Organizing for Special Circumstances

ADD, Chronic Disorganization & Hoarding are all specialized areas of concern that hamper someone’s ability to get and stay organized. It’s not just a matter of saying “just do it” when complex obstacles stand in the way. These titles lay groundwork for understanding the mental, physical and emotional issues at work and provide practical advice for overcoming the organizational problems caused by ADD, chronic disorganization and hoarding.

ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life by Judith Kolberg and Kathleen Nadeau, Ph.D.

Kolberg is an icon — a veteran professional organizer and founder of the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization – as well as a respected friend and colleague in NAPO and NAPO-Georgia. Nadeau is a famed ADD researcher and expert. Together, they’ve developed a comprehensive guide to helping those with ADD get organized and get control over their lives, environment and time. If you are seeking practical ways to outmaneuver your ADD and stay organized, this is a magnificent resource.

Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood through Adulthood by Edward Hallowell and John J. Ratey

This book is a classic – a study of attention deficit disorder written by two doctors who actually have ADD themselves. It discusses clinical causes of the disorder and treatments for it, but also offers hope and understanding. If ADD or ADHD is part of the underlying cause of your disorganization, this book is a great place to start understanding the “why” so you can start working on the “how”.

Conquering Chronic Disorganization by Judith Kolberg

Bar none, this is the best book available for understanding what it means to be “chronically disorganized”, which is entirely different from the everyday situational disorganization most people face. Who better to write the ultimate text on chronic disorganization than the founder of the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization? Kolberg writes like she speaks, in a genuine, witty and charming style that both educates and motivates the reader. If you or someone you know suffers from chronic disorganization and conventional efforts haven’t helped, make this book your next stop.

Making Peace with the Things in Your Life: Why Your Papers, Books, Clothes and Other Possessions Keep Overwhelming You-And What To Do About It by Cindy Glovinsky

Glovinsky, another NAPO member, is a licensed psychotherapist as well as a professional organizer. These two separate but related fields of inquiry give her a unique vantage point from which to understand why the way we feel about the “stuff” in our lives prevents us from letting go, and how we get so attached to tangible items that the clutter starts to take over. If you find yourself warring with the clutter and just can’t let go, move Glovinsky’s perspective to the top of your reading pile.

Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding: Why You Save and How You Can Stop by Fugen Neziroglu, et. al.

Hoarding is not the same as over-ambitious collecting, shopping addiction or chronic disorganization. Hoarders’ brains are marked by biochemical changes and their behaviors are closely related to obsessive-compulsive disorders. The authors of this book define the syndrome as “the acquisition and saving of possessions that have little or no value” or a value perceived only by the hoarder, who “has great difficulty discarding the objects.” Case histories illustrate the damage hoarding does to relationships and quality of life, while the self-assessment exercises and discussion of treatment options (including cognitive therapy) provide hope for returning to normalcy.

Organizing Your Office

Organize Your Office In No Time by Monica Ricci

This book was written by one of my dear friends and colleagues, but I’d rate it highly even if were written by a stranger. Monica Ricci has a remarkable way of demystifying the complex and creating simple solutions where once there was only chaos. If you are trying to organize your office, whether it’s in the corner of the den or your corporate corner office, this is the resource for you.

Never Check Email In The Morning by Julie Morgenstern

This book (published previously as Making Work Work), from Oprah’s favorite professional organizer, does for work life what her other writing has done for home organization and time management. Simply put, Morgenstern tells it like it is, offering up the tried-and-true secrets for eliminating the interruptions, focusing on the tasks that yield productivity, and organizing and delegating work for maximum success.

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

Getting Things Done, known among its practitioners on the Internet as “GTD”, has become a worldwide phenomenon. Of all the authors in professional organizing and related productivity fields, Allen comes the closest to communicating in book form what I’ve been telling my clients all along. By applying simple productivity principles for defining goals, staying focused, and getting work and life projects under control, the reader will overcome the anxiety and sense of “overwhelm” and GET THINGS DONE!

Organizing Your Home

Organizing From the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern

If you were watching Oprah or reading O Magazine the first time you heard of a professional organizer, it was likely this other Julie you saw. Her series of books on getting organized for home or office, helping your teenager get organized or managing your time are all modern classics. And classics are called that for a reason. The advice here is practical and timeless.

The Organizing Sourcebook by Kathy Waddill

Waddill is another of my colleagues who knows that “one size does not fit all” in the realm of organizing solutions. Instead, she offers nine strategies for simplifying home and work life, basing each on a real-life case study. If you like to learn by example, and are most comfortable seeing parallels between someone else’s life story and your own, this book will make you feel right at home.

Organizing Your Time

It’s About Time: The 6 Styles of Procrastination and How to Overcome Them by Dr. Linda Sapadin

Procrastination is motivated by multiple factors: perfectionism, rebellion or resentment, fear of change and so on. Sapadin isolates six styles of procrastination and guides the reader to identifying which type he or she may be through case studies and quizzes. Based on the type of procrastination, she provides practical “How To” steps to change perspective and achieve high priority goals.

Leave The Office Earlier by Laura Stack

Stack, known as “The Productivity Pro”, has a clear handle on the importance of prioritizing what’s truly important in order to achieve any goal—whether related to work, home life, or personal satisfaction. She guides the overworked, over-stressed, over-burdened reader through ten simple paradigms for achieving the ultimate Productivity Quotient and getting on with things.
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