Has "organize house" been bumped down from the top of your to-do list more times than you can count, despite your best efforts? Maybe you've tried in the past and somehow ended up with even more junk. You’re not alone. Many of us struggle to get — or keep — our homes tidy and organized, even when we know an orderly house leads to an orderly mind. The good news is there are inspiring resources to help you (finally) declutter and get organized.. Here are a few of our favorite reads to motivate you:
We had to start this list with a classic, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. While other books on home organization have been floating around for decades, Kondo's 2015 book struck a chord with people around the world and helped millions begin to tame their clutter by looking at objects in their houses — from clothing to books to kitchen supplies — and asking the simple question, 'Does this spark joy?' Bonus: This is also available as an audiobook, so you can listen and declutter at the same time.
If you're more into details, drawings, and checklists Hammersley’s 500-pager is your best bet. It's packed with ultra-practical tips for cleaning and organizing every space in your house, from the attic to your basement. For some, the tips on handling everything from meal-planning to the holidays might feel a bit overwhelming, but for others, it's perfect.
When it comes to home organization for Gen Xers and Millennials, Real Simple magazine is the place to go for helpful tips and the coolest organizational tools. This visually enticing book is packed with the best tips from editors over the years and tons of photos. Akin to flipping through a fabulous magazine and scrolling a Pinterest board teeming with spot-on tips for getting organized, this pick is ideal for visual learners who lean toward magazines over books.
If there's one type of person who would know how to tame and categorize a mess, it's a former teacher and librarian turned organizing expert. Meet Carrie Higgins. Remember school libraries? They're probably the toughest place to keep orderly while still being inviting areas to sit and crack open a book. Higgins uses her expertise to bring those skills home and fix not only the big, visible things, but also the little things hidden inside your drawers. This is a great book for readers looking for instant satisfaction, since many of her tips are easy to implement and help you slowly tidy and organize your home, one DIY project at a time.
If the name David Allen rings a bell, it's likely because you've read his best known work, Getting Things Done. If you're a list-lover who found that book game-changing, this is the organization book to read. He teamed up with organization expert and founder of Unclutterer.com Erin Rooney Doland to help people simplify their lives and homes. Because it's hard to get things done when your work area is a mess, this book is a much-needed read if you’re working from home and find the clutter distracting. Their method only takes a week to implement.
Do you need to organize your entire life, not just your closet? Organize Your Day looks at clutter and disorganization in the home as part of a larger whole, which can help readers who want life organization in addition to pantry organization. It's a short read — around 30 minutes — so you can read it in the morning and still have plenty of time in the day to start organizing.
If you read Marie Kondo's book and found it helpful but ultimately weren't able to stick with it, you may need this less reverent version. Tidy the F*ck Up is a parody of Kondo's work, but it's also one of the most helpful organizational books you'll ever read. It breaks down her sometimes too-sweet advice into a tough love, curse-heavy version that makes you laugh while making you think about finally parting with that pair of pants you've been saving for 15 years.
This memoir from Cait Flanders won't teach you how to organize, but it will show you what a life with less stuff could look like. If you know how to organize your closet and your garage, but you're just not doing it, this memoir is a must-read. It teaches you how to be a more conscious consumer and let go of stuff that no longer serves you. It feels less like a how-to manual and more like a gentle nudge in the right direction.
Another memoir that inspires us to tackle our mess, Schaub's story of struggle with clutter is a bit more comical and clutter-focused than Flanders'. If your clutter overwhelms you and you don’t know where to start, this book will speak to you on a visceral level. It also focuses more on clearing physical clutter than on simplifying your entire life, and empathizes with the universal struggle of going through our things, trying to part with reminders of our identity that may no longer serve us.