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SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life: A Four-Step Guide to Getting Unstuck
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SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life: A Four-Step Guide to Getting Unstuck

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  551 ratings  ·  80 reviews
Expert organizer and New York Times bestselling author Julie Morgenstern teaches you how to get rid of the physical, mental, and time clutter that’s keeping you from the life you want.

Julie Morgenstern has made a career out of helping her clients get organized. But in the process, she discovered something surprising: for many of her clients, organizing isn&#8
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ebook, 288 pages
Published January 11th 2011 by Touchstone (first published June 3rd 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,608)
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Mark Boszko
Listened to the Audiobook. Ridiculous amounts of "stories" from four fictional archetypes going through different life changes bludgeon you over the head with the same points over and over, and there's really nothing new here.

- Envision the outcome of your change.
- Does your current status and/or stuff support this change?
- If not, get rid of it.

Organize what's left over according to the "kindergarten" cubbyhole method outlined in JM's Organizing from the Inside Out:

- Everything has a home
- Labe
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Debbie Petersen
Unfortunately, a busy work schedule left this library book sitting on the nightstand unread through the three weeks before it was due back, and also the two week renewal. It is several days late and needs to go back tomorrow. I'll have to check it out again.

I liked that it went beyond the normal "organizing" or "throw it all out" books out there. The first step is to separate out your treasures. Next, you heave the trash. What was different was the step where you envision your life right now and
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Joy
This book was as much philosophy of why people hoard as a how-to on
getting rid of "stuff." The basic premise was:
S eparate your treasures
H eave your trash
E mbrace your identity
D rive yourself forward
Morgenstern encourages 'material detachment and radical generosity.'
Maryann Hershey: "May your walls know joy; may every room hold laughter
and every window open to great possibilities."
William Morris: "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be
useful, or believe to be beautiful."
Mark Twai
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Rica
Different from many other books about getting organized: besides shedding physical stuff that no longer serves us, Morgenstern also addresses paring down our overcommitted schedules and our non-productive habits.



I really like her approach, which starts *not* with tossing stuff out out willy-nilly, but with figuring out which "treasures" we want to keep--the stuff and activities that genuinely enrich us and support our vision for the direction we want our lives to take. Only after identifying wh
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adllto
I am fast becoming a connoisseur of books on organizing and this probably is the best so far.

Julie Morgenstern offers important insights and but her key ideas are based around SHEDing: Separate the treasures, Heave the trash,Embrace your identity and Drive Forwards.

Simple and logical but difficult to do. Until she suggested that we should look at this as a change in life. Which of course it is! But to give this change a sense of change we should give the life before a theme or a name. We should
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Heidi
I expected this to be a book that would give me ideas on how to organize the piles of junk threatening to take over my house, but was surprised to find out that is only part of this book's plan. Julie Morgenstern identifies three areas of clutter than overwhelm our lives (physical clutter, time clutter and bad habit clutter) and gives detailed plans on how to SHED them. I appreciated this, because I have bad habit clutter that is leading to physical clutter, so it seems wise to get to the root o ...more
Terri
Not one to like self-help books, I was VERY skeptical and am here to say this is a fantastic book. Getting ready for a move, I have been trying to clear out junk and it wasn't until I read this book that I could really begin to clean out the house. Morgenstern's point is not to have a sterile, barren home or life but rather to free up your life by getting rid of the irrelevant with some pointed questions:

"How much space or time would you free up if you were to release the obsolete items?"

