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Organize Now!: A Week-By-Week Guide to Simplify Your Space and Your Life

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Get Organized Fast!

Clutter has a cost. It steals your storage space, robs your time and energy, and takes away the peace and beauty of your home. Don't pay for it another minute--get organized, now!

This updated and expanded edition of the bestselling Organize Now! features even more quick, effective organizing ideas. Easy-to-follow checklists show you how to organize any part of your life in less than one week. You spend more time organizing and less time reading--a perfect fit for your busy lifestyle! Long-term goals help keep the clutter away for the months and years to follow, so you can maintain the order you create.

You'll find help with everything from time management and routines to mental clutter, paperwork, pets, purses, toys, rooms and life events such as moving, and celebrating the holidays. Special money saving tips show you how to use your organizing efforts to cut costs around the house and even make a little money.

Don't let piles of paperwork, overflowing closets and overbooked schedules drain your resources and energy anymore. Take control with Organize Now!

240 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2008

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Jennifer Ford Berry

7 books26 followers

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5 stars
350 (31%)
4 stars
324 (29%)
3 stars
313 (28%)
2 stars
95 (8%)
1 star
33 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 79 reviews
Profile Image for Molly.
297 reviews10 followers
August 26, 2010
The ideal me wouldn't need this book. The actual me is procrastinating reading it, let alone follow it's guidance.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
430 reviews
June 27, 2011
I found the layout annoying and the lists too detailed. Rather than making organizing feel do-able, this book makes it feel overwhelming.
Profile Image for Arielle.
260 reviews15 followers
May 28, 2012
Pretty good. Clear and concise. Quick and easy to read. The author says she realizes many of these organizational books out there have so much meat and reading, that they end up taking so much time. Her book has quick little intro paragraphs, then check-lists and quick tips. It truly was a quick read. This book wasn't very useful for me, and where I am in my stage of life. This book is more for people with family, children, career, and a home (not a one bedroom apartment)but useful nonetheless. It's got a great interactive feature--a simple place for one to make notes. It is important to note, that this book is not nearly detailed enough for those people who consider themselves a complete wreck organizationally. This is for those who just need tips and have a basic, fundamental understanding of organization, but are unsure of how to go about digging themselves out of the disarray. Many of the suggestions I have already done because I read another book before this one, but it's a quick read. It's very well organized and easy to follow. It seems to cover almost every facet of one's life with out being too in-depth. It really is a wonderful little reference book. It's so easy to look up what areas you need to go on and take the time to follow the suggestions. For me, it was ok, but I could see others really liking this book--including myself as I continue to grow. For now, I've given it to my mom :)
Profile Image for Laurie  Polomsky.
3 reviews1 follower
July 28, 2010
This book really helped me organize my organizing. In other words, those times when you have so much to do you just can't figure out where to begin. This book has got everything from organizing your laundry room to your car, even your purse! I just had to turn to a project in the book, check off the tasks, and when done stare at my room with wonder and relaxation. It's amazing how much happier I am when all my drawers and cabinets are orderly, and it's easier to keep the house clean, which helps reduce my stress level.
Here's one of my favorite tips: Limit 4 towels a week to each family member, and make each one a different color. That way you can reduce laundry, and no one uses more towels than anyone else. Now each of us have our own towel color, and I'll never have to hear again, "Mom, there's no towels!" Plus, it keeps everyone accountable for their own laundry.
Profile Image for Carolyn Amundson.
182 reviews6 followers
December 17, 2011
A left-brain sort of book. If you are completely disorganized in any area of your life (finances, pregnancy evening routine, jewelry box, recipes), this book has a checklist for organizing it. Each topic is broken down into a "week" to make the organization is little easier. The book warns that it takes work to get organized and I was more than a little overwhelmed by the lists of things to do monthly, every 3-6 months, and every year, after following all the tips and lists to get organized. Some useful ideas. For anyone who's a right-brain thinker, this book will be a little too, um, focused on lists.
