Monday, February 6, 2012

47 You Asked: Good Organizing Reads!

It seems like specific question types come in waves.  And recently, that wave has brought in a lot the question of good organizing and decor reads.  "What inspires me?  What are my favorite books?"

Something about a good book.  Nothing compares.  And one of my most favorite things to do is to find a book full of colorful pictures and inspiration and pair it with a blanket, a cup of coffee and cozy sofa for an afternoon.  And I am more like a kid when it comes to books.  I don't read the 325 page dramas, I like pictures!  Lots and lots of pictures.  I am so visual, that books and magazines filled with eye candy, give me the ability to feel motivated, creative and inspired.

That said, I also like books and magazines that are driven towards every day people.  Sure, fancy pants magazines give us ideas and then we can do our best to recreate those high end looks on a budget.  And I do even pick up a few of those fancy pants reads every once in awhile just for that purpose.  But for the most part, I stick with ideas and looks that are more obtainable and look like they could be in a home just down the street.



First and foremost, my absolute favorite magazine in the history of magazines is Better Homes and Gardens Storage Magazine.


This is only a quarterly publication {boo}, and it can not be subscribed to that I know of.  But when it comes out, I am quick to nab it up and start oohing and ahhing over the pages, which are filled to the brim with organizing ideas.  The best part is, it's always done with STYLE!  The best part is that these special interest publications are not bogged down with ads.
 

Another quarterly Better Homes and Gardens special interest publication worth looking at is Better Homes and Gardens Do It Yourself. 



I love it because so many of the projects are easy enough for anyone to do and many of them incorporate DIY storage, whether it's covering a soup can or installing some shelving!


Real Simple Magazine is another great organizing source. 



Not every issue is packed with endless storage details, since they offer a wide range of advice on everything from clothing to good food to product reviews, but they do share great tips on finding new uses for old things and  never leave you disappointed with their room and project photography.  And because this is a monthly publication, it can be subscribed to.


I was given the gift of a subscription to House Beautiful for Christmas and I have to say, it hasn't disappointed!



This is about as "fancy pants" magazine as I get.  I just love using it for inspiration on current color combinations and dreamy spaces that are so well accessorized and finished.  A great place to draw inspiration from when looking to create a high end look on a budget.


Recently, I have seen a couple of "magazines" that seem more like books to me.  They are located in the magazine section or even at checkout of department stores and run a higher price tag, but are also much higher quality and again, limited with advertising.

The first is Storage Solutions. 


Because this is a double issue, it is loaded to the brim with ideas and storage solutions for every space in your home.  Great photography and practical projects that anyone can implement, this one gets a thumbs up from me.


Oh Martha.  She has skills in every area {and people that work for her also have those skills}.  And I am OK with the fact that I can't bake or sew or even craft nearly as well as her, but I can't help but be in awe of her fabulous organizing abilities.


She recently released this magazine/book and it's my new favorite.  Once again, making organizing not only practical, but going that extra step to make it lovely.  For example, that cabinet on the cover, what's the first thing you notice?  The pretty blue backdrop.  Sigh.





Coincidentally, the books that I am drawn to are offspring's of the magazines I read. 

My all time favorite is Real Simple for the Organized Home.



I spilled a detail review here, but basically it's full of endless easy tips, lovely full page pictures and it's broken down by room which is extremely helpful.  It shares with us the essential items for each space, which I found really useful to be sure I am not adding more than I need, or maybe where I am lacking in effectiveness as well.


I recently discovered Better Homes and Gardens Storage with Style Book.  It may just have entered in to first place since it's basically their Storage Magazine wrapped into one fabulous book!


And the point, it's all done with style.  I can't say it enough.  If you LOVE your organizing system, you will be happier to maintain it.  Not to mention, it's great when you can incorporate being organized with your home and decor, it all goes hand in hand in creating a place that makes you happy day after day, and who is happy in clutter?

 
When it comes to the style and decorating side of things, Better Homes and Gardens wins with me again, with their annual Decorating Book.



Page after page of pictures.  Hundreds and hundreds of pages of pictures.  It's like years of their fabulous magazines in one happy place.  Doesn't get much better than that.


I struggle with paint colors.  It's true.  I typically have an idea of what color I want, but I have a hard time picking the right tone and shade.  I don't want my neutrals to be too yellow, my gray blues to be too blue, etc...  That's where this book comes in:


House Beautiful Colors For Your Home.  This is a great resource to help you pick the perfect paint color and also shares really incredible paint color combos.  And because it's from House Beautiful, you know it's a book you can rely on to be spot on!


Back to organizing.  Martha has a book on the subject!


Also organized by room/space, Martha has a way of showing lovely lived in rooms with endless amounts of tips and tricks to achieve the same feeling.  Simple labels, checklists and how to's, you will leave you feeling inspired and most likely motivate you to go and tackle a space before you get to the end of the book.


Of course there are a lot more out there.  Just search Amazon for organizing books and your search results will most likely leave you feeling overwhelmed.

I am sure some of you are more, step by step, do this then to then do this types of people.  Some of these publications are better than others about that.  I am more of a give me a picture and I got it kind of person.  That's why these are my all time favorites.