"How di
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Dolly
Feb 20, 2011 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who want to clear the clutter in their lives
Shelves: 2011, nonfiction
I'm not sure what made me borrow this book. I am sure I saw it here on Goodreads and thought it might be interesting and helpful. I'm not much of a self-help fan, but I do have a lot of clutter and am willing to take steps to reduce it. I'm probably a good candidate for one of her consultations and should take her words to heart. The fact that I read this immediately after I finished Saint Maybe, where the main character Ian marries a professional cleaner/organizer got me thinking that perhaps t ...more
Marsha
I don't read many self help type books, but I found this one especially relevant to the little life changes that I'm going through now. I loved that it didn't say "throw all your stuff away and downsize", but rather suggested that you first figure out where you were heading and keep the treasures that will be use in your new direction. The author used a little zen story that I loved....a man is journeying/hiking through wilderness and comes across a river that he must get across. He builds a str ...more
Donna
This is not your ordinary trash the "stuff" book... she really helps you get to the core of the matter. I have read my share of self help books...(one of these days the messages might stick) but this one is a tad different...I'm not great at explaining the nuances..but suffice to say she "shed" some light on some issues!
Cathy
Oh how I love to throw things away! I even still watch the garbage truck come every week - it's just so exciting! I admit it - I should avoid the middleman and never get some of my junk in the first place. I've read many books on clutter, and my favorite clutter guru will probably always be Don Aslett. Julie Morgenstern's view is unique in that it doesn't really just tell you to throw it all out. She suggests coming up with a theme for your goals in life and then seeing what stuff, time, and hab ...more
Kbord
Julie Morgenstern has a way of making you feel good about yourself in spite of your self-described flaws.

I saw this book on a shelf and grabbed it on impulse. My mother is a fan of Julie Morgenstern from seeing her shows on television, so I picked it up.

This book shows the process she goes through with several people to clear out their junk--emotional baggage making a physical presence in a person's home, or cluttering up their schedules.

I didn't read the whole book cover to cover (it's not nece
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Sandy  Kemp
Too complicated. And the "Drive Yourself" brings to mind an overseer cracking a whip. ugh
Crystal
I listened to the audio of this book over the last three days as I've been cleaning out my study/studio/extra bedroom. While I'm not a hoarder (I don't fit the clinical definition by another book I'm listening to written by a psychologist! Thank God!), I do tend to make clutter and become overwhelmed by clutter. I thought this was a great approach to thinking about how clutter can hold us back from our potential. As with any "self-help" book, one should take what one needs from the text and forg ...more
Nancy Keay
This wonderful book from organizing guru Julie Morgenstern has changed my life for the better. Usually this type of advice says "do this, do that..." but this book aims the arrows into the heart, which is where we all need to start. And then she guides you into discerning the next steps. Her book - "Time Management from the Inside Out" is great as well, helping you get hold of how you really want to be spending your days. The trick to appreciating her SHED book is actually doing the work, not ju ...more
Alfred Walter
• The “SHED” program enables you to get rid of the possessions, time commitments
and bad habits that have become burdens in your life so you can start anew.
• Use the program to make a change or when unwanted change is thrust upon you.
• SHED stands for “separate” your treasures, “heave” your trash, “embrace” yourself,
and “drive into the future.”
• Before you shed, develop a new theme for the life you want in the future.
Megan
An excellent book for anyone feeling like they're not sure what to do with their current life. I read it in spurts, so I sometimes lost the flow of the example clients referenced, but I definitely plan to reread it. Offers lots of insight into discovering your own unique identity & creating a life theme that fits you. I liked how she helps the reader work out the personal whys behind clutter &/or bad habits.
Kirsti
I am taking the first step toward organizing my life . . . by jettisoning this repetitious, simplistic, and blindingly obvious book, which is cluttered with "case studies" that are really just the whining of feckless cake-eaters. Go work in a soup kitchen, you dithering upper-middle-class types, and you'll know how good you have it.
Barb
I was thinking of my messy basement when I checked this out of the library. This book surprised me ~ both in content and delivery. It made me think more about my mental clutter.
I almost think it would be a valuable book to have on everyone's shelf as a reference guide for clearing out home and head.
Annette McLeod
Abandoning. Mired in too-detailed example stories and static writing. Good message lost in the execution. Get a dynamic ghost writer next time.
Sharon
Apr 21, 2015 Sharon rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sharon by: Bullish webinar
Shelves: bullish, library
Decent overview of self-help techniques and navigating life changes. The book is a bit too buzzwordy and gimmicky for my taste, but it does weave in a wide variety of compelling stories about interesting clients that the author has helped through major changes.

