One of the country's most sought-after professional organizers here makes his foolproof rescue plan available for everyone.
Arguably the most organized man in America, Andrew J. Mellen has created unique, lasting techniques for streamlined living, bringing order out of chaos for a client list that includes attorneys, filmmakers, and even psychologists. With Unstuff Your Life! he puts his powerful program in the hands of his widest audience yet. Acknowledging that it's often the "stuff behind the stuff" that holds people back, Mellen offers an action-based plan to redirect clutterers from dwelling on their feelings. This simple shift yields immediate results that will help everyone achieve organizational bliss. Mellen's mix of humor, honesty, tough love, and foolproof strategies will motivates listeners to work through their feelings and make real behavior changes that will have long-lasting effects.
Written in Mellen's signature no-nonsense yet hilarious tone, Unstuff Your Life! brims with personality, along with approaches not found in other organizing books. Built on the principle that we must distinguish ourselves from our possessions, Unstuff Your Life! starts with truly achievable goals and works toward the nightmare projects everyone tries hard to avoid. From the basement to the bedroom, the kitchen to the car, and more, listeners will learn:
The result is absolute freedom from the burden of clutter - and more free time than you ever imagined possible.
Please note: Lists and worksheets mentioned in the audio can be downloaded from http://andrewmellen.com/uyl-downloads/.
©2012 Andrew J. Mellen (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
"Living in chaos? Professional Organizer Mellen has written the book to help.... [T]hose willing to take even a small sip of Mellon's Kool-Aid may enjoy a more organized, efficient, and well-managed life." (Publishers Weekly)
This great book is in a category all it's own. It's a "How to" book to get your life in order (in terms of efficiency) so you have more time to read more books, work, or get to all those other projects/priorities you have been waiting to accomplish your whole life. I now feel organized and at peace with my time management - thank you!
I was able to listen to this book over a couple of weeks while doing housework. Following the ideas in this book has cut my housework down to consuming only a fraction of my time - from 20 disorganized hours cleaning house per week down to 6-7 productive hours each week buying me more time to do the things I want to do. I'm already an organized person in some areas of my life, but the book reminded me to become organized in what I thought were unimportant areas and it feels great!
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.
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!
Audible listener who's grateful for a long commute!
As I write this review, I have eight bankers' boxes of Christmas ornaments, decorations and lights sitting near my door. I've labeled each box on all four sides, so I will be able to open tree lights first. The boxes will go to overhead storage in my garage, away from the risk of flooding from a heavy storm, or damage from too-high temperatures. I didn’t run out to Target or Walmart and buy expensive Christmas red and green storage containers and try to jam my treasures into them. I used what worked.
This is the first year that I've been confident that next year, getting decorations will take a few minutes, not a few hours. The year is looking up already.
I actually purchased this Audible book back in July, and I've listened all of it at least once, and to some parts several times. I go back to it so often, it's the only Audible book I haven't removed from my iPhone. Every once and a while, I need motivation or ideas, and so I listen to an especially helpful part.
I've only misplaced my keys twice since I listened to this book, and I haven't done that since I found the right place to keep them. The right place wasn’t a special key fob or an out of the way place the author demanded. It’s a place that I thought of myself, and I use automatically now.
Since the beginning of the school year, my children have known where their school supplies were. It turned out I had so many stashed all over the place, I didn’t have to buy anymore – and we donated some to my daughter’s school.
This isn’t a book for someone with a compulsion that makes them a candidate for A&E’s Hoarders. Mellen purposely avoids delving into pop psychology analysis of organization and messiness, which makes it guilt free. My house gets messy because I’m busy and I didn’t know how to organize, not because I collect swizzle sticks or can’t get rid of old makeup.
Definitely a good start to the New Year – or even mid-year, like I did.
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I purchased this audiobook knowing it wasn't all going to be relevant to me. I consider myself a pretty organized person, but wanted some tips to make me an organized superman.
It didn't get me much closer. The book is 10% psychology and 90% practical instructions. There were a couple of good tips in the psychology part for me, like his suggestions for getting over the idea that something might be worth something and self-defeating sentimental feelings.
The most cluttered part of my life is probably on my computer and the chapter in this book on organizing your computer was disappointing and at times bizarre.
He just talked about putting things in folders etc, nothing we don't all try to do anyway. At one point he explained in detail how to resize a window on your screen. He then seemingly went completely off track and explained what social networking and instant messaging are and why everyone should use them.
His style is frank. I would call it condescending, but I can see from other reviews that a lot of people appreciated this style. I guess if your in dire circumstance with clutter then it might be just what you need, but if your not, then probably give this a miss.
Pleasant surprises are at times life-changing. Stumbling across something that you easily could have missed, ending up transforming your life.
My expectations were low when I purchased this book. Hoping for some inspiration to get started with "unstuffing" my house, I instead got the mind-set of a super-achiever; following-through, according a plan, in a systematic way.
By starting with the small stuff you can't delude yourself that you're living according to your theoretically high standards when you aren't. Getting organized and disciplined creates ripples on the water, affecting bigger areas in your life.
I've always been quite an organized person, this book was still extremely helpful with great advice on how to approach overloaded kitchen cabinets, counter tops and wardrobes.
Paradoxically though, this is one of the most potent self-help books there are. It's behavioral therapy at its best, with clearly visible feedback.
This has not changed my life-I am yet to practice what Andrew has preached, what it has done is given me a starting point and whilst progress is slow to date I can honestly say it is making a difference. If only I was able to commit fully that difference would be huge-Andrew is both practical and informative. You have nothing to lose but your stuff...
"Great if you need to de clutter your home."
I would feel happy to recommend this to someone who was struggling to tidy and organise their living space.
Possibly, because I enjoyed the way he presented what could have been a dreary topic, but he inspired and entertained me.
This is not a story, but he has a jaunty delivery of his own material which is somehow soothing and reassuring. He makes the listener feel that what he is suggesting might actually be possible, and if you listen to sections a few times over, as I did, you begin to internalise some of his phrases so that you can apply them to your lifestyle.
Some parts made me smile. "Your grandfather's hat is not your grandfather."
Once you get the general drift you may not need to listen to the whole book. However, Mellen takes you methodically through the whole house so by the end you should have everything neat and tidy! If you have a partner I suggest you get them to listen to it too, otherwise you will be fighting a losing battle against their untidy habits.
Well read at an easy pace. A good book quite unlike others I've read. A good break up and easy to follow guide.
I'm sure the author has a lot of good things to say, but he speaks so quickly that listening was exhausting.
"Inspirational and comprehensive"
Well read by the author, his enthusiasm for the cause of de cluttering is infectious. He systematically goes through the whole house/office with instructions. Surprisingly does not feel too holier than thou or preachy, and I have certainly implemented the mail suggestions. The rest will have to wait but unstuffing my life does seem possible even if the task is still daunting.
He is American and some suggestions do not travel
No needed to replay some parts and it was not encouraged!
"Not what I was expecting"
If you like to have endless lists read out to you then buy, else I don’t recommend
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