Monday, March 14, 2011

(Book Review and GIVEAWAY) Pretty Neat - the buttoned-up way to get organized & let go of perfection

I'm sure, like me, many of you could use a little help in the organizational department. We all have those problem areas of our home (or life) that we just can't seem to keep in perfect order. I'm pretty good at keeping things neat and picked up in my overall household. You won't find too much clutter lying around out in the open. But, where I do seem to struggle are those "behind closed doors" area -- my closets, junk drawers, and my kitchen pantry. While I know that practically nobody will ever actually see these areas, it's still always in the back of my mind that I need to do better and keep these areas more tidy.

Here's a photo of my kitchen pantry.
I guess it could look alot worse, but, it's a constant source of stress for me because things are always piling up on the floor. Also, the shelves are fairly deep so it's difficult to reach items that are stored near the back. I used to be a real stickler about my pantry (yes, I was one of those wackos that actually alphabetized my canned goods). Well, that all changed once I started having kids and our lives became a lot more busy. Now, I do try to group items by type of food, but even that doesn't always happen. I've decided it's time to empty out the pantry entirely and start from scratch. Some reorganization and deluttering are in order. Wish me luck and I'll be sure and post some photos when I'm done.


Speaking of organization, I was happy to recently have the opportunity to review a new book on just this topic. It's called Pretty Neat, the buttoned-up way to get organized & let go of perfection. It's authored by Alicia Rockmore and Sarah Welch, who are the creators of buttoned up organizational products. Here's a bit about the book from their website:

"Pretty Neat is a handbook that embraces the chaotic reality that lies beneath org porn’s glossy veneer, offering pithy anecdotes and candid advice from experts and real women alike on tackling organizational inertia. Funny, irreverent, entertaining, and helpful, the book covers all facets of clutter-control, from tried-and-true tips for conquering to-do lists and wrangling family schedules to ideas on excavating inboxes, eliminating excuses, and delegating housework. Most importantly, Pretty Neat insists that women need to stop holding themselves to impossibly high standards, and focus instead on defining their own, realistic organizational goals."

First of all, I love how they coined the term "org porn" - which they use to refer to "that glossy, airbrushed fantasy world where everythign is pristine, serene, and perfectly in order."  Sure, we all want org porn, but in reality, it's just not possible. And, that's what's great about this book. They tell you that it's okay to let go of these unrealistic ideas of everything being perfect. Instead, they help you find ways to make your own goals that work for you. I enjoyed the chapter on delegating, which is something I REALLY need to work on. I've alway been such a control freak that I usually end up trying to do everything myself for fear that it won't be done correctly. There's even a section called Control Freaks - it could have been written just for me. There are also chapters on To-Do Lists, Family Scedules, Clutter at Home, Toy Tsunamis, Taming Your Inbox, and more. I found so many valuable tips and ideas and the book has really motivated me to work on those areas in my life that need organization (but not be so stressed out while I'm doing it).

One of my lucky readers will win a copy of this book, Pretty Neat.

*Mandatory Entry* - leave a comment on this post telling me the area of your home or life that has become the biggest source of organizational stress.

*Extra Entries* - you may do any or each of the following (leave separate comment for each):
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2. Subscribe to my blog via email (see sidebar)
3. Follow @alas3lads on twitter (must leave your twitter name to verify)

Entries will be accepted until 10:00 PM EST on March 19, 2011. At that time a random winner will be chosen and notified. Please make sure you provide valid contact information.

The authors of Pretty Neat, through Global Influence, provided me with this book for review. They are also providing another copy of the book for giveaway to one of my blog readers. In exchange for sharing my review and hosting the giveaway, I am entered in a gift card drawing. All opinions expressed are my own.



septembermom said...

I'm looking forward to seeing your "after" pictures. I need help with my organization behind closed doors too. The book sounds good. So glad to be back blogging after 4 weeks of being a trial juror.