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A Place for Everything: Organizing the Stuff of Life Paperback – September 28, 1999

3.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Peri Wolfman has been organizing things for a long time. As a child, she kept her clothes neatly folded on a chair beside her bed, deciding it was easier to see everything at a glance that way. Then for many years she arranged striking displays at her noted store, Wolfman-Gold & Good. Here, she peeks into the closets, drawers, and medicine cabinets of willing victims to find answers to organizing the clutter of everyday life. The attractive photographs showcase a fashionable country approach: distressed cupboard doors, old canning jars arrayed on gleaming shelves, collections artfully arranged on a weathered table, timeworn wooden benches piled atop one another to hold books or assorted items, lots of wicker baskets. Also prevalent is a kind of industrial chic featuring banks of wire shelving systems, streamlined kitchens in which even the refrigerator is camouflaged, open shelves supporting row upon row of identical items (fluffy white towels, bottles of water, stacks of white china). If that style has appeal for you, you'll find plenty of good tips on what to do with lots of stuff in A Place for Everything. There are clever tips on how to make the detritus look decorative: family photos, for instance, are adeptly corralled in a commercial postcard display rack; silver cups or other interesting containers hold makeup accessories while adding a touch of glamour to the dressing table; a line of sturdy glass vases on a buffet holds silverware; a grid of corked test tubes makes a nice spice rack.

There's really not much here on actually getting rid of clutter; the emphasis is on concealing what needs to be hidden and skillfully organizing the rest. This is not a fix-it-and-forget-it solution--maintaining these arrangements takes some work. "Like a garden," Wolfman tells us, "a closet requires regular tending and care. It won't keep itself in order." --Amy Handy

From the Inside Flap

There's something about a closet door that stimulates curiosity. Who among us doesn't want to take a peek behind it, especially when it's in the home of a friend who has a real eye for design and who also possesses the keys to being organized?
        
Peri Wolfman and Charles Gold have those very friends, and they persuaded them to open their doors and share the secrets of stylish storage. Their aim was to provide original and creative solutions for the problem of keeping up with all the things that accumulate in our lives.
        
What they found was that you don't need to build new storage (though there is a plan for an "everything closet" to cover all needs). Once you start arranging by shape or color or you invest in some great old cabinets or baskets, what was once clutter can become a collection. Vintage or new pegs and hooks are great to look at and can hold it all, from necklaces in the bedroom to coats and hats in the mudroom. Old benches can be stacked as bookshelves. Runners can be installed on the bottom of kitchen shelves, doubling your storage space for stemware. Drawers can be retrofitted with special slots for your silver, or you can amass a collection of pressed glass and use it to display your cutlery.
        
A Place for Everything is filled with stylish and sensible advice for clutter control in kitchens and dining rooms, living rooms and dens, bedrooms, baths, sheds, and basements. And tucked between the chapters are special sections with ideas for coping with photographs and collections, paper and pencils, and countless other little items. What's more, A Place for Everything gives you a chance to peek behind all those closed doors.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; 1 edition (September 28, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609804480
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609804483
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,421,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
People seem to either love this book or hate it. I am one of the ones that loves it. Just a note to folks who are trying to decide whether or not to give it a try, this book is not for beginning organizers. There are no tips for turning kleenex boxes into handy jewlery organizers. This book is for people who are already highly organized, live and breath the stuff. It is like a graduate course for the compulsive, and if that is you, you'll probably enjoy the book. The ideas are highly original and help people who have already decluttered and organized their things to store them beautifully. It is truly a great book for those people who are really into this stuff. But if your just looking for a way to keep your kids' school papers in order and a system for finding your keys don't get it.
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By A Customer on January 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
This pretty book is a little bit dishonest, I found. It's OK if you are just starting out in life and have the luxury of buying things that naturally go together. In that case, the premise that you can cut clutter by displaying your possessions (because they're all the same color) works. Unfortunately, most of us own and love a variety of objects, such as gifts and family heirlooms, and those things don't always go together naturally. So, Ithink the authors cheated a bit, making it easy on themselves by showing us how to group those things that do, of course, go together. The book seems to be more a statement of a certain style (white, white, white) instead of delivering what it promises in terms of storage help.
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By A Customer on September 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
Profiles practical and innovative storage solutions that are beyond stylish. Focuses on the aesthetic aspects of storage rather than the organization of clutter. Couple it with Julie Morgenstern's "Organizing From The Inside Out" and your life will be perfect. (Well at least your closets will be.)
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Format: Paperback
This is a BEAUTIFUL and PRACTICAL book, an unusual combination, I admit. Each page is filled with useful suggestions for stylish storage. I actually leave some closet doors open now because of the ideas I picked up in this book. Don't hesitate. Buy this one!
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Format: Paperback
Taking tips from Julie Morgenstein I recently completely decluttered my life. I am left with only the things I love and use and am ready to make storage purchases. I was hoping for a book with pictures of before and afters, of cleaning supplies, cosmetics, etc. stored several different ways (wicker, plastic, boxes, on the door, under the sink, etc.), and tips on where to buy the storage supplies. 'A Place for Everything,' unfortunately, seems to be just a photo journey through one victorian home which I thought looked quite cluttered! The moral seemed to be if it is antiquey looking, by all means leave it out, because that is art, not clutter. I agree with the other reviewer who said "save your money" and use it to buy organizational supplies!
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Format: Paperback
I agree with the previous reviewer. This book is a big, big disappointment.The pretty picturers don't reflect the real stuff that most of us live with and must organize. In other words, the book is not really about "organizing the stuff of life," as it promises. And regarding the previous review, who is Julie Morgenstein? Never heard of her.
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By A Customer on December 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
I was thrilled by this wonderful book which gives us practical and elegant solutions to get organized. The photographs are very well done and the book would be a pleasure for anyone to keep.
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By A Customer on November 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is neither practical nor helpful. The authors made it easy on themselves by focusing on ideal circumstances from the start.For instance, they show a lot of "organizing" of all-white stuff, and their idea of "organizing" is simply stacking and displaying. It's easy to do that if everything you have is white. There also is the ridiculous situation of the big walk-in closet which they "make over" by adding a table and other stuff. If you have a big closet like that in the first place, you don't need much help. And who has a closet big enough for a table? If you live in the real world with regular closets and ordinary (anything but all-white!) stuff, you will not find any help here.
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