Organizing for your Lifestyle! ~Giveaway

organizing-for-your-lifestyleOrganizing. Is it the bane of everyone’s existence? Or just mine!? Ha! It seems I’ve always strived to be organized but I’ve never fully succeeded in accomplishing the task of “everything in its place and a place for everything!” That’s my goal for “someday”! However, since we’ve moved to a house trailer temporarily while we build a house, the thought of having a place for everything seems a distant memory! I just finished sorting through a couple more tubs and boxes and getting a few more thing out to our storage container before the snow flies – the less I have in the house that I don’t need, the better!

Needless to say, when I was offered “Organizing for your Lifestyle” by Jane Stoller, I was definitely interested! Organization tips? Yes, please! Oh, and quick note – Jane was born and raised in Ontario, Canada, her parents moving here from Switzerland!  However, Jane has traveled plenty and currently lives back in Switzerland in Zurich!  Jane’s book has seven chapters, covering the whole house. But before that first chapter, she has a quiz to help you find out what your organizing style is. I fit in the mostly b’s category of “close to being organized, but often still fall into certain disorganized behaviors.” Yup, sounds like me! There are certain places I’m fairly organized. And I generally succeed in having all the same things in the same place, but then from there, look out! It might be a cupboard full of the same type of items, but beware when you open the door as it all might fall out! Jane gives lots of reasons for being organized and de-cluttering – everything from making you feel better to helping you stay on a budget. There are plenty of references to other books – it’s easy to tell that Jane has been working on organization for awhile and has read a few other books on the topic to compare!

Once you get into the “meat and potatoes” of the book, you will find tips on how to organize in your closet, the bathroom, the kitchen, how to get ready to travel, how to work with your books and storage rooms. While Jane’s desire for high quality, high priced items exceeds my need for them, and while she some tips might be more in line for the high quality items, the majority of her tips will work anywhere and with anything! One thing she has learned, after living in Europe, is how to organize even when you have a small closet, no linen closet, and a small apartment! She’s learned that she’d rather have drawer in her closet than a separate dresser. She’s learned that good lighting in your closet is an advantage. She’s learned that hangars can make or break clothes. One thing I know about our current tiny closet is that there is no point in ironing clothes before putting them in the closet, because there’s not near enough room for everything so they’re squished in there. However, Jane advocates, once you have enough room, to iron everything prior to putting it away so that when you need clothing, it’s ready to go! If you don’t know how to fold an item, chances are that Jane has some pictures for you to show you how! Given the multitude of things in our closets, it’s no surprise that the Closet chapter is the longest in the book!

I like what she has to say about the kitchen. Keep it functional, but pretty. I’m not a “pretty girl” as in I’ve never been a fan of lace and frills. I grew up as a tom boy and that has pretty much stuck. However, I love a kitchen with clean lines and no clutter. A few plants here and there. A wee bit of whimsy somewhere. I really struggle with clutter as I always seem to be behind on paperwork and, especially now, have no place to put the stuff until I deal with it! Thus, it tends to sit on the table and look terrible. I look forward to the day when I have an office area where all the mail and school papers can reside! Back to Jane’s book. “Storing things based on frequency of use is the most important organizing tip for your kitchen.” Wow. So easy and yet sometimes, so hard. When we moved in here, I packed away a lot of items that I knew I wouldn’t be using frequently. But it’s amazing how many items there are I don’t use often and yet are still front and central in my cupboard! Dividers in cupboards are fantastic for separating cutting boards/flat pans/trays and I definitely second that motion! At our old house we had a cupboard with just one shelf. I soon had my hubby had about 4 more shelves that I could separate out my cutting boards and my cookie sheets and such so I didn’t have to continually take out half the items in the cupboard to get the one at the bottom! Currently, that’s one of my pet peeves. I have all my glass cooking pans in a stack and frequently use the 9x13s and 10x15s. Getting to them with the smaller ones on top (that I don’t use as often!) can be a real chore. Time to move those less used ones! The other big tip that Jane offers for the kitchen is to label everything! I can second that motion as well – I love to have things labelled – even (or especially!) if they’re in recycled containers.

