Summer Reading With Friends

Summer is a great time to read. Whether you like to chill on a beach, relax in a hammock in the backyard, or lounge in a chair by the lake, a good read can be one of the true pleasures of the season. When it comes to summer books, we often reach for one that provides an escape: a mystery, romance, thriller, etc. These are always good choices. At the same time, summer provides the perfect opportunity to finally delve into a topic that’s been on the back burner. Of course, I think you can’t go wrong picking up a good “organizing” read.

When it comes to organizing and productivity books, there are a plethora of resources available. You may have heard of authors such as Marie Kondo, The Home Edit, James Clear, Charles Duhigg, Julie Morgenstern, or David Allen. All of these (and more) have quality books on the market. In this post, I want to make you aware of a few terrific books written by some of my friends. They may not pop up on the top of your Amazon search list, but I think they are just as worthy as those receiving wide media attention. I have a connection with each of these authors and thought it would be fun to give them a plug here on my blog. They are not compensating me in any way. In fact, they will probably be surprised to see their names here. I hope you enjoy!

The Circulation Solution: The Ultimate Organizing Approach For Lasting Clutter Relief

By Matt Baier

This is written by my friend and colleague Matt Baier. In addition to being a terrific organizer, he is a talented artist. His book is filled with practical, actionable advice, many memorable key principles, and a lot of original artwork.


The Other Side of Organized

By Linda Samuels

Linda is a friend and fellow organizer who has been in the industry for many years. She is compassionate and wise, and offers wonderful thoughts on change, motivation, and finding balance between perfection and chaos.


Organizing and Big Scary Goals: Working With Discomfort and Doubt To Create Real Life Order

By Sara S. Skillen

Sarah is a writer I met through a blogging group. Her book is like a series of short stories that help you move beyond shame, frustration and fear into solutions that work for you.


Clever Girl’s Guide to Living with Less: Break Free from Your Stuff, Even When Your Head and Heart Get in the Way

By Kathy Vines

Kathy is a friend I met through NAPO, the National Association of Productivity and Organizing professionals. A talented writer with a friendly voice, Kathy gives great advice for how to make decisions about your belongings.


Making Time Work For You

By Harold Taylor

Harold has been in the productivity business for decades. I met him through an organization called Faithful Organizers, a group of professional organizers who follow Christ. Harold has written more than 30 books throughout his career. Many of them are available as eBooks. The book above is one that garnered a lot of attention and is very helpful for anyone looking to use time better.


Filled Up and Overflowing: What to do When Life Events, Chronic Disorganization, or Hoarding Go Overboard

By Diane N. Quintana and Jonda S. Beattie

Diane and Jonda are fellow organizers and a powerhouse team. Their book offers helpful advice for individuals and families who are dealing with hoarding and other chronically challenging situations. If you or someone you love is struggling, this book can help.


Suzie’s Messy Room, Benji’s Messy Room

By Diane N. Quintana and Jonda S. Beattie

Diane and Jonda have also teamed up for these two books to read with children. Some children are born with an innate desire and proclivity for establishing and maintaining order, but most children need to be taught these skills. If you are tired of nagging, or don’t know how to bring this up with your child, these books might help.


Happily Organized: Little Stories About My Mom, the Most Organized Person in the World

by Susan Lovallo

Susan is a fellow organizer, co-member of FOCUS – a local consortium of professional organizers – and friend. She and I even found that we used to work for the same employer in a previous life. Susan’s book is a poignant memoir about her life growing up with her mother, whom she nicknames “The Most Organized Woman in the World.” This is fun to read and full of great tips.


How to Do It Now Because It’s Not Going Away: An Expert Guide to Getting Stuff Done 

By Leslie Josel

Leslie is a friend I met through the organizing community, and she also happens to live in the New York Metro area as I do. Leslie is a powerhouse on working with teens and has used her personal experience with her son to develop a variety of helpful strategies and tools to help young people. The ideas she shares would help adults as well!


The Organized Bride’s Thank You Note Handbook

By Stacey Agin Murray

Stacey is a fellow blogger and author of this delightful book that helps brides manage the “thank you note” process. This would make a perfect gift for the “bride to be” in your life.


