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Unclutter Your Life in One Week

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  802 ratings  ·  151 reviews
Organization expert Erin Rooney Doland, Editor-in-Chief of, will show you how to clear the clutter, simplify your surroundings, and create the remarkable life you deserve -- in just one week. Simple living isn't about depriving; it's about enriching. But while scribbling "Be more organized" on a list of New Year's resolutions doesn't take much effort, actua ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published November 3rd 2009 by Gallery Books (first published 2009)
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Organizing from the Inside Out by Julie MorgensternStuff by Randy O. FrostEnough Already! by Peter WalshClutter's Last Stand by Don AslettEat That Frog! by Brian Tracy
Best Organizing Resources
26th out of 64 books — 38 voters
Sink Reflections by Marla CilleyHome Comforts by Cheryl MendelsonThe House That Cleans Itself by Mindy Starns ClarkLife, Love and Vintage Housekeeping by Alison MayOrganizing from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern
Cleaning House
26th out of 49 books — 22 voters

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Community Reviews

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Ok, two big weaknesses right up front:

1. This author unequivocally assumes that ALL readers (amen) work a 9 to 5 desk job. Maybe that's her primary audience, sure, but I at least wanted acknowledgement that the WHOLE UNIVERSE is not sitting in an office all day 5 days a week. Teachers? Nurses? Moms? Part-timers? Salespeople? Need I go on?

2. Completely unrealistic. As in, really, I'm going to pull everything out of my clothes closet, sort through, purge, reorganize all of it, and put it back in
Sue Smith
Erin Doland has some good ideas, but - honestly - I think there's too many presumptions that you won't have any issues doing ANY of what she suggests. And to get it all together in a week is - well - good luck with that!!

That being said, I did glean some ideas to try to help curb some of my issues. So, if anything, this book was good for that. It's always nice to have a new angle to try. Now ..... I just have to get rid of my kids and I'll have a lot of my 'clutter' issues resolved! Hmmmm - may
I'd give this 2.5. There were a few helpful items in there, but overall this book didn't greatly appeal to me. First, her amount of clutter was not much (she was married, no kids, living in an 850 sq. ft. apt.) when writing this, so her timeline of a week is pretty unrealistic if you live in a larger place, have a larger family, etc.... Also, I think her methodology appeals to the list-making sorts of folks (not necessarily my style); I had a similar complaint about the book "The Happiness Proje ...more
Ryan Adair
I just finished reading Unclutter Your Life in One Week! By Erin Rooney Doland. It was a very insightful, easy, and informative read. The practical insights she gives in her book are encouragement to a clutterer’s bones. However, implementing the methodology she gives to actually unclutter your life in the one-week timeframe would take every single moment of that week to achieve; but the way she organizes the book helps the reader see that it is much easier to unclutter their life if they do it ...more
I am constantly (or so it seems) trying to declutter a house that almost immediately refills itself (or un-organizes itself) as a result of the other 4 occupants. We have different priorities and different ideas of what constitutes "clutter".

The book really is a one-week guide - and, if you spend the week doing those tasks, you'd likely come fairly close to getting it all in order. There are some sections that the author admits may take longer to get through; one week is the "best case scenario"
Jul 26, 2014 Gwen rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Gwen by: (Pinterest...)
Shelves: for-the-home
I think "uncluttering your life in one week" is a little too ambitious to feasibly be done well, but this book was able to help me work through two major clutter issues I have: books and clothes.

Each day of the week is divided into thirds: morning, work, and evening. I found the "work" sections to be less than convincing (it's a standard collection of "clear off your desk," "prioritize email," etc., that so many other books have done...and done better), but the sections for the home were much b
Unclutter Your Life in One Week by Erin Rooney Doland is based on the unlikely premise that you can completely reorganize and transform your life in one week. Even the author admits she could not do it all in one week, but rather over the course of 6 months. Since she feels there were 7 specific days during that 6-month span in which she accomplished the process, she asserts that someone else can do it all in one week. Hmm…is anyone’s life so empty that they can drop all other responsibilities f ...more
Let's talk about a few ironies, such as this book that was supposed to take a week to read actually took six, and that's only because I couldn't renew it anymore from the library. (My guess is that "continually renewing library books because it's easier than taking them back" is not a recommended trait for uncluttered people.) The other irony is that I followed the Unclutterer blog for a while, until it cluttered up my google reader and I decided I needed simplicity.

