If there has EVER been a book that will Help you, Inspire you, Encourage you, and mostly Understand YOU, THIS IS THAT BOOK!
Authors Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims have such a wonderful way of making organizing completely doable! Not only do they have an excellent 5 days to a clutter free home system, but they also share in the second half of the book, how to make sure it stays this way! If you are like me, I can get the clutter GONE, but it is the staying gone that seems to trouble me! So this 2nd part of the book was and will be most beneficial for me.
Their system for de-cluttering calls for inviting a team to help you. I think for some, that might prove to be a hindrance, however, if you are really serious about getting rid of the clutter, then by all means, don't be shy or even ashamed. Just ask away and get busy knowing you have a goal and nothing will keep you from it!
As with any how-to book I think not all things will work the same for everyone but I would like to think that these ladies would love it if you learned and applied what WILL work for you! For me, the encouragement these ladies share just made me want to dig in and de-clutter and I hope the same for you! There is something so freeing when you can get rid of clutter!
Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims are organizing experts. They are each founders of professional organizing companies, and Sandra Felton is the founder of Messies Anonymous. Their new book, 5 Days to a Clutter-Free House, introduces a plan for tackling home chaos with a team of helpers using their Mount Rushmore method. They provide hope and encouragement for overcoming a home filled with clutter, and a plan for keeping it clean and beautiful.
One thing I like about this book is that they begin by stating the positive aspects of people who tend to be disorganized. They do not shame the reader, but acknowledge there are often good motives behind the disorganization. But they do NOT leave the reader there, to pat themselves on the back and accept the clutter as a unique aspect of their personality. They paint an inspiring and beautiful picture of the possibilities their home could hold if the clutter were tamed.
The book is divided into two sections: Getting It Under Control, and Keep The Good Life Going. The first section explains in detail how to conquer the clutter and gain clear, uncluttered, beautiful spaces in just 5 days. The backbone of the Mount Rushmore method includes a team of non-judgmental helpers and pretty white boxes. The helpers come in and clear all the surfaces, storing them into labeled white boxes which stack nicely and uniformly in the appropriate room to be dealt with later. Each of the 5 days has a focus point to keep everyone working without being overwhelmed by the enormity of the project. At the end of the 5 days (provided you have a team and aren't working alone) you have a clean home ... and piles of boxes to sort through later.
Your home may be clean and clutter-free (except for boxes) at the end of 5 days, but now the real work begins. Obviously, one key to real change is to actually tackle the boxes as quickly as possible, before you grow accustomed to the white boxes stacked along your walls and simply ignore them. Sandra and Marsha provide a plan for that task, as well. Only open one box at a time, and do not move on to another box until everything in that box has been dealt with by either finding its appropriate home, being given away, thrown away, or put in a "decide later" box. As each box is emptied, dismantle it and store it so you can see your wall of boxes shrinking.
The second part of the book provides action plans and solutions for maintaining the beauty of your newly cleared home. One week does not change a lifetime of habits, and there will need to be changes in thought processes, shopping habits, time-management habits, and home-making habits in order to maintain the organization. When you are starting with a clean and beautiful home, however, the motivation to keep it clean and clutter-free flows naturally. Sandra and Marsha provide action points and key phrases that can help motivate and remind the reader of the necessary changes. Of course, having an appropriate place for everything you keep, limiting what you keep, and not procrastinating is the foundation of that change.
I'll be honest. I love the idea of this book, and the plan. It helped me identify the source of the clutter problems in our home, but it is obviously a commitment to a massive project, and it will be necessary to have the support and agreement of your family. Sandra and Marsha provide examples of different variations on their method, and ways to overcome trouble-points, including family members that sabotage the plan. I'm not completely satisfied with their suggestions for handling husbands. I've always struggled with books written to wives for handling their messy husbands, and have never felt that the friction it would cause in the marriage was worthwhile. However, I can change my habits, work on organizing storage areas, and find homes for everything. I can instill better habits in my children, and hope that my efforts inspire change.
Overall, I definitely recommend this book as a workable solution for overcoming a cluttered home. Even if you can't apply the Mount Rushmore method exactly as described, you can adapt the principles to fit your situation. However, I really feel this plan will ONLY work if both a husband and wife agree on it. I would not recommend that a frustrated spouse take the method and apply it without the support of their spouse. That is just setting up the need for a marriage counseling book, in my opinion.
** This book was provided free from Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was received. **
Do you struggle against a swelling tide of clutter? Well, 5 Days to a Clutter-Free House is here to help you. When we struggle with clutter it is because we have such a strong attachment to our stuff whether for sentimental reasons or because of some possible future need. But we need to overcome these tendencies that are motivated by fear of making the wrong decision.
We need to take steps to break our emotional attachments to things. We need to get a picture in our mind of what we want our dream home to look like. Is it piles all over the place? Or is it clear surfaces with everything in its place?
In 5 easy steps you can work toward your ideal home. But these steps are spread out over 5 days and it is a team effort. Getting help is an important part of the process. We need support and encouragement to help us get through this but it worth it. Each day is broken down into levels. Day one is feet to knees, day two is knees to shoulders, day three is shoulders to ceiling, day four is interior spaces, and day five is storage places (attic, garage, etc.). Items are boxed up so that surfaces are cleared and cleaned.
As you go through your boxes of accumulated stuff you will learn to discern what is important and what is not. But give yourself a timeline to get through your boxes and as you go through them put everything you are going to keep in its place. Use the following Bible verse found on page 29 as your motivation Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might. Don't allow obstacles to get in your way and manage your time and space wisely.
Personal experiences of are given throughout the book of people desiring change and for each step of the process. Resources - such as books, classes, and websites are included to help you achieve your goal and to maintain it.
I especially liked the 5 step process as the various personal experiences encourage one to want to experience the same de-cluttering in one's own life.
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and all opinions are my own.
Available February 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.