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Unstuff Your Life!: Kick the Clutter Habit and Completely Organize Your Life for Good
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Unstuff Your Life!: Kick the Clutter Habit and Completely Organize Your Life for Good

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3.63  ·  Rating Details  ·  875 Ratings  ·  121 Reviews
A professional organizer and life coach shows readers how to kick the clutter habit with his complete how-to guide to total organization

Arguably the most organized man in America, sought-after coach Andrew J. Mellen has created unique, lasting techniques for streamlined living, bringing order out of chaos for the chronically overwhelmed everywhere. Acknowledging that it's
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Paperback, 400 pages
Published August 3rd 2010 by Avery (first published July 22nd 2010)
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Organizing from the Inside Out by Julie MorgensternStuff by Randy O. FrostEnough Already! by Peter WalshBuried in Treasures by David F. TolinClutter's Last Stand by Don Aslett
Best Organizing Resources
11th out of 67 books — 44 voters
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie KondōYou Can Buy Happiness (and It's Cheap) by Tammy StrobelWalden by Henry David ThoreauThe Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide by Francine JayThe 100 Thing Challenge by Dave Bruno
Simple Living & Minimalism
24th out of 57 books — 36 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,170)
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Cori
May 22, 2013 Cori rated it it was ok
Shelves: just-for-fun
Attention: Spoiler Alert!
I don't know exactly what I was looking for when I picked up this book... perhaps it was just some inspiration. I have been fairly organized my whole life, but I was also a stay-at-home mom. Now I am out in the workforce and finding it more difficult to stay organized, but deep down, I know what it takes. Mr. Mellen spends a verbose, albeit sarcastically witty and encouraging, 373 pages stating what could be said in a few sentences. His motto is Everything Has a Home and
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Jennifer Oldroyd
Feb 05, 2013 Jennifer Oldroyd rated it it was amazing
I have read and/or listened to this book three times (so far.) Once straight through, and then each chapter a couple of times again as they correspond with the room I am organizing. I could write a dissertation on its merits, but sufficeth it to say that Andrew Mellen is a genius.
It is completely intuitive-nothing radical(crazy) here, just common sense presented in a very reasonable, step-by-step way with a healthy dose of humor.
Somehow the author knows exactly which pushback I would have at ev
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Marnie
Reading a book about organizing your house is probably as useful as reading a book about losing weight. Everyone knows how to do it- it is a question of whether you are motivated enough to take the necessary steps.

Listening to Andrew Mellen describe the steps to an uncluttered house can be boiled down to two phrases..." Everything should have a home" and " like with like." He has an entire chapter on getting your mail sorted for goodness sake. Sounds like a complete waste of time- right? Except
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Kristina
Jul 31, 2011 Kristina rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everybody
His attempts at humor are kind of annoying and I feel like spends too much time telling me to calm down and stop panicking way too often. But, that is just me. And maybe there are people who do start having heart palpitations at the idea of getting rid of some of their "stuff," but I'm guessing if a person is willing to sit down and read the book, they are willing to throw some crap out.

Anyway, besides the tone and style of the book, I LOVE IT. He starts with having a place for your keys/wallet
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Lisa
Feb 10, 2011 Lisa rated it really liked it
Fantastic book for people like me who need step by step directions when it comes to organization! I followed his instructions almost exactly and my kitchen has been organized for months! I also used his guidelines for setting up a filing system and it's working really well. He also discusses why we get attached to "stuff" and how to let it go - great read.
Kerrie
May 12, 2016 Kerrie rated it liked it
Even though I didn't finish it, I've read this book already. Honestly, how many different ways can "get rid of your shit" be said? I'm already well on my way to downsizing, cleaning my clutter without the help of these organizational life coaches. Everything in these books, I've done already - so why should I even bother with these books????? My shelves just got lighter.... Hey, I'm downsizing even more! Thanks, Andy! :D
Monica
This book ranks supreme for its kind. It's thorough without being dry. I adopted simple, but quite helpful, changes suggested that made the book's value obvious. I loved reading this author. What a great personality/writer from start to finish!
Adam R.
Jan 31, 2014 Adam R. rated it it was amazing
This is a book that requires action, and my personal experience with any book that requires taking action (especially action you've neglected to take for years) is that you're inclined to push off reading the book to a later date (the 'when I have the time to follow the advice in this book' date). Do your best not to fall for this trap.

Here is why you should read the book (without being inclined to take action right away):

- You will get familiar with the methods, so when you do have time to take
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Sarah
Jan 28, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it
I was a little concerned when I saw the size of this book (it's thicker than the average de-cluttering/organizing book) and I was more concerned when I saw that the type is also quite small. Indeed, this is an author who definitely likes the sound of his own voice.

