I've already got organizing and decluttering on my mind in preparation for our next move. While we love our little house and the price is right, the neighborhood is a bit fringy and the school for our particular address is not the greatest. So, with Coco starting kindergarten next fall, it seems that a move is in order this upcoming summer.
Moving is the absolute worst. Every single time we move, I think to myself, "We actually don't have that much stuff. We've done such a good job of keeping our clutter down." And every single time, I am completely wrong. You know that phase in the move when you feel like you've packed just about everything and yet the house still feels as full as it did when you started? I would like to avoid that. So I've been reviewing my favorite organization and decluttering books beginning now. Over the next six months, I plan to purge and prep big time and make our lives more minimalist. Hopefully, it will make the move easier.
Organizing for your Lifestyle by Jane Stoller
This book, written by an expat living in Zurich, is perfect for the business traveler. Her approach is maximalist, but with pristine organization and no clutter. Think of a kitchen with all the best appliances and gadgets, but with none of them crowding up the counters. Everything in its (labeled) place is Stoller's approach. It makes packing for trips (and unpacking on the return) an absolute breeze. She has found ways to streamline and maximize efficiency in all tasks, from laundry to bathroom storage to getting dressed every day. Perfect for the meticulous organizer or novice organizer alike. Stoller has basically created a room-by-room guide to total organization.
Time Management from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern
I first read this book over ten years ago. It focuses a lot on schedules, but really is all about life organization. The follow-up book, Organizing from the Inside Out focuses more on physical objects, but I find that the time management piece can be a game changer over all. Morgenstern starts the book with a little anecdote. The sun comes out and she thinks it would be wonderful to go for a walk with her baby. By the time she finds and gathers everything she needs - or thinks she could possibly need - the baby has fallen asleep on the floor and it's raining again. Her point: if you're organized, you won't miss out on moments like these. She carries the reader through a series of questionnaires and visualization exercises to determine the type of life they want to create and organize for themselves. Super awesome for the planning and strategy phase of your clear out.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
This book has been the gold standard of decluttering books for the past few years, largely because Kondo's approach is so different and whimsical. Rather than focusing on practicality, Kondo is concerned mainly with joy. Does an item give you joy? If so, keep it, and if not, toss it. Toss, of course, can mean recycle or donate etc, but her maxim is that you do not ever keep something because it's valuable or might be useful or you might need it someday. You only keep things you love. This book is great for people who have a hard time letting go of things. Her follow up book, Spark Joy, is a beautifully illustrated guide with step-by-step tips on implementing her organization strategies once you've cleared out.
Because I love the look and feel of a minimalist, tidy, clean and clutter-free home, I really want to pare down our belongings yet again. It makes such a huge difference in my mood and stress levels to have things orderly and neat. But, it's easier said than done, especially with children around. Being calm and present with one's children is all the more reason to do it. And the thought of a less painful move is really getting me motivated! ;)
How do you keep clutter to a minimum? Do you clear out every month? Once a year? Consistently throughout each week? Please share your tips in the comments below!