I had a bit of a roller coas
I bought this book on the strength of the website, and it was worth the money. Only giving it a 4 for now because I haven't yet tried any of the tips in the book, but at least on an initial read-through it seems fairly intuitive and helpful. It's definitely an easy read, and has some good heuristics for reducing "stuff" to "things I need" and ditching the stuff that's not on that list, which I definitely need help with. Combined with things like Getting Things Done, The Now Habit ...more
Janieh Hermann
I am a minimalist by nature and I do not like to have too many things. I am always looking for tips and hints on how to achieve a simple lifestyle where I can keep the things that matter most to me (some sentimental, some useful, etc) while keeping our tiny home organized and functional.

I am married to a collector (or, as I like to say, a "maximumlist") who I adore dearly, but to my way of thinking has too many "things". I also have a tween son who seems to be overly attached to many of his poss
I really like the Unclutterer website but so far (~halfway through) I'm not impressed by the book. It's far too cut and dry, and it assumes readers have A LOT of money to spend on their uncluttering and organizing process. Also, the "in one week" part of the title is, as you might have expected, completely gimmicky. On Monday morning, before going to work, I'm supposed to pull out all of the clothes I own, wash everything that's dirty, sort everything once, and then do a second sort as I return ...more
I was sitting on the fence between giving this 2 or 3 stars. It was a quick read -- but her premise that her process would take one week -- yeah, right. Not that I expected that from a book. I read it (and have several similar titles on the nightstand as well) out of a desire to seize a sense pf control in one of three arenas with which I typically struggle. A significant birthday this month might have had something to do with that, but that's another story. Anyway... there were useful bits and ...more
Let's get one thing straight: if you find your life cluttered enough that you need to read a book about how to remedy the situation, one five-day week (!) is not a realistic time frame from you to clear your life. Particularly, you cannot empty your closet, go through your wardrobe from top to bottom and clear it out on Monday morning before work. I nearly took the book back to the library in the first chapter when I realized that was what she was suggesting. The book also assumes you are doing ...more
This book is best for those who either have a serious clutter problem or are very disorganized. Of course you'd have to be really organized to begin with to accomplish all that she suggests in a mere week! But she does ask readers to address the psychological reasons behind their clutter and disorganization and then offers suggestions for evaluating your routines that might be getting in the way. If you haven't already naturally settled into what works for you, this book offers some good common ...more
There are two reasons this book didn't do much for me.

1. The author doesn't have children.
2. I do.

I did write down about 5 tips that I am interested in trying, but a lot of it seemed pretty self-explanatory. (Pull out all your stuff, organize it into piles, then store it in an organized way. Use Google Calendar to organize your schedule. Genius stuff like that.) I think her point is there is no getting around the elbow grease of doing it. Maybe I was hoping for a magic solution and that is why I
Julie Bestry
As a professional organizer, I make a point to read a lot of books on organizing, but once I've read them, there are relatively few that I feel the need to keep in my personal library. Erin Doland's Unclutter Your Life in One Week is one of those books. It's five years old, but not dated. It's friendly and casual without being shallow, and well-researched without being dry. It's written from the perspective of someone who has been overwhelmed by disorganization and has found (and is now sharing) ...more
Michelle Johnson
I bought this book quite a few years ago...... It unfortunately got lost in the clutter. When I finally stumbled on it again, I realized why it got lost in the first place. This book is for people that already have an organized home. A four bedroom home with a husband, three boys and two dogs is not going to get organized in a week. It's a little deceptive in that claim. In all fairness, I understand the author is married with no children and lives in a small that case, 7 days c ...more
Impossible, of course, to complete the uncluttering in this book in one week, but the organization into 7 days is effective and handy. I really like Doland's approach - "Unclutterer: Someone who chooses to get rid of distractions that get in the way of a remarkable life." The advice is practical & well laid-out. Much of it seems achievable. I am working slowly through the advice & ideas. A cool thing about the book is it also gives strategies to do with time management, not just "stuff m ...more
Useful. Helpful. Like a diet for my home. Like a diet, it requires a certain amount discipline. Perhaps that is not my strong suit! :)
This book is excellent for someone who just fell off a truck and has no idea how to get their lives together. Or a hoarder. She has some great ideas, but takes many things to the extreme. She does acknowledge this though, and I respect that she knows her crazy. Many of her ideas I've already incorporated into my life without realizing that they were hers or really somethin someone would consider "organized." A lot of her advice seems common sense, but there are poor soles out there that don't kn ...more
I've never read an organizing book before, but when I saw this one on the library resale shelf, I thought it might be helpful. It was an easy read, and although sometimes a dozen pages passed without offering any ideas that were new or that I could apply to my life, it felt good to read the book--like eating vegetables. Like, "Hey, this is healthy for me!" So not revolutionary, but a nice way to feel like a responsible adult.

