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Real Simple: The Organized Home Hardcover – September 28, 2004


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Real Simple: The Organized Home + Real Simple: Cleaning + Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook: The Essential Guide to Caring for Everything in Your Home
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Oxmoor House (September 28, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932273565
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932273564
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 1 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,950 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With its seductive images of pristine closets, dazzling sink faucets, impeccably organized refrigerators and clutter-free bookshelves, the Real Simple world beckons to readers everywhere. The photos inside this luxuriously straightforward guide to straightening up one’s house make organization into an art form: nicely arranged pillows on a sofa become a palette of bright color blocks; towels piled atop a hamper turn into an inviting display; and compact discs line up to form vertical bisectors on a horizontal rack. Using a combination of photographs and sketches, the editors explain how to spiff up every room in the house, and even go so far as to give instructions on organizing one’s organizational spaces (such as drawers and medicine cabinets). Inspiring and comprehensive, this guide should appeal to both compulsively ordered and chronically messy homeowners.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

Lots of good ideas.
Teresa C.
There is hardly any text at all, as you would see if you could flip through the book.
Elizabeth C. Brown
It is easy to read and understand.
M. Doody

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

190 of 192 people found the following review helpful By JLind555 on October 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
"The Organized Home" is as beautifully presented as it would like its readers' homes to look. It's lavishly photographed and nicely arranged, room by room, and there is even a ribbon marker attached. It's all very stylish. Where the book falls short is on substance. Some of the photographs could use better captions to help make their statement, and a lot of what is being said is so self-evident as to hardly be worth filling up a book with. One topic that does bear repeating (and is repeated in this book with a vengeance) is the necessity of de-cluttering your space -- go through your closets, drawers, cabinets regularly and toss whatever you haven't used in the last year or so. You'll be surprised at how much junk you've accumulated. There's also a shopping guide at the back, including internet addresses, listing sources.

Speaking of space, this is really the book's weakest point: "The Organized Home" reads like it was written for readers living in suburban McMansions. How many singles living in the city have laundry rooms, family rooms, storage rooms, or even separate dining rooms? There needs to be a lot more in here about how to organize in a limited space. The book talks about displaying all your small appliances if you have a lot of counter space in your kitchen, but what if you live in an apartment where the kitchen is so small that you can spread out your arms and touch walls? Maybe that could be the topic for a separate book. As far as this one is concerned, it's a beautiful volume, but its lack of attention to small spaces has limited its overall usefulness.
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58 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Diane on February 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I like the magazine, but I was disappointed with this book.

I found the treatment too superficial to be useful. Unlike the magazine, pictured products aren't identified, and all items in areas aren't covered completely. For example, I wanted to see something on ironing board storage in the laundry area, but there was nothing on that. Also, they assume you have a lot of optimally configured space. For example, broom and mop storage was handled by assuming you had a separate closet just for cleaning supplies. If I had such a closet, I wouldn't have thought I needed this book.

Skip the book and spend the money on a magazine subscription instead.
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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Walck on July 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is full of beautiful pictures of organized homes. There are a lot of great ideas, but very little instruction on how to actually organize your house or cut clutter. A good book for someone who is trying to make their home more efficient and nice looking, but does not have a clutter or cleaning problem.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Just Some Lady on January 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Ok, so I was never on the brink of death - I'm exaggerating a little. But I was/am the consummate slob. When I was a kid I kept a terrible room and as an adult I keep a terrible apartment that has only one closet. Plus I am so busy that my time to spend on housekeeping is fairly limited. The beginning of this book gives solid points in plain talk on how an organized home can save time, positively impact your life on so many levels and how easy it is to maintain if you know how to set things up. The book was very encouraging about the daunting task of getting started on things one step at a time.

The pictures in this book are SO beautiful and the furnishings so high end that it was a bit intimidating at first. But if you actually read the advice given in the book you can find clues on making good use of what you already have. And through the sea of expensive visual art and design you see in the pictures they manage to highlight basic 'must have' items that will really make a difference rather than try to entice you to buy certain products or expensive furnishings. I ended up giving away things that served no practical use except to bang my toes against in the dark.

There are no ads and they never mention or acknowledge in the book what brands are featured or where you can purchase the items you see there. At first I was annoyed by this but it allowed me to shop around for inexpensive items that are within my budget. I spent less than $200, and that's including the book itself.

I have a long way to go as far as retraining myself to form better habits to keep my place from reverting back to it's former cluttered glory. But I credit this book with being a Godsend in getting me out from under the mountain of junk I'd been staring at for so long.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Muffyn on November 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The magazine has more detailed information about how to implement great ideas. I bought the book because I love the magazine, but the only thing better about the book is that it doesn't have ads. Although, one could say that the resource section in the back is one big ad, and even it doesn't correspond the company with the tips in the book. There is also no index.

Spend the money, you would have spent on the book on getting and/or renewing your subscription to the magazine, it's superb. The book is only mediocre at best.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By J. A Carty on November 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
As always, this series of books from the Real Simple Magazine reflect the feel of the magazine and what a simple organized life can be like with gorgeous pictures.

I feel, however, that the book is a bit pricey for the amount of information that it provides. The advise is mostly common sense.

The book is, as you would hope, organized well into the sections of your house. I found they addressed issue w/ modern day living rooms: organizing furniture and how best to organize stereo equipment most efficiently. The kitchen section also had some great solutions (page 82) and I learned some good details for selecting sheets and towels.

The book, however, as it went on it lost its ability to present anything new and I was disappointed that the pictures used did not tell where the items were purchased. There is a guide in the back that noted different providers but not specifically which items came from what store.

This is a good gift item and might be a great one to give a bachelor. There is a lot of the public, however, who would be better served by picking up the magazine and/or going to the stores they list in the appendix to get a good picture of good organization.
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