- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (Marie Kondo)
- The Minimalist Home (Joshua Becker)
- Real Life Organizing: Clean and Clutter-Free in 15 Minutes Per Day (Cassandra Aarssen)
- Decluttering at the Speed of Life: Winning your Never-Ending Battle with Stuff (Dana White)
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie KondoThe first book I read on decluttering was, not surprisingly, Marie Kondo’s book. While it didn’t all connect with me, there were various aspects that made a lot of sense and her book (and her show now too) has helped a lot of people effectively declutter their homes.
Kondo’s order of operations:
- komono (everything else)
Marie Kondo’s process includes:
- take everything out
- group by type
- spark joy
- assign a home
- using boxes for organization
Take everything outGetting everything out when working in a closet, garage, or storage area is beneficial. It can be easy to leave boxes that haven’t been touched in years and continue to do so. Likewise, it can be easy to assume everything on a shelf is being used unless you take the time and effort to take everything down and look through it piece by piece. Getting everything out will force you to make decisions.
Group by typeGrouping by type allows you to see the amount of items you have in a particular category and makes is easier to eliminate duplicates.
Sparking joyWhile I like the question of whether or not certain items in your home ‘spark joy’, I don’t think it is the be all end all of why you should or shouldn’t keep each item. It is an emotionally based question. Does my can opener spark joy? No. But should I still keep it? Yes. I prefer the questions do I love it and do I use it, which I talk about in figuring out what clutter is in your home.
Assigning a homeI also am an advocate for assigning everything a home. One of the causes of clutter is not knowing where an item belongs. If you assign it to a particular space, then you always know where it goes.
OrganizingKondo’s method for organizing is wonderfully simple. I love that she reuses boxes and doesn’t do anything complicated or expensive for storing items. I also like that she focuses on being able to see what you have.
The Minimalist Home by Joshua BeckerThis book is a room by room guide for decluttering your home. Joshua begins with easiest spaces to most difficult to declutter. His reasoning is that you need to work up your decluttering muscles and you will get more confident as you go. I would advise the same thing. You can use that momentum to move on to bigger and more challenging spaces to declutter.
Order of operations:
- living room/family room
- closets & mudroom
- bathrooms & laundry room
- kitchen & dining room
- home office
- storage/hobby room/toy room
- garage & yard
The Becker Method:
- think through your goals
- involve family members
- methodically go through each room and ask yourself if you need those items (if you don’t, put it in a box for trash, sell, donate, or recycle)
- have fun
- revisit your goals and enjoy your newly minimized space
Real Life Organizing: Clean and Clutter-Free in 15 Minutes Per Day by Cassandra AarssenCass Aarssen, also known as the Clutter Bug due to her youtube channel, has a unique perspective on clutter and organization. Cassandra refers to herself as a slob who has learned how to deal with clutter and organize over time due to necessity. She has now helped countless people with their clutter as a professional organizer.
Order of operations
- start by filling a garbage bag
- 15 minutes per day
Decluttering at the Speed of Life: Winning your Never-Ending Battle with Stuff by Dana WhiteDana White, also known as A Slob Comes Clean, due to the name of her blog, writes in a very humorous and direct way. This book is great for people who would describe their homes as very messy. Dana’s approach is geared toward people who have no natural bent toward organized and clutter-free living. If you feel like you are at the opposite end of the spectrum, her no-nonsense book is a great place to start.
Order of operations:
- most visible spaces first
- use any amount of time
5 step method:
- do the easy stuff
- ‘duh’ clutter
- ask 2 questions (where would I look for this first? would it occur to me that I already had this item?)
- make it fit (container limitations)