Profile Image for Nora.
272 reviews10 followers
August 25, 2010
Karrie, you reminded me that I've been intermittently reading this as we condense our house and make room for the Impending Flanagan on the way. It keeps the idea of simplifying your house and making it more user-friendly very straightforward. This book has crystallized for me the very true statement that none of us actually need about half the stuff we have. The author does a great job of breaking down what to tackle, when and how, so that the reader will actually stick to the suggestions. No, seriously. It's helping me out a LOT.
July 1, 2009
If you ever thought to yourself "I just want someone to TELL me how to get organized!",then this is the book for you. No long paragraphs, just straight to the point tips and "how to's" to get every part of your life organized. Book includes how to organize everything from your schedule, priorities and finances to all parts of your home and office to your papers and special events. Checklists included.
Profile Image for Donna.
489 reviews5 followers
September 12, 2018
I ended up outlining this for future reference so it took me a while to get through. I already have some organizational skills so there wasn't a whole bunch of new information for me. There were a few pearls of wisdom so it wasn't a total loss.
There is some good information in here but there's some shaky stuff as well.
One thing that really sticks with me is the recommendation that you change the cat litter every month. Ooof! The author's home might be organized but I'm betting it doesn't smell very good.
There is a lot of repetition in here as well. I lost count of how many times she mentioned cancelling magazines subscriptions. And there's more thing stuff like that.
Overall, for the novice organizer they're going to find a helping hand. For someone marginally organized they will find some good ideas. And for someone decently organized but feeling they're not quite there they might find a few, as I called them, pearls of wisdom.
Profile Image for Laura L.
277 reviews8 followers
June 18, 2018
As my first step of organizing, I'm going to put this book in my pile of books to take to the used bookstore. I found this book to be a bit polarizing, it seems as though half the stuff in it is good for people who have children and large homes. And also seemed very repetitive, it's like make three piles one to keep, one to throw away, and one to donate, over and over along with other very nitpicky lists. I have found other organizing books to be more helpful because they gave general guidelines versus this with its extremely long lists of things to get rid of. My final issue with this book is that instead of teaching you how to organize your home, it's literally just lists of things to get rid of. If you have issues when deciding how to get rid of things, I could see this book being helpful but, if it's issues with figuring out how to organize your home I wouldn't recommend it.
Profile Image for BookBec.
410 reviews
September 27, 2017
Jennifer Ford Berry is very good at making lists. Unfortunately, that's also my skill in the organizing realm. Getting myself motivated and making hard decisions -- actually doing the lists! -- are my challenges, and this book offered little insight and discussion of the reasons and feelings behind organization issues. But if you're already raring to get organized and need someone to give you to-do lists, this is the book for you.
Profile Image for Delaney.
20 reviews1 follower
June 7, 2017
Written in a simple and easy to read a format. If you are on a mission to become organized having a plan is the first step and this is the perfect guide for that! I would recommend this book to anyone who feels overwhelmed and doesn't know where to start on their organizational journey.
Profile Image for Maria Kemplin.
136 reviews3 followers
May 2, 2018
This was my second reading of this book, perused again via Amazon Prime. Jennifer Ford Berry does a nice job of providing structure and motivation to undertaking a whole-life organization. Those who love this book are likely those who need it least, however.
Profile Image for Carter Hemphill.
379 reviews3 followers
May 6, 2019
Very helpful book about organization, broken down by one week at a time. While geared for mother’s with children, I found a few useful tips. I like the spiral format and the checklist format. I hope to review it again for more tips in a few months.
Profile Image for Laura.
183 reviews14 followers
June 4, 2017
Lists, lists and more lists.
I need ideas, not checklists!

