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The Declutter Project: The Idea

My family and I live in a small house in the country — a modest home with just enough room for the four of us, and perhaps our two dogs too. But in this little home in the quietest of towns, we have a bit of a problem. It’s name is clutter.

While we aren’t hoarders by any stretch of the imagination, we do have more stuff than we should. There are more magazines floating around, paper stacks and bits of I-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-this than any family should have. After getting frustrated by the stuff — and the ugly reality that it stops us from having friends and family over often — I decided to do something about it. And then write about it.

It all started with an idea. What if my family were to try adopting the techniques in a book dedicated to being clutter-free and put them into action? Could that lead us to clutter-free bliss? It’s something I was willing to try, so a few weeks back we gave it a try.

In search of just the right book to get started, my kids and I hit the library. After a productive pitstop in the children’s section (hint: always check out the books for the kids first, so they have something to do while you head to the quieter stacks for something for you), we headed to the third floor (which is the nonfiction book section in our local library). The kids settled into wing chairs, reading through their selections while I tackled the online book catalog to locate organizing books.

I weighed the options and finally decided to go with It’s All Too Much by Peter Walsh, which was published in 2007. You might remember Peter Walsh as the organizing expert from TLC’s now-defunct show Clean Sweep. I’ve read parts of this book before and knew it had practical advice. I also like Peter’s style, and his no-nonsense approach to decluttering.

Over the next few weeks I will share our journey through the book — both breaking down the advice and sharing how I implemented it in our house. And I will also share how it’s really working in the long run. Be sure to check in every Wednesday for ideas and updates.

And away we go …

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