In terms of actual advice, he espouses two main ideas: like with like, and everything has a home. In and of themselves, they are good, useful ideas. However, there's only so much to say about them before one starts repeating oneself, a
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Joseph
Apr 08, 2013 Joseph rated it it was ok
The book started out with a great and energetic introduction and made a promise to explain the whys behind its strategies and suggestions. It also seemed to indicate that the book would delve into the psychology behind why we collect and sometimes hoard as we do. Unfortunately, the book fell woefully short on each count.

Instead, the book contained a litany of "to dos" in order to achieve the author's idea of organization. There was a lack of flexibility and the phrasing often resembled orders. A
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Sunshine Moore
Aug 17, 2013 Sunshine Moore rated it liked it
This is only useful if you need lists of where things belong in your home. For example, he will tell you to put pasta and rice in the pantry. Uh, really? He has some good general pointers at the beginning, to train yourself to put your keys, wallet and purse in their "home" every day. But I guess I am not as disorganized as I thought, because there was not much useful for me in this book.
Lady of the Lake
Oct 04, 2013 Lady of the Lake rated it liked it
If this wasn't audio I more than likely would not have finished it.
No magic happened... My house isn't any more organized than before I started! LOL. Didn't motivate me into being fabulously organized the humor was def. Better because it was audio I can see how reading it would be annoying didn't tell me anything I already didn't know, sadly.
Huda Al-Anbar
I have to have an organizing audiobook while I do major spring cleaning, this time, Unstuff Your Life!: Kick the Clutter Habit and Completely Organize Your Life for Good was the lucky winner. Everyone knows how to organize more or less,the question is whether one is motivated enough to take the necessary steps, REGULARLY!!

As organizing books go, this book had rules to follow: "One home for everything, and likes with likes" that the author applies to everything in your life.

I liked that this book
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caroline
Dec 03, 2010 caroline rated it really liked it
A good book for people who don't know where to start with all the STUFF you have that you feel is taking over your life. I did skip some chapters because they didn't relate to me, but otherwise a great book.
Pam
Mar 11, 2015 Pam rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook
As part of my New Year’s resolutions to declutter, I have been listening to a smattering of audiobooks on decluttering. Each one seems to have a few similar take aways - the main one being “like for like and one place for everything.” If you sort your items and keep like items with like items - the idea is that you will be able to find whatever you need whenever you need it. While you are doing this sorting, you will also be decluttering. By touching each and every item you will decide if it is ...more
Crystal
Dec 06, 2013 Crystal rated it really liked it
I listened to this book for encouragement and ideas as I faced sorting out my house after 20 years of acquiring, including a husband and his stuff. My husband passed away suddenly and I'm feeling the need to unstuff as part of my grieving process. Mellen narrates his own book and I love his snarky sense of humor and the simplicity of his message. Boiled down it is "one home for everything and like with like." But don't miss this book if you need to bring organization to your life and if you need ...more
Kathy Steffen
Jan 14, 2014 Kathy Steffen rated it it was amazing
I read tons of stuff about uncluttering but this book beats them all. I liked it so much I bought the book after listening to the audio. Fun, engaging, and this really changed the way I approach my cluttered life. I am working room by room (as the book is organized--you can reorder the way you go through your house/life which I am doing) and have been through the first part about keys/mail and purse, but already I'm having an easier time navigating my life. The book is simple, to the point, does ...more
Erin
Apr 26, 2016 Erin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help
This book actually changed both my perspective on organization and my organizational skills. He's very good at anticipating/debunking all of your excuses. For example, keys should ALWAYS go in a designated spot when you aren't using them...no excuses. Keep non-kitchen stuff out of the kitchen (this was a great one for me - my kitchen is far more clean now). Set up a mail center with different file folders for sorting (my husband and I LOVE this and it helps prevent miscommunication between us &a ...more
Billie Jo
Apr 20, 2014 Billie Jo rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend the audiobook. Just listen to it and start bagging all that stuff! I didn't follow each chapter in order but instead just plugged in my Ipod and listened as I worked. Every chapter has something good for any room of your house.

