Any book with the words "life changing" in the title has a lot to live up to. I read a lot of home and garden magazines and blogs, so I wasn't expectiAny book with the words "life changing" in the title has a lot to live up to. I read a lot of home and garden magazines and blogs, so I wasn't expecting to find anything in this book that I hadn't already heard from other decluttering sources. Imagine my surprise when I was completely blown away and zipped through this book in one sitting. (Yes, a decluttering book. I know, it sounds crazy.)
Rather than using the small few-items-a-day, one-room-at-a-time approach, the author suggests jumping right in and doing a huge purge based on the types of items rather than the room in which they're located. She suggests starting with clothing, because it has the least personal significance (and thus is easier to part with) and working up to photos and personal mementos.
As someone who lives with a messy packrat husband, I am always looking for ways to convince him to pare down his belongings. For years I've tried the slower methods, hoping to ease him into decluttering. But inevitably, he brought more items into the house than he was getting rid of, so we never saw a difference. (And I was constantly nagging him about going through another box/closet/drawer/etc.)
Some of the techniques seemed a little hokey at first, but I was determined to give it my all. The author believes in touching each item and asking, "Does this bring me job?" Your answer to that question determines whether the item gets to stay. I was surprised at how freeing this approach was for me. It allowed me to look past the guilt and sense of obligation that often surrounds gifted items. Now I could look at the item, appreciate the kindness behind the gift, and put it in the donate pile.
Did this book make decluttering easy or fun? No. Did I religiously follow every tenet of the book? No. Did it change my life? YES. I'd say I reduced our belongings by about 25%. Cleaning is easier. Tidying is quick at the end of the night. There are no more rushed mornings ("Where are my keys?!") or missing shoes. It is also shocking how much of a difference I feel in the atmosphere of the house. With less clutter everywhere I feel a sense of calm when I walk in, rather than being bombarded with all of the things that are dirty, disorganized, or unsightly.
We could probably do another round of decluttering, but I don't think hubby could handle it at this point. Maybe next summer... ...more
This book gave me a bit of a chuckle in the beginning because the "personality quiz" in the beginning told me my child is Strong Willed and ImpulsiveThis book gave me a bit of a chuckle in the beginning because the "personality quiz" in the beginning told me my child is Strong Willed and Impulsive (which describes him exactly).
There were some ideas in here I hadn't heard of before. I'd previously tried a bunch of "Have a completely potty-trained child by tomorrow!" type of strategies, but nothing ever worked. The suggestions in here felt more natural and helped explain why some techniques I'd been trying before weren't appropriate for my child. (Example: My child doesn't fall into the "Sensitive" category, and isn't the least bit bothered or uncomfortable when he pees in his pants. Thus all of my efforts to show him that using the potty was less messy and more comfortable never had any effect.)
My child still isn't completely potty trained, but we're a lot closer now than we were before....more