Organizing for LIFE

I love reading books on organizing.  Harder is implementing.  Sometimes I just need a little encouragement before I can act.
I thought this book, Organizing for Life by Sandra Felton, was one of the best I've read.  I've kept these notes in my binder for a year, and today thought I'd share them.  I think they will encourage you, too!

Page 144  Become proficient in what you do...  You are more powerful than the house is....  The real tension will be relieved when the house is beautiful and orderly....  Then the stress of an ugly house, so powerful because it is so closely tied to womanhood, will be alleviated.

154   Proverbs says "It is possible to give away and become richer!  It is also possible to hold on too tightly and lose everything.  Yes, the liberal man shall be rich!   By watering others, he waters himself."  (11:24-25 TLB)    Is this not true of our situation?  Those who willingly give things away gain a beautiful, orderly house.  Those who hold on to everything lose what they are hoarding, the peace and comfort of ownership.

Stevan Dohanos 1953
155 You were an automatic saving machine.  Now the automatic part has been turned off and you have taken control of what you keep and what you get rid of.

157  Collecting things is a subconscious wish to participate in what they do not really expect will happen (such as travel brochures and home renovating magazines)  Successful average housekeepers... do not fear the future, so they don't keep things they may need someday.  Make a schedule for morning, evening, and various points during the day.  Follow it consistently without even thinking about it.  While you are wondering how it is happening, your house will change slowly but surely before your eyes.

159  ....the real problem is not your house; it's your mind-set....If professional organizers get your house in perfect order before you change your mind-set, the house will slip back into its former condition.

173  Women are suckers for anything that promises to make us better nurturers.  That's why it is so hard to get rid of kitchen things.  But the more junk we keep, the less effective our nurturing will be.  It gives an illusion of nurturing, but little of the reality. 

187  Done is better than perfect.

191  Quaker John Greenleaf Whittier:  Take from our souls the strain and stress, And let our ordered lives confess The beauty of thy peace.

194  ...(we have) the desire for order and beauty.  Many Messies are puzzled when their houses don't look nicer after they have worked so hard, so they enroll in another craft class or buy another knickknack.  Yet somehow the desire for beauty is not satisfied.

195  Another way Messies seek beauty in a drab house is by substituting beautiful words and thoughts for visual beauty.  They keep piles of books and magazines around them, frequently in their bedrooms and on the bed.  They are pleased to have this much intellectual beauty at their fingertips.  But this type of beauty, though important, cannot substitute for the beauty that comes only through our eyes.

196  When we start our search for gracious surroundings, we will feel as though we are walking from the harsh sunlight of a desert into a shaded garden glen.  We will experience a sense of balance and coolness.  Life will seem more worthwhile and balanced, and we will feel less tension.  When beauty comes to our home, we relax and start to see our total surroundings without having to limit our vision to a few pleasant items.
            The order that once eluded us is much closer at hand.  Messies generally believe that order produces beauty.  This is true to some extent.  But in the Messie experience, I believe it is more true that BEAUTY PRODUCES ORDER.
            There is one other surprising result of having a beautiful home.  Beauty lifts us out of our tiredness and depression.  Many people beat the blues by ... beautiful clothes or walking in a beautiful outdoor setting.....Part of this depression comes from lack of control, but part comes simply from living in a graceless home.

196-197  In Emotional Phases of a Woman's Life, Jean Lush writes about a woman's need for beauty:  lack of beauty - ugliness - brings grief to the spirit.  Shabbiness and disorder drain creates energy.  It lifts the spirit.

 218  Deeper still is the beauty of the Spirit that shines through the eyes, the bearing, and the personality.  The Bible speaks of the beauty of holiness.  This beauty is not caused by a halo and a wispy smile.  This beauty is the love and joy that come from knowing the God who IS love.
D is for Dad, Vintage ABC card
Books by Sandra Felton:
The Messies Manual 2005
When yo Live with a Messie  1994
The Messie Motivator  1986
Neat Mom, Messie Kids  2002
Hope for the Hopeless Messie: Steps of Restoring Sanity to Your Cluttered Life  1999
Why Can't I get Organized? / Whiz Bang Guide  1998
The Quick Guide to Home Organizing
Organized for Life

Books she recommends:
Culp, Stephanie.  How to Get Organized When You Don't Have the Time  1986
Fulton, Alice, and Pauline Hatch.  It's Here...Somewhere.  1985
Kolberg, Judith.  Conquering Chronic Disorganization.  1999
McCullough, Bonnie.  Totally Organized the Bonnie McCullough Way  1991


  1. I REALLY appreciate the thoughts you've shared! So glad I stopped by! Especially this: "Beauty lifts us out of our tiredness and depression." Explains why I feel so great after cleaning up my home! Thanks!

  2. Thanks Amy! I appreciate your sweet comment...and I really like your blog, too!

  3. Looks like a great book, Janine. "The beauty of holiness..." What a peaceful thought. Thank you for sharing with #ChasingCommunity this week. So nice to meet you. ((Hug))

  4. I absolutely love an orderly home, and this quote is so true for me...When beauty comes to our home, we relax and start to see our total surroundings without having to limit our vision to a few pleasant items. My entire mindset changes, I am more grateful, relaxed and productive. Happy to have you sharing at Fresh Market Friday...Welcome!!


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