Decluttering at the Speed of Life

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Decluttering at the Speed of Life by Dana K. White was recommended to me by Sandra Madeira recently, and I was fortunate enough to find it online at my library.

The book itself is an easy and interesting read, and I got through it quite quickly. The method she describes is very different from KonMari, so if you find that to be overwhelming, you may take better to this one.

She recommends focusing on visual clutter first, starting at the front door and moving through the spaces where you would be most likely to have guests. Armed with only a black trash bag and a donateable donation box, start first by discarding any trash in the space.

Next, put any items that you absolutely know where they go away and put any items you definitely know you are done with in the donation box. Once you have handled all the easy stuff, it’s time to tackle the rest.

Take each item and ask yourself where you would look for it first. You can also ask whether you would actually look for it or whether you wouldn’t even remember that you had it. If you would look for it someplace, take it to that place immediately and put it away. If that place is full, remove stuff from that place until it will fit and then put the stuff you removed into the donation box. If you wouldn’t even look for it, just donate it and be done with it.

The beauty of this system is that if you get interrupted or sidetracked, you won’t be left with a pile of things that are in the middle of being organized. All you will have is a bag of trash and a box to take to the donation center.

The next time you declutter, start again at the front door and attack any visible clutter. Hopefully even if an area has become re-cluttered, it won’t take as long to deal with it this time and you will be able to move on to other areas.

There is a lot more detail to the method in the book, and she walks you through the process in several different areas of your home, repeating and refining the steps each time.

I highly recommend this book. Although I have already KonMari’d my house, I like this method as a way to keep things picked up. I also plan to use it with a friend who wants my help with her house as it makes the most sense for her personality and lifestyle.

What method do you like for decluttering?

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