Organizing From The Inside Out Book Summary - Organizing From The Inside Out Book explained in key points

Organizing From The Inside Out summary

Julie Morgenstern

The Foolproof System for Organizing Your Home, Your Office and Your Life

3.7 (45 ratings)
12 mins

Brief summary

Organizing From The Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern is a practical guide to organizing your home and workspace. It provides a step-by-step process for decluttering and creating systems that work with your personality and lifestyle.

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    Organizing From The Inside Out
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    Start getting organized from the inside out by identifying the causes of your disorganization.

    It’s happened to all of us: Desperate for a break from the chaos of our lives, we follow one of countless organizational tips and techniques touted as great solutions for eliminating disorder. For most of us, however, the effects are disappointing.


    Many of these techniques are predicated on an outside in mentality. They are too general and we struggle to apply them to the real-world hassle of our lives. A better organizational solution is to work from the inside out – a strategy specific to you and your needs.

    But before you can re-organize your life from the inside out you’ll need to understand why it’s disorganized.

    You can’t fix something if you don’t know why it’s broken, and by focusing on these three common organizational problem areas you can find out where your system can be improved:

    First off, there are often simple, technical shortcomings that prevent your organizational system from reaching its full potential; think of missing labels or spaces that lack a clear purpose.

    Second, there are environmental problems – things beyond your control – that inhibit organization: Unrealistic expectations at work; big events, such as a new baby or a divorce; domestic problems, like an uncooperative partner; or simply not having enough space.

    The third area is psychological obstacles, things within yourself that propel you toward disorder – having unclear goals, for instance, or fears that prevent you from getting organized, or taking comfort in being surrounded by stuff.

    When working through these three areas keep in mind that several may be true for you in different ways. Don’t panic if you start to identify a lot of issues. Just stay honest with yourself and remember that all problems have a solution.

    The first step to beating disorganization is to identify what causes it. Only by honestly assessing your situation can you build a lasting solution. So start by knowing your obstacles.

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    What is Organizing From The Inside Out about?

    Organizing From The Inside Out (1998) is the essential handbook on how to organize your life in a personalized and sustainable way. From your office to your house to your suitcase, these blinks outline clear step-by-step strategies to organize your entire world.

    Best quote from Organizing From The Inside Out

    Many creative or right-brained people who have always worked in chaos both crave and are frightened of getting organized.

    —Julie Morgenstern
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    Who should read Organizing From The Inside Out?

    • Anyone drowning in the chaos of life
    • People who are ready to reap the benefits of organization
    • Those who have tried other organizational techniques to no avail

    About the Author

    Julie Morgenstern founded the professional organizing company Taskmasters, a consultation firm with clients such as American Express. When she’s not running her business, she’s publishing her ideas as a columnist or speaking about them on TV. Organizing from the Inside Out was her first bestselling book.

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