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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Organizing Your Life

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Get it together with this bestseller—revised and updated …

In our fast-paced society, one of the best ways to increase productivity and stay sane is to get organized. In her fourth edition of the highly successful Complete Idiot's Guide volume, Lockwood helps readers do just that. Readers will find new information on “clutter disorders,” getting ahead through organization, how to distinguish a serious problem from simply needing a new system, ...

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Get it together with this bestseller—revised and updated …

In our fast-paced society, one of the best ways to increase productivity and stay sane is to get organized. In her fourth edition of the highly successful Complete Idiot's Guide volume, Lockwood helps readers do just that. Readers will find new information on “clutter disorders,” getting ahead through organization, how to distinguish a serious problem from simply needing a new system, how to get help, how to manage “electronic” clutter at work, keeping finances orderly, and much more.
-Includes new creative solutions and professional resources
-One of our bestselling Complete Idiot's Guide titles
-New strategies and tips, as well as information on previously unavailable organizational techniques made possible by better technology
-With Oprah and Dr. Phil's increased focus on getting organized, organization is a hot topic

The book that's helped thousands keep it all together is back with all-new tips on getting organized for the millennium.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592574131
  • Publisher: Alpha Books
  • Publication date: 10/4/2005
  • Series: Complete Idiot's Guide Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 7.34 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

Georgene Lockwood, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Simple Living and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Beading Illustrated, conducts workshops and lectures about organizing and writing.

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Table of Contents


1. The Big Picture: Setting Goals.
Your Mother's Cupboard Isn't Yours. You Can' Have Everything. How Organized Are You? A Self-Test. How Would You Change Your Life? Setting Your Organization Goals. Wishcraft. Commit or Fail. The Master Plan: Keep It Flexible. You Deserve a Break Today. Putting the Resolve in This Year's Resolutions.

2. It's All About “Stuff” and “Time” .
How Did You Get All This Stuff? Buy! Buy! Buy! Less Stuff, More Time. The Ten Basic Laws of Stuff. The Ten Basic Laws of Time.

3. Excuses! Excuses!
How Habits Help or Hinder. Excuses for Stuff. The Big Put-Off. Pulverizing Procrastination. Making Time. But I Don't Have the Money to Get Organized! So, Stop Making Excuses and Go!

4. When Stuff Rules Your Life.
Hoarder's Disorder and a Case of the Messies. Are You a Compulsive Clutterer? Attention Deficit Disorder and ADHD. Shopping When You Don't Need More Stuff. Other Disorders and Conditions. Never Fear—Help Is on the Way! Finding a Local Group. Going Online.


5. Utterly Uncluttered Space.
Getting Started. Step One: Use It or Lose It. Step Two: Put It Away. Step Three: Give It Away (Now). Step Four: Take Just 15 Minutes. Step Five: Group Like Things Together. Step Six:Consolidate and Compress. Step Seven: Alphabetize. Step Eight: Label It. Step Nine: Go for Quality, Not Quantity. Step Ten: Think Multipurpose. And Now What?

6. Mastering the Paper Monster.
Paper—We've All Got It! Idea One: Stop It! Idea Two: Decide Now. Idea Three: Handle It Less. Idea Four: Move It Along. Idea Five: Don't Open It! Idea Six: Distinguish Between Short and Long Term. Idea Seven: File So You Can Find It. Idea Eight: Keep It Where You Need It. Idea Nine: Tailor Systems to Special Needs. Idea Ten: Use Computers to Cut Paper, Not Make It. Get It Online. Put Paper in Its Place.


7. Creating a Command Center.
A Room All Your Own. Stocking Up: Basic Life Management Supplies. You've Got Mail (or Other Messages). This Is the Captain Speaking! Schedules, Lists, and Time Management Systems. Personal Management for Road Warriors. Make It So!

8. People Who Need People: Interpersonal Systems.
Take Good Care of Yourself First. “Unstuff” Your Relationships. You Remembered! Letters! We Get Letters! To E-Mail or not to E-Mail? Putting People in Their Place. Scrapbooks and Other Memory Devices. Spontaneity Has Its Time and Place. People Time, Quiet Time. If You Can't Have Fun, Why Get Organized?

9. Work Systems: Getting Ahead Without Getting a Headache.
Goal-Setting Fine-Tuned. Unstuffing: Work Version. Your Files Aren't Another Trash Can! And Speaking of Paper. Back Up or Else! Life Management Center: Work Version. Designing Your Work Environment. People Power. Shortcuts. Ring Around the Workplace: Phone Control. Business Correspondence Made Easy. Make Your Daily Commute Count. Taking It on the Road. When Home Is Your Office. On the Lookout for Your Next Job.

10. Food Systems: Getting Your Daily Bread.
You Are What You Eat. Unstuff Your Kitchen. Make Your Kitchen Do the Work. Shop but Don't Drop. Crafty Cooking Strategies. Freezer Science and “Refrigology” . Food Storage for Emergencies. Handy Recipe Rationale.

11. Clothing Systems: Easy Ways to Wash and Wear.
What's Your Clothing Style? Clothes, Clothes Everywhere and Not a Thing to Wear! The Great Hang-Up: Closet Design Basics. It All Comes Out in the Wash. Stain-Busters. Ironing, Mending, and Other Unfamiliar Subjects. Dry Cleaning Made Simple.

