Heard of Marie Kondo and her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up? Ok, who hasn’t? Well let me tell you this decluttering book by Dana K White, Decluttering At The Speed Of Life is NOTHING like the “does it spark joy?” approach!
Even though the Konmari method has been very influential on my own decluttering journey, Decluttering At The Speed Of Life feels like its written by someone who actually has struggled with letting go of clutter. Heck the author’s own clutter history sounds like it could be me, or you. Here’s my summary of her decluttering tips for real people with real homes!
Why I Recommend Decluttering At The Speed Of Life
A Slob Comes Clean
Author, Dana K White is the founder of the site, A Slob Comes Clean, and is someone who knows what it is to struggle with an overwhelming mess in her own home.
I didn’t know it was clutter. I thought it was all amazing useful stuff. I just needed to a moment to remember why I’d considered it useful in the moment I brought it through my front (or side or back) door. And that totally logical thinking was how I ended up in a place where I couldn’t function in my own home.Dana K White, Decluttering At The Speed Of Life
So if nothing else you this book will show you, that it is possible and it is doable for YOU to declutter your own home!
How To Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind
I first heard of Dana through reading her book, How To Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind.
If you are struggling with cleaning routines and daily tasks, I recommend starting here first. It will make the decluttering process much easier when you get to it.
One of the best parts of How To Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind is the section on decluttering. So I am excited that Dana decided to expand on this topic with her new book.
How To Get Started With Decluttering When You Feel Overwhelmed
- Do you have an overwhelming mess in your home? Are you ready to declutter your OWN stuff?
- Are you interested in making visible progress every time you declutter? Definitely!
- Do you want help to get your clutter out of the house now, not tomorrow or someday? YES!!
Then go get yourself a copy of this book! Not sure, read on!
The Container Concept
One of the key ideas for Dana’s approach to decluttering your home is called the Container Concept. Accept the limitations of the space you have and declutter to the point that your stuff fits comfortably in that space.
The Container Concept suggests that the container sets the boundary for how much stuff you can hold on to. Not whether you like every item you own.
Do you have a storage problem or a clutter problem?
We use the Container Concept all the time now in our small house with my hubby, kids and even myself to help us make decisions about stuff.
For example; my 8 year old wants to purchase a large remote control car (second hand of course). Where will you store it? What will you need to let go of to make room on your shelf for it?
Do you want the car more than what you already have? Most of the time, it’s a no!
Or with hubby not wanting our winters jackets to be stored in the laundry room. O.K. What other “container” can we fit them in?
It helps that I am not personally saying no to everything but the container itself becomes the limit!
The Clutter Cycle
Why Normal People Can End Up With So Much Stuff In Their Homes
Often you hear about chronic clutter in terms of hoarding. But clutter can accumulate in your home when you have genuinely good intentions. Dana explains the clutter cycle succinctly as…
Comfort food tastes so good while I’m eating it, but the feeling doesn’t last once the food is gone… I’m frustrated with myself for eating something that ultimately makes my life harder. Because now my jeans don’t fit. And my jeans not fitting makes me feel frustrated, and frustrated makes me crave something that’s been chicken fried.
The same thing happened when I collected stuff… a shoeshine box I didn’t need turned into frustration when I had to move it out of the way as I searched for things I actually did need.Dana K White, Decluttering At The Speed Of Life
A lot of the clutter came into my house this way. I had an eye for finding bargain furniture that need repairing (with the idea of reselling it). Except the finding became a lot more fun and easier than the restoration work.
I was drawn to it during a difficult season in my life, health wise and relationally, when distracting myself with “stuff” was easier! However, what I originally saw as potential value became overwhelming clutter, once in my home!
An amazing bargain that makes my life more difficult isn’t an amazing bargain at all.Dana K White, Decluttering At The Speed Of Life
Decluttering Tips Room By Room
Step By Step Decluttering Instructions
This is where Decluttering At The Speed of Life gets really practical. After talking about a decluttering mindset, Dana then gives you step by step decluttering instructions for every room in your home as well as decluttering tips pertinent to that specific space.
While Marie Kondo, in The Magic Of Tidying Up strongly advocates decluttering your home, by category starting first with your clothing, Dana suggests starting with obvious visible clutter. Why? You can see progress immediately which will give you motivation to keep going.
Feel like you are hampered by limited time and/or energy? The step by step decluttering instructions in this book will see you make progress even if you only have 5 minutes available.
There is no stuff put aside in keep piles to deal with later so the house doesn’t become more messy in the process of decluttering.
How To Help Family And Friends Declutter
There is also practical decluttering advice that can be applied to helping older family members, kids or even friends declutter.
While you can only take responsibility for your own clutter, there are times when you need to know what to do about other people’s clutter. Dana explains how to use her step by step process to respectfully and kindly, help family and friends sort through their stuff.
So if you are a real person with a real home I reckon you would find this book helpful, as well as encouraging and funny!