make me have a stronger desire and personal enthusiasm for organizing my posessions.

Because I have been getting up every so often to organize something, I have not been reading this book very fast, but I hope to complete this review on another post.

I particularly like the line drawings and sketches of orderly closets and shelves, and the description of how to organize things by how often you use them.

Note: Like all books, none can know your needs and the details in your life. It is good to be discerning. My own organization has been interrupted, like many of you, by the busyness of family life, weddings, illness of parents, care of parents and their homes, etc., births, emergencies of all kinds. Please note that I don't endorse everything written in books, nor do at endorse everything on every blog on my blogroll. I try to choose books and blogs that may be helpful or edifying in some way. 


Polly said...

This looks like a good book! I am also a believer in organizing simply because it streamlines life and helps us focus on what we need and want to do (not on finding lost things or sorting through endless items). Actually I'm more a believer of purging/getting rid of things...then the organizing itself is simpler!

But we all have ebbs and flows in how organized our lives are and that's when a good book really helps to get us back on track! Definitely true for me. :)

Unknown said...

Thanks for the review. I am so happy when people enjoy getting more organized!

becky said...

Love books like this! But I too am a purger like Polly. I heard a saying
"We spend the first 2/3 of our lives collecting things and the last 1/3 trying to get rid of them."
How true. I understand holding on to keepsakes for the next generation-but I really evaluated what I had and didn't need; or want to save because I might need it someday. Was very liberating!

Christine said...

I like that you still organize, even when you are ill!

Some great points.

anonymous said...

Thank you Lydia for sharing this nice post. A really good book too.
Clutter is really humbling,distracting,stressful and depresses me.

I've organized and re-organized my home and schedule over and over to fit my ever changing circumstances. We must share space in the home so I'm no longer allowed to clean or organize the man cave (AKA the office). To keep the peace and my sanity I prayed and the answer was simply, just shut the door. Out of sight.

Its such a relief and peaceful feeling to rid myself of what I don't need and have the rest of the domain to my standards. I am finally content and don't stress about the off limit areas any longer.