Don’t Toss My Memories in the Trash: A Step-by-step Guide to Helping Seniors Downsize, Organize, and Move 

By Vickie Dellaquila

I have to admit I’ve never met Vickie, but I feel like I have. Vickie is also a member of NAPO, and this book is repeatedly recommended on our community share boards. Downsizing can be stressful, but Vickie’s book makes the whole process easier.


After the Funeral: A Practical Memoir for Administering Your Loved One’s Estate  

By Eileen Moynahan

Eileen was a guest speaker at a fall conference that I help to plan each year in CT (NERCPO) for organizers throughout the northeast. In this book, Eileen shares all she learned serving as an executor of an estate. This is one of those books that it is wise to read and then keep on the shelf for reference.

*     *     *

In addition to these great reads, I’m looking forward to a few books “coming soon” from a couple of friends.

Perfectly Arranged

releasing Oct 26, 2021 by Liana George

This is a fun piece of fiction with an organizing twist. Here is a preview blurb: “A Marie Kondo wanna-be and her eccentric client embark on an overseas adventure to investigate a family secret only to discover hidden treasures they never expected.


[Cover art still in progress]

What’s a Photo Without the Story? A Guide to Leaving Your Family Legacy

By Hazel Thornton

Hazel and I have crossed paths in multiple organizing channels. In addition to being an organizer, Hazel has developed a passion and skill for genealogy. Hazel says, “I wrote this book to encourage and help you — yes, you! — to tell your family stories; even — especially! — if you are not a genealogist, or a photo organizer, or a writer.” I can’t wait for this one.

*     *     *

I hope you get the chance to curl up in a favorite spot with one of these wonderful resources. What books do you recommend for summer reading?

30 thoughts on “Summer Reading With Friends”

  1. What a great round-up, especially our 2 NAPO-CT colleagues! I’m psyched for Liana’s book to come out and After the Funeral is one I can recommend to a few people right now.

  2. What an incredible list of summer reading! And thank you so much for the lovely shout-out and inclusion in this wonderful list of books. I’ve read many of them, but there are a few I haven’t. Your descriptions got me intrigued. While I enjoy reading books related to organizing, my summer reading list doesn’t include any…at least not yet. 🙂

    The several I’m currently reading are “The Mindful Day,” “Small Changes,” “Compassionate Conversations,” “Minor Feelings,” and “Forest Bathing.” I tend to have multiple books going at once.

    1. So happy to share the news of your terrific book, Linda! Like you, I always have a few books going at once. I’ll be checking out some from your list now. 🙂

  3. FABULOUS! I own and have read many of these books, and can’t wait to read Liana and Hazel’s masterpieces. Two of the other books, The Circulation Solution and Happily Organized, are brand new to me, and I can’t wait to learn more! And I’ve had After the Funeral on my to-read list for a while, so it’s time to jump in.

    As an author, I know how much all of our colleagues will appreciate these surprise PR plugs! You’ve done a good deed — for you readers and for the authors!
    Julie Bestry recently posted…Noteworthy Notebooks (Part 9): Epilogue and UpdatesMy Profile

  4. Thank you for these great summer reading recommendations. I have already read The Other Side of Organized and Clever Girl’s Guide to Living with Less. They were both great reads, and I highly recommend them! I will have to check out some of the other books on your list soon.

  5. What a fabulous collection! Perfectly Arranged sounds like a fun read. October will be here before we know it.
    I took your advice and just bought the bride in my life (my daughter) The Organized Bride’s Thank You Note Handbook. Since I’m joining her to register this week, I know she’ll get a kick out of it. Though she is pretty organized.

    1. Oh, have so much fun going through the registry process with your daughter! Congratulations!! That is so fun. Hopefully she’ll enjoy the book, and she can always pass it on to the next bride in her life. 🙂

  6. Great ideas-many sound interesting to me and I’m about to go away where I will have more time to read. Thanks for the suggestions.

Leave a Reply to Matt Baier Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.