Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Organizing Plain & Simple: A Ready Reference Guide with Hundreds of Solutions to Your Everyday Clutter Challenges” as Want to Read:
Organizing Plain & Simple: A Ready Reference Guide with Hundreds of Solutions to Your Everyday Clutter Challenges
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Organizing Plain & Simple: A Ready Reference Guide with Hundreds of Solutions to Your Everyday Clutter Challenges

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  275 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
Desk drowning in papers? No room for the car in the garage? Santa still sitting on the roof in May? The home office swallows up whole rooms, as does the family computer station. Then there are the cell phone chargers, the remotes, and the play areas, not to mention our collections -- books, DVDs, toys, magazines. Time management experts agree that when the minor things ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 15th 2002 by Storey Publishing, LLC (first published January 1st 2002)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Organizing Plain & Simple, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Organizing Plain & Simple

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Oct 02, 2011 Jenn rated it liked it
This is a wonderful book to peruse for organizing tidbits but overall it's fairly common sense. I only started housekeeping 4 years ago and knew most of the advice suggested in this book. However, there were some expert tips which I was unfamilar with and am excited to incorporate them into my housekeeping / decluttering routine. One such suggestion was called 'The Hanger Trick'. When you switch the clothes in your closet from season to season, hang everything initially with the hanger facing ...more
Jan 25, 2014 Rose rated it liked it
Donna Smallin's "Organizing Plain and Simple" was a very helpful, all-in-one reference guide to organizing different rooms and tasks around the home, whether it was sorting bills, sorting clothes in the closet, organizing and cordinating tasks among the family, and other measures. I liked it, though I'll admit I didn't really learn all that much from it than I already knew or could draw conclusions by with common sense. I think if you're looking for a book that supplements other organizational ...more
Aug 05, 2012 Allie rated it it was ok
Not recommended. I was looking for some interesting tips on streamlining my life/process, but everything in this book was pretty run of the mill stuff. There were a couple of good ideas, but nothing really clever, innovative, or applicable.
Julie Bestry
Oct 31, 2014 Julie Bestry rated it it was amazing
A good sign of the value of a reference book is how often you actually reference it. I have owned many, many books about organizing over the years, but there are few I keep, and even fewer I've kept close at hand. My copy of Organizing Plain & Simple is not only well-thumbed, with lots of little creases in the spine, but it has fringed "bangs" of tape flags popping up from the top and sides.

As a professional organizer, it's my vocation, as well as my avocation, to keep up with the essential
I pick up this book every couple of months or so. I use it specifically in different parts of my house. I remember using it in my daughter's room to help her down-size her "stuff". She didn't have enough room to even play with a friend in there. Granted it was a tiny room, only 8x9 ft, but by identifying what she actually had out-grown, we were able to clear an area to set up her handmade, wooden dollhouse. She & her friends enjoyed many hrs of pretending.
I also used it in my kitchen. Here i
Aug 08, 2016 Tanya rated it liked it
I found this book at the thrift shop and it seemed like it would help me to get organized. A lot of the tips were things that I'm already doing, but I did get some useful ideas from it.

The author covers the entire house on room at a time and includes sections for insurance. She gives helpful guidance on what to keep or toss, how to organize things and a list of what you should really need for each area. I don't have kids, a garage or cellar, so those areas didn't help me much, but it was still a
Mar 19, 2008 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who thinks piles of 'stuff' is normal
Recommended to Jennifer by: amazon search
Shelves: non-fiction
Oh my goodness. This book was a lifesaver. I was (am?) one of those "perfectionists" that couldn't get organized because I was waiting for the "perfect system" to find me. The book gently set me on the right path! I wish I had found this book when I was in school - but I probably wouldn't have had the time to read it!
There are some bizarre recommendations in here to re-use old things as organization tools, but the point is to get to thinking about how you can use different things to organize th
My particular interest is in organizing and controlling the physical stuff in my house. This book covered that, but also organizing your finances, your time, your family, etc. Because of that, much of the book will only pertain to people in specific circumstances - my children are all grown now, for instance, so all the advice about organizing info about the family activities was no longer relevant. And, if you already have your finances under basic control, there's nothing new or exciting here. ...more
N.L. Riviezzo
A straight forward book. Useful for the right people. Most of the information is found in every other 'organization' book out there. The writing style is a little odd and can be odd to read in one sitting. This book is more for viewing a section at a time. The content is divided up into 'rooms' - office, kitchen, living room, etc. - with organizational tidbits and suggestions for each room. I found some of the suggestions to be very strange but that's probably because they were the right ...more
Mar 13, 2011 Heather rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference
Straightforward reference book with some great tips. I am already pretty organized and wanted to see what, if anything, this book could do for me. While honestly, I don't need it thankfully, it is written PERFECTLY for someone I know who is hightly disorganized and gets easily overwhelmed with the thought of organizing.

