5 Days to a Clutter Free House

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When you’re trying to sell your home and you get offered to write a review on a book called “5 Days to a Clutter Free House” you jump right on that.

I struggle with clutter – it’s not that my house is messy, it usually isn’t, but we like to ‘keep’ things. It’s what we do around here. But as so many of you know, all those little things tend to add up, and then there’s no room to keep them anymore, or if you’re like us in our transition in life, you have to box them up to move them, and it seems so so overwhelming.

5 Days to a Clutter Free House: Quick Easy Ways to Clear Up Your Space by Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims puts you on ‘The Mount Rushmore’ path to getting your home whipped into shape.

Here’s a summary of the book from the publisher:

– The “toe-to-head” approach cuts decision-making to a minimum so readers can transform their home in only five days.

– Beginning with everything below the knee on Monday, by Thursday the house should see a U-turn as open space emerges. Then it’s time to tackle the inside of drawers, cabinets before turning to the attic, utility room and garage. By Friday, surfaces should be clear, and readers can begin to have the organized home they always wanted but could never achieve.

– Once readers conquer the five-day plan, Felton and Sims give practical insights on living happily organized-ever-after including the ten minute tidy challenge and clutter-buster habits.

Essentially you ask a team of trusted people to help you conquer the clutter that has become your home, to make it a livable space again. The “Rushmore” portion comes into play with the 5 day plan. You’re “rushing” to get things done.

Now that doesn’t mean that you’ll give up decisions and just toss or give everything away, it simply means that the clutter gets boxed up with help, and then you can make the little and big decisions on your own time when you can handle them by yourself. An overwhelming task like dealing with a houseful of clutter can’t be done by one person alone, if it could there wouldn’t be shows like Hoarders on TV and professional organizers would be out of a job.

So what did I think of the ‘clutter challenge’ the book imparted? I took away a lot of good things from it. But I truly don’t think I could ever invite someone to help me clean my clutter. Maybe that’s a good thing and it means my home isn’t to the point that clutter has completely overtaken it. Or maybe it’s something I should pray about and it’s a pride issue. Whatever the reasons I’ve heard on more than one occasion through friends and acquaintances that the people that need plans and processes like this the most, are usually the ones that require full blown interventions because they’d never invite or initiate a decluttering process – but for what it’s worth, if you’re the type of person that could do that, ‘many hands make light work’ and all that.

What I did get from it though was the ‘daily’ method of de-cluttering which is such a logical process. You work through the clutter in zones. Not room by room but by surface area. So you start low (floors, low tables, bottom shelves, etc.), and work your way up. Boxing up anything you’re not sure about parting with, and tossing or giving away those things that you know right off the bat you no longer want or need.

This system helped me clear out a lot of the ‘clutter’ we’ve been collecting over the years. DVDs we no we’ll never watch again, books that won’t be read another time and ‘pieces’ of things we’ve kept because ‘you just never know when you might need them.’ (Most of which I didn’t even know what they originally belonged to anymore). So if you ask me, if you’re needing to declutter, even if you don’t use this book in its entirety, it’s worth getting. BUT — if you have an e-reader of some kind, buy it digitally if you can – it’s one less thing you’ll have ‘cluttering’ up your shelves 🙂

If you know someone who needs a decluttering intervention, buy this book to help them. I know it’s not easy to trust people to invite in your home and have your hidden messes laid bare, but if you can be one of those trusted people for someone else, I encourage you to be.

If clutter is making it hard for you to use your home to be a safe haven or a place other people can gather to have fellowship and make memories, then perhaps this book will start you out on a new way of living where you can even on your own, figure out what’s more important, stuff or people.

Available February 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

I received an e-book sample of this book for review purposes. All opinions are my own. Published by Tammy Litke.

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