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Flanagan's smart home : the 98 essentials for starting out, starting over; scaling back
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Flanagan's smart home : the 98 essentials for starting out, starting over; scaling back

3.33  ·  Rating Details  ·  67 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Purge the clutter. Outfit your home with care: The 34 essential kitchen tools. The 9 essential cleaning and fixing products. The 13, and only 13, things a bedroom needs to make it a haven of rest and privacy. Each item has been field-tested and rated for its environmental, social, and aesthetic impact. There is high-tech: the miraculous microfiber mop, the low voltage elec ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published November 1st 2008 by Workman Publishing Company (first published October 22nd 2008)
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Oct 19, 2010 Allison rated it it was amazing
I had just moved from the Pacific Northwest to the East Coast and suddenly square footage was at a premium. I couldn't believe how much rent was and I panicked as realized I could barely afford 800 square feet in this brave new world. How would I ever downsize? What could I live without? where would I store it aIl? I pondered how to squeeze my 1400 square feet of "stuff" into my new "space". Then I found this shining beacon. What I like most about this book is how the author delves into the hist ...more
Feb 20, 2014 Rama rated it did not like it
Flanagan's Smart Home falls well short of expectations

This is one of the books that may qualify for less than one star rating, if there was such a possibility. The book is dull and the effort is in vain. It is described in six chapters, and the items you need for each part of a home; bedroom, bath, kitchen, dining area, living room, office/library, and tools for cleaning and fixing, are described. The author in her introductory statement gives a list of 10 things to consider before a reader cons
Jan 07, 2009 Joy marked it as to-read
Just heard about this book yesterday from a very organized friend. Can't wait to read it as I LOVE reading books about decluttering, organization, etc.
Sep 08, 2009 Agnes rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People with small and/or green homes
A great guide to minimizing your household stuff, Flanagan does manage to almost entirely wrap up a home in the 98 essential things one should have (provided one does not have children or hobbies). I already vehemently agreed with some of her recommendations (foam mattresses instead of springs; saltcellars [salt is a rock - it doesn't get stale, and hence does not need to be "freshly ground":]; her exact model of vegetable peeler, which we own; linen towels); I was surprised to learn more about ...more
Jan 11, 2015 Erika rated it it was ok
Shelves: reference
This is an interesting book for anyone looking to downsize, or for those just starting out. Written by an architect/designer, the book outlines the 98 essential items needed for a household (I really thought it could have been pared down even further), giving the history of each item, as well as recommendations for the best products on the market today. Some of the suggestions were interesting and novel, while others were no-brainers. She recommends using a 100% natural latex rubber mattress, fo ...more
May 04, 2009 Sara rated it liked it
Recommends it for: neat-freaks, de-clutters, anyone looking to simplify and cut back
This book is well-organized and no-nonsense. Following Flanagan's advice could probably build you a very clean and efficient home. It could probably also empty your wallet and strip you of items whose value is basically sentimental.

I liked how the book is laid out, the sections are divided up by room. While it was fun to day dream about dumping out every drawer in the kitchen and starting over... that's not terribly practical. This book would be useful to come back to again and again as a refere
Jan 23, 2011 zq rated it it was amazing
This book is perfect for the person that wants to start minimizing the clutter in their lives. It breaks down your house by room and gives the essential items for each. It'll give a brief history on each item and why it's important for everyday life.

Of course, this is a guideline because everyone's requirements are different, but it really makes you take a look at the junk around you and say, "Yeah, I really don't need this stuff and here's a great (and often green) alternative".

I highly recomme
Jan 25, 2015 Amber rated it really liked it
Great guide for downsizing, I found all of her suggestions useful.
Feb 02, 2010 Margot rated it really liked it
I randomly picked this book up at my local library, and I'm very glad I did! Flanagan provides a guide for anyone wanting to reduce clutter, living on their own for the first time, or buying their first home, on the essential tools for comfortable living. Not only does she identify these 98 essentials, but also provides specific product suggestions and recommendations on where you can purchase them. Her product suggestions are based on expected life of the product,greenness of the materials, and ...more
Jan 23, 2012 Annie rated it did not like it
Poorly written, old-fashioned, and the author made odd selections of "essential things." I don't think a vase is all that essential. I think the intended audience is people who have a lot of money and want to scale back on possessions. I did enjoy the distinction between a "baker's kitchen" and a "non-baker's kitchen:" basically, if you are a baker you should have a ton of things, but if you aren't, don't even pretend you are. She didn't pick very good baking tools, though. Obviously she isn't a ...more
Jo Haight
Jul 20, 2010 Jo Haight rated it it was amazing
From coffee cups to irons. Little essays about what makes the object functional and beautiful, and what is the "best". I disagree with some of her opinions (she likes a French Press coffee maker, I prefer the Chemex), but am delighted to find some elegant products that I would move to when I'm ready to replace something. Check it out of your library and get a sense of what it contains, then you can borrow it again when you need something.

I'm now on the hunt for linen sheets.....
Mar 22, 2010 Joy rated it it was ok
Amazingly, I love lists. This book did have lists of what every room in the house needed to be 'complete,' but lots of the lists weren't what I needed, but what to put in the medicine cabinet, etc. I didn't
get helpful ideas for my needs, which was my goal in reading the book.
I did find a couple of good quotes: "A house without books seems cold and confining no matter what its dimensions." Charlotte Bronte: "A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow."
Jan 30, 2010 Melanie rated it liked it
Shelves: self-improvement
Honestly, I didn't get to finish this book before the 2nd renewal and the week's grace period were up. But I did enjoy what I read. If I was in one of the stages this book is geared toward (starting out, starting over, or scaling back) I could've really taken this book to heart. Overall, I found it to be good information, and I couldn't help wishing I could really simplify my home. But alas, with four little kids, we're into "stuff" for the long haul.
Dec 18, 2012 Jenne rated it liked it
I like books with lots of things in them, and this is a book that's entirely about things! And about what things are the best things, and also it has the things organized in categories. (Organizing! I'ts fun!)
It's not exactly a page-turner, but I liked reading this lady's thoughts about what kinds of things you should have.
Liz De Coster
Apr 05, 2011 Liz De Coster rated it liked it
Shelves: reference, hobbies
This book presents a little bit like a manual for a wedding registry or buying a home registry. Solid, if pricey, recommendations (and justifications) for housewares.
I found the next mattress I need to buy... so many wonderful tips!
Aug 27, 2010 Andrea rated it really liked it
So far I love this. I have been working to strip down my living space to things that have true value to them, and this book has the same goal. The interesting stories about common household items are an enjoyable bonus. Not everyone will enjoy this book, but if you've been looking around your overflowing home and wondering "how much of this do I really NEED?" this book will do a lot to help you make your decision.
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