|CLUTTER'S LAST STAND ,
2nd Edition: It's Time to De-Junk Your Life!
by Don Aslett.
is a funny, helpful and hopeful MUST READ for clutterbugs. As Don so
profoundly states, "Life doesn't begin at forty, sixty-five, twenty,
thirty, when you get married, when you get promoted, or when you have
grandkids--life truly begins when you discover how flexible and free
you are without clutter.
Where to Buy
STAND , 2nd Edition: It's Time to De-Junk Your Life!
By Don Aslett
Publication Date: March 15,
2005; Adams Media, a division of
F+W Publications Company
$9.95US $13.95CAN Trade paperback; ISBN: 1593373295
Aslett has long been my personal hero. In fact, I've heard firsthand
that his no-maintenance home in Hawaii is a modern marvel. Here's a man
who truly practices what he preaches. This is a guy who understands
completely that there is "life beyond junk", and that decluttering
truly frees one to do the things in life which really matter. But,
ultimately his sense of humor shines over a very serious problem...junk.
Consider his definition of
"Knickknacks": "Humankind, deep
its secret heart, has always wanted to create and control its own
world. To do so on a big scale like the Lord did is a little out of
reach, so we mortals settled on a lesser approach. We created little
wood, plastic, china and metal models and miniatures of every creature
and structure ever devised, rounded them up, and put them on a shelf so
we could rule over them. And we named our scaled-down universe
Knickknacks....The only time our interest is aroused much is when one
of them gets knocked off and broken; then we wail and sob like a
wounded packrat (we'd glue it back together but can't remember if it
was a Mayan warrior or Pluto the
this gem: "Remember that storage costs money:...Not only is up to 33
percent - that's one-third - of our homes today devoted to storage, but
we have to seek ways and means beyond that to store the overflow. We
stick it under beds, under stairs, in wall units; stow it in attics,
basements,furnace rooms, "spare" rooms; fill the garage with it; then
migrate to the yard and get little sheds. When they fill, we head for
the local rental unit. Clutter also serves a an enticement for burglary
and fodder for accidents, and it takes nice fuel for fires... Storage
units are the ghost towns of clutter, a testimony of shame. Why do
people store things in another place? Because they aren't using them!"
you're not sure whether or not to read this book, I suggest you answer
the questions on the "Junkee Entrance Exam". You can score yourself
from 1-5, here are some sample questions:
"I have more-than-a-year-old
magazines stored/lying around.
I own clothes that won't fit
or are ugly or hopelessly out of style.
I have old
games/puzzles/patterns with pieces missing.
I keep unread junk mail,
lapsed driver's licenses, and expired policies.
My medicine chest holds
bottles of ancient vitamins and antique prescriptions.
I hoard odd socks or
pantyhose with one ruined leg.
I have old curtains or
blinds stashed away that I've dragged from past residences."
This a funny, helpful and
hopeful MUST READ for clutterbugs.
Don so profoundly states: "Life doesn't begin at forty, sixty-five,
twenty, thirty, when you get married, when you get promoted, or when
you have grandkids--life truly begins when you discover how flexible
and free you are without clutter." I couldn't agree more.
Buy this book, and let me
know your successes after reading it.
Where to Buy ¬ª
|| Unclutter Your Life:
Transforming Your Physical, Mental, and Emotional Space
by Katherine Gibson
Beyond Words Publishing,
www.beyondword.com $14.95 US (estimated)
My friend and colleague, Katherine has put
together this lovely book of inspiring organizational tips. The cover
photo alone brings a feeling of tranquility. This book stemmed from a
first person narrative Katherine wrote titled "Unplugged", chronicling
her family's decision to give up television, which was printed in
Reader's Digest in the United States, Canada and Australia. It has been
incorporated as part of a family development course at Brigham Young
University. The book contains 20 chapters of short, lively narratives.
Each chapter identifies a single clutter culprit and provides the
strategy to wrestle that demon, drawing upon the expertise of noted
authorities within that area and the personal stories of others who
have successfully overcome that particular clutter challenge.
to Buy ¬ª
|| The Organizing Sourcebook
by Kathy Waddill
Contemporary Books, ISBN 0-7373-0424-3 $16.95 (estimated)
Kathy has been a well-loved president of my
NAPO Chapter in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I enjoyed reading her
book of wisdom. She suggests that "there is no thing as a perfectly
organized person" and the ideal goal is to be "organized enough" so
that "your systems fit your life as you're living it right now." She
aptly points out that life is constantly changing, and so must your
organizing solutions. "Her Nine Strategies of Reasonably Organized
People", turns her years of experience into a must-read full of wise,
well-thought out solutions. I highly recommend this book.
