Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Preaching to the Choir

I picked up a copy of Peter Walsh's book It's All Too Much at a book swap last week. I thought I'd read it and do a book review on my blog. I wasn't expecting to learn anything earth shattering. After all, I've been blogging about decluttering for over two years now. In that time, I've read more than most people have about decluttering and put lots of decluttering tips into practice.

However, this book has opened my eyes. While Walsh is definitely preaching to the choir, the choir is also gaining a new understanding of the message!

I think he's got a way of taking the problem of clutter and simplifying it. Too many books about clutter talk about organizing, which is great, but kind of misses the point. You don't want to have so much stuff that you need to have a complicated system of organization. You don't want to have to be clever with your space to fit it all in. You need to own only as much as fits comfortably in your house. And, likewise, no room should hold more than what fits simply inside its four walls. There shouldn't be a need for extra storage containers and complex shelving systems. The utility room and garage shouldn't be stuffed to capacity with the spill over.

There are a few key areas that I'm determined to declutter more effectively by using the tips in Peter's book. 


Toys remain a huge area of clutter in our home. I've gotten rid of a lot and stored a lot in the utility room, but the truth is, the boys still have too much. They have trouble keeping their rooms clean. I think they're basically set up to fail at this because it's simply too much!

We have sentimental attachments to toys in our house. We definitely have the assumption that things will get played with later (as in months or years later). Part of the issue is that my boys are at widely different ages. I've got an almost teenager, a seven-year-old and an almost preschooler.

Goal: Each boy should be able to keep their room basically tidy every day. It should take no more than five or ten minutes for them to tidy their rooms.


I try to weed clothing out when the seasons change and I'm partly successful. Again, I find myself hanging onto things for sentimental reasons. For instance, I still have a pair of size FIVE jeans that I wore in college. They were my absolute favorite jeans in 1989. But, they haven't fit me in years and years. It's unlikely that they'll ever fit again. I need to let these go. They aren't the only sentimental piece of clothing, either.  I won't even mention the baby clothes which I just CAN NOT part with.

Goal: Each family member's clothing should fit comfortably in their closet and dresser with no spill over.

Computer Stuff

My husband has made great strides in paring down his computer crap stuff. In all honestly, there's still a ways to go. We really need to look at things with a critical eye and determine the likelihood of him reusing some of the older things. There are a lot of cords, old hard drives, speakers, etc. Our utility room remains overstuffed and our garage has a small area of computer hodge podge.

Goal: To remove all the computer stuff from the garage and streamline so the remainder fits on the shelves in the utility room.

There's always more to declutter. My attitude about bringing things into the house is really changing, too, but that's a post for another day.  I envision a clean, clutter-free, easy-to-maintain home. I think I can get there. 

I'm spending the next week working on the Kick Start, as described in Walsh's book. I'm grabbing a trash bag and picking out the easy to toss clutter in each of the bedrooms. Yesterday, I spent about 20 minutes on paring the clutter in my youngest son's room. Today, I'm on to the second bedroom.

How are you decluttering this week? 


  1. This week I am getting rid of paper clutter tucked away when we had company! The house is getting there room by room.

    I also got six plastic bins to keep sewing projects and other projects in. If I can have no more than six projects at a time, that would be good. However, I have to finishing projects to get down to six.


  2. Carol - That's a great idea to keep each sewing project in its own bin! Good luck with the paper clutter!