This book is not what I was looking for. Not at all.
August 22, 2018
Been needing a checklist of what documents we need to file and what can go and when. Good info in this book on that topic along with Tax documents.
Profile Image for Donna Brown.
Author 3 books69 followers
October 7, 2021
I personally choose a few chapters and actually organized those areas of my life. An effective tool to use when you want to simplify your space.
Profile Image for Nicole.
559 reviews1 follower
October 15, 2021
3.5 stars due to it being a little outdated. But I found some of the lists helpful and a nice reminder of weekly to-do's. I recommend borrowing this book, not buying - which is what I did.
Profile Image for Cat Leonard.
121 reviews3 followers
March 11, 2023
I think I like to read books about cleaning and organizing more than I like to actually clean and organize.
Profile Image for Kitty Jay.
333 reviews20 followers
October 19, 2016
In Organize Now!, Jennifer Berry breaks up the year into weeks and gives you a new area or event to tackle every different week. I was more engaged when I read that, beyond the obvious physical spaces, Berry also tackled how to organize your schedule - something that most books of this ilk overlook, much to their detriment. Anyone who has had a busy week knows how easy it is to get behind on basic house maintenance or chores, or just feels too tired to tackle it. And in that one week, things can build up faster than you can deal with them.

So I was primed to like this book, but ultimately found it disappointing. Since I have started reading these types of books, I have instinctively been judging them on a few criteria - Is this new? Does it inspire me? How realistic are these goals?

This one failed on almost all counts. The book I read immediately before this one used the exact same quotes throughout - that "must be useful or beautiful" one is a popular one, but even the Einstein quote was reused. Fair enough, though, these all sound rather repetitive after going through them, and maybe this one was written before the other. That said, if you are an avid reader of these decluttering/organize/minimalist guides, you probably aren't going to stumble across any hidden gems.

Is it inspiring? Well, not really, no. With some books, I immediately want to declutter after I finish reading. Some of them, I actually pause and put the book down to go through that cup of old, broken pens on the bookshelf, or pull some records I never listen to out and put them in the give-away box. In this case, however, it was just... boring. It was more of a cleaning guide than an organizing guide. It also didn't address when you can do this - she proposes taking everything out of a room and putting only back in what (a) serves the room's purpose and (b) you like. Most of these books make at least a half-hearted effort to address the fact that people have lives and jobs and obligations and maybe don't have time to play hurricane with their kitchen if they still want to make supper that night.

Finally, is it realistic? Not a chance. For an organizing book, this book is ... poorly organized. Along with the "big project" of initial decluttering, the book offers maintenance for every week, every month, every 3-6 months, and every year. The problem is that it offers those in small chunks (as in, the car section advises you to clean out your car once per month; the purse section advises cleaning out your receipts once a month). The problem is that if life were so discrete, everyone would know how to do this. After all, she only offers three or four things to do for each section. But when you add up all the sections, it becomes unmanageable. In other words: it's life. And though it's very nice for authors to be able to divide them into three or four easy-to-do things, for people trying to figure out how to juggle all of those things at one time, that's when the problems start.

Overall, not worth it. There are much better books out there which offer a new take or at least have a fresh voice, inspire you to tackle that garage or attic or bedroom closet, and are still based somewhere in the realm of realism.
Profile Image for Anne.
113 reviews16 followers
January 19, 2013
Frankly, I found this book to be too condensed. To much is summed up in brief paragraphs of "Sort into three piles" with little, if any attention paid to the necessity of deciding HOW one determines which pile an object belongs in. No discussion of what needs to be kept for tax records. Sorting a basement is one paragraph in the week it will take to lick it into shape. I can't fathom how I would dedicate the time required for some of these chores, and I'm a stay ay home mom. This is a book for those who already know how to distinguish what should be kept from what shouldn't. I also found the constant admonishment to throw away those things that were broken annoying. I'm not seeking advice on whether to save broken toys -- I've figured out how to pitch those long ago.

What really dragged this to a one star rating, however, was her cheery advice to rip all your CDs to MP3 and then SELL THE CDS. Hello? This is not legal. You may make a copy of a recording for personal use under the Fair Use rights; it's why it was OK for us all to make copies of our record albums onto cassette tape to play in the car or our Sony Walkman. It is NOT Fair Use to make a copy and then get rid of the original recording. When you throw away, sell, donate or whatever that original recording, your copies of it need to go as well.

