How to Organize Your Entire House and more
Reviewer: The Rebecca Review.com
“This book shares all the information you will need to
create a successful, easy-to-maintain system for your family. By
learning the basic skills of an organized parent, you can react
in a calm professional manner so that you control your
household, rather than allowing it to control you.” ~Debbie
If your home looks like a hurricane just hit and there is no
storm in sight, this book might help you finally tackle your
organizational challenges. If you just have a few things out of
place, here or there, then this will give you a few basic ideas
you can implement in your organizational wars.
My mother’s idea of organizing was to put everything in my
room in the middle of the floor and let me sit and organize it
for hours on end. Even after all this training, I still
occasionally find myself in the middle of some disorganized,
There are times when you might be more in the mood to
organize than at other times. To use those to the best
advantage, read this book! It is really about more than just
putting away clutter. I love her ideas about writing down items
you run out of on “inventory” sheets hanging in various
rooms. It saves running to the other room to find that pen and
paper and …oops, you already forgot what you were going to
write down. This is a great time saver.
Debbie Williams presents an action plan:
1. Let’s Get it Together –
You will finally have ideas for how to sort through the items in
your house. I like her idea about organizing one room at a time.
It will give you a sense of satisfaction to see your home
changing one room at a time.
2. Home Management 101 – A
great section on managing paper clutter. I take ideas about
sorting mail very seriously these days. One idea I discovered
that saved me a ton of time sorting mail, was to get a P.O. Box.
That way, I only get mail once a week for the most part and I
take time all at once to sort through everything and organize
bills, etc. As Debbie says: “Did you know that eighty percent
of what you file is never looked at again.”
3. Conquering Common Clutter –
It is very easy to organize your closets. The author gives ideas
for various ways to organize various items. I used her system to
organize my clothes into various sections so it is easy to
decide on formal/casual, etc. I like her ideas on “rules about
inside/outside toys” and “one toy rule” to keep toys put
away when not in use. Her “conquering kitchen clutter” was
enlightening. I finally purchased a “chore chart” and put it
on the front of the refrigerator. Want to remove some of that
art on the front of the refrigerator? The author has some ideas
about how to organize your children’s creative offerings.
4. The Organized Parent – Ever
considered organizing your car? This chapter has ideas about
mobile desks, diaper bag checklists, creating a traveling
nursery, creating stress-free holidays and even ideas on how to
save money when ordering Christmas cards.
5. Office Management 101 –
This situation is often a very highly specialized organization
task, however most of us need the same basic items. Debbie gives
ideas on how to consider the needs of all the people in your
family who will be using this area.
6. From Here to There: Effective Time
Management – This chapter really makes you more aware
of the reality of priorities. Debbie encourages you to define
what is most important in your life and schedule time for work,
family AND yourself. She ends the chapter with a discussion
about goal planning and the difference between must, should and
7. It’s A Dirty Job, But…-
How to organize bathrooms, complete spring cleaning. Her ideas
about freshening up pillows and comforters really do work and
save drycleaner bills.
8. More Help for the Organizationally
Challenged – A list of books with ISBN numbers so they
are easy to look up at Am land. There is also a list of fun
organizing products you can shop for online.
Throughout the book, the author gives Bright Ideas that are
very helpful. One idea that has helped me be more organized is
just getting a big black trash bag and walking through the house
now and then. I did this for years and finally I can hardly find
anything I want to give away. It has helped me keep the clutter
down and it is less painful to get rid of your precious
possessions a little at a time. After a few years, you start
looking forward to donating items to good causes.
A cute book that is a fast-read so you can get right to all
Clutter Busting Handbook
Turned Comedy, October 13, 2005
According to Rita Emmett, the Deadly SINS of Clutter require
just a little repentance. If you are saving everything,
insisting on bringing stuff into your house that you don't need
or setting things aside until you "decide about it,"
then you will definitely want to read this hilarious book about
clutter. She believes there are only four steps to eliminating
clutter and gives the four primary causes of clutter.
