I love reading books about organization but often end up feeling worse about my organizational skills when I’m done reading them than I did when I started. Pretty Neat: The Buttoned-Up Way To Get Organized and Let Go Of Perfection by the creators of Buttoned Up is not that kind of book. Within the first 10 pages of Pretty Neat I was given the go ahead to create “good enough” goals. I loved that the authors also shared that I should not apologize to anyone for the shortcuts that I take and the chores that might not get done. This was so freeing. I no longer feel like a failure that every room in my house doesn’t look like it came from the pages of a magazine.
I read this book cover to cover in just a few days and recommend keeping a paper and pen handy for jotting down ideas from the book you’d like to implement and their page numbers in case you’d like to go back and read it over. I liked the real life “tips” from moms on how they keep organized and where they take short cuts. I thought I would share some of my organizing short cuts, too.
*Pictures- I had a box full of professional pictures from Jake and Luke’s first years of life. I had planned on putting them into scrapbooks but as my boys are close to turning two and three I recently realized I just needed to get them organized. I used clear plastic sheets to put the pictures into a binder by month. Now if I never get around to scrapbooking the pictures at least I have done something with them and they are in some sort of chronological order.
*Papers to be filed- Filing papers is probably one of my least favorite activities. Since most of what I file is “just in case” papers (ie. warranties, bank statements, tax papers) I stick the papers I know I won’t need in the next month in a big bin and then I spend an afternoon filing papers every 6 months or so. My desk stays clutter free and my time-sensitive papers (which I keep in a basket) don’t get lost amongst the other ones.
*Mail- I wait to check the mail until a time of the day that I know I will have a minute to go through it. I look at everything right then and there and don’t save anything to look at “later” (because, for me, later never comes). Junk and ads go directly into the trash. Bills get removed from their envelopes and put into my household binder with the rest of the bills. Anything that needs attention is written as a “to-do” on my daily list and put into a pocket of my household binder. I don’t leave anything on the counter because I’ve learned it piles up fast!
One reader will receive a copy of the book, Pretty Neat.
HOW TO ENTER:
(Do any or all of the following)
1) Share an organizing tip in the comments below.
2) Share an area of your life that needs to be organized.
3) Tweet: “Enter to win Pretty Neat (an organizing book) from @aliciamarie112 at http://www.makingtimeformommy.com”
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Giveaway ends on March 21, 2011.
(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to review. All opinions are my own.)