When I was trying to choose a new identity for my blog (after I split my personal stuff out from Business, Life & Design), I brainstormed long and hard.  I really wanted to come up with something cute, or clever, or quirky.  I had nothin'.

So then I tried to answer the question, "What do you write about?"  I thought about all the different types of posts: self actualization, self improvement, goals, organizing, and so on, and finally realized there was a central theme.  Optimization, actually.

To me, optimization means making something the best it can possibly be.  It's similar to self actualization, in that you're trying to get the most out of life, but it encompasses that and the other, less self-centric things.

For example, when I go 300 on my extra toiletries, or tackle a minimalism challenge, those don't change who I am in any sort of self actualizing way, but they do make my life better, cleaner, and more efficient.  They optimize it.

And that's the sort of thing I feel a deep-seated passion for.

Now I don't take very pretty pictures.  And I don't document my organizational process very well.  But I love reading self help books, sharing resources, and commiserating with you guys.  If that's what you're into, stick around!

My Favorite "Self-Help-y" Books

Everything from relationships to finance, fitness, and home organization.  Every book here has inspired me in some way and changed the way I do something (Also check out my "game-changers" shelf on Goodreads).
  1. The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman (my review)
  2. Born to Run, Christopher McDougall
  3. Fat Girl Walking, Brittany Gibbons (my review)
  4. I Will Teach You to be Rich, Ramit Sethi (basically personal finance for young people)
  5. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo (my review) and Spark Joy (my review)
  6. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, John Gray (my review)
  7. Radical Self Love, Gala Darling (my review)
  8. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, Sheryl Sandberg (my review on BL&D)
  9. What are you Hungry For?, Deepak Chopra (my review)
  10. The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin (my personal happiness project)
  11. Networking for People Who Hate Networking, Devorah Zack (my review)
  12. Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes (my review)

My Favorite Optimization Tools & Resources

  1. Household Organizers I Liked
  2. Steph's Hausfrauing Tips on Life According to Steph
  3. iHeart Organizing
  4. Stephanie's Minimalism Posts on Not Entirely Perfect
  5. and The Minimalists
  6. 9 Ways I Add a Little "Magic" to My Life

Let's compare notes!  What are your favorite organization tools and must-read books?  How have you optimized your life?