12. Shelter Systems: Giving Your Nest the Best.
Taking Stock So You Can Streamline. Instant Unstuff: Have a Yard Sale! Clean with the Pros. Cleaning on Schedule. Organize the Stuff You Clean With. Lovely Linens. Do You Feng Shui? Clearing the Decks for Safety. Preparing for the Worst: Creating a Disaster Plan.


13. Winning the Money Wars: Guerrilla Budgeting.
Facing Facts About Finances. Back on Track: Creating a Household Budget. Budget Review. Computer Finance Tactics. Don't Let Santa Blow Your Budget! Credit CPR. How to Avoid Credit Fraud. Frugal Living Is Fun!

14. Tax Tactics and Advanced Money Maneuvers.
The Tax Man Cometh. And While You're at It: More Records to Keep. Get the Most from Your Insurance. Having a Will Gives You a Way. Saving for a Rainy Day. Do You Need a Financial Planner? Do You Need an Accountant?


15. Healing Trends: Organizing for Health and Fitness.
A Healthy Dose of Organization. Take Stock of Where You Are. Finding Time to Get Fit. Managing the Medical Morass. Feeding the Soul.

16. Nobody Said This Would Be Easy.
If They Don't Know, They Can't Do It. Listen Up! Work Within Your Sphere. What About the Kids? Your Spouse Is Not Your Child—Really! Caution: Work Zone! Roommates and Other Strangers. Don't Take Yourself Too Seriously. If You Organize It, They Will Come.

17. Calling in the Cavalry: Hiring Others.
When Do You Hire a Pro? How to Hire Happily and Avoid Getting Ripped Off. Don't Clean for the Cleaning Lady. Maybe You Just Need to Move! You're Hired, Kid. The Benefits of Bartering. When Do You Need a Professional to Organize You?


18. Minimum Maintenance.
Here's the Bottom Line. Get Regular Tune-Ups for a Smoother Ride. Taking It a Step Further. Lists, Schedules, and Files Revisited. If Things Start Breaking Down. Terminating Time Wasters, Overcoming Organization Ogres. Can Your Computer Keep You Organized? Aesthetics Essentials. You Have a Dream! Let the Seasons Tell the Time. Make Maintenance a Celebration.

19. Organization Styles for Different Lifestyles.
All by Yourself. Single-Income, Dual-Parent Families. Dual-Income Couples. Dual-Income Families. Single Parents. The Empty Nest. Caregivers and Extended Families. Blended Families and Dual Custody Arrangements. The Road Warrior.


20. Road Show: Making the Most of Your Vacation.
Travel Agents: Is This Trip Really Necessary? Going It on Your Own. Travel, in General. Pared-Down Packing A Word About Clothing. Casting Your Travel Safety Net. Off the Beaten Track: Specialty Travel. The Family Circus: Traveling with Kids. Going Away Without Leaving Home. Sentimental Journeys Without Silly Souvenirs.

21. Getting It Together in the Great Outdoors.
Gourmet Garages: For More than the Car! Unstuff the Place! Storage Shopping List for the Garage. Give Yourself a Shop. Car Care for the Connoisseur. Grow Smart: Setting Up a Garden Center. Be a Sport! I Can Use the Garage for That?

22. Let the Good Times Roll!: Planning the Perfect Party.
Planning for Party Success Do-Ahead Entertaining. Short-Order Get-Togethers. Potluck Means More Parties! Presentation Is Everything. All the Right Stuff. Managing Space, Traffic, and Cleanup. Child's Play: Planning Great Parties for Kids. A Few Guests for the Weekend. Do I Need a Caterer?

23. Ready for Prime Time: Planning Weddings and Reunions.
The Big Ones. Wedding Bells in Harmony. Assembling the Clan (or Class) Without Chaos. Saving the Memories.

24.Wrap It Up: Holiday Planning Made Easy.
Goal-Setting, Holiday Style. Write Yourself a Book: Your Personal Holiday Planner. Making a List and Checking It (at Least) Twice! Finding Time to Get It All Done. Christmas in July (and Other Time-Savers). You Shouldn't Have! Giving Great Gifts. Stellar Strategies for Holiday Entertaining. Finessing the Family Tug-of-War. If You Must Travel. Holiday Storage Snags. Finally, It's All up to You.

25. Methods for Your Morning Madness.
Unstuff the Bathroom! Get a Routine. Morning Makeup. Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Rituals. Give Your Handbag a Hand. Beauty Is Happiness and Good Health.

26. Divine Recreation: More Time for Pastimes.
Is It a Hobby or Just More Stuff? Crafty Storage Ideas. Multimedia Mogul. When Collecting's Your Hobby. Collection or Clutter? Pet Care: Who Owns Whom?

Appendix A. Resource Guide.
Appendix B. Bibliography.
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Customer Reviews

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( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 30, 2009

    If You Need To Get It Together

    I have found this book very helpful in helping me get myself in order. Not just my things around home, but understanding why I have always been unorganized. There are also great reference and additional info in the bubbles. Hope you will find this book as useful as I have.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2009

    Busy working single mom of four teenagers

    As a busy single parent I find I don't always have time to organize things in the house. The book help give hints on how to organize and hopefully stay that way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2004

    no more clutter here

    I have tired for years to get thing cleaned up . after looking at the title I thought yea right . now with 3 rooms down and reading chapter after chapter i am a new women and i am a cleaning fool. hubby is so impressed that we are taking a vacation to celebrate my new life of stress free and clutter gone . thank so much it a book that will change your life for the better

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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