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The Best Anti-Clutter and Organizing Books

Updated on January 20, 2012

In my day job I help people get rid of clutter. I teach classes and encourage people to get rid of the stuff that they don't need, thus making their lives simpler and more fulfilling.

My favorite author is Don Aslett, he has written so many books on a wide variety of cleaning and tidying isuues. And a very close second favorite is Flylady, Marla Cilley, who took the Internet by storm a few years ago with her buzz words, her motto that you are never behind and just start by cleaning your sink.

Here are some books I have read and really liked over the years of decluttering and then teaching decluttering. If you want to organize your closet, your kitchen, bedroom or the whole house, you will find something here that is very useful.

This is a collection of articles dealing with getting rid of clutter in your home. The first few chapters deal with the problem of clutter and why less is better. There are a few chapters on dealing with children's bedrooms, and chapters talking about the kitchen, the bathroom and even managing your time.

Finally you are encouraged to enjoy life more, recycle more and enjoy life more while spending less.

Years ago I read “Clutter’s Last Stand” and I first came across the suggestion that if you haven’t used something for a year, then get rid of it. This has stuck with my all my life and it is now a principle I live by with everything except my book collection. Don Aslett’s books are my favorite on the topic.

If you don’t love it and don’t use it then get rid of it. That’s Flylady’s principle in this book. Her book is more than just anti-clutter, it’s a whole household system management with daily and weekly routines. But the basic principle is that you can’t tidy clutter, it has to leave the house.

Julie Morgenstern tells us not to buy plastic storage containers and then sort and tidy, get rid of your stuff and see what’s left and then buy the storage containers. She’s made some DVDs too which are well worth watching.

The main idea of this book is that we do the same chores over and over, daily or weekly. So the authors introduce the system of writing everything you do on 3 x 5 cards and arranging the cards to form your daily or weekly schedule. They stop referring to us as moms, and call us SHE (Sidetracked Home Executives).

When you have your house and your life organized, you’ll want to organize your meals. This is a good book for doing just that, although I found a lot of the meals included both meat and cheese.

This is the short version of the longer book “When The Game Is Over, It all Goes Back in the Box”, this book is about how we become attached to our stuff, but it points toward things that are more important. The book includes Bible verses.

This book addresses “The Clutter Problem” and then talks about “Putting clutter in its Place” and dealing with “surface clutter” (Flylady’s hotspots). It also includes involving the other members of the family, a problem most moms who want to declutter have to deal with. The book is an easy read and is often funny.

This book helps you organize and clean your home without spending every waking minute doing so. It talks about the mental and emotional roots of clutter. Sandra Felton founded “Messies Anonymous” and has written many other books.

The concept of this book is that if your house is messy, your mind will be too. If under your bed is cluttered you won’t have a good night’s sleep. Sort out your junk and you’ll sort out your life too.

Not a book, but a DVD and one that has inspired me a lot. Kim and Aggie, from the UK, go into certain homes in the US that are really filthy. They very dramatically scream before helping the owners get rid of stuff (at top speed) and then have their team clean the house. It’s sort of like Supernanny for housekeepers. They have written a couple of books with cleaning hints, too.

If you’ve read any really good decluttering books, please let me know in the comments section and I’ll read them and add them to this list.


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    • Laura Schneider profile image

      Laura Schneider 5 years ago from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

      I think that's a great idea! I've already got the app for my computer so I can read Kindle books on my laptop without having to buy another device. duh -- Why didn't I think of that? Wow, you're good! :-) Thanks again, Tina! (This is like rocket science to us slobs, you realize.)

    • TinasTreasures profile image

      TinasTreasures 5 years ago from California

      Laura, you should get a Kindle, then you can have many books and they don't add to the clutter.

    • Laura Schneider profile image

      Laura Schneider 5 years ago from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

      I just about bought one of the books, only to realize that I would consider it clutter the minute I finished reading it... :-)

    • angelaglancy profile image

      angelaglancy 6 years ago from Seattle

      Interesting!!! I'll have to read some of these books.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 6 years ago from USA

      I've read many clutter books, and they do help motivate me in the short term to get rid of stuff. Now I am trying to motivate myself with the cleaning without doing a reading first.

    • terrioneill profile image

      terrioneill 7 years ago

      I have a secret obsession with clutter books! I just read Clutter's Last Stand and loved it. Can't wait to read some of his others.