Unclutter Your Life In One Week: Book Review

unclutter-your-life-cover

I actually wrote yesterday’s post, Some Thoughts on Clutter, a couple of weeks ago. I’d been thinking about my clutter and scribbled out the words by hand. Before I had a chance to upload it on the site, I learned that Erin Doland, Editor-In-Chief at Unclutter.com, was preparing for the launch of her new book. I really like the website, but didn’t know if I wanted/needed to read yet another book on getting rid of clutter. As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve read a lot, but still haven’t taken much action. On a whim, I emailed Erin and asked for a review copy of her new book. She kindly agreed and sent it to me.

Many of the positive things in my life have come about as the result of a whim. I’m so glad that I took the time to contact Erin. I found the book inspiring and, most importantly, do-able. Erin’s motto: simplicity is revolutionary. Clear the clutter so you can pursue what you love the most.

The problem I’ve had with many of the other books I’ve read is that the tone can be off-putting. Some authors attempt to amuse you and much of the time reading the book is taken up with skimming and skipping around silly jokes to get to the point. Other authors take a more therapeutic approach and try to assume the persona of a dear old friend who wants to counsel you through your issues with clutter. Others assume the reader is exactly like they are, and so they provide the one set of steps and tips that worked for them.

When I take the time to read a book about simplifying my life, I’m not interested in being entertained or looking for a friend, and the way my personality works and the way my life runs may not be exactly like that of the author.

Enter, Erin Doland’s book, Unclutter Your Life in One Week. This book really is different and if I’d found it first, I could have saved myself a lot of time and money.

What I like:

◊ The tone of the book is casual, but to the point. The impression I came away with is that Erin is like a lot of us — she once struggled with clutter, but has found a way to straighten it out. She does, however, realize that everyone has a different style and that what worked for her may not work for everyone. For each of the “steps” she walks the reader through, she offers several methods of accomplishing the tasks that are sustainable for a variety of personality types.

◊ The book is comprehensive. Erin addresses all three of the main types of clutter: clutter in your home, clutter at work, and clutter in your life. There are tips for reducing the clutter in each of these areas each day.

◊ The goal is clear from the beginning. When you reduce the amount of stuff in your life and streamline your routines you have more time and space for the things you enjoy. In the first section, titled “Foundations,” she writes, “Simple living isn’t about depriving; it’s about enriching. You’re getting rid of what doesn’t belong to make room for what does.”

What’s inside:

The book is divided into days of the week. There are 3 primary tasks for each day.

Monday: Your Wardrobe, Your Office, Your Reception Station

Tuesday: Your Bathroom, Your Files, Your Chores (Creating Routines)

Wednesday: Your Bedroom & Commute, Communication at Work, Your Kitchen & Dining Room

Thursday: Your Living Spaces, Working at Work, Your Home Office

Friday: Scheduling Strategies, Routines at Work, Living with Clutterers

Weekend: Taking Care of Yourself, Preparation, Making the Most of Your Personal Time, Vacations, Socializing

And finally a section on “Celebrating and Maintaining Your Success”

Throughout the book, Erin includes worksheets and charts to make the whole process easier. There is even a comprehensive list for both Fall and Spring cleaning.

This may just be the resource that helps me finally tackle my clutter. I plan to post periodic updates of my progress in hopes that doing so publicly will encourage me to achieve the goal.

If you feel at all overwhelmed by your stuff or if you feel like you need a plan to make your days run more smoothly, I can’t recommend Unclutter Your Life in One Week enough. It’s available on Amazon in hardcover for only $14.96 and the Kindle edition is $9.99.