Thursday, December 15, 2011

5 books to help you (i.e. me) de-clutter that I won't use because I no longer do New Year resolutions

List by Tosca

"Excuse the mess but we live here."
- Roseanne Barr

I try not to make New Year resolutions. I learned a long time ago that 1) I suck at them and 2) more often than not I set myself up to fail. Usually within the first few days of having jotted down some goals *winces* So, these days I don't make resolutions. But if I were to do so...I'd set them right about now, when I'm feeling somewhat reflective and hopeful (or as hopeful as I get) and envisioning quiet days leading up to the week in between Christmas and New Year. I would look at de-cluttering my desk/home/life (take your pick, all are relevant). At work, my desk can go to hell in a handbasket from Monday - Thursday, but come Friday afternoon I leave it spotless. As for my home life, I share a house with siblings/nephews, so I've learned to give up a little (a LOT) of control. Half of us riding herd on each other while the other half disavows all knowledge of any mess-making can be...chaotic. To put it politely. My nephews are living proof that you can live surrounded by constant mess and still thrive and remain quite unconcerned about it all. This isn't necessarily a good thing, it's just how they roll. And it's all mess that they make themselves, I'd like to point out. One sibling is extremely 'particular' (her words, I'd have used something much stronger). You can't put something down for 10 seconds before she comes along to clean it up. We have an unspoken agreement that I keep my bedroom door firmly shut all of the time because it constantly looks like gale force winds swept through it. It's my private space so I'm rarely ever fussed by the fact that my shoes are not in orderly pairs, or that I vaguely chuck things in the direction of the hanging racks and am not bothered if they fall to the floor instead. (Which they invariably do). I call it 'organised chaos.' Extremely 'particular' sibling calls it lots of interesting words that can never be repeated in polite company :) So, were I into resolutions at all, I would set about de-cluttering my room (and my nephews and, if I'm honest, the pile of paperwork on my desk) and use the books listed below to get me on the right track. Although I'm not sure I shall ever discover how to make de-cluttering my home/life an addictive pleasure. That sounds...terrible, actually.

Lucky I don't do New Year resolutions, anymore, huh?

Clutter rehab : 101 tips and tricks to become an organization junkie and love it! / Laura Wittmann
With 101 quick-and-easy projects for organizing your bathroom, kitchen, closet and more, Clutter Rehab takes the stress out of home organizing. As you painlessly tackle piles of toys, stacks of paper and over-spilling drawers, you'll discover how to make de-cluttering your home an addictive pleasure.

Banish clutter forever : how the toothbrush principle will change your life / Sheila Chandra
A revolutionary system to help even the most disorganized person live in a state of clutter-free bliss, forever Why is it that even the most disorganized person never seems to lose their toothbrush? How can this simple fact solve all clutter problems? The Toothbrush Principle is a simple yet inspired approach to decluttering any home. Whether in a mansion or a one bedroom apartment, this book will teach readers how to organize according to the unconscious blueprint that naturally tidy people have, so that getting and staying organized is easy. Using this system, readers will learn what to throw away with confidence; how to set up a wardrobe to get much more use out of the clothes they already have; how to work from home productively in a clear, designated space; and how to tame their inbox! Step-by-step, room-by-room, those looking to lose their clutter will soon find that they hardly ever lose things, that massive clear-outs become a thing of the past, and that they never spend more than 10 minutes a day tidying up. Here is the key to stop drowning in piles of clutter and start creating space to live out the life of your dreams!

The clutter clinic : organise your home in seven days / Romaine Lowery
With much needed guidance on de-cluttering and reorganizing your home or office, this complete clinic is the much-needed answer that every muddled person has been waiting for! Practical, inspirational, and colorfully illustrated throughout, this guide to restoring order examines each room of the house individually, and includes unique ideas for recycling, labeling, color coding, and a whole range of space-enhancing tricks. There's even an extensive shopping directory of retailers, mail order companies, and websites that sell everything you need to get organized--from great storage options to dual-purpose furniture by new young designers. With strong before-and-after visuals, these easily achievable suggestions will simplify even the most overwhelming task.

Cut the clutter : speed your cleaning and calm the chaos / Cynthia Townley Ewer
Fighting a losing battle against clutter and mess? There's hope. There's help. You can win the chore wars! You're not lazy, you're not crazy - and you're not alone. Cynthia Townley Ewer gives you the skills to conquer clutter, clean your house and give yourself more time for the good things in life

No more clutter : how to clear your space and free your life / Sue Kay
Clutter affects us all: stressed time-poor professionals, couples rowing over their junk, older people with a lifetime's accumulated possessions, people working from home, growing families and people facing life changes such as divorce or bereavement. As we all consume and acquire more and more stuff, we feel increasingly overwhelmed by our possessions. No More Clutter is the ultimate guide to liberating ourselves from the tyranny of clutter. It has simple practical solutions to immediate problems as well as advice on tackling the challenge of staying clutter-free in the long term, by getting to grips with the psychology of hoarding and the ethical basis for simplifying our lives. With case studies which pinpoint common clutter triggers such as moving house or divorce and practical tips on everything from tidying the cutlery drawer to creating your ideal harmonious home, No More Clutter is the essential tool for streamlining your life.


Claire at Latitude said...

Ick. I'm with you, Tosca. In fact I so hate the thought of uncluttering that I can't even bring myself to read those blurbs. Instead I recommend a book that I just had to dig out from a mountain of other... stuff (I found its cover had got a bit bent in the process, and I have to admit I haven't read it yet):
"A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder - How crammed closets, cluttered offices, and off-the-cuff planning make the world a better place". (I bought it when I was feeling rebellious about my cohabitant's reaction to the state of my room, but the library also has it, with a slightly different subtitle.)

Madhamster said...

You are both so right! Claire - I want THAT book!
My uncle called my clothing system (which is the same has his daughters) the cascading horizontal wardrobe (ie off the chair, onto the floor).
Or, as I like to think of it - 'a clean house is the sign of a wasted life' - therefore, my house gets tidied in time for flat inspection. (It is, however, always clean).

breve711 said...

Haha! This makes me feel so much better about the chaos in my room. I am firmly of the belief that, just like budgets and diets, resolutions don't work! It's like writing out a plan to make you feel bad when you inevitably break it.

catatonia said...

@breve711 - Gah totally. New Year resolutions that get broken in the first few days used to be my specialty *wry laugh* Especially those based around tidines. Life can be random and messy and full of surprises, so when the neat freak part of me needs order and structure I walk the aisles of a branch library. (And feel ten times better in an instant). All those books in alphabetical and numerical order *sigh of bliss* I figure I'll control what I can, where I can. Anything else, like tidiness *shrugs* meh.

@Madhamster - cascading horizontal wardrobe LOL I would never have thought to have given it that name. Thank your uncle for me LOL

@Claire - have requested the book! And am now contemplating a post that fits that theme, too :)