Let’s just be right upfront here. My life is currently the perfect picture of household chaos and floor strewn toys. With two small kids at home, I try to implement order and get organised, but alas! After 24 hours, my perfectly pieced together puzzle will end up decimated and likely with half the pieces in the washing machine (Finn’s favourite new place for depositing everything). But I can dream of the day my kitchen, life, makeup drawer and calendar stays organised. Now that Finn has turned one and the baby birthing is out of the way for our family, I can kinda see the light at the end of the chaotic tunnel (I’m sure the parents of teenagers reading are laughing at me hysterically).
I’m a natural lover of organising. My idea of the perfect rainy day would be to pull everything out of a cupboard, purge what isn’t needed and reorganise it all so it just works. I’d spend the rest of the week feeling smug every time the pair of shoes I was after was within reach. I lust after those kitchens with the slidey out bits that fit everything you need just so. Any part of life that needs to be managed or get organised, I have an ideal in my mind that I’d like to attain one day. Whether I’ll get there or not, who knows? But it’s fun reading all about the various ways to streamline and simplify regardless.
Here’s a list of my favourite books on the topic of organising. They’re in no particular order and cover slightly different realms of organisation. Home, work, schedules etc. But I’ve found all of them super valuable in my quest for simpler systems to manage the madness.
Remodelista: The Organized Home by Julie Carlson
I’m sure this book was a recommendation from Charlotte? But ever since treating myself to it, I have also bought this beauty as a gift for friends. Each of whom have treasured it just as much as me. If you’re into minimal, Muji lined cupboard shots and practical (if not slightly aspirational) tips about how to make your spaces work better, then this is the book for you.
I found this book in my sister’s office and instantly fell in love. It’s a realistic, no-nonsense approach to decluttering and better organising your life in general. The section on toys was really helpful to me and I felt like the imagery used was a bit more realistic and attainable. It’s definitely a coffee table book and can be opened up at any section you please for that hit of blissful organisational inspiration.
I full-on LOVE this book. Written by Youtuber Anna Newton (The Anna Edit), I have always found Anna to be incredibly down to earth and likable, which completely shines through in this book. Her tone is just enough ‘nothing’s perfect’ and ‘get your shit together’ to make me want to implement her tips and tricks. I found it very practical. This book is more of a manual than a coffee table book (there are no images), which I found oddly motivating than if it had been full of glossy imagery.
Work Smarter: Live Better by Cyril Peupion
This one is a bit older and there are software tips in there that just aren’t relevant anymore, but I have gone back to this book again and again. I like the balance between the why – spend less time working by increasing your efficiency, and the what – tons of tips and tricks to actually increase your work efficiency. I still use the file management systems recommended in this book and it’s a very slim, quick and easy read.
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity by David Allen
Probably the oldest book on the list. Yet the method has not dated at all. There are some hardcore GTD-ers (yes that’s a thing) out there. But for me, I like David Allen’s concept of having a single physical and digital inbox that you put all tasks into before sorting one at a time. It seems simple, but the book goes deep into how to completely purge your mind of all the loose ends and open loops flying about. It teaches that your brain is a really crap storage system for important things and that getting everything out and into an ‘inbox’ of sorts is the only way to actually get the right things done. I use Todoist as my way of keeping track of everything using the GTD method. I have been for about 5 years now and I don’t know what I would do without it. I also love my little weekly review ritual of sitting down to plan out my week. There’s a step by step for this in the book that makes sure no stone is left unturned.
The biggest take away that I think I’ve found from all of these books is this… You will not have an organised life unless you carve out time regularly to actually sit down and organise it. Whether that’s a cupboard or your work schedule for the week. Sometimes I find myself flying from one task/appointment/day to the next without any breathing space and that way lies madness.
Sitting down to plan things through is key (reminder to self).
Do you love a good book, blog or podcast on productivity and organisation? Please do share. As you can probably tell, I love these things so the geekier the better.