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  • Writer's pictureMonique Gaddy

Organizing the Home and Mind


One of the most popular topics right now is organizing. What can we do to organize our house better? How can we de-clutter and make this new year a more productive and efficient year by making the home an area that we can relax and revamp ourselves to carry out the tasks or projects we want to accomplish? I started to do some digging for information and this is what I was able to find at our library here in Caldwell. There are plenty of other books around Treasure Valley that you can also look up, so definitely do some researching of your own!

Organizing The Home

How do we decide what gets to stay and what has to go when it comes to making serious changes to our house and our stuff? Often, making these choices has more to do with the emotions tied to the items than it does to how easy it is to physically remove them from our houses. Marni Jameson shares her stories as well as the expertise of appraisers, organizers, and psychologists she has worked with and combined it into a straight forward and empathetic book called Downsizing The Family Home.

What about a more clean cut and systematic way of delving into the world of organization? Welcome to the KonMari Method of tidying, brought to you by Marie Kondo in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Offering to approach tidying and organizing as a lifestyle change that begins with discarding items, I found this book to be very logical. I especially enjoyed the tip of not approaching each room as a separate entity. The reasoning behind this organization process makes so much sense, that this book has sold at least 2 million copies. The best part, it's not a very large book!

When it is time to admit ultimate defeat and accept the fact that your entire life is in disarray, then you are ready for Mess, written by Barry Yourgrau. Maybe I am being a bit dramatic, as I enjoyed browsing through it and I am only about half defeated with organizing at this point. Towing the line between collector and hoarder, Yourgrau begins a journey to clean up the messes in his life, both in his physical space as well as his mental space. He does research on other famous "collectors" and talks to many interesting people along the way. This book is humorous, intelligent, and honest!

Organizing The Mind

The relationship between our minds and how we feel about our space is strong. The Organized Mind, by Daniel J. Levitin, is about the way that we have adapted to the constant flow of information that bombards us everyday. Coming straight from the mind of a professor of psychology and behavioral neuroscience, The Organized Mind is not a light read, but instead a studious journey into the world of modern information and how each of us adapt to its constant pull. Taken straight from the book jacket, "Levitin presents recent advances in brain science as he reveals the key to how leaders in the information age excel-and how any reader can use their methods to regain a sense of mastery over the way we organize our homes, workplaces, and lives." Are you up for the challenge?

Outer Order, Inner Calm by Gretchen Rubin is a quick read on making sense of all the habits that we have that just...well...don't really make sense. Subjects such as over-buying, under-buying, over-indulging, or keeping unfinished projects around are covered, and then re-assessed with insightful ways on understanding why these habits are not helping us out in the long run. This book is small and fun to read, with each tip only taking a page or two to get it's point across to the reader. Check it out for some great advice on how to stay orderly and calm!

Spark Joy, the companion book to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo, talks more about how to discern which items to keep and which items to discard for based on if the item brings you happiness. This concept is brought up in the original book, but explored in more detail here. Giving an entire section to the art of folding, this book includes handy illustrations and diagrams. Probably my favorite chapter is Chapter 8, which is on Tidying Sentimental Items. The subheading reads: Tidying sentimental items means putting the past in order, and I thought that was a beautiful way to say that yes, your memories do matter, and yes, you can make them look amazing in order to ensure the greatest amount of joy from them.

Your Journey

As always, don't forget to reach out to your local librarians if you need help locating any of these items or other items you may want for professional, personal, or academic research. Or maybe you just want to read a good story or check out a movie...whatever you're interested in, we are here to help! Drop in, call, ask our website, or email us any of your questions! Happy reading and good luck organizing all of your stuff!

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