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Home Organizing Workbook: Clearing Your Clutter, Step by Step Spiral-bound – November 1, 2003

41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starr, owner of Let's Get Organized, a personal organization business, gives readers the tools to organize each room of their home in this user-friendly guide. Divided into such categories as bedroom, bathroom, storage and utility, the book uses a clean layout with helpful full-color photos and convenient tab dividers. Each section begins with a list of questions (e.g., "Are piles of bills, lists, and mail kept in several locations scattered about the house?") and are answered by a series of solutions (e.g. "Dedicate a work surface"; "the importance of having a comfortable chair cannot be overstated"). Throughout, Starr poses potential problems and tips to solve them, as well as various projects to help create order. In the chapter on bedrooms, for instance, she instructs on "Cleaning Your Drawers": "Empty the contents of your drawers and put everything on the bed. For each item, ask yourself: Does it fit? Will I really wear it again? Is it in style? Is it in good condition?" In all, this is a simple, encouraging guide for reining in the chaos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Meryl Starr , owner of Let's Get Organized, has done more than her fair share of tidying up, from humble apartments to the homes of Holly-wood celebrities. Her tips and ideas for home organizing have appeared in Woman s Day, Seventeen, In Style, and Rosie. She lives in New York.

Wendi Nordeck is a San Francisco based commercial photographer. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Bon Appet t, Health, Oprah, Sunset, and Victoria.

Victoria Pearson is a Los Angeles based photographer. Her photographs have appeared in several books including Sangria (0-8118-4290-8), Party Appetizers (0-8118-4292-4), and The Cheese Course (0-8118-2541-8).


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Product Details

  • Spiral-bound: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (November 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811837327
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811837323
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #208,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

162 of 164 people found the following review helpful By C. Rigby on October 27, 2004
Format: Spiral-bound
This book was beautiful to look at as most Chronicle Books tend to be. However as an organizing tool it was a bit too simple for me. I think it would be encouraging for those just getting started or feeling a bit intimidated by their clutter. The flip tabs are nice so you can jump to the room you want. The serene colors and pictures are soothing for the eyes. The short quizzes help you focus on problem areas and what to do about them. The short "clutter busting projects" take a few hours at most. The book does not have a whole lot of space for adding your own notes and does not provide LOTS of information, but it would be ok for those looking for something at the introductory level or easily overwhelmed.

For those more willing to just jump in but wanting similar "clutter projects" outlined for them, I think The Life Laundry: How to De-Junk Your Life by Dawn Walter, Mark Frank would be a better choice.

And then for those ready to take it all on and not needing a whole lot by way of "checklist" type cleaning, Donna Smallin's Organizing Plain and Simple: A Ready Reference Guide With Hundreds Of Solutions to Your Everyday Clutter Challenges is probably the way to go. It really does touch upon everything and gives several ways to solve problems.
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86 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Elyse on December 3, 2003
Format: Spiral-bound
This is an absolutely fabulous book. Getting and staying organized was a talent that I always assumed people were born with...this book outlines step by step systems that enable anyone to eliminate clutter and simplify their life.
Reading this book is the next best thing to having a professional organizer working side by side with you. Getting organized feels overwhelming. That's why this book is so perfect. It's user friendly. It's divided by rooms, and problems that the reader may face in each room. You don't have to read the whole book to get started. Just turn to the chapter that corresponds to your life, read the questionnaire and turn right to the page that outlines your problems and solutions. This system is efficient and extremely manageable. And you learn the principles that enable you to stay organized which can be even more challenging than getting organized in the first place!
This book is chock full of important tips that help you save time and reduce the frustration in your life. And the book is just beautiful. It's full of lovely photographs that inspire and motivate you to get organized. I highly recommend it. It's the best book on getting organized I've read.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 19, 2004
Format: Spiral-bound
I am always in search of new ideas for organizing my home, office and life. When I was younger I would move to a new apartment or house almost every year and part of the appeal was that liberated feeling of having every object in my life sorted, dusted off and put away again. Now that I've settled down a little - one husband, two kids and ten years in one house - things have accumulated. I'm not actually a 'pack-rat' but I do have a difficult time letting go of 'sentimental stuff'.
Armed with Ms. Starr's workbook, I have reorganized my kitchen - I love her idea of boxing and labeling items that I don't use regularly, but don't want to part with. This idea made me re-examine the basement-which is now re-organized and stream-lined along with the kitchen.
The book is beautifully written - with dedicated individual attention to every area of your home. The author has provided a question/answer guide to give you a good launching point and sometimes this guide offers a new perspective of the room to be organized. Her ideas and visuals are motivating - even if you don't go out and buy another thing - once the organizing juices are flowing you will get creative and begin to see new uses for some of your old 'stuff'. The format of the book is user-friendly, offering step-by-step suggestions, and each room has it's own easy-to-access section.
Do yourself and your surroundings a good deed and buy this book -it's just as liberating as, but much more fun than, moving.
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58 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Jill on January 28, 2004
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
I am sure this book was a labor of love for the author and I hate to critize her efforts. But like many Americans, I live in a house that is too small, with two teenagers that are too big, too many pets, too much sporting equipment, kitchen gadgets, bulk food boxes, magzines and junk mail, VCRs, tapes, DVD's, CD's, photographs, hobbies, computers... the list goes on. I also have a pack rat for a husband. I need a book that will help me purge, sort, store etc and tell me (and my family) where to get started step by step. I also have to contend with mildew, dust, spider webs, mice. I do not live in a modern model home like the one featured in the book and another pretty basket, stainless steel bin or colorful cardboard box is not going to help me. I tend to relocate clutter from one room to the next. I have spent the last 5 years dumping the contents of drawers on to beds to sort them, I have sorted thru our CDs and tapes, purged old photos, only to have the mess reappear 6 months later. I have tons of storage boxes, rubbermade plastic bins and I don't seem to get anywhere and while I may have been asking for a miracle from this book, there are millions of other Wives and Moms just like me and regretably this book is not going to offer them anything they haven't already heard and tried. I just wish someone would write a book on organizing and cleaning that featured a real home and family.
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