July 25, 2012

I Used To Be So Organized {a review}

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If you were reading my blog in January, you may know I am on a quest to purge and organize our home.  Each month, I am tackling at least one area of our house.  Over this past month, I have been working through the children's bedrooms.  We will finish their rooms this week by sorting clothing and creating lists for fall clothing needs.  With four children, it is quite the undertaking, and honestly a bit overwhelming.  So recently, when I was approached with an offer to review I Used To Be So Organized: Help for Reclaiming Order and Peace, by Glynnis Whitwer, selfishly, I accepted.  I read the book straight through in less than a week.

Filled with numerous organizational tips for every aspect of your life, this book is extremely helpful.  Whitwer not only covers the material aspects of life, she includes sections on how to organize intangible items, such as time and technology.

Sharing a variety of personal examples, and many different solutions, Whitwer does not present a one size fits all approach to organization.  Instead, as a a working from home, mother of five children, Whitwer presents realistic methods and tips which readers can pick an choose to apply to their own situations and seasons of life.  Her tone is informative and encouraging, not overbearing or manipulative.  She wants to persuade her readers to be more organized, but in their own style and way.  There is no perfect way to organize a home.  We must each find the systems that work for our lives and families.

There are large scale ideas and approaches like how Whitwer views closets of clothing.  From page 197, she shares that "A bedroom closet is a place of dreams.  Dreams that we can still fit into that dress, that we will wear those heels, or that someday our favorite pink shirt will actually look good on us."  Her assessment is certainly true of my closet!  When she later said her approach to scaling down her clothing was to envision who could use the pieces of clothing, I was reminded of that Compassion picture of the woman amongst armfuls of clothing, saying "I have nothing to wear," and then it switches to a picture of two little boys in rags saying the same thing.  It certainly is motivating to give generously what you can easily spare.

Another aspect that truly hit home was one of her points for time management.  Whitwer speaks of balance.  When we say yes to one thing, we must say no to something else.  Though we all inherently know this, seeing it written out resonated with me.  I was grateful for the reminder.

As much as I liked her specific approaches to organization and purging our possessions, I truly appreciated  her overall outlook much more.  Whitwer begins and ends the book with a clear focus on the whys of organization.  According to her, our organization, or lack of, directly affects our ability to live out God's will for our lives.  It is another reality she gently reminds her readers to consider as she urges us all to live organized lives. 
~ Dorie

I Used to Be So Organized is also available at Amazon, Christian Book, and Proverbs 31 Ministries.

* In exchange for this review, I received a copy of the book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.


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