10 Organization Lessons from Organizing from the Inside Out

Here are 10 organization lessons from Organizing from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern that had the greatest impact on me:

1 – Look From In to Out

This was the first book I’ve read that took the perspective of the reader (organizing from the inside out) and not some guru telling us how to get organized (from the outside in).

This could have been a marketing tactic, but Morgenstern backs it up with sound advice that anyone can customize for their own situation.

2 – Three Organization Problem Types

Simple outline of the three common organizational problem areas helps to guide the reader to where they need the most help.

First one was simple, technical shortcomings like misuse of space.

Second was environmental problems like big life events or just lack of enough space.

Third was psychological obstacles like fear or lack of what you want your organized life to look like.

3 – What is the Cost of Clutter?

The section on getting partners organized offered one nugget of wisdom that I’ve thought about a lot during my month-long organization experiment.

Morgenstern writes that one way to get a partner to see the value of being organized is to ask them one question: what is the price of clutter?

When I started thinking about all the time I waste looking for stuff or reorganizing an area I had organized once before, I became even more motivated to get things back in order.

4 – Analyze and Strategize

One thing I tried to do during my experiment and something Morgenstern advocates is to analyze the problem before jumping in and trying to fix everything at once.

Her five-needs assessment was nice to see and helped round out my thoughts on what to think about before getting organized.

Hers include what works, what doesn’t work, what items are essential, why do you want to get organized and finally what is causing your organization problem.

The essential items question reminded me of Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and her advice that we should only keep things that bring us joy.

5 – Go Back to Kindergarten

I had never heard of The Kindergarten Model of Organization and like most things that surprise and delight, this idea made a ton of sense.

By defining what you do in different areas, mapping out your space and rearranging things (like furniture) to match both activity and space, you instantly start feeling more organized.

Kindergarteners don’t paint and read in the the same space. We should use that same guiding principle in our lives.

6 – Be Realistic

Morgenstern talks about being honest when estimating how long it will take to get organized.

I don’t expect anyone, myself included, to get organized in one month. There is usually too much to do and not enough time to just focus on it.

Being honest with ourselves and others in this regard is crucial. It took me years to get this disorganized. I should figure it could take just as long to get everything back in order.

7 – Got 1-1/2 Days?

Not sure where she got her data, but she is the expert so I trust her. She writes that on average organizing takes up to 1-1/2 days per room. I did wonder what that translates to for digital organization.

8 – Six Weeks!

This stat blew my mind. According to the Wall Street Journal the average executive in the US wastes six weeks a year looking for stuff. Wow.

9 – Explore SPACE

SPACE became my mantra once I read it. S for sort, P for purge, A for assign a home, C for containerize, E for equalize.

She seemed to be reaching on E, but I’ll accept it. It basically means to keep on top of your system going forward.

Nice acronym to help us get our head around what the process looks like to get organized.

10 – Now, Organize Your Time

Morgenstern even took her organizing from the inside out principle and argued we could use them for time management.

Just analyze your activities, strategize priorities and cut out the time wasters and group the must-do’s into similar tasks.

I didn’t think she overreached here. Once we get our lives in order I’m sure we could organize other areas like time management.

Overall, I’m a big fan of the book. It has a unique angle on how to get organized in a productive and seamless way.

I believe the 10 organization lessons I highlighted can help anyone willing to put them into action.

The Best Podcast Episodes February 2017 (…or at least last week)

Here are the best podcast episodes of February 2017.

Tim Grahl continues to share everything he knows about launching a book. I really liked his take on social media. One thing I’m trying is not being on social media. Let’s see how that turns out.

A new podcast on the list this week was Learn to Code With Me. Last year I spent months learning HTML/CSS and some JavaScript on Treehouse. Slowly I drifted over to self-publishing, but after listening to an episode of Too Embarrassed to Ask on coding, I’m drifting back.

The Read to Lead podcast continues to be one of my favorites. Any podcast that talks about nonfiction books with authors will always be a favorite.

Recode continues to earn more and more of my listening time as I deep dive into their back catalog of Recode Media and Too Embarrassed to Ask.

My latest discovery is Startup. It is amazing. Finally, someone talks about the fear, anxiety and drama of trying to start a business.

I was part of a startup for a couple of years and everything covered in Startup has been spot on.

Here are the best podcast episodes I heard:

Book Launch Show

Social Media and Book Launches

Finally, someone who says we don’t have to be everywhere if we want to leverage social media.

Learn to Code with Me Podcast with Laurence Bradford




Read to Lead Podcast




Love me some Dan Pink. Great authors (have read everything he’s written) and this podcast was a good summary of his last book, To Sell is Human.


Recode Media with Peter Kafka

Jason Hirschhorn’s personal network made him rich. Then it saved his life.

Listen just for Jason’s thoughts on the healthcare system. Worth it.

Bill Simmons’s Grantland is dead. Meet Sean Fennessey, the editor in chief of his new site, The Ringer.

Entrepreneur and investor Gary Vaynerchuk ‘cannot wait’ for the startup armageddon

How Apple obsessive John Gruber built Daring Fireball, the world’s most powerful one-man media company

The New York Times wants to save itself by becoming like Netflix

TheSkimm Built a Massive Email Following. Now It Wants More.

The founders of Genius don’t want to be startup bros anymore


How Not to Pitch a Billionaire

Is Podcasting the Future or the Past?

How to Divide an Imaginary Pie

Too Embarrassed to Ask

Do I really need to learn to code?

Long answer, probably. Short answer, yes.

Do ‘productivity hacks’ really help you get stuff done?

Best advice they gave was get up early and if you have problem Google it for solutions.

The best podcasts right now, according to Kara Swisher and Lauren Goode

They turned me on to Startup. I will forever be in their debt.

We can’t talk about ‘fake news’ if we can’t agree what it means

What was the saying, everybody is entitled to their own opinion, not their own facts.

What were the most interesting gadgets at CES?

Wearables? Heels that raise or lower? At what point do we hit peak CES?

Is ‘unlimited’ phone data a ripoff?

What could have been most boring podcast of the year was quite informative and lively thanks to Joanna Stern. Good stuff to hear if in the market for a new phone.

Why isn’t my favorite TV show on Netflix?

Can we just get to the point where everything every produced is a search away? No. OK, here is what to do until that day comes.


So there you go, the best podcasts episodes I heard in February 2017. Hopefully at least one caught your attention and you’ll give it a chance.

Not sure exactly how the format of this post will change in the future. I do know I’ll keep listening to podcasts and sharing everything I hear.

Best Inspirational Quotes I Read in February 2017

I’ve been collecting quotes for years. I decided to start publishing them this year because it felt wrong to keep them to myself.

Here are the best inspirational quotes I read in February 2017:

1 – Learn as much as you can from those who know more than you do, who do better than you, who see more clearly than you. – Dwight Eisenhower

2 – People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things. – Steve Jobs

3 – Information is endlessly available to us; where shall wisdom be found? – Harold Bloom

4 – “I am less concerned with Terminator scenarios,” MIT economist Andrew McAfee said on the first day at Asilomar. “If current trends continue, people are going to rise up well before the machines do.”

5 – “True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure—the greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character’s essential nature.” – Robert Mckee

6 – Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. – John Wooden

7 – In spite of everything I shall rise again: I will take up my pencil, which I have forsaken in my great discouragement, and I will go on with my drawing. – Vincent Van Gogh

8 – Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence. – Vince Lombardi

9 – One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity. – Bruce Lee

10 – Not everything which makes us feel better is good for us. – Nietzsche