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Unclutter Your Life in One Week

3.46  ·  Rating Details ·  1,187 Ratings  ·  183 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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Feb 19, 2013 Ann rated it liked it
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
Jun 09, 2010 Sue Smith rated it it was ok
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
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
May 16, 2011 Ryan rated it really liked it
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
May 15, 2012 Stacia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
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
Jan 27, 2016 Gwen rated it it was ok
Recommended to Gwen by: (Pinterest...)
Shelves: self-education
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
Mar 11, 2013 Erica rated it it was ok
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
Jul 01, 2010 Violet rated it really liked it
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"
Nov 25, 2009 DDog rated it really liked it
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
Sep 29, 2016 StarMan rated it liked it
[Note: I read this book about 2 years ago. It was one of the first "organizing your life" books I tried. I was not super-impressed, but rounded my 2.75 rating up to 3 stars. After reading about 10 other books on the subject, I re-read UNCLUTTER YOUR LIFE to see if my rating has changed. I'll save you some time: NOPE.]

Ann's review was spot-on:

Some random comments of mine:

If you can do all this book says in 7 days, please cut back on your caffeine and metha
Janieh Hermann
Jan 01, 2015 Janieh Hermann rated it really liked it
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
Feb 29, 2016 Sarah rated it it was ok
Shelves: organizing-not
I read these books like candy while my paper clutter remains untouched.

This book contains some useful information but its basic premise--Unclutter Your Life in One Week!! as the cover states--is ludicrous. Such a goal is accomplished by having a day like this: Monday morning, take everything out of your bedroom closet. Work your way through your entire wardrobe, sorting into categories of keep, purge, needs attention (i.e., mending). Then decide how you want to organize the clothing you are goin
Mar 23, 2011 Erica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: organization
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
May 02, 2012 Ashley rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
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
May 01, 2010 Megan rated it liked it
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
Emilia P
Mar 18, 2015 Emilia P rated it liked it
Shelves: real-books
I just wanted to read this book because the wait for the new hot book by that Japanese lady has an enorous waitlist at the library and also Mairead recommended this. Ahhhh I want to get rid of all the stuff. Which is laughable. I do not have very much stuff. But it multiplies so quickly! Blargh! This was pretty practical, and technical, and not alot of new stuff -- the whole "a place for everything and everything in it's place" is kind of a good way to think of things, and remember them. Even if ...more
Jan 22, 2011 Maren rated it it was ok
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
Jun 26, 2015 Meera rated it liked it
The book is a quick instructional read. The chapters well categorised. There are some good suggestions and very practical ones, but nothing really new. If you need organizing and don’t know where to start, the book should be of help. The schedule to clear all the clutter at home and in your workplace seems unrealistic.
This was significantly okay. Some good advice, though nothing ground breaking. A solid breakdown of advice on how to get rid of all the clutter in your life and also be a more productive worker and person.
Jul 10, 2014 Lisaana rated it really liked it
Useful. Helpful. Like a diet for my home. Like a diet, it requires a certain amount discipline. Perhaps that is not my strong suit! :)
May 20, 2012 Jaclyn rated it liked it
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
Nov 13, 2016 Aliesha rated it did not like it
Ridiculous premise.

For example, Monday morning *before work*, clean out and organize your bedroom closet. 22 pages are devoted to this task, but somehow it's a "Monday morning, before work" item.

I should've stopped reading then.
Kimberly Tierney
Dec 22, 2016 Kimberly Tierney rated it liked it
Great for someone just starting their decluttering. For those already started or looking for new tips it's a redundant resource.
Julie Bestry
Nov 01, 2014 Julie Bestry rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 01, 2011 Trena rated it really liked it
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
Aug 17, 2010 Allison Bailey rated it really liked it
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
Aug 13, 2016 Lisa rated it liked it
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
Jun 14, 2015 Sara rated it it was ok
I suppose as a minimalist, I always am hoping to read something inspirational that will make me want to part with even more possessions or find a way to not always have a super long to-do list. But especially after having just read Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, reading this book still made Erin Doland sound like a hoarder. I think if I had followed her advice, I would have to buy so many things (especially multiple shredders ...more
May 10, 2012 Jenny rated it really liked it
"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
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Author of NEVER TOO BUSY TO CURE CLUTTER (William Morrow/HarperCollins, Jan. 2016) and UNCLUTTER YOUR LIFE IN ONE WEEK (Gallery Books/Simon and Schuster, Nov. 2009). Editor-in-chief of and a regular (4 or 5 times a year) advice columnist for REAL SIMPLE magazine.

I am dreadful at listing and reviewing books I've read and reporting them on Goodreads. However, I am a compulsive reader
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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.” 6 likes
“One of my biggest complaints about adulthood is that it's difficult to simply hang out with friends” 5 likes
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