A few weeks ago, fabulous Anne Lightfoot of Done and Done Home contacted me to review their new book, “Love Your Home Again,” about home organization.
Of course, I said yes!
After all, some of you may recall, Ann and her daughter Kate Pawlowski are the mother-daughter, darling, and dynamite team who own Done & Done home, a company they created to organize, teach, and inspire others.
I was fortunate because back in 2018, Ann and Kate came to my New York apartment to get me organized.
And, not only that but Ann and Kate came back a second time.
I’ve never seen two women work so hard in my life. I just sat there and said, toss, keep, I dunno. haha
Fortunately, I’m not one to buy things excessively.
However, Ann and Kate still carted away TWENTY garbage bags filled with stuff, either for donation or garbage. True, 90% of it was work-related samples and whatnot I no longer needed. It’s true; home organization has never come easily to me.
Then, a couple of years later, Ann and Kate created a fantastic course to teach people how to organize for themselves. Many of you purchased the course. More about that later on, because there have been some changes.
As promised, a box containing the book arrived at least a month ago.
In typical fashion, it took me two weeks to open the box and another ten days to look inside to discover some surprises.
Ann and Kate aren’t ones to do things half-assed. No-sirree. Not only did they send the book and a lovely personal note, but I found lots of other goodies; so, thoughtful of them.
Inside the box, I found:
- The book, Love Your Home Again :]
- Post-its and a sharpie for labeling piles of things as one sorts.
- A tape measure to make sure any organizing products will fit.
- Clear garbage bags for items going for donation
- A Done & Done Home tape measure to make sure any organizing products will work (I’ll add it to my collection)
- And, a custom cookie as my reward. Please go here to see how the cookies were made!
And, then I read the note on the 9th that said I needed to send out the review by the 10th.
Blessedly, I explained to Ann what happened, and she couldn’t have been more understanding.
Okay, Laurel. We get it. You’re disorganized, and you got a free book, and now you’re obligated to say nice things about it, even if it’s crap.
Gosh, you’re almost as cynical as I am. haha
First, you’re absolutely correct about the “free book.”
Please understand that I’m not obligated to do shite. In fact, Ann and Kate said it was my choice to write about the book or not.
Excluding the HOT SALES, have you guys noticed how seldom I sponsor or endorse ANYTHING?
The only things I link to are items I use, love, and believe in.
I agreed to review Ann’s and Kate’s book because I know it will be terrific. What sets them apart is that they understand the roadblocks that trip people up. And, they make organizing not only as easy as possible but, dare I say, fun?
The other thing I can attest to from my experience with their system is that once it’s done, it’s DONE.
YES! Done and Done!
In plain English, what I’m trying to say is that once an object is put in one spot, there’s a tendency for it to stay there whether it belongs there or not. Henceforth, a messy home stays messy, and a tidy, organized home tends to stay that way.
Yes, I know. You live with five 300-pound gorillas.
That is addressed in not so many words. ;]
So once your things are organized, your home will be far easier to maintain. For example, after they did my main closet, it stayed just as beautiful until I packed everything to move two and a half years later.
If you live in the New York Metropolitan area, including New Jersey and western Connecticut, you can have the services of in-person help for organizing or moving.
But, not everyone can afford these services. That’s why they’ve created their courses and written their new book.
The book has a beautiful layout and is easy to follow. On Amazon you can read the first several pages of the book.
As an overview, Ann and Kate begin with an introduction that explains how they started their home organization business and their philosophy.
They promise to make it fun and clear about how to achieve the home of your dreams. Their non-judgmental and positive approach is infectious. They also go on to say that no home is beyond help.
The first chapter is: “Prepare for Success.”
In this chapter, they go over the terms they use throughout the book. And, they address some common fears that hold people back, such as:
It’s important to know that the initial phase of decluttering makes things look worse before they get better.
That’s because their approach is to pull everything out and put it into piles.
- Dump/or Recycle
But, when we were organizing my space, I remember Ann and Kate saying how important it is not to get hung up on the undecided items. Make a fourth pile for the undecided items.
