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Review: Totally Together: Shortcuts to an Organized Life

It is no secret that I have been trying to find ways to get organized for a long time – perhaps my whole life.  Laugh all you want, it is true.  Heck, I laugh at it.  I have done the “Household Notebook” and now have another paperweight thanks to that short-lived project.  I just recently bought a composition book/journal and titled it “Kim’s Latest Attempt at Trying to Get and Stay Organized”.  I can tell you that it isn’t going so well either.  So when I heard that Stephanie O’Dea, queen of gluten-free crock pot cooking, had a new book on getting organized, I figured I didn’t have much to lose and I would be supporting someone I love at the same time.

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The book, Totally Together: Shortcuts to an Organized Life, seemed to be created just for me – the calendar starts in September and goes through August, so no time like the present to get started!  I love this quote on page 3:

clean less and play more

My kind of philosophy – I am liking this book already!

Stephanie makes some excellent points in the first few pages.  I am going to highlight some that I found very important to understand before beginning:

“In order to start getting your house in order, you need to start getting your house in order”

“Do not alphabetize the spice cabinet if you have a mountainous pile of dishes in the sink”

“Instead of trying to do too much all at once, let’s focus on establishing a daily routine and enlisting help from the entire family.”

And this about sums it up:

“When your house is on fire, don’t stop to weed the flower bed.”

Okay, time to get down to it.  I liked Stephanie’s approach to attacking the problem – bits & pieces.  Start by trying to working to complete the “Daily 7”.  These 7 chores are simple, yet often go undone because I used to feel that if I couldn’t clean the whole room the way I wanted, why bother with a part?  Well, it appears that I should have been bothering!  LOL!  Making the bed, wiping down the bathroom as I am getting ready, picking up for just 10 minutes before bed….  Those things seem so simple.  And they are, once they become habit.  I love the layout of the calendar with the “Daily 7” checklist and then other suggested chores, along with a spot to write down what is going on for the week.

The way the calendar is laid out, Stephanie gives tips & reminders to start thinking about upcoming dates & events.  I can see this really being helpful to me around the holidays when I really tend to get overwhelmed.

While this isn’t a quick fix, and I truly believe that there aren’t any quick fixes, it is a lifestyle change.  Lifestyle changes lead to lifelong habits.  Much like eating healthy.  Eating healthy is a lifestyle change/choice, not something you do for a short period of time to get to a certain point & then revert to old habits.  The method in this book is doable, which is a key component for me.

I have been following the “lifestyle change” now for about 1.5 weeks.  I managed to complete 75% of the suggested items in Week 1 and about 90% of the “Daily 7” items.  Week 2 is going better and instead of throwing my hands up in the air and quitting when I slack, I just get back on the wagon & continue from where I left off.  There are days that fall apart, but that is life.  Tomorrow is a new day and the beauty in that is starting with a clean slate.  We are all human and we all make mistakes.  We can dwell on them and criticize ourselves or we can learn from them and move forward.

Now for the best part!  One of my lucky readers will win a copy of  “Totally Together”!!  All you have to do is follow the instructions provided by Rafflecopter below.



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