This is not your typical organization book. And believe me, I've read them all.
Even paid an 'organizer' to help me figure out a system for paperwork.
I listened through this book to the end, then again as I followed instructions.
This in and of itself speaks to the success and uniqueness of the author's approach, cause I can snub my nose at the best instructions out there. (oh there's a "to spite my face" in this sentiment, believe me)
This author is firm in his convictions that everyone can unstuff: anywhere, without too much pain, and in realistic spaces of time. His methods make sense, in that obvious way that relatively intelligent people like me respond to with, "I KNOOOW!!!".
(um, so why am I still reading books like this, right?)
Wish I could accurately share why this book worked for me. I'll try...
-His explanations about WHY I hold on to things are brief, gentle yet busted through my typical resistance.
-He says anyone can learn a new behavior if practiced consistently for 30 days. ("I KNOOOW!!!") But somehow this author makes me believe I can do it. Without a litany of pep talks and flowery sentiment.
-"Like w/ Like" and "Everything has a home" is the mantra. That's DO-able and downright sensible!
-He 'walks you through' assignments (eg, unstuffing and organizing your kitchen) on the audio.
-His filing system alone is worth the price of the book. Soooo much more practical and easier than the system I paid for (and stopped using after a week)
Already recommended to friends and fam
A systematic process for decluttering
He is certainly passionate. Better than most authors narrating their own books.
His systems and processes
Totally worth the listen. I know using his approach will help me.
Science writer in America's heartland
This is an emotional examination of why we accumulate stuff, and how to begin to address getting rid of it. This book inspired me to clean out our "junk room" while I was listening to it, and it gave me strategies that I have used ever since.
I love this book because it really is practical. That, by the way, is an extreme understatement.....! The author approaches the subject with clear, concise directions that explain WHY you should/should not do something as well as the HOW.
I honestly didn't think I'd get anything out of this book. I figured I knew what he was gonna' say and that I was going to consider it just "so much noise." B U T.... it's not. It's great advice. By the end of the introduction, I was jazzed. By the middle of the book, I was motivated. By the end of the book, I had already made more progress than I've made on my own in 10 years............
Apart from being terrific information, it also happens to be fun and ofttimes funny. Mr. Mellen has a slightly sarcastic (but not caustic) sense of humor that makes you kinda' shake your head, laugh, and say, "Yep, that's me!" His reading is also right up there as "the perfect voice" for his own material (and I don't usually say that about authors reading their own stuff.).
Unless you are already a perfect housekeeper/organizer, I GUARANTEE you that you will find enough gems in this book to make it well worth your time and money.
I must disagree with the other (good) reviews; I didn't care for this and I'm surprised others found it so helpful. I wanted to like it, but I just didn't. I should preface this with the disclaimer/admission that I didn't finish this book; I only got through the first half or so. Normally I would always finish a book out of fairness before reviewing it, but the reason I stopped listening is the very point: I was starting to feel like the author was mocking, or belittling me. His tone and messages were actually quite condescending. "Take a deep breath.... don't panic...." etc. In the beginning I thought "I get it, down to earth sarcasm, like a friend might do, ha ha" and continued to listen. But it became increasingly annoying, more like "that" friend; the one who seems friendly but then very subtly belittles you and later you wonder why you hang out with him at all.
Yes, he makes it very clear what to do, in easy steps. But he spells it out so simplistically, that I started wondering if he thinks disorganized people are all imbeciles. "Put your keys in a bowl by the door... go ahead, do it now....right now. Was that so bad??". Which leads me to my next complaint: There's nothing in this book that I haven't read before. I suppose books on this topic can only vary so much, but I found the instruction very predictable and I'm not sure he had any ideas I couldn't figure out myself or haven't read elsewhere: Keep similar things together, don't have office supplies in the kitchen where you cook, etc. No kidding. If you need instructions THAT simplistic, then perhaps you would appreciate this book more than I did.
