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Summer is around the corner which means it’s the perfect opportunity to transform your living space into an organized oasis. Whether you’re looking to declutter your closets, tame unruly paperwork, or create a serene environment that sparks joy, a carefully curated reading list can be your guiding light on this transformative journey. Birchcliff resident Samantha Stermac from Sorted Spruce shares her favourite books about organizing just in time for the warmer months.

The “Philosophical” Read

Tidying Up with Marie Kondo: The Book Collection

  • The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
  • Spark Joy: An illustrated master class on the art of organizing and tidying up
  • Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life

If you liked these try: The Art of Discarding: How to Get Rid of Clutter and Find Joy by Nags Tatsumi

Marie Kondo was my very first book about organizing. Her first book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up offers a unique philosophy on organizing. Through Marie’s own experience and her client’s experience, she offers specific directions on how to organize. Her process has been critiqued for being too specific, like how to fold socks, but like any organizing philosophy, I suggest taking what works for you! For me, I often reflect on Marie’s philosophy about items we just aren’t sure about keeping. In her master class book, she explains that “when you decide to keep something that falls into the grey zone, treat it as though it were precious rather than giving it a half-hearted three-month grace period. This will free you from feelings of guilt or ambivalence. Put it where you can see it so that you won’t forget its existence.”

Marie credits Nagisa Tatsumi with helping her find her philosophy on organizing, so if you enjoyed and got through all of Marie’s book collection, check out: The Art of Discarding: How to Get Rid of Clutter and Find Joy.

The “Mental Shift” Read

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

If you liked this one try: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

Greg uses the analogy of decluttering your closet to explain the mindset shift required to also determine the vital few from the many. He explains that “essentialism is about creating a system for handling the wardrobe of our lives. […] It is a discipline you apply each and every time you are faced with a decision about whether to say yes or whether to politely decline.” Greg acknowledges that this type of selection requires serious consideration of trade-offs (we actually can’t and shouldn’t do it all), but through interesting examples of successful and non-successful business case studies, he provides thought-provoking questions we can ask ourselves to ensure we are focusing on what really matters to us.

If you enjoyed this book, also check out Mark Manson’s book, The Subtle Art of not giving a F*ck, for a humorous attempt at freeing yourself from opinion and focusing your attention on the vital few things that deserve your attention.

The “Downsizing” Read

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson

If you liked this try: Let it Go by Peter Walsh

I think if I could pick anyone dead or alive to sit down and have a meal with, Margareta would be up there on my list! Such a short and easy read, the book leaves you with a few Swedish philosophies about decluttering your life’s possessions so that someone else doesn’t have to. Her comical stories leave you feeling like you just had an afternoon tea with your neighbour and wanting to rethink your memory box.

If you enjoyed Margareta; Peter Walsh’s, Let It Go, will give you a more practical, Western perspective on downsizing. Through his own experience when downsizing his childhood home, as well as stories from others, he gets into the psychology behind dividing up family heirlooms and getting passed the emotion so that you can, well, let it go.

The “Visual Inspiration” Read

The Home Edit Life by Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin

If you liked this try: Minimalista by Shira Gill

If Pinterest-perfect, colour-coded books will inspire your next project, The Home Edit Life is the book for you. Each turn of the page leaves you with beautifully photographed home-organizing solutions that are sure to make a mark on your next credit card statement. Between the photos, are mini-quizzes, checklists and design tips. It’s not the realistic organizing book we need, but it’s the pretty book we flip through!

If you enjoyed the Home Edit’s books, check out Minimalista by Shira Gill. Similar to the Home Edit, Shira offers lots of inspiration pictures, with a twist of minimalism. Her calming aesthetic is far from the rainbow colour coding of the Home Edit but offers more practical advice for getting organized.

– Samantha Stermac, founder, Sorted Spruce

About Samantha

There is nothing Sam loves more than seeing a space function for the people living in it. Whether it’s a kitchen, a playroom, a closet or even a desktop, she believes that when our belongings have a thoughtful home, we make more room for the life we want to live.

Sorted Spruce is a product of a long-time love of organizing and a desire to help others find organizational systems that work for them through a judgement-free, consultative, process. Learn more about her in my “How I Became A Professional Organizer” blog post.

As a member of the Professional Organizers in Canada, Sorted Spruce Organizing Solutions are insured and follow best practices.

If you want to get in touch with Samantha to learn more about her services give us a call anytime!