Book Review: 101 Ways to Clean Out Clutter

101 Ways to Clean Out the Clutter by Emilie Barnes

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The book is a bit dated, but Emilie still has a good many powerful suggestions of how to remove the clutter from our homes. I had originally thought I’d take the book one page at a time and try to implement her suggestions—until I read it all the way through and realized that such a plan will not work. For on one page she’ll tell you to get rid of all the trash, then on another page she’ll give you ideas for how to recycle and repurpose the same trash. I’m not diminishing the value of one idea or the other, for each has its own merit. My point is that you can’t do everything in the book, but you may pick and choose the methods that work best for you. I also think it’s a but humorous to rid ourselves of clutter by having a yard sale (enabling someone else to add to their own clutter)!

One tip that has helped me the most over the years (This isn’t the first time I’ve read this book.) is that of making lists of chores on index cards and filing them under the following categories: daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, and annually. This helps me keep the many household tasks in perspective and form a plan to get them done. It can be daunting to get started on such a plan, but once in motion, it does make the house run more smoothly, especially when you have others to whom you can delegate tasks. And for me, the best thing is freedom from guilt over tasks not completed. Instead of adding new tasks to the ever growing unfinished list, I move unfinished tasks back into the file box when they “expire” and move on to the next thing. After all, the task will come around again in due time, and the next time (with proper planning) it will get done.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to reorganize the garage!

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