It’s All Too Much by Peter Walsh. Mel at the Study The Classics group mentioned this book, so I downloaded the audiobook and listened to it over the course of a day and a half while I was cleaning the house in preparation for our Homeschool PTA Party on Saturday. Wait, let me rephrase that. I listened while I spent a day and a half herding everyone’s clutter. By the time I finished dealing with the clutter (and laundry), I didn’t have much time left to actually clean in the sense of using water and cleaners. Needless to say, once I finished my clutter herding, I was deeply inspired to permanently de-clutter our entire house. I’m sketching out my program now.
What I like about this book is Walsh doesn’t just say “get rid of a bunch of stuff”, he takes you through a step-by-step, room-by-room program and guides you through the process of dealing with all your stuff. And, he starts in a somewhat unexpected place by asking “what is your vision for your life?”, and then moves on to developing a vision for each room of your home, developing functional zones for each room, and then determining whether or not each item in the room supports the vision. Anything that doesn’t support the vision for that room needs to be removed. Period.
The other thing Walsh points out is, the amount of stuff you can have is limited by the amount of space in the home you live in. Right now. This minute. Period. So, you have to set limits on the amount of stuff you will allow in your home, designate areas and spaces for specific stuff, and then pare down to fit in that limit. And then, “one in, one out”. For each new item you bring into your home, you have to let go of an existing item of similar size or type. Period. If you have two bookcases, all of your books have to fit onto those two bookcases. Today. Right now. And, if they are completely filled, then when you bring home a new book, you have to let go of one. Period. Immediately. It’s the only way to defeat the clutter creep.
I got Angel Bear's room cleaned up the other day (for those who saw it on Saturday night, you know it took a while!). I worked with Brother Bear yesterday on assigning specific purposes to zones in his room, so we can get a start. And, my closet is on the hit-list this week as well. I’m trying not to take on too much at once, but still make some progress. Dare I hope we master the garage this weekend?