Friday, February 19, 2010

Unclutter Your Life in One Week by Erin R Doland

My latest ongoing reading/ long term project stems from picking up a Kindle freebie: Unclutter Your Life in One Week by Erin R Doland. This winter has been long and hard. Coming straight after a wet and dreary summer, it's safe to say we have the Winter Blues here in Western Pennsylvania, and finding motivation for such awful tasks as uncluttering the hallway closet doesn't come easy.

Doland's step-by-step program to unlcuttering your life in a week seemed a bit too good to be true. And it is really; some of the steps she says you can do before work or in an afternoon really take days or weeks on their own. One of *the* biggies - clearing out the boxes of sentimental junk collected over 30 years - she says to do before you even start on step one. HA! I thought she was going to tell me how to cull all of that! But that's fine. Really. Because what it did do was get my arse moving. Chapter 1 down and I was ready to get going.

Doland said I could re-organize my closet on Monday morning before work. Well in all honesty, a full Sunday afternoon was more realistic (and my closet is tiny), followed by 3 more Sundays doing the kids' closets, and 4 trips to the charity shop. But not only did it give me the motivation to do it, it also let me do it guilt-free. Those pants that I have never worn and frankly never will? Off to charity! That $300 skirt new with tags but bought in a sale 3 years ago? Off to consignment. Guilt free clearing out is what it's about, and for tight wad frugal person such as myself, that's #1! :-)

What I noticed almost immediately - aside from guilt free closet emptying - was how great it felt to have things organized again! My kids get ready quicker in the morning. My daughter has acres of space now that she's parted with a jungle of stuffed animals! Our old photos came out of boxes, into photo frames and onto newly cleared shelves! Step 1 Closets over and on to Doland's Monday afternoon: My desk at work.

I'm reading each section as I have the time to fit it into my life. I've given myself until May to finish reading the book and uncluttering the whole house, at which point I plan to be outside enjoying Summer! I know I'll be skipping sections of the book, such as chapters on how to run meetings at work or give presentations. Having skimmed them, I don't feel they are applicable to everyone, nor are they that great.

In the meantime, we are loving our new tidy wardrobes, organized bookcases and reduced shelf of cookery books. I'm loving the new cubby my husband built for the bathroom towels. No longer am I scowling at everyone for the messy shoes everywhere. Maybe I'll get through the rest of winter with some sanity left!


  1. For most of us it takes an initial effort to get to a state of unclutteredness (?). The real trick will be keeping it that way. I like asking myself what can I do to keep the clutter from coming back.

  2. How true! I am learning, as suggested in the book, to 1) have spare storage, and 2) use the 1 in, 1 out rule. Both are hard! Number 1 is about physical limits and number 2 is much more of a mental/ emotional issue of letting go OR being strict with every purchase.