Monday, August 5, 2019
Published August 2018 by Time Inc. Books
Source: checked out from my local library
The Real Simple Method to Organizing Every Room offers smart solutions and detailed guidance to help you rein in the chaos, no matter how little time you have. This book helps you take control room by room with handy checklists, hundreds of practical tips, and inspiring photographs. Whether you live in a small space or a large one, the experts from Real Simple have the best why-didn’t-I-think-of-that advice for creating and keeping an easy, stylish, organized home.
I've been a fan of Real Simple magazine since it was first published in 2000 and for years had a subscription. It's pretty much a given that I'll pick up anything that has the name on it at this point.
Like the magazine, this book is full of practical suggestions, expert advice, great resources and terrific photography. I would definitely recommend it for any one who is new to the game of organizing. It's certainly less terrifying than Marie Kondo's The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up! There are quite a lot of things included that don't necessarily have to do with organizing but are certainly pieces of practical knowledge worth having, including "The Ultimate Stain-Removal Chart" and a "How Long It Lasts" guide. And the editors give a fair amount of space to giving readers tips on getting the rest of the family on board.
For someone, like me, who's looked a lot of different methods to get and stay organized, who has read a lot of books on the subject, there's not a lot here that is new. There were some resources listed that I was not previously aware of, for example an app where you can store all of your store reward card data so that you don't have to clutter up your billfold with all of those cards. I've made note of several apps I'll be using that will help reduce paper clutter around here which is my absolute biggest problem. And I did like chapter on outdoor spaces which many books largely ignore. But at this point, I'm looking for a book, like Kondo's (although, let's be honest, a lot of her suggestions were a little wacky), that gives me specific tools on making decisions on how to decide what to keep and what to let go of.
Like so many organizing books, this one gave a lot of great ideas about how to find space to store things like wrapping paper. But so many of those ideas involve setting up stations for specific tasks. Let's be honest, if I had enough extra closets that I could devote one to a gift wrapping station, I probably wouldn't have reached the point where I felt like I needed to pick up a book like this!
Also, like so many other organizing books, this one suggests you pick up new furniture pieces that will fit your space better, say a smaller desk, and then they give you ideas on how to make that work. But not everyone has the funds to just go out and buy different pieces of furniture, new filing systems, and storage bins. Again, back to Kondo who recommends using old boxes to create spaces in drawers for specific things rather than going out and buying a drawer organization system. Would a new organization system make me happy? Heck, yes; I would love to open the drawer and see it not only looking organized but also attractive. But do I want to spend money on something no one except me is going to see? Not particularly.
So, the verdict is, if you're fairly new to the idea of trying to organize your home and put systems into place, this is a great starting place. Just don't buy into the idea that you have to spend money to achieve all of the suggestions. Good luck to you on your adventure!