I usually try not to have two book reviews back to back, but since I spaced out on the last one, and this one was already scheduled for this week, I couldn’t get around it. I was recently sent a copy of 5 Days to a Clutter-Free House: Quick, Easy Ways to Clear Up Your Space by Sandra Felton & Marsha Sims.

From the publisher:

While most of us aren’t hoarders we can all benefit from assessing and reducing the clutter in our homes–and then organizing what’s left. Many things stop us from succeeding: the sheer scope of the project, the tendency to lose momentum if the job takes too long, and the fact that we’re always acquiring new clutter. But what if it really took only a week to de-clutter the whole house, and then you even had the weekend to relax and enjoy your new clutter-free space? Could it really be that simple?

Organizing and time management experts Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims show how with the right game plan and a healthy dose of adrenaline, anyone can de-clutter their home in just five days. With this systematic, team-based approach, even the most overwhelming de-cluttering job becomes doable. The authors’ enthusiasm and energy keep readers pushing forward to the goal, and their time-tested tips and habits help readers maintain their hard-won gains. The authors even show how to deal with common obstacles to achieving and keeping a clutter-free house, like filing, storage needs, health issues, space restrictions, the car, and even family sabotage!

I’ve never heard of their particular approach before and if you have clutter everywhere and on every surface imaginable and stuffed to the gills in every possible place, this is the book for you.   Felton & Sims suggest getting a team of people to help you clear the whole place out.  They lay out tips for how to have people help you — making a game plan, organization, even how to pick your team!   Getting your house cleared in 5 days is NOT a solitary enterprise!    Once your helpers have cleaned every thing so it looks nice, you can go through the contents at your leisure because NO ONE throws anything out (except obvious trash like candy wrappers and the like).

Later, the book goes into creating habits for keeping the house clear once your team has helped so that you don’t slip back into the same old habits.  I have to admit, they are basic but not so easy to do.   It has taken me YEARS to get into the habit of finishing whatever I’m doing when I’m done, including putting things away.   And that is just one of the tips they offer.

I was hoping to use this to jump start my 40 Bags in 40 Days program for Lent, but it turns out I already box up random stuff to deal with later when I find it where it doesn’t belong.  Now, I have to go through those random boxes :).

Overall, if you have a ton of stuff and a ton of clutter and you don’t have space to put it all, this book could help you a lot.   Having a team could make a big enough difference to jump start your project and give you the motivation you need to continue.  The authors do include stories of people doing it on their own, though it’s never as quick and easy, so others could use it, too.

Available February 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group




Disclaimer:   I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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