Secrets of an Organized Mom: How to Declutter and Streamline Your Home for a Happier Family - Barbara Reich When you find yourself clinging to a toy that your child doesn’t care about anymore, remember that plenty of good times are still to come, and toys are just objects, they’re not the memories that we associate with them.Home organizer Barbara Reich uses four simple steps to help moms — regardless of natural neat tendencies — to declutter their homes in order to create more functional, efficient areas for families of all sizes in all kinds of housing. The book takes a room-by-room approach, pointing out problem areas and encouraging the reader in their pursuit of a cleaner, neater household. Even if you’re not the domestic type, the author lays out simple organizational plans that nearly anyone could apply to their own homes.Sometimes (maybe twice a year?) I get in the mood to clean and purge and redo the spaces in my house to work more efficiently. This book inspired such a tornado of cleaning. This quick, simple book is perfect for those that need that little boost of inspiration, perhaps some new ideas to try out, and encouragement (over and over, as many times as we need it) to just get rid of the extra clutter. I love her “Ten Commandments of Organizing” because they are so applicable to so many areas of the house and spaces and cleaning tasks which I struggle with. Some are basic and obvious, like “#2 Routines work!” and “#5 Store like with like, and designate a place for everything.” and others may seem obvious, but make a world of difference, like “#6 Store things where you use them” and “#8 Ignore sunk costs.” Paired with the constant refrain of “PURGE, DESIGN, ORGANIZE, and MAINTAIN!” this book makes it easy to clean out the clutter and keep it out.There were, obviously, a few things that weren’t applicable to me (for instance, I don’t carry a purse), and there’s whole sections — like that about the nursery — which I’m sure many people can skip, but overall, the concepts are relevant to any home. The author also goes beyond simply making your house look nice and delves into how to create a simple, functional wardrobe, how to organize bill-paying and paperwork, and how to make your holidays and vacations run more smoothly.There were a few things where I think the author went a bit overboard, or that I wouldn’t necessarily agree with her ideas. For instance, she insists that shoes should go in the bedroom, which makes me cringe (maybe because I have small boys who like mud?), and insists that no one really makes Play-Doh from scratch (which I just did this week). When moving, she recommends using a tape measure to calculate the linear feet of storage in your old and new homes to compare, and when packing for a trip recommends dividing your clothes up evenly among the bags in case one gets lost (yeah, probably NOT going to do either of those things). And some of her suggestions I ended up dismissing because I’ve already discovered different ways to set things up in my house that already work for me, and hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Even though these things might not work well for me, they didn’t detract too much from the overall value of this guide, which I think would be a great addition to any household.Overall: A lot of great tips, advice, and encouragement that any family can use to help them purge, design, organize, and maintain a less cluttered, neater, more functional household. The neat-freak part of my brain is going nuts!