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The Well-Ordered Home: Simple Techniques for Creating Serene and Inviting Space [Paperback]

Kathleen Kendall-Tackett
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 10 2003
Disorganization contributes significantly to stress, and leaves us feeling that instead of time for the important and fun things in life, there is just a never-ending pile of stuff. As an experienced housecleaner, organizer, and psychologist, Kathleen Kendall-Tackett has observed first-hand the therapeutic benefits of an organized home. She has witnessed a transformation in her clients' ability to manage time and stress once they learn simple techniques for creating a sense of order and serenity in their homes, and has distilled this knowledge into The Well-Ordered Home.

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First Sentence
I often find myself in the role of priest, as people share their guilty confessions of household disorder. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eating the Elephant June 19 2003
Format:Paperback
This book has become a permanent fixture at the breakfast spot on my kitchen table. It could easily be titled "How to Eat an Elephant." Every few days, I open to a different page and find out how to make my life sane. The author has done a great job of helping me approach very difficult household tasks and become good at them. This is after all another skill those of us who are not obsessively compulsive need to learn in order to survive life on the edge! So far her ideas have gone down better and have saved me real time and real money by not having to re-buy what I know I have already bought but can't couldn't find if you had a gun to my head! Her writing style is crisp and light and she approaches the negative emotion of why these tasks are so distasteful. As you read you feel she is right there at your kitchen table to help you through the tough spots. Enjoy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Can Do That! March 22 2004
Format:Paperback
I found Kathy Kendall-Tackett's book, The Well-Ordered Home an extremely helpful,easy-read book. I don't have hours of spare time to read lengthy diatribes that I can't remember five minutes after putting the book down. I prefer the two-pages-a-read kind of book, with common sense advice that I can apply the minute I stop reading, even at the midnight hour. This book is that kind of helpful tool. It's so much easier to follow someone who has been there and blazed the trail. Kathy leads me by the hand and gives me practical ways to get the job done in sprints as well as long distance runs. She anticipates my excuses for not tackling a job and addresses them before I whine them forth. As I finished each chapter, I said, "I can do that!" And I did . . . well, except for the garment groomer and lint roller. Think I can get it at Walmart? Thanks, Kathy!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful read March 22 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
A delighful new approach to home organization. Very focused on 50 specific areas that can be applied to many other situations. Great for the reader short on time but needing both motivation and an understanding of practical methods of organization for the busy family. Written in a positive and crisp manner...
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1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money. March 14 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is by far the worst, most superficial treatment of the subject matter I have ever seen. Dont waste your money on this book. You would do better with Don Aslett's books or Julie Morgenstein or both. This book was like an essay written by a bored middle school student.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
77 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the BEST books on the subject Feb. 9 2006
By Beth DeRoos - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a psychologist, researcher and lecturer the author shares

that she has cleaned homes for money while in school and that she faced firsthand the downside of being disorganized after her second child was born. So she's been there done that and knows what works. I appreciate her honesty, or the whole 'been there done that' attitude.

Her 4 key principles for household organization are Start where you are and don't make change a prerequisite for organization. Start where you are and work with the strengths you have. Have what you need. As a culture, we are inundated with stuff. Yet often we don't have what we need to work well. Use Active Storage. Active storage she notes means keeping things you use frequently in accessible areas. And Get Rid of Clutter. Because clutter she notes creates stress and make every job more difficult.

She lays out some helpful and workable suggestions in Part 2 titled Organization Begins in Your Mind where she shows traps to avoid like Perfectionism. Because as she notes perfectionists put things off until they can do them 'perfectly,' but also perfect doesn't exist so things never get done. The All Or Nothing Thinking where one thinks that if they cannot do everything NOW then they wont even start. Or Feeling that domestic work is not worth our time, because its deemed beneath smart people. When in fact a smart person will see the value in being organized and how it brings order and more free time to our lives.

Chapters 13, 14 deal very well with having the simplest yet best cleaning tools for cleaning home and laundry. Chapter 15 and 16 deal with an efficient but rightly stocked kitchen and pantry. To some her advise will seem to common sense, but having watched my share of friends kitchens and television shows dedicated to getting organized I know that common sense is a lost art to many, and being reminded to only have a few knives that one uses for the right task, and dumping the rest is sage advise.

