Just about everyone has – currently or in the past – had clutter in their lives. Many books have been written (with several reviewed here on ReviewThisReviews) about dealing with that dreaded CLUTTER, including closets stuffed with clothes no longer worn, drawers so full they won't open, and random stacks of 'stuff' that have been in place so long you no longer remember what is in the pile.
Author Barbara Hemphill, a professional organizer, has written several books dealing with clutter. This one I am reviewing – Taming the Paper Tiger – deals with MY biggest bug-a-boo – PAPER.
I have managed to keep the majority of unneeded clutter out of my life, but when it comes to paperwork I tend to let days ~ yea, even weeks ~ go by without dealing with it. I can't explain it – I have all sorts of file organizers and notebooks and To-Do Lists, and even a scheduled 'day' each week to deal with it – and I'm always behind because I tend to look at a pile, turn around and walk away. Now I have 'piles' of unsorted papers stacked in several places and in more than one room. Sometimes I move a pile – sometimes I even deal with a few papers from a pile – but I never catch up! Thus, the procurement of this book Taming the Paper Tiger – Organizing the Paper in your Life!
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I found several key points that 'spoke' to me when I first began to utilize the tips in this book to get control of my paperwork.
One tip I particularly liked was the reminder to 'forget' about the backlog. Barbara states that to develop an effective paper management system starts with stop feeling guilty about yesterday's piles. Instead, do something with TODAY'S. In other words, start with today's mail and work backwards.
One of my favorite chapter headings is called “Master the Art of Wastebasketry”. I can relate to that! I find it quite tempting to throw ALL my piles of paper into the wastebasket right now. But, no – something important and/or valuable would be lost forever. So – onward in an 'organized' way.
We all know about sorting into related piles your bills, action papers, reference papers, to read pile and to write pile, family records and – that very difficult to control pile because we (and the kids) never want any of their work thrown away – the children's papers. The author gives us outlines of each of these in this book, which all makes sense as soon as we (I) admit that I am a “Paperholic”.
I have purposely kept this review lighthearted, and not gone into a lot of detail as each chapter deals with learning to control your paper and the chapter headings are self-explanatory. But paper management can be a real (and sometimes a really serious) problem for many people. Personally, I DO want (and need) to get the paper in my life under control and bring 'order' to the 'chaos', and am finding that “Taming the Paper Tiger” is helping.
So, if stacks of papers are encroaching on your space or you frequently move piles of paper from one side of the desk (or room) to the other or you plan to 'sort' everything out as soon as you have some time, than you may find Barbara Hemphill's book Taming the Paper Tiger exactly what you need to read. Her paper management system and strategies are very helpful.
Additionally, Barbara Hemphill has also written other paper organizing books, including 'for the home' and 'for the office' and 'at work', whether you work in an office or from home. If you need to know what to toss and how to find the rest, she also has a book about that.
Whatever your paper management needs are, Taming the Paper Tiger and Barbara Hemphill's other management system books will prove to be beneficial to anyone, like me, who finds 'dealing with paper' overwhelming.
*Reviewer's Note: The book I own is simply called 'Taming the Paper Tiger'. It is the fourth edition published in 1997. The current book available is called "Taming the Paper Tiger at Home" - Fifth Edition. Same book with expanded title and different cover.
Quick Links to Other Clutter Control Books and Organizing Suggestions Reviewed by our Contributors here on Review This Reviews.
- How to Conquer Clutter by Stephanie Culp (by Wednesday Elf)
- Three Ways to Hide Clutter (by Brite-Ideas)
- Hoarders' Daughters Tell Their Stories (by BarbRad)
- How to Mazimize Space in a Small Bedroom (by Sam Monaco)
- Simple DIY Hack to Help Organize Your Kitchen Drawers (by Brite-Ideas)
For more organizing tips and tricks reviewed here on Review This Reviews, just do a search for 'clutter'
*Taming the Paper Tiger by Barbara Hemphill – book review written by ~
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