In the end, 90% of that pile went bye-bye.
The point is, we didn’t waste time hemming and hawing.
This is the sort of no-nonsense advice and “pro tips” liberally scattered throughout the book, as they address each home area and each space’s unique functions.
Each subsequent home area gets its unique chapter and begins with an important question. It’s a question I also asked my interior design clients.
How do you use this space?
By answering this question, you’ll have a framework for what you’ll need for that space.
It sounds so simple. But, in reality, how many of us do that?
Another simple point, which I’m guilty of, is to store items where they don’t belong.
Ann and Kate point to the kitchen, where a lot of bulky, oversized, and extra items are taking up valuable real estate that regularly used items require. Thus, things are crammed into spaces and difficult to find.
See the problem?
One chapter that I have a keen interest in covers the kitchen.
Most of us disorganized types tend to keep things in the kitchen that shouldn’t be there.
By putting items like bottles of wine, extra packages of dried goods, paper goods, and cleaning supplies, elsewhere, we free up space for the items we need every day or weekly.
In addition to a substantial chapter on kitchens are chapters about:
- Entry Spaces
- Gathering Spaces
- Laundry, Linens, Cleaning, and Utility
- Children’s Space
- Home Office
- Storage Spaces
One of the things I love are the dozens of busted myths Ann and Kate share throughout the book.
These are common ideas we believe to be accurate but usually aren’t.
In addition to the Done and Done website, please follow Done & Done on Instagram. There is a wealth of fantastic information they share there about home organization.
I also love the tutorial on Done & Done’s Instagram, where Ann shares HOW to fold a fitted sheet.
Don’t overthink it. Hilarious!
Okay, I gave it a whirl. My fitted sheets are a queen size even though my bed is a full size. That’s because I hate struggling to get too-tight fitted sheets onto the mattress.
Was I able to fold it like Ann?
Well, pretty much, although it did take me a few tries.
Oh, and pleeeeeeease, no judging regarding the state of the wrinkled sheet.
Please understand that these are the sheets my son Cale uses when he visits, and it makes him nervous if there are no wrinkles. ;]
Once you’re at this stage, the rest is easy.
This is by far, the best I’ve ever managed to fold a fitted sheet. I think with practice, it will improve. So, thank you, Ann for the tutorial!
Laurel, didn’t you say something about another home organization course? Is the course redundant if one purchases the book?
Those are terrific questions.
Yes, there is a new course that is an ongoing, step-by-baby-step year-long (maybe longer) course with weekly lessons sent to you every seven days. The price is super-reasonable, as well. You can pay $7.99/per month or an annual sum of $79.00. That means you’ll get two months for free. And, even monthly, it’s only $1.99/week.
Laurel, I already purchased the first course. Is the second course different than the first course?
Okay, the first course no longer exists. And, yes, while there’s overlap, there’s a lot of new material in the second course. In addition, the entire approach is different as the weekly lessons are divided into small manageable bites.
The first course was 100% self-directed. That can create overwhelm, thus, abandoning things. This course, they feel, is a far better model.
But, here’s what Ann and Kate have done. If you purchased the first course and get the new book, you will get the new course for free!
That offer is ongoing and begins on September 14, 2022.
I highly recommend this book.
By the way, yes, that’s an affiliate link, as everything sold on Amazon is. There’s never any extra charge to you. I’m grateful you guys use my links because they help support this site.
One last thing. I see one review already on Amazon; she loves the book but says the print is too small. I don’t find it too small, and my vision is pretty bad. My reading glasses are now at 3.00+ magnification.
Bottom line. I have this wonderful home organization book, and I’m going to take the course, too. That’s how much I believe in Ann and Kate and their straightforward system.
PS: Please check out the newly updated HOT SALES! One note about that. They are updated on Tuesday, Thurs, Friday, and sometime Saturday. However, sometimes sales end on Monday or Wednesday, and Melissa and I haven’t had a chance to remove the items. Often, we don’t know when the item is going off sale. So, if you see something that isn’t on sale, it means it was on sale, and the sale ended.