Friday, March 18, 2011

    Book review: Clutter Rehab

    'A place for everything and everything in place' - a seemingly lofty goal that far too often eludes me despite my best of intentions. This year, however, I was determined to kick my efforts into high gear with just two goals - 'Write it down' and 'Get organized'. While the first is pretty straight forward, my goal of organization has almost left me wondering where to begin. I was delighted when I was introduced to a brand new book '' - the title alone caught my attention immediately. Written by self confessed organizational junkie Laura Wittmann who shares 101 tips on how to conquer clutter and achieve the '"high" that comes from living a life of simplicity and order'.

    Filled with handy and inexpensive (and quite often free) tips and tools to create an organized and efficient system in your home and throughout your daily routines. With ideas on 'how to repurpose items for creative storage', or even basic reminders on fool proof techniques we've all experienced before, such as 'invite guests over' (this one always works wonders in my house), I have to say I'm quite excited to start using some of these ideas.

    While there's no one quick and easy solution to getting and staying organized, these tips will definitely help to get you on the right track to create a system you'll be able to maintain. This really seems to be an area where most of us struggle a bit and could use a little improvement, so I'm hoping to make this a more regular topic of discussion here and I'd love to hear any tips or tricks you might have to share.

    Ulysses Press has been kind enough to offer a copy of of to one reader, to enter, please leave a comment below sharing the best piece of organizational advice you've received or alternately the number one area where you'd like to be more organized.
    The winner will be drawn at random and notified after March 23rd. Unfortunately this give-away is open to residents of Canada and the US only.

    { by Laura Wittmann, published by Ulysses Press, photo taken for escapade }



    I totally agree with the invite people over idea. It works for at least a few days around here. I also think everything should have a place but it's hard for me to find a place for everything.

    Veronica said...

    This would be such an excellent Mother's Day present for my mum. She's moving to a new house within the next few months. I think this would help her dejunk and organize her current home, as well as help prevent clutter altogether in her new house!

    My best advice was from her actually: touch each piece of mail once. Don't put it in a pile where it will eventually get lost; if it's important, file it and if it's junk... recycle!


    Oh, I do love decluttering.

    Tip: Keep a tote in the laundry for kids' clothes that they've grown out of, and put them in the tote right away after you've washed them. (And/or keep a box for donations, and when it's full take it to the dropoff.)

    Anonymous said...

    Keep things near where you use them. That way the items are easy to find and also easy to put away when done.

    sjmagee1 at


    I like the thought of jumping in no matter where you are and just start.
    It's not going to happen overnight....that said i feel most disorganized in my closets.

    This post has been removed by the author.

    Earlier in our marriage, my husband always loved it when my mother was coming to visit -- the house always got its most thorough cleaning of the year then! That, and the fact that she always cleaned my oven for me!

    I'd love to win this book. I'm on a real de-cluttering binge right now. I wrote a little about it on my blog this week (more next week:



    I left a long comment, but got an error when posting it!

    I'm posting this, to see if it works, before trying again!


    I have been putting everyone's socks into separate mesh bags before washing so I don't have to sort through them all when they come out of the dryer.
    I just saw this book the other day, and would love to read it. I was recently diagnosed with ADD and am trying like crazy to get myself organized.


    I keep all of my organisation information in a program called Evernote (it's free, and automagically backed up online, so I can never lose it). I store info like:

    - where I've stored stuff
    - household services (eg last time I got carpets cleaned - was I happy with them? How much was it? etc)
    - cleaning tips
    - recipes
    - meal planning
    - health information
    - motivational quotes
    - to do lists
    - useful lists, like "what to take camping" and "what I forgot last time"

    It's all searchable, so I have only one place to look for all my info. And it's accessible online from any computer, including my phone!! So I also store things like airline reservation information or anything else I might need traveling.

    It's awesome!



    I have been attempting to simplify for quite a while but could use some strategies to get me motivated again.


    I am a horrible clutter creator! Everywhere. My husband wants to get rid of everything, but we do need some things to function with 2 kids.So, I need help everywhere!!


    The best organizing advice I've received is to do one complete load of laundry a day. That means washed, dried, and put away.
    I'm still working on decluttering and keeping flat surfaces cleaned off.

    Anonymous said...

    try flylady! its kinda cheesy but it actually works

    dana said...

    it is the loftiest of goals, and sheds such a veil of peace...the maintenance is the issue...doing it daily, even if for a bit seems to help, but, yet, that is the challenge.
    look forward to reading this book, thank you.


    I have the worst problem with getting organized and need to start ASAP. The biggest issue is wanting to have a place for everything and not having it, then getting discouraged and just making piles everywhere. Procrastination is another reason for lack of organization, there's always this mysterious time available later that always eludes me. This book seems as if it would put me in the right direction.


    Since I am often worried that someone might nominate me for an episode of hoarders, I really shouldn't be offering any organizational tips. Ok, a great tip (that obviously don't follow) would be to put things away immediately after using them so they don't pile up. Yes...I really need this book.


    Hmmm....just wrote a comment about how I belong on the show Hoarders but I'm not sure it saved. My tip (which I never actually follow) is to put things away as soon as you are done with them instead of letting them pile. I desperately need this book.


    I think WIlliam Morris said it best...have nothing in your home that is not both beautiful and functional! That's my design and organizational golden rule.

    The French Mouse


    We have stored "stuff" for years, and it's time to purge the basement. Just need a starting point and some words of encouragement. Thanks for the opportunity of winning another book to store. Just kidding. It will go to good use.


    Elaine said...

    We just moved to a new house. In some ways it's bigger than our previous apartment but in other ways it is smaller. We still need to sort so much. But my office needs the most decluttering. Please, I would love this book!


    Oh, this could be good, very very good!! I do the company clean up, temporary though!

    Come and enter to win my luscious Bath & Body giveaway!

    Art by Karena

    Suzy P Quinn said...

    I would love to win this book. It seems almost impossible sometimes to keep things where they belong. Every new storage space ends up chock full! But I keep trying and giving things away if I haven't used/worn them lately. I would love a real system. Thanks. Love your blog! Suzy Quinn


    This seems like my life's work. My best tip is when I think about something that needs cleaning or organizing- do it immediately. It reduces the anxiety and gets things done!


    my best clutter advice is: buy less. buy toys that they won't outgrow or lose interest in within 3 minutes. dont buy three boxes worth of st. patricks decorations when you live in 600 square feet. limit your clutter and organizing becomes easier.

    i desperately need to organize my storage unit, where i keep all those out-of-season items i somehow justify keeping


    i totally need to go into rehab for that. What happened to my tidy gene?!