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Writer organizes for peace

  • Akron Beach Journal
  • Published Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, at 11:41 p.m.

For Deborah McVay-McKinney, organization isn’t all about sock drawers and spreadsheets.

It’s more about finding peace.

She believes the goal of organization should be finding balance in life, so there’s time for work, family activities and other obligations — and fun.

But that’s not something that happens just from making lists and color-coding calendars, she believes. It also requires belief in a higher power.

McVay-McKinney, of Bath Township, Ohio, is sharing her faith-based organizing strategy in a new book, “Whatever Works for You” (Inspiring Voices $8.99).

The central theme of the book is that no one organizing system fits all. McVay-McKinney shares her own techniques, but she encourages her readers to find those that work best for them and then combine them with reliance on their deity.

She also encourages them not to be intimidated by people who seem to be more organized or live a more perfect life. Just getting through the day should be considered an accomplishment, she writes.

“Be faithful and organized and you will rule your world!” she tells her readers.

McVay-McKinney said she came to recognize the connection between organization and faith one Christmas season, when she was a young mother frantically preparing for the holidays. She realized she could either spend the season in a panic, or she could do her best and enjoy herself. What she realized, she said, is “It’s not all about us.”

Finding balance is about knowing your limits and what to give up or delegate, she said. And it’s about knowing you’re not alone.

Her techniques tend to involve lists — lots of lists. She’s also a big believer in finding places for things like keys, cell phones and eyeglasses, and always returning them to their home.

But not everything in her system is the kind of advice you’d find in a typical organizing book.

One of her favorite techniques, she said, is starting each day by doing something kind for someone else. Maybe it’s as simple as following through on a promise to provide information or complete a task.

“If I do that,” she said, “I feel the whole rest of my day falls into place.”

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