on Nov. 10, 2011 :
The world is heavy with materialism, and with people living in with chaotic messes and "Hoarding" becoming a bigger issue in this day and age, Kathi Burns has some wise words to help us turn the tide.
A self-help book with the aim to...."declutter your life" and have space in your home, Burns provides some sage tips. The color picture examples certainly give HOME ORGANIZATION: THE SMART GUIDE an extra depth, and the language and layouts are done in a clear and concise way. I do feel however, that using the word MUCK on every page makes it a little coarse.
It’s important to know it’s not a guide on how to live your life, its advice on organizing the house! Kathi Burns has made sections for all parts of your home; bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, lounge and much more. Any location, any item, from clothes to collector plates, it all needs sorting! She gives true life examples, including the woman in Florida who couldn't use her garage for four years because she filled it with papers, and couldn't find that most important one! It really does put into perspective the things we hang on to.
Burns explored the physiological aspect of clutter and of the decluttered as well. She challenged the excuses we make for keeping the clutter in the first place, and suggests how to deal with them! In Chapter 8, we see that there are important factors into why we clutter ourselves in the first place. And there are important benefits for our personas and the environment when we declutter, or, demuck! We feel free-er.
She is also a great advocate on recycling and not just throwing away! There is plenty of good advice on how to organize and sort. Burns also touches up on the subject of COMPULSIVE HOARDERS; those who keep all their position and collect other items of "muck" - some even keeping their own excrement. This is next statement is not in the book, but Londoners may remember the classic true case of Polish man Edmund Trebus who filled his garden and house with two tons of trash! Kathi Burns gives proper medical opinion from specialists to help us understand this phenomenon and how to avoid it.
So there it is. A happy go lucky book with your best intentions at heart. I sure hope my father reads this book; our garage and shed is so full!!!
And, there no doubt in mind, she has one rule we can all live by, "UNMUCK YOUR LIFE RULE #1: WHEN IT DOUBT, THROW IT OUT."
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Oct. 31, 2011 :
Let's face it, cleaning out your house really isn't the most exciting thing in the world. It's a lot of work, and it involves getting rid of things you're fond of, so you find excuses to put it off, day after day, week after week, month after month... and one day you realize that your house is in total chaos, you can't find anything, and the whole job is too big to tackle. Sound familiar?
Kathi's well used to this situation. She's a professional at sorting things out, both for businesses and individuals. This book tells you, in plain, simple language, how you can sort yourself out.
Now, time for a small confession. I was, until today, in the process of writing a similar book. Now, I don't feel the need to finish it. Kathi has set out everything pretty much the same way I'd have done it, and she's done it with the advantage of being a seasoned professional. It's not too wordy, not patronizing, and just gets straight to the point. It covers every room in the house, including the attic, basement and garage, and, most importantly, it's realistic.
For those who like "systems", there are simple acronyms (MAPP: Motivation. Assessment. Preparation. Planning), lists of rules, and straightforward strategies. Do this. Do that. Don't make this mistake. Follow the system, and you'll end up with a tidy house and more living space. However, what I liked most was the way she explained that having a tidy house isn't an end in itself. The real benefit comes from the change in lifestyle that comes with the attitude of getting rid of what's unnecessary. It's not merely the practical issues of being able to find things, and creating extra space. (Your dining room, for example. Do you use it as a dining room? Or is it a dumping ground for "muck", as she calls it? So reclaim it, and either use it properly or turn it into usable space.) It's the mental approach that says you're only focusing on what's important, not clinging to the past, and being decisive about what matters.
A highly recommended book.
(reviewed the day of purchase)