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April 18, 2019

Books to Keep Up Your Clutter-Free Life Resolutions

Even more so than the new year, spring sets the tone for wanting a clean slate physically, which includes your home that probably is ready to be aired out from a stuffy winter.

The combination of wanting to start anew and warmer weather outside makes it the perfect time to brush off the outdoor furniture and read books on how to clear your home’s slate and continue through 2019 with less stuff. With less stuff, there’ll be less cleaning so summertime will be a time to enjoy yourself, not be stuck inside cleaning.

The Year of Less by Cait Flanders
Flanders’ book started out as a blog, but the book is a more contained experiment where she did not buy anything new for a whole year, unless it was on her preplanned list of needs (like a winter coat, for example) or if she was totally replacing something. She learned a lot about herself, saved a lot of money, and offers ways that anyone can use to apply a similar experiment to their life, even if it’s for a month, or just being way more conscious of their consumer habits. Even if you don’t ban shopping for any amount of time, just becoming more aware of how much you buy is a worthwhile exercise, and reading this book makes you really think about it.

The Magic Art of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
Nearly everyone interested in self betterment has heard of and possibly even Kondo’d their own home (yes she’s a verb!). Rooted in the idea that everything one owns should spark joy, Kondo’s descriptions of her methods are a little frou-frou for pragmatic people, but her actual methods are solid. Maybe your iron doesn’t spark joy, but doesn’t having freshly pressed pants that make you look like the sharpest one at the office spark joy? Think of the end result of how joy is obtained in your home and its furnishings, and take what you can use from Kondo’s book and throw out the ideas that don’t spark joy within you. Her Netflix show on the same topic is also a great way to see what people are doing if you are a more visual person. Settle in on a rainy spring evening to catch a few episodes and you may find yourself pressing pause to go start tossing out your own things that don’t make you as happy as they should.

The Happiness Project and Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin
Another oldie but goodie, The Happiness Project isn’t just about living a clutter-free life, but Rubins’ book is an excellent map to helping readers think about how they want to live their lives and offers easy steps to follow in her footsteps, even if the actual goals aren’t exactly the same. In later years, Rubin recreated the steps from her original project but dedicated solely to improving the happiness of her home environment. It’s a good jumping off point for ideas but is largely formulaic and follows the same steps as the first one, without recreating the wide eyed magic that readers get from The Happiness Project.

Everyone needs a little inspiration, a push, a visualization of the issue to get them moving forward on projects that can seem daunting — like decluttering a home. These books should get you in the mood to tidy up and get the leftovers to Goodwill so they can spark someone else’s joy!

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