to Buy ¬ª
|| Affluenza: The
by John de Graaf, David Wann and Thomas N. Naylor
The book Affluenza--The All-Consuming
Epidemic, by John de Graaf, David Wann and Thomas N. Naylor, tops my
suggested reading list. Affluenza, which was also made into a PBS
documentary series, explores the American phenomenon of acquiring
excessive material possessions and its effect on the physical,
emotional and environmental health of individuals and society. In this
succinctly insightful book, the authors show that societal ills such as
stress, pollution, resource exhaustion, loneliness, debt and the
disenigration of the family unit are symptoms of the "disease"
Affluenza. The authors do a wonderful job of breaking down their
arguments in simple terms, really hitting home the destructive nature
of excessive consumerism. They even include a diagnostic self-test to
help readers determine if they are victims of Affluenza. The authors
also examine the growing movement of simple and frugal living. I
couldn't recommend this book enough. ~ Christy Best, Professional
to Buy ¬ª
|| Making Peace with the
Things in Your Life: Why Your Papers, Books, Clothes and Other
Possessions Keep Overwhelming You--and What to Do about It
by Cindy Glovinsky, M.S.W., A.C.S.W
This book was given to me by one of my
precious clients, and this woman is wonderful! She is a colleague with
the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization, and she addresses
the internal manifestations of the clutter around us (much like Karen
Kingston-see my review of "Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui", as they
relate to our physical beings. I highly recommend it for getting
through the roadblocks to organization, I love her questionnaires, and
I love how she connects our past influences with our current values. ~
Christy Best, Professional Organizer
to Buy ¬ª
|| Clear Your Clutter with
by Karen Kingston
This is my favorite book on clutter. It's
also my favorite book on the basics of Feng Shui, because it's short,
simple and to the point. I even recommend it to clients who have little
or no knowledge of Feng Shui, simply because of Karen's wisdom and her
knowledge of the adverse effects of clutter on the psyche. I was
fortunate enough to study with Karen when she attended the
International Feng Shui Conference in Monterey a few years ago. What a
charming and wonderful soul she is! She divides her time between Bali
and the UK, and has taught thousands of people around the world.This
book will teach you: 1) Why you keep clutter; 2) How to identify and
clear clutter; 3) How to clear clutter from your body, mind and spirit;
and 4) How to stay clutter free. She says that "clutter accumulates
when energy stagnates and, likewise, energy stagnates when clutter
accumulates. So the clutter begins as a symptom of what is happening
with you in your life and then becomes part of the problem itself
because the more of it you have, the more stagnant energy it attracts
to itself." She will show you "how to sort out your life by sorting out
your junk, which results in a tremendous renewal of your life force
energy. This is something practical and tangible you can actively do to
help yourself." I agree completely. I highly recommend this book and
hope you enjoy it as much as I do. ~ Christy Best, Professional
to Buy ¬ª
|| If you Haven't got the
Time to do It Right, When will you Find the Time to do It Over?
by Jeffrey J. Mayer
This is still my favorite time management
book of all time. It's short, it's simple, it works and it's changed my
life. Jeffrey shows us how to transform our desks into a cleaner, more
efficient work area; how to organize files so that they are easier to
find and use; and how to create a more effective "To Do" list, along
with dozens of other time-saving techniques. Personally, I would not
start my day without my "To Do" list, and I improved my time management
skills drastically when I began to implement his suggestions into my
own life (and I had spent hours in many time management courses
throughout my career!). His practical approach to getting organized
will help you meet your deadlines...and give you more time for
yourself. Buy it, schedule the time to read it (even if you have to
retreat to your local coffee shop) and put it to work. You won't be
sorry you did! ~ Christy Best, Professional Organizer
to Buy ¬ª
|| Not For Packrats Only:
How to Clean up, Clean out and de-Junk Your Life Forever
by Don Aslett
Don is my favorite author...and his advice
on garages seems to fit with this month's newsletter. He says: "...junk
in garages isn't quite as sacred as junk in private areas of the house:
it's out on the range, so you should be able to take a firm hand to it.
The majority of junk in garages is just lying in wake. Why not get on
with the funeral, now, today?" He also suggests: "Out with: Old
half-finished or never started projects, and pieces of stuff to build
or rejuvenate someday; Hanging-from-the-rafters junk; Aged
car-accessory junk, like curdled car was, hubcaps and wheel rims and
snow tires and wipers and touchup paint for cars you no longer own..."
For some powerful, and funny, tips on getting organized...read this
book! ~ Christy Best, Professional Organizer
to Buy ¬ª