My favorite books & resources on home organization


  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (2011), and its sequel Spark Joy (2016), by Marie Kondo. There is a lot of press, both good and bad, about Marie Kondo and her “KonMari” method. I’m going to go ahead and recommend both of her books. If you haven’t yet read them, you might have heard some extreme examples of things that Marie Kondo “wants” you to throw away. Some of these, like her offhand suggestions that you should keep a maximum of 30 books, or dry your dishes out in the sunshine rather than owning a drying rack, have had a bristling effect. That’s a shame, because there’s much more to her philosophy than rigid minimalism, and her approach is more individualized than her Internet caricatures would imply. Personally, I enjoyed her stream-of-consciousness writing style, and her books helped change my thinking about “stuff.” Books that stay with you like that are worth reading, I think, whatever your preconceived notions on the topic.

websites, apps, and podcasts:

  • Airtable app. This free database/spreadsheet app is amazing and I have found so many handy uses for it, from organizing my address book to managing my recipes. Even if you are not normally a data junkie, you might want to give this a try. It’s visual and intuitive, works seamlessly between devices, and the different display and collaboration options make it extremely versatile. While there are paid options available, I really can’t imagine a personal use that would require anything beyond the “free” version. Highly recommended!
  • Clutterbug podcast. I’ve been listening to this podcast on my way to work lately and it’s been great. The host Cas curates her content into digestible snippets, and she has a ton of good ideas for busy moms. Also–and this is huge for me–she comes across as very relatable, something that’s been missing in most other podcasts in the “self-help” sphere that I’ve tried to listen to. Many hosts end up striking me as too preachy, not real enough, or too focused on selling products or services. Clutterbug ticks the boxes for me—and I filed another favorite, Best of Both Worlds, under Productivity).