Tag Archives: decluttering

Summer Reading: 8 Books to Help You Let Go of the Clutter

With summer just around the corner, now is a great time to start making a list of all the books you want to read while you’re hanging out by the pool, relaxing on the beach, or waiting for your plane.

8 books to help you let go of the clutter

As an avid reader, I’m always on the lookout for new books.  Whatever the genre, I love curling up with a good book and passing the time. As I was checking out some of the new releases in a magazine I picked up at the library, I came across a book on decluttering.  It looked intriguing so I wondered what other good books might be out there on the topic.

There were quite a few so I decided to round them up and share them with you just in time for your summer vacation. I haven’t read any of them, but I’m definitely adding them to my summer reading list!

8 Books to Help You Let Go of the Clutter

While these are not specific how-to decluttering guides, they do offer insights into the lives of others as they faced what to do with all the stuff they had accumulated and how they finally were able to let go.  Ranging from memoirs to motivational books, these 8 books can inspire you to let go of the clutter that’s weighing you down.

  1.  Let It Go: Downsizing Your Way to a Richer, Happier Life by Peter Walsh.  Decluttering guru, Peter Walsh, shares his experience of downsizing his childhood home and parent’s possessions.  Using illustrations from his own journey,  Walsh helps readers turn decluttering and downsizing into a rejuvenating life change with practical takeaways and useful tips.
  2. Goodbye, Things by Fumio Sasaki. This is not the story of an organizing expert, but rather the tale of an ordinary guy who was so stressed out by his excess he decided to say goodbye to the things he didn’t absolutely need.  In return, he found freedom, focus and a sense of gratitude for everything around him.  While sharing of his journey towards a minimalist lifestyle, Sasaki offers specific tips to minimize the excess around you.
  3. Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin. Following the success of her Happiness Project, Rubin decided to turn the experiment towards her own home to see if she could create a calming and energizing place.  Giving herself one school year, Rubin dedicated herself to making her home an environment of simplicity, comfort, and love. Following her example, you can find more happiness and contentment in your own home and life.
  4. The Joy of Less by Francine Jay.  Simple Living pioneer, Francine Jay,  revises her popular book, The Joy of Less, with a newly redesigned edition.  Within this new update, Jay shares her steps to cultivate a minimalist mindset and form new habits, paving the way to lasting success.
  5. Unstuffed: Decluttering Your Home, Mind, and Soul by Ruth Soukup.  New York Times Bestselling Author, Ruth Soukup, shares personal stories and practical action plans to help you take back your life from all the stuff that’s weighing you down. She will inspire and empower you to finally declutter not only your home but your mind and soul as well.
  6. The Art of Discarding: How to Get Rid of Clutter and Find Joy by Nagisa Tatsumi. Fans of Marie Kondo will enjoy this book, the original inspiration for her best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. With practical and inspiring insights, Tatsumi offers hands-on advice and easy-to-follow guidelines to get rid of your clutter and find the joy that’s been eluding you.
  7. The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own by Joshua Becker. In an attempt to minimalize his own life, Becker discovered that living with less and letting go of what you own you can, in fact, maximize your life.  With practical suggestions and encouragement, Becker will help you see how taking possessions out of your life actually gives it back to you.
  8. Everything That Remains, A Memoir by The Minimalists. What do you do when your mom dies and your marriage falls apart in the same month? You start looking for answers.  That’s exactly what Joshua Fields Millburn, one-half of the team known as The Minimalists, did.  In the process, he gave up a six-figure career and embraced a lifestyle of simplicity.  Everything That Remains is the touching and personal story of one man’s quest to let go of everything and start living more deliberately.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to dig into some of these books! Not only am I interested in how to live with less clutter, I’m curious about the personal journeys the authors went through to bring them to the point where they are now.  That’s because I know that getting organized isn’t just a process.  It’s a journey that can transform us in ways we’ve never imagined.

I hope you’ll check out some of these books this summer, as well as my other organizing book recommendations.  They are plenty of summer afternoons to get them all read!

Have you heard or read any of these books about letting go?

Do you have any other books you’d suggest adding to the list?

Leave a comment and let me know!

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40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge – Week 1

I love a good challenge, especially one that helps you get the clutter gone for good!

That’s why I’m excited to share with you the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge.  I’ve teamed up with 3 other wonderful bloggers (see them below) to help you remove 40 bags of clutter from your home in 40 Days.  It’s our goal to guide, encourage, and provide you with the best tips and ideas that will allow you to get rid of the items you no longer love, need, use or want.

There are so many reasons to participate in this Challenge:

  • There’s a definite beginning and end to it so you have a set timeframe to work within.
  • I find 40 to be a significant spiritual number and there’s something so cathartic when you remove the unnecessary from your life – it can be a spiritual experience!
  • You’re not alone! I’ll be joining you, as will many others.
  • If you’ve struggled to declutter before and haven’t made the time or had the motivation, a short-term challenge like this can be just want you need to jumpstart your organizing efforts.

I hope you’ll consider joining me – either as a blogger or as a participant – to edit the clutter out of your home and spaces so you can live a life surrounded by what you truly love.

40 Bags in 40 Days

Welcome to the first week of the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge!

The 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge is a weekly link up for bloggers to share their posts on spring cleaning, organization, and decluttering. If you’re a blogger, we would love for you to participate! If you don’t blog, you can still check out the featured posts and new posts below.

The 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge runs each week, starting at 8am eastern time, and the link party stays open for new posts through Thursday so you have plenty of time to post. After that you will still be able to see all of the posts that have been linked. The party is open to bloggers from all over the world – though I can only read English.


Your Co-Hosts for the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge!

