13 September 2007

Two Peas Blogging Challenge: A Good Read

A recent Two Peas Blogging Challenge was this: Recommend a book that others might enjoy.

In my personal quest for "ORDER" this year, I've been reading books on getting organized. (Note that I'd probably be a lot more organized by this time if I'd stop reading about it and start working on it, but hey...that's beside the point.) Last week, I spotted this one in the "New Arrival" section at the library: Christopher Lowell's Seven Layers of Organization. In reading the introduction, it would seem that I really should know who this dude is, but in reality, I've never heard of him. But what does that matter? I'm only interested in what he has to say about organization.

I'm about one-third of the way through the book and so far, I think Mr. Lowell has me pegged. He describes typical types of pack rats and alarmingly, I see myself in several:

The Appropriate Appropriator: A person who, fearing the wrath of an in-law or other relative, accepts offerings she doesn't want and then feels obliged to display them. Oh, yeah...I've got a LOT of this stuff and all of the guilt to go with it.

The Heartfelt Hoarder: A person who saves everything anyone ever gave to them. (OK, I'm not quite that extreme, but I'm somewhere on that continuum.)

The Keep-It-Till-I-Read-It Pack Rat: A voracious reader-type person who saves newspapers, magazines, old mail...This person would pitch this stuff in a heartbeat, but she has to read it first. Ring any bells?

The "Perfectly Good" Pack Rat: A person who prides herself on thriftiness and practicality. To this person, everything is "practically like new" so therefore could never be discarded. Remember the 20-year old wool suits I could barely part with at my garage sale? Ugly as they may have been, they were like new! Really! (I still can't figure out why no one bought them...)

The Possibility Procrastinator: This person sees creative possibilities in everything that catches her eye, but often underestimates the time, money and motivation it will take to actually get the work done. This is the demon who forces me to purchase strange items to alter in the Target $1 Spot.

Now, Mr. Lowell assures me that even if I recognize myself in all of these descriptions, all is not lost. Says he: "Have no fear. Recognizing the situation is the first step in getting to the root of why you attract and keep clutter."

So far, I'm intrigued by this "psychological" approach to creating an orderly home environment. If Mr. Lowell can help me get out from under the burden of "stuff" I've accumulated, he'll be my hero. If you're in the same (sinking) boat, you might appreciate this book, too.

8 comments:

Heather said...

Oooh...yeah that book has me pegged too. I'm definitely a sentimental/practical pack rat! I might have to find that book. BTW, Christopher Lowell used to have a decorating show on The Discovery Channel.

toners said...

Sounds like a great book! Is there a category for the pack rat who organizes by making piles of things everywhere but doesn't do anything with those piles! LOL!!

jp said...

Heather and Toni - We must all be kindred spirits! I do the pile thing, too. Sometimes I move the piles from room to room...makes me feel like I'm doing something! Our friend Mr. Lowell calls that the "domino effect"! LOL! We'll see if he can cure me! Janet

Maureen said...

Oh, I definitely see myself in a few of those categories... why oh why does my family always drop off crap they don't want to us???? Even unannounced, they come over and say "we thought you could use this"... from firewood dumped in our yard to old furniture still in our garage, we have WAY TOO MUCH STUFF!!!!

I know why, really. I can never say "No, Thanks."

KarenSueM said...

I have enjoyed other books by him, I should consider this one...he is a fun, easy read.

NOOOOOOOO
I love my stuff

I just keep thinking of my poor kids when I pass, and what they will have to go thruogh. I think the fighting will be over who has to get rid of it!!

my son has already told me that the only things they'll keep are the scrapbooks, so why don't I take pics of the stuff and do layouts about them, then I can journal about why they meant something to me....smart kid, huh

looking forward to Feline Friday!!

jp said...

Maureen - I hear ya! We've acquired all kinds of things that we really don't need but somehow can't refuse. I have many things I need to get rid of but CAN'T because they were gifts from relatives. It's a real problem!

Karen Sue - Your son is indeed wise beyond his years! Easier said than done, however!

:-) Janet

Kristina said...

I love a good purge!! Saturday, I did my closet. THAT was a chore, but it all nice and re-organized now.

I'm gonna have to check out this book. Thanks for sharing!

playswithglue said...

I need to borrow this book! I am on a mission to PURGE! I can't be suffocated by stuff any longer! I've been reading a fung-shui (sp?) book about what clutter in different areas of your house means and there was an article in Family Circle over the summer that talked about the pschology behind the hoarding and *gasp* they seem to hit it right on the head!

And after I recover my own home I plan to start a letter writing campaign to scrapbooking mfgs explaining why I don't want to purchase a package of 100 silver brads just to get 3 for my project!