Book Review: Organizing From The Inside Out For Teenagers

Organizing from the Inside Out for Teenagers: The Foolproof System for Organizing Your Room, Your Time, and Your Life (Paperback)
By Julie Morgenstern and Jessi Morgenstern-Colon

“So, you want to get organized…”

I had to chuckle when I first read the big blurb at the top of the back page of this book:

“America’s #1 organizer teams up with her daughter to give teens a foolproof method for getting organized in every aspect of their lives.”

LOL! (as they say in text messages). If you have kids (which may be why you’re reading this review), try to get a big picture of them organizing “every aspect of their lives.” Right. Obviously, this book was written for parents (Moms, mostly) who will see it in bookstores (it’s still in stock at Amazon, even though it was published in 2002), buy it, take it home, give it to their kid(s) and command, “Read this and get organized!” Yet another LOL!

This “How to make your son/daughter a Stepford Kid” instruction manual is available from Amazon sellers at very affordable prices. Here’s a look at the table of contents:

Part I: The Basics

1. What’s Holding You Back?
2. Three Steps to Success: Inside-Out Organizing

Part 2: Organizing Your Space

3. Tools for Organizing Your Space and Stuff
4. The Bedroom
5. School Stuff
6. Photos, Memorabilia, Collections

Part 3: Organizing Your Time

7. Tools for Time Management
8. Studying
9. After-School Activities
10. Social Life


I’m recalling my days of yore when my kids were in high school. The scenarios in this book are based essentially on the assumption that your kid(s) are willing to submit to this kind of (no doubt viewed by them) OCD-driven lifestyle. I’d like to see a research study done that documents the reactions of the majority of kids who get this book from their parents, or who are coerced into “working with” ol’ Mom and/or Dad on “getting organized.”

Anyway, the Amazon reviews are positive (I’m assuming that they weren’t written by the Holt paperback marketing staffers). Here’s a taste:

“I have two teenagers living in my house. Their rooms are impassable, and half of their waking hours seem to be spent trying to find things. Now that I’ve bought this book, highly recommended to me by a Former Teenage Mess Addict, I have a glimmer of hope that calm will descend where chaos once reigned. We’re working on it together, and in the process I’m finding ways to make my own life flow more smoothly. Highest recommendation, so far. Tune in next month for an update!”

“Instead of giving you the same organizing system to use as everybody else, this book gives you a basic five-plan organizational system that you can apply to organizing your bedroom and managing your time better. It also features tons of helpful hints, real-life stories and anecdotes, and more to help you to get organized. Asides from being helpful, these stories and tips are also motivational and inspirational.”

“This joint effort between organization guru Julie Morgenstern and her daughter, Jessi, [sounds like a marketing person wrote this, doesn’t it?] is really a valuable read for teens. So many teenage boys and girls feel like their life is out of control and for many of them this manifests itself in the feeling that they can’t find things, they don’t have enough time in the day, that “stuff” is taking over. “Organizing from the Inside Out for Teenagers” accomplishes what the adult version does – it takes you through steps in order to evaluate what’s important in your life and then helps you develop a system that works for you (giving you some non-binding advice about what has often worked for other people).”