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Wanda's Book Reviews

I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles.  (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).

Decluttering at the Speed of Life / Dana White

Decluttering at the Speed of Life: Winning Your Never-Ending Battle with Stuff - Dana White

While the world seems to be in love with the idea of tiny houses and minimalism, real women with real families who are constantly growing and changing simply can’t purge it all and start from nothing. Yet a home with too much stuff is a home that is difficult to maintain, so where do we begin? Add in paralyzing emotional attachments and constant life challenges, and it can feel almost impossible to make real decluttering progress.

In Decluttering at the Speed of Life, decluttering expert and author Dana White identifies the mind-sets and emotional challenges that make it difficult to declutter. Then, in her signature humorous approach, she provides workable solutions to break through these struggles and get clutter out—for good!

 

This was exactly what I needed this week--an inspirational book to spur me to get a few things done around the house. I took a week off to do things like tackle my laundry mountain, tame the paper piles, do some pre-emptive cooking, and generally clean & reorganize some of the corners of my home that have been driving me crazy.

Generally speaking, I find White’s advice to be very practical. Start with the easy stuff--take out the garbage, do the recycling, move as many of the things as you can without having to make big decisions. It needs to be done so just do it.

She also has you ask yourself a practical question: if I was looking for this, where would I look first? Then go put that thing there. Question two I found a bit iffy: Would I even remember that I had this if I needed one? Maybe its an indication that I really am on the verge of being contained and organized that I’m pretty sure I’m secure in the knowledge of what I own and where it lives.

I did love (and am stealing) her term for this work: deslobification. That’s exactly what I’m engaged in. Her other wonderful word is procrasticlutter. You know, that stuff that sits on the table, in the hallway, in your bedroom, etc. waiting for you to do it and then put it away. I am awful about this kind of thing, procrastinator that I am! 

Another concept that I will be grateful for as I move forward is that of a shelf or a closet as a container. Yes, I can have such-and-such a number of some thing--but only as much as the drawer or the shelf will contain. When the container is full, you must choose your favourites and then let go of the rest. A wonderful way to limit oneself!

Between this book and a bit of journaling (which I’ve also had time for this week) I’ve come to realize how much progress I’ve made in the organizing of my household and I’m feeling quite optimistic about it. 

Recommended as an inspirational text when you need a boost towards your household goals.