Secrets of an Organized Mom: How to Declutter and Streamline Your Home for a Happier Family by Barbara Reich
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Two and a half stars, actually, but I'll round up because not everyone will be as horrified as I was at the instruction to organize your books by size. BLASPHEMY! And also only appropriate for people who own about 2 shelves of books. For the rest of us, that's a truly idiotic thing to do--a complete time waster, both on the "organizing" end as well as on the "finding ever again" side. *shudder* That concept deeply offends my librarian soul.
On the plus side, many of her ideas are pretty practical, particularly her overarching rules of Purge, Design, Organize, Maintain, and nine of her ten "commandments." The exception being #9: "Use one kind of hanger, storage container, etc." That's all well and good if you've got loads of extra cash to spend, but it's definitely not something I'd put right up there as one of the most important rules. And I do not share her love affair with plastic, handy as it is in some cases. I'd much prefer non-toxic alternatives whenever possible. However, she is correct that when purchasing containers, having them all the same (or coordinating) shapes and sizes does usually make the best use of your available space because they fit together well, stack efficiently, and are visually pleasing.
I like that she takes you through each area of the home, as well as seasonal things like holidays, vacations, and even moving. (Her story of losing luggage when her twins were babies cracked me up: the queen of organizing hadn't packed a change of clothes for everyone in the carry-ons? Ha!) I also liked how she advocated labeling things...perhaps to an extreme...because it makes me even more thankful I talked my husband into buying me a label-maker last summer. I love my label-maker!
I didn't find any concepts in this book especially earth-shattering, but they were good reminders of ways to break tasks down and to look at your space with new eyes, and most importantly, to be persistent in getting through your problem areas. Like Commandment #1 says, "Do the thing that is most distasteful to you first." Home office, here I come!
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