Now it's your turn!  What books and magazines am I missing out on?  Ones with great room photography, easy how to's, simple DIY ideas, etc..  Let's share!


47 comments:

  1. I just thought about this the other day when I was perusing your blog and saw a stack of books about organizing. I'm an avid reader and I never thought of getting books about cutting clutter and housekeeping. I was going to go check out my local bookstore and see what they offered so it is super nice to have a list of ones that are for sure worth my time and moolah! :) Thanks for a great post!

    -Jess @ That's Sew Crafty

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  2. Thanks Jen! You've inspired me so much to cut out the clutter and I am always learning new things from you. Thanks again for your great tips and resources!! :)
    Tracy

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  3. I adore those magazines and always love getting dragged to the hardware store b/c 1. it means we're building something and 2. I get to pick out a new mag while P drools over tools! hehe

    I didn't know about the books though! thanks for the awesome suggestions as always darling! <3

    xoXOxo
    Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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  4. Thanks Jen! I noted ALL of these and are at least going to give them a glace next time I'm at the store. I'm definitely going to be needing some inspiration in the next few weeks - I'm on a purge-rage!

    Kimberly
    www.studioblonde.blogspot.com

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  5. You've reminded me about the organizing books I have stacked oh so lovely on my book shelf which I haven't looked at in years. I have the Martha Stewart book and another called Cut the Clutter, Stow the Stuff (I think). Love them both. Pics are great for me as well. Thanks for all the inspiration! And I absolutely adore the current blog colors!

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  6. These are so helpful. I read a few of the ones you have mentioned but some of the books I have not. So thanks. I can't wait to get my hands on them!

    Natalie
    www.natalielmurphy.blogspot.com

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  7. Thank you so much for this list! I may just forward this post to my husband for all future birthday, Christmas, and even Valentine's gifts : )

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  8. I was just thinking about all of the magazines I love the other day! Have you read the new HGTV magazine? I just got my first copy but haven't read it yet ... have a stack to get through! :)

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    1. I think I may love it, but I want to wait and check out a few issues just to be sure! :) The first I read was a good one!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  9. Real Simple is great - plus - it has a great iPad app that magazine subscribers can easily go digital with. New subscribers get a great deal on the iPad only version.

    Erin
    ErinAndrewEverAfter.com

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  10. LOVE this-- I didn't know BHG had quarterly publications, but I'll definitely be on the lookout for them from now on! Thanks :)

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  11. Thank you so much for sharing the list, it is funny because as I was going down the list I was very excited to see the Martha Stewart Organizing Magazine. I just bought that magazine on Friday. My very first organization magazine.

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  12. I used to intern at Storage! They really are awesome :)

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  13. Thanks so much for sharing this list! I was actually looking through your blog last night trying to see the names of the books you have on your shelves so this post was PERFECT TIMING! :) My husband and I are currently building a house, so I want to get some inspiration books to look through for our house. Thanks for today's post!

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  14. Got Martha Stewart Organizing magazine two weeks ago and I enjoyed it so far. I love new HGTV mag which is new recently (since it is not much organize but full of decorating pictures). Whatever the magazine shows organizing I always grab it because I love to read and look pictures. I noticed that Oprah magazine have organizing section in her magazine with Peter Welsh. I will have to check with Home beautiful magazine!

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  15. I hear you, Jen. I love the "picture books", too.

    When I run into home depot or lowes, the first place I hit up is the book and magazine area to see what is new. Sometimes I am just standing there, browsing away, and I have this sudden thought, "how long have I been standing here reading these magazines?" "Did anyone notice I was in a DIY trance?" ;)

    They usually have a pretty great assortment of organizing magazines and books, many of which you shared here in your post.

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    1. I agree, that's where I have found of few of them. So grateful for the Home Depot book section! :)

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  16. I've learned from my mom that any special magazine put out by Better Homes and Garden is a good one. I tried subscribing to their regular magazine and found it lacking...but their specials are great!

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  17. Ooh, thanks so much for sharing! You've listed some of my favorites, as well. I've been contemplating the Real Simple book for awhile now - apparently I need to pick it up!

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  18. Love BHG's storage solutions, and yes...so wish it was monthly!! Need to look into some of those others.

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  19. For a slightly different take on home organizing, I recently discovered Tsh Oxenreider's Organized Simplicity and her new ebook One Bite at a Time. It's more about simplifying your life before organizing your stuff, but they're both great reads.

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  20. Love this post today!! I am so drawn to any book or magazine that has the words "organize" or "storage" in them!! I, too, love Real Simple, Martha Stewart and Better Homes and Gardens!! The last organize book I bought is called Organized Simplicity which I love. Another favorite is Organize Now! I, too, don't like to do a lot of reading -- I just love looking at the pictures and dreaming!! Thanks for your blog!!

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  21. I love Martha, I TIVO her morning show every day. Because I live in Australia, I don't think I can get her magazines or any of her products... I want them so bad!

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  22. Thanks for this post! I added a couple of these to my Amazon wish list. :)

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  23. Thanks for sharing this great list. May have to make a detour on my way home from work tomorrow to Barnes and Noble!

