By Beth H.

We all know the feeling: you look around your house and realize you’re two steps away from appearing on a Hoarders’ episode, or in conversations with friends you refer to your life as a chaotic mess. You’re constantly cleaning with nothing to show for it, late for appointments and meetings, exhausted from mind clutter, and haven’t seen the back of your closet in at least five years. If this sounds like you, checkout these books that progress from organizing and cleaning your home to organizing your mind and your life. Clear the clutter, and clear your mind.

Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: the Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list).

With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international bestseller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.

The phrase ‘spark joy’ will never have the same meaning after reading this book. The premise is easy: throw everything you have into a big pile and decide whether each item sparks joy. No? Toss it out or donate it. Yes? Keep and find a home for it. You’ll be left with items that have meaning, make you happy, have a purpose, and you love. It’s not about what you need to get rid of, but your relationship with the items you possess. Change your mindset to change your home.

The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify by Francine Jay

Francine Jay pioneered the simple living movement with her self-published bestseller, The Joy of Less. In this fully redesigned and repackaged edition—featuring never-before-seen content—Jay brings her philosophy to more readers who are eager to declutter. Rather than the “crash diet” approach found in other tidying up books, Jay shares simple steps to cultivate a minimalist mindset and form new habits, paving the way to lasting success. Her easy-to-follow STREAMLINE method works in any space—from a single drawer to a closet, room, or entire house. What’s more, it can be called upon during clutter-inducing life events such as moving, getting married, having kids, or downsizing. With an airy two-color interior design and lovely hardcover package, The Joy of Less is a refreshing and relatable approach to decluttering that belongs in every home.

I tend to wear the same outfits in a steady rotation, mixing things up just enough to not be bored. It’s amazing how many outfits you can make with just a few wardrobe pieces. Do you really need 10 pairs of jeans when you really only wear 3 on a regular basis? Sometimes having too much stuff can clutter our mind and make decisions harder. Embrace less and enjoy more!

The Complete Book of Home Organization by Toni Hammersley

Have you ever wished you had the time and tools to organize your house in a clutter-free, design-conscious, Pinterest-worthy way? From storage solutions and cleaning tips to secret space-saving methods and expert strategies, The Complete Book of Home Organization is packed with the tips and shortcuts you need to effectively organize your home.

From small spaces and apartment solutions to how to tackle a big, messy home with a 15-week total home organization challenge, this book covers it all. The Complete Book of Home Organization spells out everything you need to de-clutter your house, store your belongings, and keep your home—and life—in tip-top shape. With high-quality design, intricate detail, and a durable flexicover—this manual is the perfect gift!

Organize the 30 main spaces of your home, including the living and dining spaces, bedrooms and bathrooms, guest areas, baby and kids’ rooms, utility spaces and garages, entryways and offices, patios and decks, closets and pet areas! Keep track of your pantry, holiday and craft supplies, weekly menu planning, keepsakes, and schedules. From the basement to the attic, this book covers every nook and cranny.

With step-by-step instructions, detailed illustrations, and handy checklists, say goodbye to a messy home and wasted storage space!

What is the secret to keeping your house clean? Control the clutter! How do you control the clutter? Everything has a designated space! Does this sound impossible? No, because it can be done! This book has amazing pictures and incredibly practical advice on organizing your entire home.

Make Room for What You Love: Your Essential Guide to Organizing and Simplifying by Melissa Michaels

Your home is where life happens. Melissa Michaels, New York Times bestselling author of Love the Home You Have and the best-selling book and blog The Inspired Room, knows how it feels to become overwhelmed by stuff. 

In spite of the messes and clutter that accumulates in daily life and the inevitable life-changes that bring so much disorder in the house, a home should be a sanctuary.


You’ll find a practical plan to jumpstart your progress in decluttering and organizing your home and plenty of tips to inspire you.

Yes, it’s another book about embracing your inner minimalist. Are you sensing a theme? I’ve honestly lost count of how many times my husband and I have moved, but we inevitably always lug around the same boxes that never get unpacked because it’s stuff we never use but don’t want to throw away. Sound familiar? Love the home you have, but get rid of the stuff you don’t need!

Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave by Joanna Gaines

In Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave, Joanna Gaines walks you through how to create a home that reflects the personalities and stories of the people who live there. Using examples from her own farmhouse as well as a range of other homes, this comprehensive guide will help you assess your priorities and instincts, as well as your likes and dislikes, with practical steps for navigating and embracing your authentic design style. Room by room, Homebody gives you an in-depth look at how these styles are implemented as well as how to blend the looks you’re drawn to in order to create spaces that feel distinctly yours. A removable design template at the back of the book offers a step-by-step guide to planning and sketching out your own design plans. The insight shared in Homebody will instill in you the confidence to thoughtfully create spaces you never want to leave.

So, maybe clutter isn’t your problem, but you can’t seem to figure out how to arrange your rooms to meet your needs. Enter Joanna Gaines. Need I say more? I didn’t think so.

Clean My Space: The Secret to Cleaning Better, Faster, and Loving Your Home Every Day by Melissa Maker

Clean My Space takes the chore out of cleaning with Melissa’s incredible tips and cleaning hacks (the power of pretreating!) her lightning fast 5-10 minute “express clean” routines for every room when time is tightest, and her techniques for cleaning even the most daunting places and spaces. And a big bonus:  Melissa gives guidance on the best non-toxic, eco-conscious cleaning products and offers natural cleaning solution recipes you can make at home using essential oils to soothe and refresh. With Melissa’s simple groundbreaking method you can truly live in a cleaner, more cheerful, and calming home all the time.

Did you know there was a right and a wrong way to clean? It’s true! A 10-minute clutter pickup at the end of each day can do wonders for your cleaning routine. This book has great tips, cleaning methods, and cleaning recipes that will help you create your own cleaning routine.


Simply Clean: The Proven Method for Keeping Your Home Organized, Clean, and Beautiful in Just 10 Minutes a Day by Becky Rapinchuk

No matter how big your home or busy your schedule, Rapinchuk believes that in just ten minutes a day you can keep your house clean and decluttered. She shares her system to turn cleaning from a chore into an effortless habit, and also shares recipes for organic, environmentally conscious cleaning supplies.

I love this book for a lot of reasons, but especially because it has great checklists, cleaning schedules, and habit trackers. You can also follow the “Clean Mama” blog for even more tips, tricks, and cleaning challenges.



Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson

The classic bestselling resource for every American home. Choosing fabrics, cleaning china, keeping the piano in tune, making a good fire, folding a fitted sheet, setting the dining room table, keeping surfaces free of food pathogens, watering plants, removing stains — Home Comforts addresses the meanings as well as the methods of hands — on housekeeping to help you manage everyday chores, find creative solutions to modern domestic dilemmas, and enhance the experience of life at home. 
Further topics include: Making up a bed with hospital corners, Expert recommendations for safe food storage, Reading care labels (and sometimes carefully disregarding them), Keeping your home free of dust mites and other allergens, Home safety and security, A summary of laws applicable to the home, including privacy, accident liability, contracts, and domestic employees and more in this practical, good-humored, historic, philosophical, even romantic, guidebook to the art of household management.

This isn’t your everyday book about cleaning, this is a housekeeping handbook. It has everything you could ever need to know about keeping a house. It’s the wisdom of your parents and grandparents in one book!

Martha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook: The Essential Guide to Caring for Everything in Your Home by Martha Stewart

Whether your home is small or large, an apartment in the city or a country cottage, it is a space that should be at once beautiful and livable. The key to that is managing the upkeep without feeling flustered. Until now, there has never been a comprehensive resource that not only tells how to care for your home and everything in it, but that also simplifies the process by explaining just when. With secrets from Martha Stewart for accomplishing the most challenging home keeping tasks with ease, this detailed and comprehensive book is the only one you will need to help you keep your home looking its best, floor to ceiling, room by room. 

Encyclopedic yet friendly, Martha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook is a seminal work–a must-have for everyone who wants a well-cared-for home that will endure for generations.

No home organization and cleaning blog is complete without an appearance by Martha Stewart. This book has everything, and is incredibly detailed. This is a must have for every home!

Dot Journaling: A Practical Guide: How to Start and Keep the Planner, To-Do List, and Diary That’ll Actually Help You Get Your Life Together by Rachel Wilkerson Miller

It’s a planner, a to-do list, and a diary for every aspect of your life– and Miller shows how to make a dot-journal work for you. She helps you decide how simple (or elaborate) your journal will be, and offers tips for lists, symbols, and trackers that will help you keep your life in order.

