Monday, December 29, 2014

Clutter Free, by Kathy Lipp

Just in time for your new year's resolution to get your house in order, Kathy Lipp has a few suggestions for you.  Clutter Free: Quick and Easy Steps to Simplifying Your Space not only gives practical suggestions for cleaning out your closets and drawers but helps with an understanding of the acquisitiveness and impractical thinking that leads to our being swamped with stuff.

Lipp defines clutter as "anything that is in your house that hasn't earned the right to be there, or it has earned the right, but hasn't found its permanent home." More than just finding a place for everything, she emphasized contentment and simplicity.  "Instead of thinking, How do we earn more so we can buy a bigger house? your thoughts must turn to, How do we get rid of more so we can enjoy the house we're in?" Sound thinking, in my book.

As an example of her practical thinking, she mentions considering the purchase of a new egg slicer, which "is going to save me from the laborious task of slicing all those eggs."  It might save her six minutes a year, but what about the time spent earning money to buy it, time shopping for it, "the time I will spend hunting for it the three times a year I want to use it,"and "the time I spend moving it out of the way when I want to find another gadget and have to dig through all the other time-saving devices." Sometimes those labor-saving tools add complexity in other ways.

The main action item of Clutter Free is the Lipp's 2000 things challenge.  She and her family got rid of 2000 things in a year.  It sounds like a lot, but when you start thinking about toys the kids don't play with, clothes you never wear, egg slicers and other gadgets you never use, and countless things stored away in the attic or garage, 2000 begins to sound doable.

Clutter Free is practical, useful, and helpful.  The appendices provide some of her nuts and bolts methods which can help you get started.  Lipp challenges the reader "not simply to get rid of stuff, but to uncover and appreciate the treasures you already have . . . the people, the memories, the treasures that you love."  Now I think I'll go clean out my closet. . . then my attic . . . and the garage . . . and my sock drawer. . . .

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!

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