The chapter on travel breaks down the items you need to take with you, some of the best ways to carry them as well as tips on packing! Jane’s need to travel light all started with a motorcycle trip. Space was limited, so the need to pack light was necessary! However, the tips here are for any type of travel! I think I failed to mention before that all through this book, Jane mentions different brand names that she is partial too. I’ve looked up quite a few of them out of curiosity and have been impressed with what I’ve seen. Now, keep in mind, Jane is a fan of quality over quantity, so there are quite a few high priced options out there. Perhaps my family of five won’t be able to afford some of the more luxurious items, but I have begun to learn my lesson that it’s worth it to spend more on quality!

Then there are books. Hmmmm, is it just my house or books seem to multiply on the shelves at your house too? We seem to get given books and adopt books and buy books and suddenly we realize we have a houseful of books. The crazy part is that the “buying” of books makes up, by far, the smallest percentage of books! It’s recommended in this book to de-clutter your books on a yearly basis. We just did a fairly massive de-cluttering when we moved. Having kids, we seem to have a vast quantity of kids books and they add up quickly. The worst part of kids books is that they come in every size, shape and thickness imaginable, making them difficult to sort nicely! Jane gives tips on how to organize your books – whether you want them pretty or functional or organized by genre, etc.

The last chapter in the book discusses storage rooms. You know, those rooms where everything seems to gravitate to and where organization seldom seems to happen? Yup, there. Once again, it’s a matter of everything in its place and a place for everything. Make sure there’s a place for your off season clothing (especially for us parka folk!) I’d have to say I don’t do much of a seasonal switch on my own clothing, mainly because I don’t have that much. Someday I’d love to have a seasonal wardrobe (just two, winter and summer) with all mix and match clothing. Jane includes tips in this chapter one how to store your seasonal items as well as the repeated them of label, label, label! Oh, and no keeping those boxes from appliances. You will never use them again! (Unless you move, then you might use one or two).

This book should give you ample tips on items to help you get organized! Sure, not every one is going to suit the way you live. That’s why you need to adapt. That’s why she includes suggestions such as – if you organize your shirts by color but find you are always searching by sleeve length, change the way you organize them! Just as you don’t stay the same throughout your life, neither do your organizational needs! I just wish Jane would come and organize my house. I do much better at keeping things organized once the process is complete. It’s the process of *getting* organized that causes me so much trouble. While I’m waiting on her arrival, I’m headed off to reorganize a cupboard!

WIN IT!

Would you like to receive a copy of Jane Stoller’s book, “Organizing for your Lifestyle”? Use the entry form below, open to Canada only, please. Contest closes December 6, 2016.

**Disclosure: The product(s) mentioned have been given free of charge from the company or PR firm in exchange for being featured on Glimpse. The opinions expressed in this post are those of Glimpse and have not been influenced in any other way. Please see the full Terms of use.

Comments

  1. Alison Braidwood says:

    I’m a sporadic organiser. I’ll organise and then let everything to to pot, organise again, and repeat.

  2. I am pretty good but could use some help.

  3. I’m a wannabe organizer. I know how important it is to keep things organized, but I just don’t know where to start with most things and get overwhelmed so it never gets done.

  4. Joshua Spiers says:

    I am not going to lie I am completely unorganized!

  5. I am somewhere in between.. but mostly not too organized

  6. Leslie Crosbie says:

    I try to be organized but fail miserably.

  7. Jennifer P. says:

    I am an absolute organizer!! But sometimes it hinders my success, because I want to be perfectly organized, so it takes me time to get things “just so” and in the meantime I have a bit of a mess… But once I have things set up most effectively, then it pure bliss!

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