Category Archives: Books to Read

Clutter is the Cholesterol of the Home

I ran across this interesting metaphor for clutter – Clutter is the Cholesterol of the Home (1) . After searching the web I came across earlier usage of this metaphor by Maria Cilley – The Fly Lady in her 2002 book Sink Reflections.  On page 25 she states Clutter is to our home as Cholesterol is to our arteries.

Her points in the book:

  • Clutter invades the pathways of our homes
  • Clutter causes stress in your life
  • Clutter decreases joy in living
  • Clutter pushes money away from you
  • Clutter destroys closeness in families
  • Clutter is a result in overindulging in stuff
  • Clutter causes hearts to harden

Try using this metaphor with your own home or chronically disorganized clients.

Are there any other metaphors you use to describe clutter?


1  LA Times Opinion Article of 2013  by Howard Mansfield titled An American dilemma: Your clutter or your life.


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Filed under Books to Read, Knowledge, Organizing, Philosophy, Techniques, Terms

Home Organizing Notable Authors

Professional Organizers have been tearing up the social media airwaves with their thoughts on the latest book entree into the organizing world. Marie Kondo’s book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up is the latest star in a long line of New Concept books.  Concept leaders include Stephanie Winston, Julia Morgenstern, Peter Walsh and now Marie Kondo.

Here is a table to help review the New Concept – Home Focused Organizing Books. Be sure to take note of the lower part of the chart which lists the subset of authors who have sold to specific markets and have also done extremely well.

Home Organizing Notables - Organizers – A Historical Perspective

Tell me what you think. Have I missed anyone in the general audience home organizing category?

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February 9, 2016 · p:55 pm

Show Your Work

9780761178972Austin Kleon’s  Show Your Work: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered published  written in 2014  is a quick and helpful read for all ages,  Share Something Small Everyday is a simple yet wonderful concept  explained and nicely diagramed in chapter 3. This concept is perfect for aspiring creatives and artists to understand and immediately begin the process. Share Something Small Everyday is also a great strategy for young high school S.T.E.M. students who want to start distinguishing themselves from the rest of the pack

Open Up Your Cabinet of Curiosities , chapter 4 brings home the gem “Your influences are all worth sharing because they clue people in to who you are and what you do – sometimes even more than your own work.” Kleon.  In this regard, Austin believes you should always give credit where credit is due and don’t share what you can’t credit.

Learn to Take A Punch is a chapter about building resilience, something all creatives, leaders and visionaries need. I almost passed this by on the first glide by but realized the value upon preparing for this review.

This under 225 page book will take you no time to read, yet will provide some useful and practical insights for some parts of your own work  or your client’s. The thing to remember about this book is that it is SHORT, therefore don’t expect too much.  However, it’s the words and wisdom in this little book that will come in handy from time to time.











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Filed under Books to Read, Business Marketing Strategies, Client Management Strategies, Creativity, Goal Setting, Knowledge, Philosophy, Terms

My Year of Reading

This has been a year for me to read. In January of 2012, I set my reading goal to be 100 books. I finally completed this project this morning.

Here are some links to some of my thoughts on this process.

Try Reading Something Different

Almost There

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Filed under Books to Read, Knowledge, Productivity

The Back of The Napkin – Book Review

Dan Roam’s book The Back of The Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures  (2008) presents a methodology for creating visual graphic presentations. If you want to get your point across visually then this may be a helpful ongoing reference book. The SQVID concept once clearly explained and displayed in the center portion of the book is a great tool. Roam also uses the 6 W’s (reminiscent of the old print media strategies in writing a story) to help you create a usable visual for your presentation.  This book while seemingly an easy read, is not necessarily easy to grasp in just one session.  It can serve as a useful reference text when you are creating a presentation to sell your ideas or solve a problem. Don’t skip the appendix, it also has some interesting and helpful sections.

Dan now runs The Napkin Academy. I suggest reviewing this website before and after reading The Back of The Napkin  to help the concepts sink in. If SQVID has you curious, check out his link here.

If you enjoyed this book review – here are a few others:

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Quiet: The Power of Introverts

Six Thinking Hats


Filed under Books to Read, Business Marketing Strategies, Client Management Strategies, Communication Strategies, Creativity, Knowledge, Productivity

Try Reading Something Different

Readers all have their favorite genres or topics that they gravitate towards. I think it is a good idea to step outside your “reading” comfort zone from time to time and find something “else” to read.

Recently, I picked up Flotsametics and the Floating World which discusses the career of a oceanographer. The book Flotsametics gives insight into beach combing, gyre patterns and a variety of other interesting topics around ocean drift patterns and floating objects. I also read The American Leonardo, the true story of the legal battles around a painting that may or may not be a Leonardo da Vinci. The book and tale reminds me of the fictional Dickensian novel, Bleak House and the endless legal case – going on and on, with no one being better off at the end.  Perhaps my favorite recent “outside my reading box” book was The Island of Lost Maps, a true story of cartographic crime. I found this an amazingly fascinating true tale.

By stepping out of our reading comfort zone, we may discover new things, explore new ideas, and look at the world with a different perspective.

What are you reading?

This is a best of post from my other blog Transition Your Life.

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Filed under Books to Read, Creativity, Knowledge, Thinking

Summer Reading

What are you reading this summer? On my bookshelf I am loaded down with good intentions. I have finally finished Mark Twain’s Roughing It, a nice overview of life and travel methods in the west in the 1860’s, when gold and silver mining was rampant in California and Nevada. This book also includes Twain’s exploration of the island of Hawaii and the start of his speaking career in San Francisco.  My next Twain travel exploration book is The Innocents Abroad (AKA The New Pilgrim’s Progress) published in 1869.

To make my summer reading special, I’ve tried sitting in different places around my home. Recently I spent a few happy hours reading on the top deck beneath the oak trees that surround our home. A change of environment can make reading a book unique and special. Of course outside reading has its own challenges but it can prove to be a good experience.

How do you make your summer reading special?


Filed under Books to Read, Creativity, Knowledge