Organizing Solutions

i was in barnes & noble the other day hoping to find some books geared to helping people with ADHD get through post-secondary school. it seems though that virtually every book about ADHD spends the first half defining the disorder and talking about symptoms. when every single book starts with that, it gets very redundant very quickly, and leaves very little space for new material in each book.

after grabbing a stack of a dozen books about ADHD, i walked out with two books, once i realized that the majority of the books had only 20-50 pages of unique material. one of the books is specifically about ADHD and school (College Confidence with ADD by Michael Sandler), which i'm hoping to at least skim through before classes start in 2.5 weeks. the other, Organizing Solutions for People with Attention Deficit Disorder by Susan Pinsky, is a general organization book geared more toward the home.

The layout of Organizing Solutions resembles a magazine, having glossy pages with lots of images and little text. the layout simplifies finding ideas and makes it particularly easy for those with ADHD or other learning disabilities to find tips quickly without getting lost in a jumble of text. it has sections covering each room of the house plus ideas of how to handle specific items or tasks that occur in those rooms (paying bills, folding laundry, etc.). as a basic intro for those who have not figured out how to organize many parts of their homes, or certain areas in particular, this could be a helpful book. but, for me, the flaws outnumber it's usefulness.

Pinsky spends too much time arguing for efficiency at the cost of beauty and frugality, which essentially means you need to have some money to implement her ideas. yardwork a hassle? hire someone. can't get your room organized? buy more furniture. there are a lot of helpful tips, but the wastefulness ("it is quicker and more efficient to use paper plates as your "china" of choice at everything but your most formal meals.") was too much for me to handle. in talking about efficiency, she frequently suggests using open shelves and open storage bins so it's easier to just toss (or, to use her term, "wing") things into the containers instead of wasting time with doors and lids. the problem with that system that she never addresses is how to handle the amount of dust that will get on everything and inside those containers, creating a new problem altogether (but i guess you just hire a housekeeper to handle that, as she suggests hiring one to clean other parts of the house).

if you're having trouble getting a particular part of the house organized, skim through that section of the book (they're nicely labeled and color coded) at a bookstore or library to get some ideas, but leave the book behind.

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