Top critical review
Good ideas, narrow scope.
Reviewed in the United States on December 23, 2019
I appreciate the author's tough-love stance on the need to purge extra "stuff" and reduce belongings to a versatile and low-maintenance list of essentials. She approaches simplicity and efficiency as priorities above aesthetics. That being said, the scope of her book is incredibly narrow and lacks cohesion in some parts. For example, the book boasts photographic examples of different organizational strategies, but lacks suggested layouts for other examples which are not accompanied by photos. With ideas such as hanging clothing or jewelry on nails hammered into the wall, the organizer's mission encourages us to "eschew" beauty and aesthetics almost completely, yet each new chapter begins with a photograph of a beautifully staged room (such as bathroom, dining room, etc.) which is decorated primarily with beauty in mind and which models none of the author's suggested go-to's like bare nails, 3M hooks, or cheap plastic open bins. I was left wanting so many more examples of how I could streamline my organization to fit the life I have, which includes a young child and a curious puppy. Leaving nice jewelry on a plastic, lidless tray out in the open where it is exposed to collect dust and flying pet hair? Dusting is probably the one chore I avoid the most because it seems self-defeating. What about organizing a closet for a professional wardrobe which is sensible but still respects the quality of the items I wear to work? I appreciate the ideas of having large bins for recycling and trash accessible and in the open, but leaving the lidless, smelly garbage and recycling out where my child and puppy could get into things would make my day anything but efficient. If the author had included more variations of her strategies, I might have been better able to connect to her message and process. I was very eager to find answers applicable to where I am in my journey, but was left wanting.