Personally I was surprised and pleased to see Chapter 19 Order to Go where she notes for women 'Women carry around a lot of junk and often end up with a purse the size of a battleship.' Few if ANY books on decluttering or getting organzied ever deal with the #1 (in my opinion) problem for women which is their purse.

Personally I have a small, very small purse that is more like a passport purse since it can carry my money, credit card, cell phone. Its my belief that when we allow ourselves to get trapped in a big purse that we send a message to our family members that they need not plan better, since Mom will probably have what they need. You can keep as the author notes, items like a first aid kit, Power Bars, tablet and pen etc in the car when you need them. No need to carry a mini home with you.

The book is choked full of valuable information, and as someone who owns dozens of books on downsizing, decluttering, simple living, I am picky about recommending books on the subject since the last need someone needs who is wanting to declutter is useless books on the subject.
70 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eating the Elephant June 19 2003
By Renee Hauser - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book has become a permanent fixture at the breakfast spot on my kitchen table. It could easily be titled "How to Eat an Elephant." Every few days, I open to a different page and find out how to make my life sane. The author has done a great job of helping me approach very difficult household tasks and become good at them. This is after all another skill those of us who are not obsessively compulsive need to learn in order to survive life on the edge! So far her ideas have gone down better and have saved me real time and real money by not having to re-buy what I know I have already bought but can't couldn't find if you had a gun to my head! Her writing style is crisp and light and she approaches the negative emotion of why these tasks are so distasteful. As you read you feel she is right there at your kitchen table to help you through the tough spots. Enjoy!
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Can Do That! March 22 2004
By Marcy D. Alves - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I found Kathy Kendall-Tackett's book, The Well-Ordered Home an extremely helpful,easy-read book. I don't have hours of spare time to read lengthy diatribes that I can't remember five minutes after putting the book down. I prefer the two-pages-a-read kind of book, with common sense advice that I can apply the minute I stop reading, even at the midnight hour. This book is that kind of helpful tool. It's so much easier to follow someone who has been there and blazed the trail. Kathy leads me by the hand and gives me practical ways to get the job done in sprints as well as long distance runs. She anticipates my excuses for not tackling a job and addresses them before I whine them forth. As I finished each chapter, I said, "I can do that!" And I did . . . well, except for the garment groomer and lint roller. Think I can get it at Walmart? Thanks, Kathy!!
57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Superficial Advice and Not So Well Organized, Either! Jan. 25 2007
By Katherine Berry - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a born-organized person now facing clutter problems due to homeschooling my young son, I'd purchased this book hoping to find new perspectives on battling paper monsters and the inevitable slew of books, toys and crumbs that kids generate. Sadly, there is nothing new in here.

"Handle paper as it comes in" is something you can read at free websites on home-organization. Ditto for "keep a nice box or bin in each room to stash toys in at the end of the day."

But you'll have to read through various chapters to put that together: the author is continually bringing up a topic (e.g., closet organization) then promising "I'll go into that more in Chapter X." Well, guess what: each 'chapter' is only 2 pages long. How much organizational advice do you REALLY think you're going to get in 2 pages?

This book does not recommend any particular system, does not discuss advantages or disadvantages of the varying home-organization products out there, and doesn't even suggest routines or schedules you can adopt for your day.

What it does do is dispense saccharin, simplistic advice -- spend 15 minutes per day sorting through clutter and discard what's broken beyond repair; what's outdated; what you don't love, use or need; do a little bit every day; keep supplies where you need them; replenish supplies as they're depleted; and don't set your expectations unrealistically high.

There, I saved you money. I wish I'd saved my own, and also wish that the hour I spent reading this slim, trite book had been spent organizing my kitchen cupboards (yet another thing this book does not tell you how to do).
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It! Nov. 3 2005
By llreviews - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have several home organization and storage books, but this is the only one that I have actually read cover to cover. At first, when I got it, it was smaller than I was imagining and it had no pictures, so I thought I wouldn't like it. I was wrong! It gives ideas that make you maintain an organized house without much effort, once the initial setup of the suggested organizing ideas and techniques is in place. This book confirmed some of the things I was already doing that worked, it gave me new ideas and it helped me refine some that I already had in place. A quick and easy read and definitely suggested.
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