The most important thing to take away is the idea that just because a habit or area of clutter is currently unhealthy for you doesn't mean you should discard it immediately. You brought it into your life for a reason, and unless you figure
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Bunnyjadwiga
Didn't finish. Too annoying.
Ruthmgon
This one is a hard read for me, she does not seem to be able to break the book down into little chunks like the other books in this genre seem to.I do come across some interesting bits here and there.

She advocates a slower approach to tossing your stuff, That if you keep certain things, that they are inspirations and clues to your new life ahead. She has you name a theme for your life previous and your life in future. She has you keep only 10 percent of a type of thing, like 2 things from your
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Tiffany
Best "self-help" book I've probably ever read. It's an ongoing process, but has helped tremendously with eliminating things from my life that no longer serve me. The "things" I've discarded have ranged from clothes, books, anything hiding in cabinets I didn't really need, to behaviors, thoughts, and people. What I love about this book is that through this process of elimination, I have found clarity, and feel as if I'm living with more intention.
Adriana
Feb 02, 2015 Adriana rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Adriana by: adriannaa@gmail.com
Get rid of your clutter so you can have a fresh start to your life. So many of us don't realize how clutter affects all areas of our lives. I don't clutter, but I did work as an organizer for a while, and purchased this book along with it's companion, to see if I could refresh my ideas and learn some new tips from her. I highly recommend this book for a fresh start.
Laura
I've read some of the other reviews and they're right: there is a little too much time spent on the "real people example" here. None of them fit me and my situation, not even by mixing-and-matching.

Having said that, the practical stuff worked for me. The idea here isn't a didactic How You Organize Your Stuff, it's ideas on how to SEPARATE, HEAVE, EMBRACE and DRIVE your stuff. And not just your physical clutter stuff (like those old tax receipts, the thimble "collection" you picked up when trave
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Ola
Jan 27, 2015 Ola rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone overwhelmed with "stuff"
Ah, this is an excellent book! Not only does the author teach the reader HOW to declutter/dispose/SHED things, she goes into why we might do the collecting to begin with. Includes great tips, explanations, ideas, thoughts and ways to accomplish the process. Highly recommend this!
Jerald Belofsky
Seems like a book that was written by a committee. Not much original information. Focuses on life changes and reaching out based on your past interests or current goals to make changes in your physical and personal (relationships, job, career etc.) environments. Appendix has a list of places you can donate stuff you no longer need or want.
Meredith
May 22, 2012 Meredith rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Barbara Bruneau
Recommended to Meredith by: Rochelle Melander
I found a lot to consider with how Morgenstern lays out the idea of clearing both physical, mental, and temporal space to live into our goals. Definitely a thoughtful was of processing what needs to go in one's life - throw out the "bathwater", but keep the "baby" that inspires.

It concerned me a bit that she seems to delve into something close to a therapist with helping her clients figure out what is the emotional/mental road block holding them back. But she never suggests to her readers (or he
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Maureen
enjoyed Morgenstern's ideas about Shedding objects, activities, skills, by discovering which are important,
SHED: S is for separating the Treasures (practical, meaningful)
SHED: H is for Heave the Trash - trash, recycle, donate, sell; chose 1 category to get started (ie books, magazines, clothes, time attachments (list of backlogged tasks). She offers interesting exercise to determine what the task represents to you, the potential time gain you will have by completing the task,
SHED: E is for Emb
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Julie Morgenstern, dubbed the “queen of putting people’s lives in order” by USA Today, is an organizing and time management expert, business productivity consultant, and speaker. A New York Times bestselling author, Julie's five books are timeless reference guides that are insightful, reader-friendly and jam packed with innovative strategies. Each volume features techniques and observations culled ...more
More about Julie Morgenstern...
Organizing from the Inside Out: The Foolproof System For Organizing Your Home, Your Office and Your Life Time Management from the Inside Out: The Foolproof System for Taking Control of Your Schedule--and Your Life Never Check E-Mail In the Morning: And Other Unexpected Strategies for Making Your Work Life Work Organizing from the Inside Out for Teens: The Foolproof System for Organizing Your Room, Your Time, and Your Life Julie Morgenstern Organizing From The Inside Out Two Book Set (Organizing From The Inside Out, Time Management From The Inside Out)

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