If you spend more time looking for what you need rather than doing what you want then it's time to get rid of a few things - the stress is not worth that junk!! Among many other things that I have misplaced, I found 7 tape measures and 9 hammers! I use
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Anton Nikolov
Jul 02, 2015 Anton Nikolov rated it liked it
The book is well structured and informative. It is a bit outdated in the technology chapters like photography and computer management but I guess that's normal considering how fast things are changing.
Apparently, I am more organized than I expected, so the book wasn't very useful in my hands.
However, I can imagine some people could benefit a lot from it, so I would recommend it for people who are lacking basic organizational skills.
Kent Winward
Sep 28, 2013 Kent Winward rated it it was ok
The glib review would be "Unstuff Your Book of Needless Repetition!" I have a propensity for obtaining "clutter" books to purge myself of unsightly materialism. When he completely advocated an old school paper filing system though I was lost. Paperless is uncluttered, not vice versa. It has good common-sensical advice, but it is advice that fits into a GoodReads Review -- store like things with like and have a place for everything and assign everything a place and get rid of junk. Don't hop on t ...more
Molly
Mar 09, 2016 Molly rated it really liked it
The author begins with a chapter asking you to really think about your values, and whether your actions match your values. It's an interesting exercise, and the goal is to get you to think about your relationship to things. I think it only sort of works. But what I do like is his explanation of these activities, and his insistence that stuff is just stuff. It is an attempt to set you up to be able to let go of things that aren't useful and don't bring you joy. From here, he goes through several ...more
Beth Pearson
Nov 23, 2011 Beth Pearson is currently reading it
This book asks you to read the first 2 chapters first and then you can skip around to various sections of your house that you want to unstuff.

So far I have done the kitchen and scrapbook room and am working my way through the office and storage room. I find him very helpful. Deep breaths.....deep breaths.....I can be cool without my stuff....deep breaths. : )

Actually the author is funny, practical, and useful.
Lara
Apr 21, 2014 Lara rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
I listened to the audiobook, which was narrated by the author. Mr Mellen spoke pretty quickly, even for someone from the northern US. However, he does have excellent elocution and added appropriate emphasis to his instructions.

This book takes a simple approach to organization, which is to find a place for each item, labelled as necessary, and to always return items to their places. That was simple for me, as I already have some level of organization in that I don't usually spend lots of time eac
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Chris
Apr 30, 2014 Chris rated it liked it
Shelves: audio, non-fiction
This would be a great book for someone that is cluttered. I realized I was actually less cluttered than I maybe thought I was. Mellen has some great ideas to become organized and I already do the majority of them. I think it would be difficult for the seriously cluttered, and potential hoarders, to really take the advice without him, or someone else to push the ideas on the person. Mellen does kind of mention this as "something you will need" to do a lot of the steps include having a friend to h ...more
Lorna
Sep 07, 2015 Lorna added it
Shelves: minimalism
I love the step-by-step nature of the book and I particularly recommend the audio version because it is beautifully read by the author himself.
I loved the style and tone - an organising boot-camp, a true follow-along, do-exactly-as-I-say course. But I had expected a manual of minimalism. From a European point of view this guy owns so much stuff! I can't even imagine why someone would need, for example, more than one colander.
I haven't rated this book because I think the fault is with my diff
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Battaile
Jun 10, 2014 Battaile rated it did not like it
Couldn't get through it, was like listening to Dr Phil conduct a hoarder intervention.
Jenny (rapid tortoise)
Mar 31, 2013 Jenny (rapid tortoise) rated it liked it
Shelves: organizing
3.5 stars. Not the best on the subject but definitely worth reading.
Yvette Bowlin
Jun 01, 2016 Yvette Bowlin rated it really liked it
A man after my own heart, I knew I had to read this book by Andrew J Mellen. A fellow declutter junkie himself, I feel his philosophy resonates with my own. This book confirmed it.

While I love all the tactical and very practical information in this book, I do want to give fair warning to readers: this book is meant to be actionable, almost like a workbook. There's a lot of step-by-step instruction (maybe too much?) and rationales for sorting in the way he suggests. Enough to make your head spin
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Zakgirl
Aug 04, 2014 Zakgirl rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-read-again
SINCE I read this book back in (whenever it was), April I guess, I have read it again and again in parts, and in full. Along with two other books, Organizing for Life by Sandra Felton and for motivation to get going, How to Motivate Yourself by Lyn Kelley. I'm not really sure which book or whether it was the combination of the three but somehow using these books over a period of a few months I managed to declutter, unstuff, get less messy and generally get organized. I threw out (and gave) away ...more
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Andrew J. Mellen is a professional organizer, speaker and the best-selling author of Unstuff Your Life!

He's appeared in or on The Nate Berkus Show, O, The Oprah Magazine, Martha Stewart Living Today, Orpah & Friends, HGTV, CBS, NBC, CW11, Live Well Network, Ladies' Home Journal, Woman's Day, GQ, USA Weekend, InStyle, Together, DIY Network, XM Radio, VIV Magazine, Healthy UK and NPR.

He leads w

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“If you want a calm and peaceful and pretty life, make choices that support that outcome.” 0 likes
“The surest way to shift feelings is to physically shift your body. Go get a glass of water, leave the room and walk around outside—anything to physically break the mood.” 0 likes
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