Tag Archives: organizing

I Must Focus…Oh, Look – Shiny!

Yesterday I got distracted. I got almost nothing productive done. It happens from time to time. Hopefully, this doesn’t happen to you too often. Most everyone agrees—in this age of technology, it’s easier to be distracted. If you’re trying to work on a project and your computer dings every time you get new email, you must stop what you are doing to see what it is and who sent it. Now you’ve lost your train of thought and must start again. I understand there are blocking programs to shut down these types of online distractions. Can you believe it has come to this?

To help you and yours overcome some of the distractions in life, the library has these to offer:

To remove the distractions from your life:

The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life by Francine Jay

To avoid distractions at work:

18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done by Peter Bregman

To clear your mind of distractions:

Meditation for Beginners: With Jack Kornfield

To find peace from distractions through religion:

Soul and the City: Finding God in the Noise and Frenzy of Life by Marcy Heidish

To calm distractions and improve your sex life:

The 30-Day Sex Solution: How to Build Intimacy, Enhance Your Sex Life, and Strengthen Your Relationship in One Month’s Time by Victoria Zdrok Wilson and John Wilson

To help your dog overcome distractions:

Citizen Canine: Ten Essential Skills Every Well-Mannered Dog Should Know by Mary R. Burch

-Melissa M.

P.S. Don’t forget to go vote tomorrow. For more information on Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s referendum on the ballot, please visit ourlibraryourfuture.org.


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Moving is a Pain

Smiling family carrying moving boxes

Don't let the smiles fool you!

 Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s not.  And don’t let these pictures of happy smiling people moving fool you.  Moving definitely is one of the most stressful things that you can do.  And this is the time of year that most people move.  According to the U. S. Census Bureau, one third of all moves take place in June, July, and August.   

 Did you know that the average person is expected to move 11.7 times in their lifetime?  I’ve already moved 17 times since I was born and I am currently in the midst of move number 18.  At first, the thought of moving (again!) overwhelmed me to the point of denial.  I avoided thinking about the move, so I didn’t begin to prepare for it until about a month ago.  At that point, I realized that I needed to begin to work on organizing and downsizing my belongings to make it feasible for me to pack or I wasn’t going to be going anywhere.

 So actually, moving, de-cluttering, and organizing are all related.  You really can’t, or shouldn’t, relocate without doing the other two actions also.  So bearing this in mind, I have some book suggestions to help you through all of these processes…

 The Don’t Sweat Guide to Your New Home: Settling In and Getting the Most Out of Where You Live by the Editors of Don’t Sweat Press – This book, by those who brought you Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, starts off with a Chapter entitled “Moving Isn’t a Dirty Word.”  Now you and I might beg to differ, but this book certainly goes a long way towards helping dissipate some of the trauma of relocating to a new area.  It walks you step by step through the process, covering such things as forwarding the mail, notifying friends and family, holding a garage sale, registering vehicles in a new state, preparing furniture for the move, and unpacking and organizing your stuff.  

How to Survive a Move: By Hundreds of Happy People Who Did (and some things to avoid, from a few who haven’t unpacked yet) edited by Jamie Allen and Kazz Regelman – This is a compilation of advice quotes from real 

Couple sitting surrounded by moving boxes

Now these two really look like they're moving...

people who have moved.  The tips are grouped by topic: advice for moving with small children, best ways to pack a moving truck, how to move your pet, etc.  Each quote is followed by the name and hometown of the person and how many moves they have made in their lifetime.

 Kick the Clutter: Clear Out Excess Stuff Without Losing What You Love by Ellen Phillips – Just in case your moving plans also necessitate you getting rid of some of your stuff, this book begins by getting your into the proper mindset and offers a set of guidelines for decisions and then moves room by room, inside and outside the house, to help you part with the items you no longer, need, want, or love.  

Moving in the Right Direction: The Senior’s Guide to Moving and Downsizing by Bruce Nemovitz – This is a sensitive and practical look at all the factors involved with moving an elderly loved one.  It covers how to help the person deal with the change, how to decide where to move to, practicalities of going through their belongings, and dealing with the emotional aftermath.  

Smiling couple stacking moving boxes

More Smiling? Really?!?

 The Moving Survival Guide: All You Need to Know to Make Your Move Go Smoothly by Martha Poage – This book is most useful for its appendices in the back.  There are blank worksheets to help you make sure you have done everything from turning on/off all utilities to making lists of items to be replaced and a blank planning calendar.

 The One-Minute Organizer A to Z Storage Solutions: 500 Tips for Storing Every Item in Your Home by Donna Smallin – This is literally an alphabetical list of everything you have in your home and an idea or two of how to store it properly, effectively, and efficiently so you can organize your new space.

 If you are moving this summer, I wish you the best of luck.  I’m going to need it too…



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I am not a big fan of gardening, but I love to weed. Now don’t get me wrong, I delight in the bounty of the garden, which, aside from being beautiful and delicious, has the added benefit of being temporary, and thus not adding to the accumulation of stuff. Around me, friends and relatives are careful not to mention having over-stuffed closets or being buried by stacks of paper, for fear that I will get out of control and start throwing their stuff away.

You see, one of my missions on the planet is to help people get rid of the items they don’t need in their lives. Just like in the garden, there are material goods that may be pretty, but they choke the life out of a space because there are simply too many of them. With our busy, busy lives we may not even have time to enjoy them, and then they weigh on us as something we should be doing.  It’s all very exhausting.

If this situation sounds familiar, you may wonder where to begin or why you weren’t born into my family.  I can’t help you with the latter; however, for the former, we do have a number of books on the subject here at the library.  (Yes, the library is your #1 friend in the pursuit of less stuff:  borrow, don’t buy!) Don’t be put off by the titles. I hate the word “clutter,” and find it difficult to deal with the phrase “once and for all.”  That is why I think of the process as a form of weeding, giving your life room to grow.


Support your library! The Pennsylvania Library Association has designated the week of July 20th PaLA Call-In Week. Please take the time to call the Governor, your Senator, or your Representative and tell them how much your library means to you. Visit the PaLA website or our advocacy page for details.

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Moving On

I’ve seen a lot of moving trucks lately, and I mean a lot.  Summer is a common time for people to do this much dreaded task.  Whether your lease is up or you’ve decide to make an even bigger transition and buy a home,  moving can be awfully stressful.  Although the Library can’t offer to lend you a hand on a Saturday morning and help move a  few boxes, we can help you find books to make moving a little easier.

book jacket

Downsizing Your Home with Style: Living Well in a Smaller Space /Lauri Ward



book jacket

The Moving Survival Guide: All You Need to Know to Make Your Move Go Smoothly /Martha Poage



book jacketHow to Survive a Move: By Hundreds of Happy Dwellers Who Did (And Some Things to Avoid from a Few Who Haven’t Unpacked Yet) /edited by Jamie Allen and Kazz Regelman


book jacket

The  Don’t Sweat Guide to Your New Home: Settling In and Getting the Most from Where You Live / by the editors of Don’t Sweat Press



book jacket

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Smart Moving / by Dan Ramsey



Get packing and good luck!

– Lisa

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