You know what’s appealing when life is slinging the crazy? Organizing and simplifying. If it feels like things are spinning out of control, getting even a little piece of your life be calm and in place feels really helpful.
I generally take an all-or-nothing approach to getting things done, so I was surprised at how helpful I found the advice in One Small Step Can Change Your Life. The book describes an idea that helped American manufacturers transition from the Depression to the ramped up production required during World War II, and which was later adopted by Japanese corporations and called “kaizen.” The gist is that you can make big progress by taking small, measurable steps toward progress. While it sometimes works to jump in with both feet, in many cases making small steps is a more sustainable approach to change and improvement.
Making small, regular steps toward a goal doesn’t take a lot of time, money, or effort, which makes the kaizen approach especially helpful when you’re in busy, stressful, or difficult phase of life.
I find that if my surroundings are de-cluttered, I feel a lot more calm. When I’m already feeling overwhelmed, the last thing I want is to add to it by seeing a bunch of stuff, especially stuff that’s out of place.
Secrets of Professional Organizers: Leading Experts Talk About Decluttering, Organizing & Simplifying Life is a helpful Kindle book (cheap!) that includes chapters from several different professional organizers (betcha didn’t see that one coming from the title!). Each organizer has a different focus area. So, for example, one section explores how different learning styles lend themselves to different organizing techniques (super helpful and insightful), while another talks about how creative people can become more organized in their workspace as well as in their time (also very helpful for me). Other sections discussed moving, downsizing, what to do when you feel overwhelmed, and a variety of other life/time/stuff connections.
I found this book helpful, and since it is organized into short sections it’s perfect to download to your phone and read in short chunks while you nurse your baby or stand in line or whenever you have little pockets of reading time.
If you have a pretty good handle on your clothing style and keep a fairly pared down closet, you probably won’t find anything particularly ground-breaking in How to Embrace a Minimalist Wardrobe – Making the Most Out of Your Closet! However, it’s often good to remind yourself of the basics, and if you’re in need of a refresher or really are at square one about getting control of your wardrobe, the book might be helpful for you.
Again, it’s a quick read, and a cheap download, so it might be worth having for your phone to occupy spare moments.
Out of curiosity, and tangentially related to this post, do you find you’re more prone to bouts of organizing and simplification in the summer or in the winter? What sort of organization projects are you tackling these days?
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