I also found it annoying that I was instructed to put the book down and go do the instructed things before continuing with the next chapter, almost as if I couldn't be trusted. And he repeats himself WAY too much, the book could be easily half the length if he didn't feel the need to repeat himself so many times. A very long portion of the beginning was telling me what the book would tell me.... just get to it for God's sake! Interesting that the description states "foolproof instructions"; because he really does talk in a way that suggests I am a fool who needs small words and constant repeating. He seems to think that because I'm disorganized I must suffer from an extreme anxiety disorder. I don't need to be "talked down" on why not to panic about what type of bowl to toss my keys into. I get it. Put them in a bowl. Next? I ended up ditching the book before he either outright called me a moron, or started baby-talk: "Can you put like things with like things?? Can you?? Be a big girl now..." I don't need to pay money (too much money to boot) to be talked down to.
I usually try to balance my reviews with both good and bad, but I honestly have little good to say about this book, other than he puts things very simply. So if you need to be told the obvious, like keep your keys by the door and don't have so many magazines, this book is for you. I should have been warned just by the sample, where he describes us listeners as "clumsy, unfocused and slightly desperate". REALLY?
I bought this mostly to try to figure out a better system for my accounts and paperwork. It turned out to be surprisingly useful for other aspects of organising our tiny house. I'm normally quite organised and tidy by nature, but I had let some things (sewing supplies, university papers from a decade ago) get out of control, and getting some hints on how to let go of sentimental items has been really useful. My partner started listening with me, and he's decided to also examine what he's held onto, particularly the reams of design-school and life drawing sketches.
Not everything in it is relevant to us, but I was pleasantly surprised by how well it works as an audio book and how good the information is.
I definitely think this works better as an audio book than a print book. I think in print I would have given up after the first chapter or so, but as an audio book you have your hands free so you can listen while you do the housework, or doing hobbies.
Andrew J Mellen has a nicely modulated voice that is very easy to listen to, and while some of the anecdotes are maybe unnecessary to the book, when they're read aloud they drop back into a less irritating space.
I have definitely embraced the basic "everything in it's home, and like with like" model, particularly for our arts and crafts cabinet and our accounts. It's made dealing with receipts and invoices a bit more clearly organised. They were previously grouped, but they are now in a very clear filing system that allows me to decant receipts accumulated during the week into a specific box that will then be dealt with first thing on Saturday morning.
I had previously just been getting annoyed with myself for not filing receipts immediately, but now there is a system.
I would, and I have. I quote it alot (Like with Like and Everything in it's Place). Even if it is only in my head. I have cut the size of my email inbox by 2/3 already and am still on a roll. After a wildfire destroyed most of my neighborhood this summer, I became aware (almost to the point of obsession) that I need to be more organized, especially in my office, and have a "to go" box of papers ready for whatever is next. When you have 30 minutes or less to figure out what to take, having the box packed already would be a small comfort.
It seems do-able for the average messy, unorganized person. It made my think about my kitchen storage spaces in a different light, too.
Defnitely not. One chapter a day (there was homework) was about all I could handle. Sometimes I listened to one chapter several times, as a refresher/reminder to keep me on track. I did go to the website and download all the lists at once, however.
It ranks high.
There are books about how to organize, but this book deals with the person's fundamental human nature, habits and character. The author tries to change them and he changed me, honest.
He is loving and caring for those who want to change to be organized people.
No. It takes time to follow and organize according to instructions.
It really changed me. I am a procrastinator. My desk was cluttered with papers, letters and other stuff. I am no more a procrastinator. I answered all my letters. I organized the file. Now the desk is clean and I have a good feeling which I never had before. Unnecessary things disappeared from the kitchen countertop. The kitchen drawers were organized. I inherited the spirit of the author. From now on I hope to have a minimal, simple and organized life. Thank you Andrew Mellen! I read the book twice.
Just good clear instructions for every area. I like how he tells you everything you will need to gather before you even start the tasks. I always think the job is bigger than it really is. And his list of things I need to get started prove to me that the job is not what I have dreaded in my mind. It is catchy, once you start your momentum takes over and it is fun!
The book contained much good advice, but the hectoring manner of the text/narration was too much for me. Also given that this was a book about uncluttering, and getting rid of stuff, the book was a literary clutter of advice and ideas that were repeated and repeated. I would suggest Mellon, take his own advice and unclutter the book to less than half the size, with some general principles chapters and then lists and short notes for the specific areas.
I certainly intend to follow his advice, regarding books, and dispose of this book immediately.
The hectoring tone and the endless repetition.
There are a number of useful point.
Would like my money back.