Title: Unclutter Your Life in One Week
Author: Erin Rooney Doland
Published: 2009 Pages: 256
Genre: *mutters under breath: self help*
Rating: Helpful but not Earth-shattering
In Short: Doland provides helpful hints and strategies to clearing the clutter from your home and office by tackling one area each day.
Why I Read It: Absolutely 100% random library selection thatI had to renew 3 times before actually finding the time to read it.
Thoughts in General: Hi. My name is Trish and I’m a packrat. I’m also married to a packrat. While we are not hoarders, we have a fair amount of clutter in our home and it is driving me crazy. Seriously–in my hormonal (pregnant) state the clutter has caused a few meltdowns recently. Too often, though, I hang on to the thought that “what if I need that again one day!” or “there are so many memories tied with this object.” And the clutter seems to have multiplied with the little human(s) invading my living space. I know I need to let go of some things but it’s hard!
What areas of your life will you organize using Unclutter Your Life in One Week as a guide? In order: your wardrobe, your desk, a home reception station, your bathroom, office and home files, the home chore list, you bedroom, email, the kitchen and dining room, the pantry (shudders), your living spaces, your schedule!, and your routines. Plus much much more. With each topic Doland provides the methods to clearing the clutter (removing everything from the pantry seems so daunting but I can see why it’s necessary!). For me, though, it’s not how to get rid of the stuff, it’s actual doing. And the time, of course–it takes time to digitize photographs or upload all those music CDs I have stashed away.
What I would have found really useful with this book is a person who comes with it who can tell me that it’s OK to get rid of this and that. I need someone to hold my hand! Or someone sitting next to me saying “Trish, are you really going to teach yourself how to speak French using this textbook from 10 years ago?” I can be this person for Scott and I could probably be this person for you, but it’s hard for me to be my own cheerleader or clutter-coach. So basically I could read books on uncluttering all day long, but at the end of the day it’s all a lot easier said than done.
But…I vow to at least think about whether or not I need to keep the stationary I’ve had since I was a tween.
Bits I Dogeared:
“Without clutter and chaos, you sleep well because you don’t have stress weighing on your mind. You wake up refreshed and ready to face the day…Even though you’re active, there is a comfortable flow to your day.” [really?]
“If you have more books than shelf space, you will always have books cluttering up your living spaces.” [I have no idea what this is like…]
“I’m not suggesting that you become a maid and constantly clean up after the people in your home, but you can lend a hand once in a while. It’s a difference of five seconds fixing a problem versus two hours being pissed that there is a pair of dirty socks on the living room floor. Don’t clutter up your emotions if you don’t have to.” [if you live with a clutterbug who doesn’t want to change–emphasis mine]
“Stop making excuses. You can come up with reasons for why you can’t do something until you’re blue in the face. Instead of wasting the energy coming up with those reasons, use that same energy to find ways to make it happen. You’ll be surprised by your ingenuity” (223). [on deciding whether to continue a hobby]
Bottom Line: Unclutter Your Life in One Week is an easy book to digest and it was easy to skim the parts that don’t necessarily relate to me at this time (mostly the work bits). I did gather some helpful hints but overall I didn’t learn anything from this book that I didn’t already know or that wasn’t common sense. Sometimes, though, we just need to be told what we need to do and the little steps to get results. The book does contain a comprehensive fall and spring cleaning list which I found to be more valuable than any of the other information provided. I copied these for future reference (electronic of course!) but I’m guessing you could easily find similar lists on Pinterest or through a Google search.
Now that I’m not working every day and patiently waiting for this baby to make her arrival I’ve been working on decluttering the house in little chunks. Trying to unclutter years of living in seven days is a bit ambitious, but I’ve been making small strides. We took a truck-load of goods to Salvation Army and sold a few items on eBay. I’ve cleaned out the pantry and gathered up a bag of books to take to the library. I tossed the items in my bathroom that I haven’t used in years and am hoping to make a little more progress every day.
Will I ever completely unclutter my life and my home? Probably not–old habits die really hard. But it’s all about the baby steps, y’all.
How do you deal with clutter in your homes, offices, lives? Do your kitchen counters accumulate stuff like mine do or do you have a magic solution for keeping the clutter at bay?