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  24. Great choices! I love reading your blog but barely have the time to comment to let you know- so just wanted to take the time to tell you today:) Also, have you read Colin Cowie Chic- it has great organizing tips and encourages us to live well and beautifully- in all areas of our lives.

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  25. Thanks for this post. I just love looking at magazines and books. Unfortunatly I live in Australia and am unable to get the magazines you suggest. I have seen them sometimes but not all the time. I might have to order some books online. Thanks again for all the time and effort you put into your blog. I just love reading it.

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  26. Jen -- One of my favorite's books as well is Better Homes & Gardens: New Decorating Book!! I LOVE IT! Another one of my fav's by them is Small Space Planning (since I'm a college student and have been living in tiny apartments it was perfect for me!) Oh & BTW you're so right about these new "nicer magazines"... what is up?! They're like twice the price if not more just for a nicer cover & a few more pages? Dislike! Take care!

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  27. Hi Jen,
    thanks for sharing. I've wondered what inspires you. Love your blog.
    Love Jem:)

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  28. Thanks for the book suggestions! I have a bunch of mags, but always looking for new inspiration :)

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  29. I love this post! I am adding several of these items to my wish list. Thanks for sharing!

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  30. Thanks for the awesome post! I read a lot of the same things! I found a great book a few weeks ago..."Unstuff Your Life" by Andrew Mellen. It is a wondergul guide and very comprehensive! You should check it out! http://www.amazon.com/Unstuff-Your-Life-Completely-Organize/dp/1583333894/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1328632035&sr=8-6

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  31. I am not a Martha fan, but I do buy her organizing magazines when I see them. I also don't get the regular Better Homes and Gardens, but do get the two special ones you mentioned, plus I recently bought two cooking ones that we are hooked on. Here is one you might want to check out, it's new (http://www.gettingorganizedmagazine.com/) I read the ebook sample one and liked it enough to go ahead and get a year subscription to see if I like it enough or not.

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  32. Thanks, I might consider buying one or two of them if they are available here. My favourite book on that subject is "Organizing your home" by Emily Wilska. It has so many helpful checklists in it, I read it over and over. It has also inspired a few organizing projects including organizing the classroom at school.
    Jule

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  33. Hi Jen,
    Could you tell me what kind of edition do you own? the hardcover or the paperback? Thanks

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  34. I actually ran out at lunch today and picked up 3 of the magazines you like. They are all good reads, but I couldn't buy all of them at one time. ;) Thanks for sharing. I can't wait to curl up on the couch and start to be inspired. :) Thanks for sharing Jen.

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  35. Honestly, your blog is better than any magazine or book I could get!

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    Replies
    1. I think that is one of the most amazing compliments I have ever received.

      Thank you!!!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  36. Thank you for sharing these, I can't wait to look into them!

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  37. Thanks Jen- I love this post! I have the rollout door guy coming tomorrow to start shelving for the kitchen. Yay! 1st project will be done and off to many more.... Cant wait to pick up these quarterly Better Homes and Gardens

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  38. Hi again Jen,
    I forgot to tell you what I was talking about? I`d like to buy the book Real Simple: the organized home, but there are two editions, one in hardcover and the other one in paperback, could you tell me which one would be the best? (and sorry for my bad English but I`m a non-native speaker).
    Thanks.

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    1. Hi Luci!

      I have the hardcover and LOVE it. I typically purchase hardcover when I can since they make great coffee table books and look lovely on a bookshelf, not to mention they just seem to last longer.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  39. Thanks for these great recommendations. I also suggest "Organizing from the Inside Out" by Julie Morgenstern. Although it's not a decor book, it's a great way to start thinking about getting organized.
    tina@spotonorganizing.com

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  40. Jen, thanks! I ran right out and got the special edition Martha Stewart magazine and the BH&G Storage (didn't know these existed). A great book that has helped me too is Houseworks: Cut the Clutter, Speed Your Cleaning and Calm the Chaos by Cynthia Ewer. I'm in Canada and just received my Staples flyer ... wondering if you've seen the Martha Stewart Home Office Collection with Avery (now at Staples). Love Martha and the collection looks great! Even has those popular chalkboard labels and color coordinated binder systems. Going out tomorrow to check them out - I was just about to start my home management binder and recipe binder projects so perfect timing.
    http://www.avery.com/avery/en_us/Products/Martha-Stewart-Home-Office-with-Avery.htm

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    1. Yay on your magazine finds! I hope you love them as much as I do!

      I have been to Staples, scoped out the goodies, took some pictures for the blog and snagged some up for myself to adore.

      I love any Martha Stewart line. Love love.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  41. I loved this post so much that I spotlighted it for Lots of Link Love at my blog, Stress Case.

    http://stresscasey.blogspot.com/2012/02/lots-of-link-love.html

    Lots of Link Love is a link-up to encourage bloggers to highlight their fellow bloggers' exceptional posts every other week. I would love if you shared Lots of Link Love with your readers, and if you considered linking up with me for the next one!

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  42. If only postage to the UK was cheaper!!!!

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