The title of Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims new book, 5 Days to a Clutter-Free House, is enough to give one pause at first, and I will freely admit I doubted any plan's success with clutter in just five days. However, upon reading the book I now understand the plan and am impressed that they do offer a solution that could make a big difference in less than a week. My clutter may not be to the extent that I need their full plan, dubbed Mt. Rushmore in this book, but it will be a wonderful resource after our next military move. I do intend to implement it in a smaller scale on several rooms as we get ready for the move from our current home. For me, the application will be more of a maintenance action than a total overhaul which the fully applied plan offers. The structure of the plan makes it very easy to remember and that allows more mental energy focused on getting it done and thus done faster.
The two core points of the plan's success in such a short time are the assistance of friends and your opportunity to make the decisions on whether something stays or goes without pressure from those essential friends. I'd be most likely to request the assistance of family before friends so that they are vested in the effort it takes to clean up and would therefore understand why we'd want to maintain the home as clutter free as we could. The many examples in the book didn't apply to our situation as much as someone on their own where the need for outside friends or acquaintances would make what appeared to be a near hopeless situation possible. I'd personally love to be on such a team to help implement this plan for someone in need of it so don't discount being able to find friends willing to help if you aren't in my situation with family members to help.
That second point, making the decisions on what to keep or give away or, yes, throw away (recycle, if possible), is what makes the plan appeal to me. I highly value the list of questions to ask yourself to deal with my own tension over making the decisions. I will be able to apply that part immediately. It was not as if they presented any radical insight, but they listed them clearly and succinctly in such a way I can remember and act on quickly.
Being a sailor's wife, I must say I dislike the quote on sailors running aground--made it rather obvious they don't have family in the Navy since that would be the end of a job and not just a try and try again situation. A few parts jumped around a bit such as the thoughts for the individual days which felt a bit like filler. I think I would have preferred that grouped together after the daily application or they could even use that information to enhance the second part regarding maintenance of your clutter free home. That second part was very welcomed and so critical for the clutter free atmosphere to be lasting.
Despite those few issues, this quick read may be the solution for someone who considers his or her situation impossible. Not only does this book hold a solution, but one that could show its success in less than a week and therefore give the individual the impetus to keep going on to live a mostly clutter free life. That is a quite an accomplishment for the reader and a welcomed gift from the authors who are able to present it in a personable manner of having overcome cluttered lives themselves.
*Thanks to Revell for providing a copy for review.*
“Available February 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”