Here were my favorite suggestions:

Use a website to check how old your c
NOTE: this is a slightly abridged version from my own site, which focuses on creative and/or gifted adults with ADHD. You can read the full story and other reviews by clicking here.

If you’re looking for a good overview of uncluttering strategies and philosophies, Unclutter Your Life in One Week may be the book for you. Author Erin Doland comes from an organic place, articulating an uncluttering philosophy motivated by a desire to clear the path to our “remarkable life.” Any ancillary distraction
Truthfully, this is a 3 star book. But I am a big fan of the Unclutterer website, for which Erin Doland is the primary writer, so I have upped the book to 4 stars if only because it might introduce you to the website.

The "one week" premise is shaky. It should be more like "Unclutter Your Life in Seven Days." The book presumes that you will undertake *massive* projects each day...before work. Like: take all the clothes out of your closet, determine what still fits and is flattering, what needs t
Allison Bailey
So I have been following the blog Unclutterer for about six months now, and last month in a fit of desperation, I bought Erin's book. This book mainly goes from a Monday to Friday, with a morning home task, an at work task, and an evening home task. It also includes handy home management lists for Fall and Spring Cleaning. This book is motivational, but really focuses on Getting Things Done and How to Do Them.

Positives: I feel much more organized now than before I read this book. I actually comp
This book goes in the category of worth checking out from the library and skimming, but not really worth buying. I really liked her use of project management methodologies for organizing one's personal life, as well as one's work life. And I really did appreciate her conception of the "week" of uncluttering as involving both your time at work, and your time at home. But fundamentally, there was not a lot of content here that wasn't a retread of basic knowledge. It isn't as girly-pow-wow-y as Fly ...more
Even though this book says "Unclutter Your Life in One Week", this isn't happening with me. It's another declutter your life book with some great tips and some tips you already know but probably not applying if you need to read this book in the first place.

I do like the test toward the beginning about how to tell which type of clutter person you are so you know how to organize your closet depending on whether you're a visual, auditory, or kinethetic/tactile processor. Sort of made sense to me.
"One week" is a bit of a stretch - unless you have little else to do - but this book is full of good advice all the same. As I read, I recognize a lot of things I already do, but there's no magic solution to the clutter that remains. The book is a quick read, though, and the "unclutterer motto" - a place for everything, and everything in its place - is a useful one to remember.

"You can come up with reasons for why you can't do something until you're blue in the face. Instead of wasting the energ
I enjoy reading Unclutterer ( and decided to check this book out from the library. I found it to be a surprisingly quick, fun read, with useful tips. Not everything in the book is applicable to me or my home and work situations, but I definitely learned some useful strategies for tackling "clutter." One could argue that the book doesn't teach you anything that you don't already know (or that you can't figure out on your own), but it could serve as a gentle push for those who need ...more
Not bad info, but it really should have been broken down into smaller tasks and called "Unclutter Your Life in One Month."

I was skeptical when I read, on page 13, "before you START YOUR WEEK OF UNCLUTTERING [my emphasis:], I want you to remove the sentimental clutter from your life. your basement, attic, off-site storage space, and/or closets are likely filled with these things." Um, so I have to unclutter the most cluttered areas before I start uncluttering? That sounds like cheating!

Also, she
Anne Meyer
This book contains useful information, some commonplace, some fairly original. I like the big picture approach - organizing and creating systems to make you more effective and for specific outcomes, rather than for organizing's sake. The idea laid out in the intro is that a beginner can do what took the author months to do in a week by having a more systematic plan which the book is supposed to be. The systematic plan is useful, but there is prep that needs to take place outside the times allott ...more
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Author of the book UNCLUTTER YOUR LIFE IN ONE WEEK. Editor-in-chief of Next book, with the working title NEVER TOO BUSY TO CURE CLUTTER, due from Harlequin NonFiction in spring 2016.

I am also dreadful at listing and reviewing books I've read on Goodreads within a timely manner. I remember to update my list of read books in fits and waves. However, I always check my friends' review
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“Research shows that if you start your week off with good routines (things like going to the gym), you're more likely to keep up the positive behavior throughout the whole week. If you wait to start a habit until Wednesday, you'll talk yourself out of the good behavior completely with promises that you'll start next week.” 4 likes
“One of my biggest complaints about adulthood is that it's difficult to simply hang out with friends” 3 likes
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