I kept reading after that point, but I could no longer take her seriously. She should at least have some acquaintance with the legal ramifications of her recommendations.
Profile Image for Meredith.
427 reviews
November 17, 2011
This book would be great for someone completely unorganized who had read nothing else on the subject and needed a complete life makeover. The layout is good and easy to use.

As someone who doesn't fit the above category, reading this made me feel quite organized. I'm very glad I got it from the library instead of succumbing to the temptation to buy. Then I would be disappointed and unable to see the value of the book for others because of its relative worthlessness for me.

I'm always looking for suggestions to improve though and here are the two that I took away from this book:

Have a list on the outside of the fridge regarding leftovers and the dates they were made--will help family members know what things need to be eaten and help you see at a glance when to toss leftovers.

Have a list (mine will be either in my car or on the bulletin board in the kitchen, I haven't decided yet) of free or inexpensive things that you/your family enjoy doing. I do have a mental list but a physical list is a good idea so that when you want to do something and can't think what...voila, there is the list.

Profile Image for Jenny from Ukraine .
133 reviews36 followers
June 29, 2011
I liked this book, although it is definitely not my favourite on the subject. It reminds me of a joke.

Profile Image for Annie.
346 reviews
August 9, 2016
An organizational book that follows 52 week-by-week plan to organizing everything in life, from trips to receipts to the garage. The advice is practical and useful. I found some great tips but for the most part was doing most of her suggestions already. I think it would be immensely helpful for someone who is just beginning to want to be more organized.
I liked the structure of the book. Each topic was broken down into sections with an introductory paragraph, a list of items to complete to get organized, some tips on the next page and a schedule to maintain what has been organized.
This book makes a convincing argument at the beginning for organization and all its benefits; the following pages show how to execute the massive overall if the reader has enough self-discipline to stick with it.

No Favorite Quotes.
Profile Image for Justwinter.
97 reviews3 followers
October 10, 2011
Handy little book for folk looking to bust up the clutter and disorganization of their daily home or work life.

Personally, I can't organize enough, so this book didn't really 'help' me so much as just confirm good practices. But I love organizing so dang much that it spills over into wanting to read how others organize to see if there's some new idea I'm missing.

It's an easy read, ideas and suggestions broken down into simple tasks. I feel it would be a non-threatening/non-chastising read for someone in your life who may need to square themselves away. Also pretty handy for ways to help your kids unclutter--by making it a whole family effort. Fun ways to clean house and live with less--less stuff, less stress, less mess.
Profile Image for Molica.
19 reviews12 followers
February 10, 2016
I bought this book on a whim because it looked potentially helpful. It wasn't.
I thought it was just way too overwhelming with all the checklists - just endless lists and some of them just seemed like too much to tackle at once (or in one or two weeks even). And they weren't even anything that wasn't already free on the internet, which would require just a little searching and printing. The author even blatantly rips off FlyLady concepts and wording without even mentioning the FlyLady. So it just seemed like the author was just reorganizing and rehashing someone else's (or a lot of someone's) hard work!
The binding was rather fun and brightly coloured, but that's about all it had going for it.
That'll teach me to buy a book without properly looking into it!
Profile Image for Julie Suzanne.
1,880 reviews69 followers
May 15, 2010
I am only on page 37, but I have already adopted many of the strategies Berry offers for becoming more organized. She presents tips and explanations in a quick, easy to understand, and most importantly easy-to-implement immediately format. She gives you a week to master each new aspect of becoming an organized person, and I am finding this most useful.

I'm moving on up into the world of ultra-organization. Woo-hoo!
Imagine the possibilities!

Update: Several months later.....I've been too disorganized to finish this book. I don't even know where it is anymore! I think it's stashed somewhere with a bunch of "to do" lists.....

Displaying 1 - 30 of 79 reviews

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