September 29

Home Organization and Productivity: What We’re Reading This Fall

Life Management

At Monogram Concierge, our personal and corporate concierges are more than errand runners or task managers. They’re partners, collaborators, and personal growth advocates. We hire only sharp, engaged, energetic people who have a passion for personal improvement, lifestyle management, home organization, productivity—and the philosophy and science behind the search for a more balanced, graceful life.

As part of our dedication to helping our clients better manage their lives, achieve more, and create personal momentum, we research and gather ideas from top experts in the field. Here are a few of our favorites for this fall:

The Personal Improvement Books On Our Shelves Right Now

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

What It Is.

A book about the Zen art of reclaiming your life through decluttering and organizing. Everyone seems to want to simplify, share resources, and downsize these days. Decluttering and home organization are hot topics for our clients, so we read everything we can on these topics in order to learn the best tips and tricks.

There’s no doubt that most of us have way too much stuff weighing us down. The average home has almost tripled in size in the past 50 years, but 10% of Americans still rent a storage unit for their overflow. Many families who don’t rent storage units can’t park their cars in their garages—letting a $40,000 vehicle sit outside, taking unnecessary wear and tear, in order to store a couple hundred dollars worth of extra stuff that’s barely used. From a practical and financial perspective, getting rid of excess stuff makes a lot of sense. See the Book Trailer.

Why We Like It.

We write a lot about letting go on the Monogram Concierge blog, and usually we’re talking about the fears and anxieties that make our clients reluctant to delegate tasks. But letting go of the things you no longer need can be just as freeing. This isn’t a new idea—ever since Thoreau wrote Walden in 1854, our culture has been discussing the tendency of our things to own us. However, Kondo has a unique approach, which we appreciate for two main reasons.

First, we love her focus on joy. Most decluttering and organizational books focus exclusively on what we need, or on developing the discipline of letting go. How long since you last used it? How many of this item do you have? Does it fit? Is it in good shape? While these questions may help you make decisions, we think Kondo’s question is both more useful and more life-affirming: “Does it bring you joy?” This positive spin on decluttering is both simple and elegant—and it emphasizes the correct mindset, asking what you do want in your life rather than what you can live without. Second, we applaud her insistence that you already have all of the organizational tools you need and all the storage you need in your home. Kondo points out that many people, in an attempt to get organized and declutter, run out and buy a whole bunch of bins and crates and more stuff, only to give up on the downsizing and have even more clutter than before. Instead, focus again on what you do have and how to best use those resources.

The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

What It Is.

Perhaps the gold standard of personal productivity books, The 4-Hour Workweek takes the Pareto Principle (more commonly known as the 80/20 principle) and applies it to real-life situations. Many of our clients are looking for ways to increase their productivity, achieve a better work-life balance, have a more flexible schedule, take more vacation days, or truly relax and enjoy their vacation—and this book is a great resource for all of these goals.

Ferriss’ blog and podcast are also great resources for those looking to simplify and streamline their lives or employ lifestyle management and design principles to their own lives.

Why We Like It.

There’s a reason that The 4-Hour Workweek is both a bestseller and an instant classic. Ferriss taps into a common frustration and offers an easy-to-understand and easy-to-implement solution. The book is broken down into four sections, or four steps, which also roughly follow our process with clients: define your objectives and set goals; eliminate distractions to free up time; outsource your life through delegation and automation; and free yourself from traditional expectations altogether. That sounds like a life well-lived to us.

Traditionally, spring is the time to clean house, toss things you don’t need, and reimagine your life—but we think the fall may be an even better time to simplify and streamline. The long, lazy summer days are just behind you and the rush of the holidays hasn’t set in yet. What an ideal opportunity to reflect and grow.

Want someone to strategize with you, nudge you in the right direction, and keep you accountable this fall? Contact Monogram Concierge for a complimentary consultation or sign up for our two-week trial membership to discover just how indispensable our concierges can be.

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