I think, for a beginning organizer, this book far surpasses Martha Stewarts Homekeeping Handbook... her book is more for an OCD organized person such as myself. I would think this
Mar 11, 2008 Laura rated it it was ok
There's an overwhelming amount of information in this book, which makes it a long read. Although there are no pictures, she recommends some unsightly solutions such as organizing your jewelry in egg cartons and hanging milk cartons from the ceiling in the bathroom to organize your things. I guess I'm more into aesthetics than the author--usually that's why I want to be more organized... But, if I ever wanted to organize a garage/yard sale, this is the first book I would turn to for advice.
May 11, 2008 Amanda rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone!!!
Recommended to Amanda by: Jennifer T.
This book probably saved my live, my marrage and my sanity. I borrowed it from the library and renewed it one time and plan to buy my own copy in the future. She has a way of putting things that you already know or should have though of in a way that makes them sink in. I liked it so much I immediately requested Cleaning Plain and Simple by this author.
Marjorie Elwood
Jan 27, 2013 Marjorie Elwood rated it really liked it
This is an extremely thorough look at organizing your life: not simply the rooms in your home, but your time, your finances, and your estate. The only quibble I had was that the book was published in 2002 and is outdated when it comes to technology. However, if you need a book to help you get organized, this is it.
Marci Romney
Mar 01, 2011 Marci Romney rated it really liked it
This book is exactly what it claims to be - a REFERENCE book. So - need to tackle your bedroom closet? Flip to page xxx. Need help with That Kitchen Drawer? Flip to page xxx. I love it. It has exactly what I need when I need it especially using the detailed index in the back. I just reorganized our filing cabinet using its suggestions. Lovely!
Jun 09, 2016 Kelly rated it did not like it
Livro muito simples, são itens que se encontra em qualquer cartilha de prioridades a fazer. Não ensina uma metodologia para mudar a engrenagem, só narra o que é obvio! Dita: jogue fora, faça lista, faça planilhas etc...Muito chato! Não agregou!
Jan 29, 2016 Alanna rated it really liked it
Generally good ideas and tips with some cheat sheets that help problem solve. A good reference book for when you need to tackle certain areas of your home. I do like "What's a Disorganized Person To Do?" a little bit better because it is more visual and to the point.
Donna Jo Atwood
Why is it that reading books like this never seem to help? After you read it, they expect you to actually do what they suggest.
That aside, these are pretty basic and good suggestions. Now I wonder who I could hire cheap to actually do them for me.
Task 35.4
May 30, 2008 Allison rated it liked it
Recommended to Allison by: Susie
Shelves: how-to
Since I am finding that clutter is appearing more & more, I immediately requested this book from the library. I wasn't disappointed - it is chock full of tips here & there that are (gradually) helping the idea of neatness fall into place. It also leads you to a lot of helpful online resources.
I am re-reading this wonderful book in an effort to organize my home, finances and life. Smallin covers every area of your home and life and gives simple but great tips on how to deal with the clutter.
Sep 10, 2008 Judi rated it liked it
A decent organizational book. Nothing earth shattering learned, but a solid, common sense approach to decluttering and organizing.

I did find the layout of the book to be a bit cluttered. Too many sidebars that I found visually distracting.
May 20, 2008 Susie rated it liked it
Shelves: i-commented
some really awesome, motivational ideas on getting rid of clutter once and for all...but also, a lot of unrelated filler. stuff about wills, financial planning, and how to pack for a vacation. this book should be more accurately titled "how to grow up and act like an adult"
Feb 04, 2008 Cassie added it
um....this book really didn't give me anything i didn't already know about organizing! had lots of expensive suggestions...which i can't really afford.
Aug 17, 2010 NK rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic book. It discusses so much more than just clutter. Makes some really good correlations w/ what you really go through in every day life. It's a pretty easy read & very helpful.
Barbara Graves
Feb 11, 2012 Barbara Graves rated it it was amazing
Shelves: organizing-books
Easily the best book on organizing I've read so far. It's full of practical how-to's and covers all the basic principles of getting and staying organized.
Jun 10, 2007 Natasha rated it really liked it
My move was an organized one b/c of this book. I go back to it every now and again for help/tips on various things. Good for the cluttered. :) (That's me.)
Feb 08, 2011 Cindy rated it liked it
This book is exactly what it says, a ready reference. When you need an idea on organizing something specific, this book will help although the options are limited to a certain type of thinking.
Oct 13, 2008 Kymberly rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone looking to organize
Recommended to Kymberly by: got from the library
Shelves: favorites
This is my ultimate favorite organization book. I bought it from the library because it got wet. But I am actually grateful it did.
Oct 06, 2011 Diane rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much. I bought 2 of them. The information and idea's were so simple. I just wanted to read it over and over.
Pilana Whittaker
Pilana Whittaker rated it it was amazing
Feb 11, 2015
Karen Oconnor
Karen Oconnor rated it liked it
Jan 21, 2012
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Organizing for the Creative Person: Right-Brain Styles for Conquering Clutter, Mastering Time, and Reaching Your Goals
  • How to Organize (Just About) Everything: More Than 500 Step-by-Step Instructions for Everything from Organizing Your Closets to Planning a Wedding to Creating a Flawless Filing System
  • Organizing for Your Brain Type: Finding Your Own Solution to Managing Time, Paper, and Stuff
  • One Thing At a Time: 100 Simple Ways to Live Clutter-Free Every Day
  • Organizing for Dummies
  • Conquering Chronic Disorganization
  • When Organizing Isn't Enough: Shed Your Stuff, Change Your Life
  • Eliminate Chaos: The 10-Step Process to Organize Your Home and Life
  • Houseworks: Cut the Clutter, Speed Your Cleaning and Calm the Chaos
  • Organize Now!: A Week-by-Week Guide to Simplify Your Space and Your Life
  • Clutter's Last Stand: It's Time to de-Junk Your Life!
  • Sidetracked Home Executives(TM): From Pigpen to Paradise
  • Absolutely Organized: A Mom's Guide to a No-Stress Schedule and Clutter-Free Home
  • Clutter Rehab: 101 Tips and Tricks to Become an Organization Junkie and Love It!
  • Organizing Magic: 40 Days to a Well-Ordered Home and Life
  • Getting Organized
  • Unstuff Your Life!: Kick the Clutter Habit and Completely Organize Your Life for Good
  • Organizing Your Craft Space
I am an organizing strategist, certified House Cleaning Technician and author of a dozen books on how to unclutter, organize, clean up and simplify your life. My latest release is Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness. I invite you to sign up for free organizing tips at or join my Organizing Support Group on Facebook.
More about Donna Smallin Kuper...

Share This Book