Organizing Kids – Book Review – Benji’s Messy Room


Teach Kids Organizing Skills Using Fiction

Benji’s Messy Room is a beautifully illustrated book with a purpose – to get kids organized. Cowritten by two professional organizers, Jonda Beattie and Diane Quintana, this book is written in first person in the voice of Benji, who takes you along on his journey from a messy to immaculate room in manageable-sized steps.

The story begins with a bit of defiance and a feeling of being overwhelmed by his mess, but Benji progresses through the task of room cleaning and reducing his toy collection in a step-by-step process (which includes a reward at the end).

The authors include tips and techniques for teaching organizing at the end, but the real meat is in the story itself, which was written by two women, both teachers, in a way that engages kids visually through a compelling, first-person narrative that kids can identify with as they build their own tidying habits.

Teaching kids to organize is a skill that they’ll benefit from their whole lives, both personally and professionally. Benji’s Messy Room is a fun learning tool that young mothers, grandmothers, teachers and professional organizers alike will appreciate. A female counterpart book, Suzie’s Messy Room is also available.

The illustrations are visually compelling, warm, distinctive, and entertaining, which kids will surely love. Both Quintana and Jonda Beattie are certified professional organizers and teachers, so they know how to communicate with children, as evident in this delightful book. Find out more on Jonda’s professional organizing website.

Book Review: Organize Now!

Organize NowRecently Jennifer Ford Berry asked me to review her newly revised book – Organize Now! A week-by-week guide to simplify your space and your life.

I gladly jumped on it – I love organizing books!

I have to say, first off, that I love the book itself. It’s a hard bound spiral notebook that looks like a leather bound daily planner. The pages are thick to withstand frequent use and make quick referencing easy. The pages of each section are accented with fun colors and coordinating prints and sprinkled with some great quotes. It’s just an all-around fun book to look at and use! Read more

What IS a Disorganized Person to Do?

book coverI’ve been thumbing through a book called “What’s a Disorganized Person to Do?” (317 ideas, tips, projects, and lists to unclutter your home and streamline your life) by Stacey Platt. What a great book!

Its a handy-sized, go-to manual for organizing anything. It starts off with some basic principles and ideas about organizing, and then sets off room by room though the house, giving helpful tips, tricks and simple projects to organize everything! You can easily flip to the color coded section corresponding to the area of your home (or life) you’re working on and find just what you need. It even comes with two pages of project stickers in the back to help you organize what you’re working on!

Stacey’s entire premise for this book is based on “lessons from the silverware drawer”; Read more

Learning Inner Productivity

innerproductivityThere have been so many great books written which give us the tools, tips and tricks for getting things done in an organized and efficient way. And they have been so helpful for me. But there are still times when I find myself procrastinating or avoiding certain tasks, even though I have the skills to conquer them, and not really understanding why I’m putting them off. Does this happen to you?

Well, I found a fantastic book that is helping me address exactly that. Read more

Charity Profile: Books for Soldiers

If you love to read, I bet you’ve got a pretty nice stockpile of books. I’ll go even further and say that I bet you only read 2-5 of those books on a regular basis, and the rest are just “dust collectors.”

Am I right or am I right?

I just came across a wonderful charity that can help you downsize your library, opening up a little more space for something else! It’s called Books for Soldiers. Read more

Household Routines Improve Your Happiness

Getting organized — specifically getting into a household routine — is scientifically proven to improve your overall well-being.

According to the book The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People, it’s important to establish a schedule to take your tasks from “To Do’s” to “To Done.”

Dr. David Niven writes: “We often feel overwhelmed by the chores that have to be done on a regular basis. Read more

Food Drying with an Attitude

pineapple-flowersThink food dehydrators are just for jerky and dries apples? Think again!

We found the coolest book – Food Drying with an Attitude!

Along with really cool pictures (like the one here – Dried Pineapple Flowers!), it has directions for making everything from melt-in-your-mouth Kale Flakes to Unforgettable Spam Jerky (yeah, you read it right – Spam!). Read more

The Clutter-Busting Handbook

clutter-busting-handbookDo you ever feel frustrated with organizing advice? At times I find myself thinking “Yeah, easy for her! She was probably born organized!”

Well, Rita Emmett has written a great little handbook for the rest of us – for the unlucky souls who were born messy.

The Clutter-Busting Handbook is a humorous and practical look at why we have clutter and what we can do about it. Her helpful advice will help you rid your life of clutter once and for all! Not only does she deal with the “how-to’s” of going through and getting rid of stuff, but she addresses why we have it around in the first place and walks us through how to get over those (sometimes crippling) learned behaviors. Definitely a must-read! Check it out in our “Good Reads from Clutter Control Freak” section to the left.

Lose Your Excess Clutter Weight


My Food offered a great motivational tip for losing weight. If you want to lose 20 pounds, place a 20 pound weight where you’ll see it. Put it on the dining room table or on the sofa. This will remind you of how much extra weight you are carrying around. The article went on to say, “ We tend to not notice the drag–especially since the weight tends to come on slowly.”

The same could be said of clutter. It creeps up slowly, until one day it’s completely out of control. This reminds me of a clever decluttering book by Don Aslett, Lose 200 lbs. this weekend. People are often surprised by the amount of excess they have tucked away. How many excess pounds of clutter are you storing? Is it weighing you down? Maybe it’s time to lose it.