She explains how you can prevent clutter from returning,
forever. If you are tired of sorting, wondering how you
accumulated so much "stuff," or just need to organize
your house, then this book gives excellent advice and even a
The book begins with a funny letter and then introduces you to
the clutter generation. There are wonderful bits of information
like the inspiring:
"Cleaning professionals say that getting rid of excess
clutter would eliminate 40 percent of the housework in an
Rita Emmett is also the author of "The Procrastinator's
Handbook" which only took her 38 years to write. She is a
recovered "Pack Rat" who knows how to motivate with
humor and insight. She gives advice on how to organize books,
notes, greeting cards, paper clutter, business cards and
clothes. She delves into creative storage ideas and give
excellent advice on how to sort a closet. She also addresses
What do I do with all this furniture I just inherited?
Do I really need to put some things in storage?
Will removing clutter lower my stress level?
What do I do with all these holiday decorations?
Her advice on e-mail has been very useful on a day-by-day basis.
I like her idea of not even opening some e-mails. If I see
"FW" it is gone. You may have to get a little selfish
with your time, but it is "YOUR" time.
I started to read this book while my mother was moving. She is
now sorting her office, but we were able to effectively organize
the rest of the house while I was there for a week. We had some
funny moments sorting through the "junk box" and it
was quite the healing experience to see a house filled with
boxes turn into "home."
As an organizer at heart who has helped numerous people clean up
the clutter and organize their houses, I can highly recommend
this book. My mother says I should do this for a living, but
currently I'm exclusive.
One of my own secrets for reducing clutter involves giving away
things to charity and consistently going through my house to
find things I don't use anymore. I think if you take one room or
one closet at a time, it is much easier to deal with clutter. I
also find that putting a pile of unrelated items in the middle
of a room makes it easier to decide what you don't need.
Books organized. Check.
File cabinet organized. Check.
I had to laugh when I noticed the picture on page 144. My mother
used to teach me to organize my room as a child by pulling
everything out from under the bed and everything that was
disorganized in the closets. There I would sit organizing until
I had a wonderful sense of satisfaction I never forgot.
Nostalgia, July 26, 2006
Reviewers: The Rebecca
"The simple act of picking clean, wet clothes out of a
wicker basket, shaking them out, and hanging them up makes me
slow down, giving me time to compose the rest of my day."
Washing machines are great for convenience, but there is a
magical quality to hand washing clothes with a delicious
essential oil soap (orange or lavender) and hanging them outside
to dry. Of course, this means you need a clothesline and a
secluded back yard.
As a child we used a soap called Sunlight and washed clothes in
a ring washer. I know, I'm too young to know about ring washers,
but in Africa that is what we used and we even had a sink with a
washboard type surface.
The spinning umbrella clothesline was behind the house with a
mountain right behind where animals could easily find their way
down to our house. Often while putting up clothes, I'd walk up
the steps and scare a baboon who would screech at me for
interrupting the stealing of fruit. I'm not sure who scared who
more, but clothes definitely ended up thrown about the garden as
I ran one way and the baboon ran the other.
Memories of running outside to quickly take down the clothes in
the afternoon is also a fun memory. As the rain would start to
soak the clothes and sheets, we'd frantically be pulling them
off the line, then hanging them inside to dry overnight.
With memories of hanging out clothes on a line, this book
becomes even more meaningful. If you have a penchant for
lavender ironing water and verbena soap, this will also be a
This unique book has recipes for making your own soap with
herbs, describes the variety of clotheslines, shows pictures of
many different clothespin bags and explains how to wash linens.
How do you make a new clothesline last longer? Why use a
naturally scented softener?
Throughout this informative and very practical guide there are
also moments of inspiration for designing your own laundry room.
The storage of linens with small herbal sachets is followed by
recipes and creative ideas. A special section shows how
clotheslines found their way into art. Urban clotheslines and
country clotheslines are included. Remember clothespin toys?
They have pictures of those too.
"I know this sounds funny, but I think of hanging clothes
as an almost religious experience." ~Betsy Bennett, artist
(Sheets to the Wind II painting)
Now and then I just wish I could take my laundry down to the
river and wash it on stones. I have strange notions, but mostly
they appeal to my outdoor nature. By washing our clothes inside,
we miss out on the feeling of the sun on our skin and the sound
of clothes whipping about in the wind. While at my mother's
house one day I found two clothespins and decided to keep them.
