Wednesday, January 13, 2021

By Joanne Mengel

Every January I make the same resolution. This will be the year I get my home organized and clear out some of the clutter in my life. It sounds easy, but the hardest part is figuring out where to start. The library can help with that. We have a great selection of books on topics to help with organizing both your home and your life. Here are a few suggestions that just might make this our year to clear that clutter!

Who better than Martha Stewart to help guide us through the process of getting ourselves together. She has a new book coming out this month titled Martha Stewart's very good things : clever tips & genius ideas for an easier, more enjoyable life that includes hundreds of clever tips, solutions, and easy ways to elevate every day, from America's most trusted lifestyle authority, in one must-have handbook.

Are you struggling with clutter at work as well? Bestselling author and Netflix star Marie Kondo and Rice University business professor Scott Sonenshein offer stories, studies, and strategies to help you eliminate clutter and make space for work that really matters in their new book Joy at work : organizing your professional life. Using the world-renowned KonMari Method and cutting-edge research, Joy at Work will help you overcome the challenges of workplace mess and enjoy the productivity, success, and happiness that come with a tidy desk and mind.

Another great book to check out - The home edit life : the no-guilt guide to organizing what you want and organizing everything. The New York Times bestselling authors of The Home Edit show you how to contain the chaos and organize every aspect of your life, including hobbies and activities, work and office spaces, luggage and travel, and so much more. 

Self care is another way of clearing clutter in your life, especially in these turbulent times. The extremely busy woman's guide to self care: do less, achieve more, and live the life you want by Suzanne Falter is an amazing book, and Suzanne shares simple, bite-sized suggestions to help you ease onto the path of effective self-care in a way that feels doable rather than demanding. The road to soothing self-care is right in front of you, all you have to do is say yes to the journey and take the first step.

How about getting things organized for the time when you are no longer here? I found two titles that look very promising. Part of the NOLO series, Get it together: organize your records so your family won't have to is a complete guide to collecting and organizing important papers and information and makes the process easy for the reader and for loved ones who will wrap things up when the time comes. The author leads readers through the process step by step, prompting them to provide information that will make sure family members don't lose out on money (life insurance proceeds often go unclaimed, for example), legal documents (a will is no good if no one knows where it is), and items of emotional significance (heirlooms, family photos and history).

I chuckled at this title but it makes sense! In case you get hit by a bus: how to organize your life now for when you're not around later by Abby Schneiderman is a step-by-step program for getting your life in order, so you're prepared for the unexpected. The odds of getting hit by a bus are 495,000 to 1. But the odds that you're going to die some day? Exactly. Even the most disorganized among us can take control of our on- and off-line details so our loved ones won't have to scramble later. The experts at Everplans, a leading company in digital life planning, make it possible in this essential and easy-to-follow book.

There are dozens more great titles at the library for organizing our life and home, and if you are feeling really ambitious, we even have some to help tackle that garage or storage shed. For now, I think these should give us a good starting point in our attempt to clear that clutter!

Joanne Mengel works in the Fond du Lac Public Library Reference Department.