I have always been a planner and a list-maker. There’s something very satisfying about getting all your thoughts down on paper. It frees your mind of everything you need to remember from doctor’s appointments to grocery lists to future goals. The idea of dot journaling is to keep one notebook for all your thoughts, lists, and plans. No more random post-it notes everywhere! This type of “planner” has changed my life. I still keep a traditional planner with a calendar, but I also have a notebook that I keep thoughts, to-do lists, meal planning menus, and monthly goals.

The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future by Ryder Carrroll

For years Ryder Carroll tried countless organizing systems, online and off, but none of them fit the way his mind worked. Out of sheer necessity, he developed a method called the Bullet Journal that helped him become consistently focused and effective. When he started sharing his system with friends who faced similar challenges, it went viral. Just a few years later, to his astonishment, Bullet Journaling is a global movement.
Carroll wrote this book for frustrated list-makers, overwhelmed multitaskers, and creatives who need some structure. Whether you’ve used a Bullet Journal for years or have never seen one before, The Bullet Journal Method will help you go from passenger to pilot of your own life.

Ok, so a dot journal and a bullet journal are essentially the same thing. Pinterest is full of beautiful, elaborate bullet journal spreads, but yours can be as simple as you want it. I think of a bullet journal as a traditional planner and journal combined. You can keep weekly, monthly and yearly spreads, track your spending and nutrition, or even devote a few pages to family celebration planning like birthday parties or Christmas. The options for your bullet journal are endless!

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey

A leading management consultant outlines seven organizational rules for improving effectiveness and increasing productivity at work and at home.

Your house is Instagram-worthy. Your planner is marked, labeled, and dotted. You’ve gotten rid of the clutter in your home. Now, it’s time to work on your mind. We all want to live our best life, but let’s face it, there are so many obstacles and twists and turns in life. We must learn to recognize and face those obstacles. True change doesn’t come from a quick fix. We must fundamentally change our attitudes, habits and behaviors. This book has stood the test of time for a reason.



Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

Since it was first published almost fifteen years ago, David Allen’s Getting Things Done has become one of the most influential business books of its era, and the ultimate book on personal organization. “GTD” is now shorthand for an entire way of approaching professional and personal tasks, and has spawned an entire culture of websites, organizational tools, seminars, and offshoots.

Allen has rewritten the book from start to finish, tweaking his classic text with important perspectives on the new workplace, and adding material that will make the book fresh and relevant for years to come. This new edition of Getting Things Done will be welcomed not only by its hundreds of thousands of existing fans but also by a whole new generation eager to adopt its proven principles.

GTD. It’s a method. It’s a way of life. The five-step method of GTD is simple to follow. It allows us to gather all of our inputs, process them, organize them, and then take action. Our outputs are more meaningful, effective, and significant. It’s like a permanent flowchart in your head!

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It’s a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Deep work will make you better at what you do and provide the sense of true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship. In short, deep work is like a super power in our increasingly competitive twenty-first century economy. And yet, most people have lost the ability to go deep-spending their days instead in a frantic blur of e-mail and social media, not even realizing there’s a better way.

 In DEEP WORK, author and professor Cal Newport flips the narrative on impact in a connected age. Instead of arguing distraction is bad, he instead celebrates the power of its opposite. Dividing this book into two parts, he first makes the case that in almost any profession, cultivating a deep work ethic will produce massive benefits. He then presents a rigorous training regimen, presented as a series of four “rules,” for transforming your mind and habits to support this skill.

 A mix of cultural criticism and actionable advice, DEEP WORK takes the reader on a journey through memorable stories — from Carl Jung building a stone tower in the woods to focus his mind, to a social media pioneer buying a round-trip business class ticket to Tokyo to write a book free from distraction in the air — and no-nonsense advice, such as the claim that most serious professionals should quit social media and that you should practice being bored. DEEP WORK is an indispensable guide to anyone seeking focused success in a distracted world.

 E-mails, texts, social media, smart phones, meetings, appointments, after school activities, social gatherings, parties, cleaning, cooking, etc. Our schedules are jam-packed. We are busier than ever. I’ve always felt that I do my best thinking in the car (kid-free, of course). I’m able to be alone with my thoughts and free of distractions. This book will help you find ways to incorporate deep thinking into your actual work, whether that’s in an office or at home.


(Thumbnail Image: The Home Edit)

Beth H.
Experience Manager

Beth H.

As a busy mom of two and Experience Manager at EVPL Red Bank, Beth is a lover of all things coffee, cats, and books. She also enjoys, cooking, working out, watching horror movies, and can organize just about anything.

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