If there's a unifying theme to this fall's home-design books, it's a call to clean up your act: Get rid of the junk and clear out the toxins. In that spirit, we have compiled a streamlined list of titles worth considering for the limited space on your bookshelves. Among them are several elegant art books that are more than mere adornments (or clutter!). They offer a look inside beautiful homes and pay tribute to the work of some of our most esteemed architects.
ByEllen Phillips (Rodale, $17.95)
Ellen Phillips understands the problem in every hoarder's heart: the inability to distinguish things that are useful and loved from those that are not. Her cure, laid out with enthusiasm in "Kick the Clutter," comes in the form of worksheets, such as the "Love It-Lose It Spectrum," the "Item Action Plan" and the "Five Steps to a Clutter-Free Life," which includes signing a contract with yourself. She also offers a room-by-room discard guide (e.g., "take down five things from the front of the fridge"), beyond-the-trash ideas for what to do with your rejects (sell them on eBay, for example) and advice for keeping the clutter from returning (maintaining a thrift-shop donation bag). It may seem contradictory to purchase a book that preaches buy less, discard more. But sometimes a treatise full of tough-love tips is exactly what a pack rat needs to take that first step toward the dumpster.