March 1, 2021

The 12 Best Books to Help You Get Organized

Posted in: Maintenance, Mindset, Organization, Productivity

read these twelve books to get organized

Ever wonder what books a professional organizer uses as reference material? Take a peek at the top 12 books I frequently flip through while helping clients. Save yourself hours of research and jumpstart your organization project with one (or several) of these books. No matter what you’re struggling with, there’s a book on this list for you. (Promise!)

If you find one you like, hop over to IG & lmk! I’d LOVE to know which one. @clearboxclearspace 

find out which top twelve books are recommended by a professional organizer and will get you organized asap

1. ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life by Judith Kolberg & Kathleen Nadeau, PH.D

This book focuses exclusively on helping those who have been diagnosed with ADD. If you or a family member have ADD, this is a must-read. It is a collaborative effort between an ADD expert and a professional organizer whose mission is to help people work with their ADD, not against it. Throughout the book, Kolberg and Nadeau focus on strategies, support, and structure (the 3 S’s) to achieve ADD-friendly organization success.

2. Beyond Tidy: Declutter Your Mind and Discover the Magic of Organized Living by Annmarie Brogan and Marie Limpert

If you have trouble keeping a positive mindset or maintaining your organization systems once they are in place, pick up this quick read to help strengthen your mind and spirit. The eight principles that Brogan and Limpert share help readers strengthen and improve healthy habits, making staying organized second nature.

3. Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving and Hoarding by David F. Tolin, Randy O. Frost, & Gail Steketee

If you feel overwhelmed and intimidated by the thought of getting rid of things, are an avid collector and see value in every item you own, you might be a compulsive hoarder. You may not be to the degree of the popular TV show, Hoarders, but the tendencies are there and this book helps to address them. Written by three doctors who specialize in anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), this book is easy to follow and includes helpful quizzes to get to the root of the problem as well as simple strategies and organization tips.

4. It’s All Too Much, So Get It Together: Less Junk. Clearer Mind. Better Life. by Peter Walsh

If you get bored reading about organization but still want to pick up all of the most important tips and tricks, this is the book for you! This book is written in a lighthearted way and filled with humor, BUT you still get a solid lesson in the basics of organization. The comical graphics and quick quizzes keep you interested and make the material fly by. It’s geared towards teens and college students but has helpful info for any age group.

5. Organizing From the Inside Out: The Foolproof System for Organizing Your Home, Your Office, and Your Life by Julie Morgenstern

Julie is one of my all-time favorite organizers. Her process is easy to understand and follow because she breaks everything down into easy-to-follow sections. Her S.P.A.C.E. model is one that I frequently use when working with clients and is a must-read for anyone who is DIYing their organization project. It’s about as close to getting 1:1 help as you can get from a book.

6. Organizing From the Right Side of the Brain: A Creative Approach to Getting Organized by Lee Silber

This is THE organizing book for people who are not naturally disciplined, neat, or detail-oriented. If you prefer piles to files, need things visible so you don’t lose them, and like to hang on to things “just in case”, this book walks you through how to set up supportive organization systems that help you stay organized without trying to mold you into doing things the Type A way.

7. Organizing the Disorganized Child: Simple Strategies to Succeed in School by Martin L. Kutscher & Marcella Moran

Have a disorganized school-age child? You’ve got to pick up this book. Organization and time management are important skills that will carry through and help them in all aspects of their adult life. This book includes strategies to help your child stay on top of assignments and homework, organize their room and desk, and improve studying and notetaking. 

8. Secrets of an Organized Mom: From The Overflowing Closets to the Chaotic Play Areas: A Room-By-Room Guide to Decluttering and Streamlining Your Home For a Happier Family by Barbara Reich

The all-encompassing title really says it all! Overcome mom guilt by following Reich’s 4 easy steps to getting organized and learn how to say “no” to activities that don’t support your family or your schedule.

9. SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life: A Four-Step Guide to Getting Unstuck by Julie Morgenstern

Another great one by Julie. This is a deep dive into purging and confronting your clutter and covers both the physical process of shedding items as well as the mental roadblocks that make it so difficult. This is a great companion book to any book on this list, especially if you are having trouble letting things go.

10. The Clutter Connection: How Your Personality Type Determines Why You Organize the Way You Do by Cassandra Aarssen

This book is F-U-N! You start by taking a quiz to find out what type of bug you are. Then, based on that bug’s characteristics, you discover your organizational style. Are you a butterfly? A ladybug? A cricket? Or a bee? Playing to the strengths of your bug ensures that your organization system works and is easy to use and maintain. 

11. The Mindset of Organization: Take Back Your House One Phase at a Time by Lisa K. Woodruff.

Woodruff breaks life down into 4 key phases: childhood & adolescence, accumulation, survival, and downsizing & legacy. Based on which phase you’re in, your approach to organizing will be different. This book is a great companion to any of the other books on this list. I love her simple writing style and easy-to-understand milestone groupings.

12. The Paper Solution: What to Shred, What to Save, and How to Stop It From Taking Over Your Life by Lisa Woodruff

Chances are you have paper piles in your home or office. Mail, bills, files, fliers, the list goes on and on. Woodruff walks you through her paper solution strategy and alleviates feelings of overwhelm by helping you clarify what to keep and what to shred. She also helps you strategize how to stay on top of new paper clutter once it comes in.

That’s it! Did anything stand out to you? Or, have you already read some of these? Swing by and share them with me! @clearboxclearspace

the twelve best books recommended by a professional organizer to help you get organized
  1. Cathy Borg says:

    Thank you for this thoughtful synopsis of each book. I appreciate your recommendations.

  2. Alicia Williams says:

    Oooh I really like the idea of some of these!! I’ll have to check them out. Thank you for sharing. 💜

  3. Mckayla says:

    I might need to start reading about staying and creating organized spaces in my home – I just feel well beyond recovery at this point lol

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