My mother and grandmother always had clotheslines and I remember
many happy hours as a child running through the sheets warmed by
~The Rebecca Review
One Year to an Organized Life
The Perfect Way to Get Organized
, June 6,
Regina Leeds has written an excellent book on organizing your
entire life in a matter of months or even weeks, depending on
how much time you have to work on each project. This book starts
with organizing your kitchen in January but I used it to
motivate me to get my kitchen organized this month. So you can
start anytime and the kitchen is probably the best place to
Regina Leeds asks a lot of good questions and one of them really
helped me to figure out what I needed most in my kitchen. That
would be "counter space." By clearing out and
reorganizing some of the shelves in my cupboards I had more
space on my counters due to putting some things away. I knew I
was unhappy with my kitchen I just didn't know where to start.
Fortunately the job only took a few hours. I didn't write
anything in a journal first so I saved time that way.
In each month, the first week is about journaling which you can
skip if you are not motivated by writing things down. The
journaling can take thirty to sixty minutes which I personally
would find to be a waste of time. I also didn't like Regina's
idea about using the top of the refrigerator to store paper
products. Those would seem to belong in a closet or pantry.
While Regina talks about getting rid of old Tupperware I was
surprised she didn't advise using some of their storage systems
for organizing kitchen cupboards. I'd be lost without my
Tupperware organizers, especially since I love to bake and need
all sorts of flours and other specialty ingredients like soy
This book has some interesting ideas that I'd never thought of
like donating old towels to animal shelters. You can also cut
them up and make them into rags. In the section on bathrooms
there is advice to shop for new towels and to "swap"
barely used beauty products with friends at a party.
There is a section on how to organize all your photos which will
be fun if you enjoy scrapbooking. There is also advice on how to
spruce up a guest bedroom/bathroom. While reading this book you
may find yourself buying a shredder or redecorating a bedroom.
The advice for the holiday season is also helpful and will make
your celebrations much less stressful.
For the most part I enjoyed this book. I didn't think the
section on cleaning out a garage was detailed enough but it was
still helpful. I have to clean out a clients garage in a few
weeks so I was looking for some tips. Instead I ended up redoing
my kitchen, which is something I really needed to do.
If your house is cluttered and you feel like you live in chaos,
give this book a try. Within a few months you won't recognize
your home. This book is that good!
~The Rebecca Review
How to Master Your Muck
Inventive Ideas for Immediate Results
"How to Master Your Muck" is essential reading for
anyone who owns a business or who works from home and has an
office that needs organizing. As someone who cleans and
organizes for a living I gained a new understanding of what it
takes to organize an office much more effectively. I am always
on the lookout for books that give me new ideas that will
impress my clients.
This book also helped me immediately with some small things I
should have been paying attention to in my own home. Like I had
the hard drive tower on top of my desk because it was easier to
turn it on that way. Since my husband and I share the same
office and he works on the computer daily removing the hard
drive tower freed up some needed desk space and he was able to
work more efficiently than before.
Kathi Burns is a professional organizer who has worked with
thousands of clients. She not only organizes offices she can
also help you select clothes for your wardrobe. She believes
that outward actions like organizing and buying a new wardrobe
can lead to increased confidence and therefore more money. There
is also a section on how to stay on top of your schedule and
keep business cards organized so you keep bringing in new
business by staying in contact with the people that matter.
There is some information on how to handle email that will free
up a lot of your time. For me the simple advice to make up a
draft copy of a letter I seem to keep retyping in various ways
freed up some of my time. Each time an author writes me about a
review I seem to always be retyping the address for where they
should send the books. I guess I've always thought it was
important to write an original letter to each author.
The only thing missing from this book is a few sketches of the
organizing equipment mentioned in each chapter. Fortunately
Kathi Burns does give URLs at the end of the book so you can
look things up online.
While this book will be perfect if you have a home office there
really isn't any information on how to organize a kitchen,
pantry, bathroom, living room or bedroom.
~The Rebecca Review