The bloggers bringing you the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge:

Aileen from Aileen Cooks | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Liana from By George Organizing | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Stephanie from Happily Homegrown | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Kaitlin from The Simply Organized Home | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest


  1. Everyone is welcome to link up to 2 family friendly posts on cleaning, decluttering, or organization each week. We reserve the right to delete any posts we don’t believe to be “family friendly.”
  2. Please Follow your Hosts!
  3. Be a Good Party Goer and visit at least 3 other posts and don’t forget to comment!
  4. By linking to this party you are giving Aileen Cooks, By George Organizing, Happily Homegrown, and The Simply Organized Home permission to feature one picture on our websites, social media, and blogs. Proper credit will always be given to you. We are not responsible for stolen and/or misused images, misused projects and ideas.
  5. By participating in the link party, you give permission to receive a weekly email inviting you to the #40Bags40Days link party.
  6. We will be sharing the featured posts on social media and pinning a pin from the original article on 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge board and in the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge Facebook community. Don’t forget to follow along!


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The Down and Dirty of Decluttering [Video]

down and dirty of decluttering

Decluttering.  It’s a task we know we need to do to bring order to our homes, but it can be so hard!

So let’s find out how we can make it less overwhelming! In this video I share the Down and Dirty of Decluttering, including:

Do you need to declutter? What’s stopping you? How did these down and dirty decluttering tips and ideas help you to get started?

Leave me a comment and let me know!

All the Decluttering Tools You Need to Get the Clutter Gone!

Decluttering Tools

So you want to declutter.  That’s great! But do you have all the tools you need to get the job done?

Although decluttering may seem like a straight-forward task,  the more preparation you put into it, the more successful your decluttering efforts will be.  Before you start throwing out those items you no longer need, use or want, make sure you have the proper decluttering tools to get the job done right.

Essential decluttering tools

While there are several ways to approach your decluttering, there are a few essential tools you’ll want to have on hand as you start the process:

Time.  Whether it’s 15 minutes or an hour, you will need to make time in your schedule to declutter.  Determine your best work time(s) and then make an appointment with yourself in your calendar for decluttering.  It may seem strange to do this, but when you schedule something, you are more likely to do it.

Bags, Bins, Baskets or Boxes.  To start, you’ll need some type of container to capture the items you are sorting through as you declutter.  You’ll likely discover some things you’ll want to keep and some you’ll want to throw away; you’ll also have items that you want to donate and other things you know belong somewhere else in your house.

To make the most of your time, have a container for each of your sorting categories where you are decluttering. The containers don’t have to be fancy – a trash bag, a bin, a basket or a box you have available around the house will work just fine.  But it will be easier to work and remove the items if they are contained in some way.

Decluttering labels/signage.  To make the sorting process easier, have labels or signs for each decluttering container (Keep, Trash, Shred, Donate, Recycle, Belongs Elsewhere).

These signs can help you avoid any confusion about which pile is for donations and which one is for discards. In addition, if someone else is helping you declutter, they’ll also know what to do with items and won’t need to ask you continuously, “Where do I put this?”

Don’t have signs of your own? Download my FREE printable category signs to add to your decluttering toolbox!  Click here to grab the decluttering signs!

The right questions.  As you sort through your stuff, you’ll need to ask yourself a variety of questions to determine whether or not you should keep something:

  • Do I like it or do I love it?
  • When was the last time I used it?
  • Can I get this in another form rather than keep this one?

Asking the right questions can make all the difference in your decluttering efforts.  Not sure which questions you should be asking? Check out the 13 Questions You Need to Cut Your Clutter to use as your guide.

Willingness to let go.  Your decluttering efforts won’t be any good if you aren’t willing to let stuff go.  Make sure you are mentally ready and prepared to release items that aren’t serving you any longer.  If you aren’t that’s okay.  Maybe you need to wait for a better time.

But if you’ve determined that now is the time to get rid of the things that are weighing you down, then be willing to do the hard work (both physically and mentally) and be willing to let go.

Motivation.  While you may know in your head you need to declutter, does your spirt and heart know that you need to?  That’s usually where our motivation stems from and if we don’t have the right motivation, nothing’s going to get done.

So how do you get the motivation you need? I suggest finding some type of visual that will encourage you to get moving.  Look on Pinterest or cut out some pictures from a magazine that depict how you want your decluttered space to look like. You could also write out a quote or your own mantra to inspire you. Then post that visual in a spot where it can serve as a reminder of what you are shooting for.

Each person’s motivation may be different, and that’s okay.  No matter what your motivation is or looks like, the important thing is that you have a burning desire within you that propels you to start, to do the work, and to persevere no matter how difficult the task may be.

Optional decluttering tools

Here are a few other things you might want to have on hand while you declutter to make the process a little more fun:

Music.  A great playlist of upbeat songs can make the task of decluttering more enjoyable.  Just make sure to include, “Let It Go” as one of the main tracks!

A friend. While you may work better alone, it is nice to have someone else around to help ask the hard questions you may not ask yourself, to keep you focused, or to offer motivation when you want to quit.  Just make sure whoever is keeping you company is there to help and not hinder!

Snacks.  You can work up an appetite decluttering! Make sure to have some water and healthy snacks (maybe even a chocolate or two) on hand to keep your energy levels up. Taking a few minutes to munch on a snack or grab a drink of water can help you over the long run and insure that you reach the decluttering finish line!

So what’s in your decluttering toolbox?  Did you know you even needed one?

Before you pull out a drawer or open a cabinet, make sure you have the proper decluttering tools.  Because having the right tools can make all the difference in your decluttering efforts and your goal of getting organized.


180 Challenge logoLooking for more help with your decluttering efforts? Check out the 180 Challenge – a decluttering challenge that offers the focus and motivation you need to get rid of the things that have overtaken your home and overwhelm your life.  To sign up for this life-changing challenge, click here.