I am still in disbelief that the month of January is over. I candidly posted on Instagram yesterday, how hard it has been for me to focus in the past few weeks and the thought of starting a new month tomorrow makes my skin crawl. You would think that because it’s a new year, you can start fresh and get your ducks in a row. But the truth of the matter is that you don’t get a clean slate just because the number of the year changed on the calendar. There will always be unfinished businesses. Finishing reading and reviewing the book ‘Organizing for Your Lifestyle’ was one of them.
I received a free copy of ‘Organizing for Your Lifestyle’ kindly signed by the author herself Jane Stoller, in exchange for my honest review. As a lover of all things organizing and decluttering, I couldn’t wait to dive in!
Jane Stoller is originally from Ontario, Canada. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science, as well as an MBA. Her passion for organizing started at a very young age, and she attributes her love for minimalism and organization to her deep Swiss roots. Jane currently lives in Zurich, Switzerland and works in the construction industry.
Is ‘Organizing for Your Lifestyle’ Right For You?
In her introductory chapter, The Science Behind Organization and Stress, the author reinforced my thoughts and opinion on how clutter affects your mental health, and how planning can lead you to a more peaceful and satisfying life.
…organizing can be a constant challenge. But it also offers lifelong rewards and can contribute to both greater happiness and better health.
~ Jane Stoller
She suggests things like scheduling your exercise to make it a priority in your days and planning meals (you know I am all up for that!) in order to make better, healthier choices.
As a housewife and a homemaker, I found great tips and suggestions, as well as organization systems that I am looking forward to implementing at home. I am looking at you Ikea Bissa cabinet!
I did, however, found most of Jane’s advice targeted more towards the single businesswoman, that has a particular interest in fashion, minimalism, and travel. While I do not disagree with her point of view, I found many ideas and suggestions not applicable to my current lifestyle.
I found it ironic when I read the line when the author mentions that Ugg boots are a no-no if you want to develop a Parisian wardrobe (p.31), the one and only day out of the year I was wearing mine when the temperature in South Florida dropped to the low 40s. But, a Parisian wardrobe is not in my plans. If you know me by now, I am a yoga-pants-ponytail kind of gal, 6 days out of the week.
With that said, if you’re like me, a frazzled, busy mom with a hectic schedule, surrounded by toys, and school paperwork piling up each day on your kitchen counter, you will not find advice in this book on how to get these things under control.
Points to Ponder
The book has 7 chapters, each one dedicated to the following categories:
- Science Behind Organization and Stress
- Storage Room
Below are some points to ponder:
- Jane’s Swiss roots and European style stand out throughout the book. She gives a thorough and deep insight on how to organize a closet and gives special advice on what clothes are worth owning and what not. There’s also an extensive explanation (with pictures) in how to hang and fold your clothes, and how to care for them. Lots of good and detailed information on how to organize and evaluate your wardrobe.
- There’s great advice on how to organize your bathroom cabinet and how to ‘Sober Up Your Toiletries’. One particular thing I learned from this chapter was how to reduce the number of beauty products you own and use, based on the three most deadly chemicals: mineral oil, propylene glycol, and sodium laureth sulfate.
- As a homemaker, I enjoyed reading how to organize towels and linens. I have yet to see how Jane’s towel folding method compares to mine. I agree with the author when she suggests owning only white towels since they’re the easiest to care for and make a closet or a guestroom look uniform and neat.
- The ‘Kitchen’ chapter is rather short (10 pages) compared to how extensive the ‘Closet’ chapter was. As a mom and a housewife, I expected more detail. The author explains how she keeps a ‘skinny fridge’ ditching staples such as ketchup and mayo from her fridge and making her own. Although I am all up for natural and whole foods, you can’t ditch the ketchup in most American households. But again, ‘Organizing for Your Lifestyle’ is definitely not a book for the busy mom trying to get meals on the table to feed a family of 3, 4 or 7.
- In her section ‘Organize So Your Mother Can Cook in Your Kitchen’, there’s plenty of good advice on how to store things based on their frequency of use, including big or small appliances. This is something I have been implementing for the last 11 years.
- I agree with her wise advice of washing most fruits and vegetables as soon as they’re brought home, in order to make it easier to eat and prepare meals quicker. I keep a clear bin of clean, fresh fruit inside the fridge, readily available for my son to grab them as a healthy snack, and for me to prepare his school lunchbox each morning in a cinch.
- When it comes to housekeeping, there are great suggestions as in which cleaning supplies staples you should have at home and how to store them. She makes particular emphasis in making a thorough inventory of cleaning supplies, and keep only those things that you actually use. I am guilty of hoarding too many cleaning supplies, so I definitely want to look into that.
- Labeling is one of Jane’s favorite things to do, and I couldn’t agree more. When things have a labeled place to call home, it is easier for us to put them back where they belong and achieve organizing sustainability.
- Her advice on travel, and how to organize your wardrobe, toiletries, and travel wallet (and suitcase) when you go out of town is thorough and very precise…if you’re traveling alone. But once again, it would be hard to apply these methods -such as traveling with just one carry on- if you’re planning to travel with a spouse and children.
Finally, I consider ‘Organizing for Your Lifestyle’ a great book for those looking to embrace a minimalistic lifestyle, and especially for single women with a particular interest in fashion, wardrobe staples, and travel. I believe it would be a great addition to your Home Organization and Decluttering book collection, but keep in mind it is not a guide for frazzled moms looking to tame toy clutter, nor a guide to organizing a big household.
Until next time,