Customer Reviews: Real Simple: The Organized Home
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on October 10, 2004
"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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on July 6, 2005
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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on February 15, 2005
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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on January 10, 2005
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. It helped me to actually look forward to getting started and how to keep on the lookout for solutions to recurring clutter problems as I go along. If you are really ready to do something about your clutter problems, I would highly recommend this book.

This book might not do anything for you if you already have your act together. But for the rest of us this book makes an organized home finally obtainable. A kiss for the people at 'Real Simple' who put this thing together. Thank you for thinking of the rest of us!
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on November 8, 2004
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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The beginning of the book "Real Simple: The Organized Home" explains that the average American woman spends 52.2 frustrating minutes a day looking for things. That adds up to a shocking 14 days a year!

"Real Simple: The Organized Home" will help you declutter, maximize space, and decorate your interior. By following the tips and techniques you will as the book says, "live beautifully with maximum efficiency and minimum effort".

Don't feel you have to tackle projects all at once. With a little effort each day you will eventually have the serene space that envelops you with comfort and warmth.

The beautiful, crisp photographs in the 192 page, 11" by 9" hardcover book inspire and delight. The photos range from soft, creamy bathroom shots to organized closets teaming with color. I love the photos throughout the book but will say I thought the book's cover shot and design was not the best choice.

Chapters in the book include the foyer, living room, family room, kitchen, dining room, bedroom, storage room and more. Step by step you are enticed to make your home over. The bathroom section for example, walks you through basic needs like what to look for in a towel, space saving devices and how to organize it all. A variety of organization tips are given throughout the book that range from when to toss mascara to how long butter keeps in the refridgerator.

I love the idea of a spa-type atmosphere in my home. Plump pillows in the bedroom with fine linens dressing the bed,a fragrant smell like lavender lingering in the air, wholesome, tasty food in the kitchen with the proper tools to prepare it....

Simple pleasures and ones that are within anyones reach when they learn simple solutions to organized living. Real Simple: The Organized Home makes the good life at home a reality!

Lee Mellott
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on October 9, 2004
As in the magazine, the photographs are gorgeous. Actually, I recognize some of the photos from past magazines, so maybe if you've had a Real Simple subscription for a while you might not even get anything out of the visuals. As for information, it's pretty worthless. There is hardly any text at all, as you would see if you could flip through the book. Some of the pictures are of interesting organizing solutions, but many of the photos don't even have captions, so an interesting way to store jewelry, for example, is shown to you but not explained. It would make a nice coffeetable book, but don't buy this if you are actually looking for some serious information.
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on March 27, 2008
This is a great little organizer that helps you keep everything in one place. It is broken down by rooms so you can organize warranties, manuals, receipts, handyman numbers, furniture, even paint colors by each room. If you ever sell your house, this would be a great thing to provide the new owners. I highly recommend it.
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on November 22, 2004
This book is one of the best gifts I have ever recieved. I just moved into my first apartment, and was feeling really overwhelmed about getting organized and making the most of a VERY small space. This book has so many great organizational ideas that it actually made me excited to get started. It was a huge project, but thanks largely to this book, I feel really great about my new home and I honestly have never felt more organized--such a great feeling!!! Thank you so much for all of the great ideas and tips!!!
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VINE VOICEon December 13, 2004
The photos are beautiful, the designs are just wonderful...but if you have kids this is not real life. This is a magazine lifestyle. You could only do this if you had an unlimited budget, there are no true solutions for real families with real children and real budgets. Sure my home could be organized if I had an open checkbook and could have such fabulous built-ins, and all the baskets I could buy! Stick with the real simple magazine and leave the book for the coffee table.
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