EXCERPT: 'Lists for Life'

EXCERPT: Lists for Life

In her new book "Lists for Life: The Essential Guide to Getting Organized and Tackling Tough To-Dos," Rory Tahari offers checklists and tips for handling major life events, such as traveling overseas, selling a car, planning a wedding, buying a house, coping with a divorce and planning a funeral.

After reading the excerpt below, head to the "GMA" Library to find more good reads.

Click here to visit Rory Tahari's Web site.

INTRODUCTION

I have been a compulsive list maker since I was old enough to write. Some detractors might suggest the word obsessive, but I like to think that I am highly functioning and efficient. Other list-obsessed women I'm aware of (Madonna) seem to back up my claim. In any case, from the packing list I compiled for summer camp as an eleven-year-old to the college application checklist I already have handy for my kids (who are all under the age of ten), I like to deal with life's challenges one step at a time. For years, I was a personal resource library for friends and family who needed information. The minute someone got pregnant, engaged, bought a house, or experienced any other milestone, my phone would start ringing. I was always happy to dash off a list and was proud that my checklists were helping others navigate life. When I started getting calls from friends of friends asking me to share my checklists for life's difficult moments, I realized it was time to go public.

So here it is. This book isn't a beach read; it's not chick lit. Instead, it's more of an owner's manual for Keep it on the shelf with your reference books, in the kitchen near your day calendar, by your bedside, or anywhere that's handy. When you find yourself in need of a road map, tear out the appropriate chapter, tape it to your computer, and let me help you break down an overwhelming or challenging situation, step by step. I know that sometimes the toughest part of tackling a to-do can be figuring out how to get started, and I hope that the following checklists, resources, action items, and suggestions will have you on your way to a more organized and less stressful life.

TRAVEL

I love to travel. I love to see new places, eat new foods, and, of course, shop. However, my love of travel is almost equal in measure to my aversion to packing. I have often thought that my ideal vacation spot would be a nudist resort. Sunscreen? Packed! And not much else.

But alas, travel planning and packing are the prices one pays to delight the senses with new experiences. That being said, nothing can kill a good time like forgetting your antinausea medication or realizing, in midair, that you never reconfirmed your hotel reservation.

Follow my handy guide to preparing for your trip and, whether you are a senior or taking along Junior, you will be on the road to fun and adventure! And if you're still not into packing after reading this chapter, follow the advice of my first boss who always told me that I could forget anything as long as I have my credit card, passport, and driver's license. You can always buy the rest!

TIMELINE

Seven to Ten Days Prior to Leaving for a Trip

• Get cash or traveler's checks if necessary.

• Take care of any beauty appointments.

• Cancel any recurring appointments you will miss.

• Type up an itinerary and a list of important phone numbers needed for the trip. Include emergency phone numbers and the number of the nearest consulate if you are traveling abroad.

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