Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Organizing the Garage - In Style

Here's another high-end garage organizing product line, from Vault - courtesy of the wonderful Springwise.

October 2006 Reading

I'm always reading more books related to organizing; here are my notes from October.

1. No More Clutter, by Sue Kay

This book comes from the U.K. - after reading so many books by American organizers, it was fun to read a British author. It's a solid introduction to organizing concepts. I like her clutter quiz, designed to see how cluttered you are. Time how long it takes you to find these items:

- Your passport
- The spare front door key
- Your doctor's phone number
- Your last bank statement
- An envelope and stamp

Did it take more than five minutes? How stressful was it?

2. How to Simplify Your Life, by Tiki Kustenmacher, with Lothar J. Seiwert

This one was brought to my attention by a friend in Germany, who told me how popular it was over there, and mentioned that it had been translated into English. Again, I thought it would be fun to have a perspective from another country.

Of course, simplification is a big topic, and not all of it relates directly to organizing. There are chapters of simplifying your things, your finances, your time, your health, your relationships, etc.

One of the many good observations in this book: It takes about four hours to read a half-inch thick magazine from cover to cover. Consider this when deciding if it really makes sense to save all those magazines you plan to read someday!

3. Shadow Syndromes: The Mild Forms of Major Mental Disorders That Sabotage Us, by John J. Ratey and Catherine Johnson

This one is related to organizing in that many people with organizing challenges are also dealing with ADD, depression, etc. This book talks about those who don't get diagnosed with a disorder because they don't have all the symptoms; unfortunately, such people may not get the treatment they need. I was very impressed!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Are you ready for a disaster?

At the NAPO-SFBA (National Association of Professional Organizers - San Francisco Bay Area) conference yesterday, speaker JoAnn Scordino (an expert in the field of emergency preparedness) reminded us all how important it is to be prepared. Be prepared for more than 72 hours, she said - be prepared for at least a week.

And there was a neat product on display: the new Grab-N-Go Box, designed to make it easy to grab your most important papers if you have to leave your home because of a fire or other emergency.

Update on Jan. 20, 2011: The Grab-N-Go Box I mentioned is no longer being sold, but you might want to consider the PortaVault from Securita.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Hoarding Conference in San Francisco

Yesterday, I went to the Hoarding and Cluttering Conference put on by the Mental Health Association of San Francisco - lots of wonderful information. Dr. Randy Frost was the keynote speaker, and I'm looking forward to reading his books, which will be coming out soon. In the meantime, you can read about his research at the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation web site.