Friday, June 6, 2008

When Organizing Isn't Enough: SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life

In When Organizing Isn’t Enough: SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life, Julie Morgenstern walks the reader through a 4-step program designed to help individuals through transition periods or big changes in their lives. SHED is an acronym that stands for “Separate the treasures”, “Heave the trash”, “Evaluate yourself”, and “Drive yourself forward” and can help readers lead more fulfilling and rewarding lives after marriage, divorce, retirement, job change or any other major life changes.

This book is easy to read and offers down-to-earth and practical advice. It focuses on what happens or should happen before and after you clear away the clutter in your life to keep that clutter at bay and to make the changes long lasting. The author suggests a certain order for tackling the chapters, however, for the purposes of this review, I read the book straight through.

Of the four steps in the SHED program, “Separate your treasures” and “Heave the trash” are definitely the more concrete steps and easier to grasp. Each step is important, though, and the author warns the reader about skipping steps. In addition to these SHED steps, the author outlines the work the reader must do before tackling the program in order to be successful. No one ever said change and transition were easy.

The author uses real life examples liberally. It was very helpful that she used the same people throughout the whole book so that we could “follow” their journeys through the SHED program. These examples allowed me to understand the program better and I found them to be interesting, relevant and necessary.

This book isn’t for everyone. If your physical space is clutter-free, your schedule is fulfilling, and you have no bad habits, this book won’t help you. Even if this doesn’t describe you, but you are perfectly happy with how your life is, you don’t need this book. However, if you’re stuck at a point in your life and having trouble moving forward or if there’s something that just doesn’t quite thrill you in your life, this book can help tremendously. It won’t be easy, but it promises to be rewarding.

I’m definitely going to go through this book again this time tackling the chapters as the author suggests, doing the necessary work between chapters and reflecting on the contents.

Highly recommended.

This review copy was provided by the publisher through the wonderful people at Edwards Magazine.

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