Too many tutus

I was shopping for baby presents and came across a cute book aimed at 1st graders, Fancy Nancy: Too Many Tutus, by Jane O’Connor. It caught my attention because it focused on tackling the overabundance of a particular favorite item.

Nancy is a young dancer who can’t fit new dance outfits into her stuffed closet. Over the course of the book, she learns to let go of some beloved, but outgrown, worn out and duplicate tutus in order to make room for the new ones. The book also includes a gentle lesson about sharing with friends and a younger sibling. read more

Downsizing Your Home Library

I worked with a woman recently who had accumulated a fairly large home library over the years.  Because her library had out-grown her bookcases, she had little stacks of books all over her house.  Novels waiting to be read were neatly stacked on the bottom shelf of her night stand.  Business-related books were stacked up in her home office.  Her husband’s sports trivia books were piled on the shelf underneath their coffee table in the family living.  Finally, technology caught up to her.  Two years ago, she bought a Kindle and her library became irrelevant – especially that stack of books waiting to be read! read more

Keeping Track of Books: LibraryThing.com

My husband is a librarian and a scholar at heart. He has lots of books.

I have my own collection of books, including a large selection of children’s books to use in my preschool classroom.

Our family loves LibraryThing.

LibraryThing is a  website where you can catalog books. Here are some ways you can use it:

  • My husband has cataloged his entire personal library. This helps him keep from buying duplicates.
  • I tag all my children’s books according to theme. Then when it’s time to get books about fish, I can search my own collection quickly. No need to refamiliarize myself with what’s on my bookshelf.
  • Whenever I find a children’s book that I love, even if I don’t own it, I put it in LibraryThing and tag it with the theme. Then I don’t need to do a catalog search at the public library next time I need to find that cute book about manners.
  • I often hear about books I’d like to read someday. When that happens, I hop on LibraryThing, search for the title or author, add it to my catalog, and tag it “Books to Read.”
  • I’ve heard of people also using LibraryThing to keep track of which books they’ve loaned out.

LibraryThing has a social media component so you can connect with people who are reading the same things you are. You can explore other people’s catalogs and read people’s reviews. I haven’t taken advantage of these features, but they are there. read more

Book Preview: The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard

At the end of our last organizing session together, a dear client gave me a parting gift.  It was the book The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff is Trashing the Planet, Our Communtities, and Our Health – And a Vision for Change by Annie Leonard.

I haven’t read the book yet, but I’m really excited to find a book that addresses the environmental issues that lurk behind the organization/consumption issues that so many of my clients struggle with.  I’m especially looking forward to the “vision for change” that the author incorporates into the book. read more

Book Review: Growing-Up Organized by Lea Schneider

In preparation for my presentation “The ABC’s of Raising Organized Kids,” I’ve come across a little gem of a book.

Growing-Up Organized: A Mom-to-Mom Guide by Lea Schneider is an easy-to-read book brimming over with practical suggestions for organizing both your home and your time.  It covers:

  • Children’s bedrooms
  • Closets
  • Homework
  • Toys
  • Laundry
  • Chores
  • Time management
  • Clutter
  • Responsibility

The author, a Professional Organizer, knows what she’s talking about.  What I really admire about her is that she understands how to really teach children, including very young children, basic organizing skills.  As a preschool teacher, I appreciate her emphasis on training young children in age-appropriate ways. read more

Book Preview: The Story of Stuff by Annie Leondard

At the end of our last organizing session together, a dear client gave me a parting gift.  It was the book The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff is Trashing the Planet, Our Communtities, and Our Health – And a Vision for Change by Annie Leonard.

I haven’t read the book yet, but I’m really excited to find a book that addresses the environmental issues that lurk behind the organization/consumption issues that so many of my clients struggle with.  I’m especially looking forward to the “vision for change” that the author incorporates into the book. read more

Don’t Forget Your Library!

I am shocked to see just how many books people keep in their homes and just how infrequently those books are actually referenced.  Don’t forget that you have a library!  They are everywhere and most are free to join.  The amount of resources are abundant and – the best part? You don’t have to find a place for the book in your home when you are done with it!

Be honest with yourself, are you really going to read that book again? It might be a nice thought, but think how many other books there are and how many more are arriving each day.  Just try it. I think you’ll like it (and find some more money in your pocket too)! read more

Three Tips for Conquering Big Projects

My husband and I moved this summer and we systematically sorted through all our things and weeding what we didn’t need anymore/didn’t want to carry up three flights of stairs into the new apartment.

My husband has many, many books.  (Books are heavy!)  He’s also a librarian, so he sorted through his books and picked out the ones he could easily get where he works.  He weeded out over 100 books.

These books sat in piles in our already cramped home for a couple weeks.  I could tell that my husband had lost steam on the project and was not…enthusiastic…about actually getting the books out of the house.  So here’s what we did: read more