Top critical review
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Long on style, but could use more substance
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.