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Today I offer a book review of Clutter’s Last Stand by Don Aslett. I originally read this book when I was doing a 90-day clutter challenge. During the challenge, I read several books about decluttering to inspire me to keep going. Reading decluttering books helps me feel like I have a mentor helping me, and stories about other people made me feel less alone in my mess.
This book is a must-read for any person facing a serious clutter crisis. It’s also a great starting place for those who struggle with a chronic, every-growing clutter problem (that would be me). It gives an excellent overview of the emotional and financial burden of hoarding, collecting, and just sheer hanging on to too much stuff. Throughout the book are some practical ways for cutting down on clutter.
The author starts with the story of his own struggles with junk. He then describes his years of dealing with other peoples’ clutter as a cleaning business owner. Then he gives a long list of the typical excuses we give for hanging on to stuff and reasons why these excuses keep us trapped in stuff. There’s even a quiz you can take to find out how serious of a junkee you are.
Several chapters cover the emotional and economic toll that hanging on to loads of stuff takes. Then come some practical chapters on understanding the ways that junk tends to gather in our lives, recognizing behaviors that lead to accumulating more, and evaluating if something is clutter or not.
Scattered throughout the book are funny (and sometimes all-too-familiar-sounding) stories of other folks’ junk. The second-to-last chapter offers some very down-to-earth advice on how to go about de-junking in a way that will probably be realistic and helpful to those who struggle most with this problem.
Clutter is simply undealt-with junk. How long it stands and mows you down is up to you alone. Clutter’s last stand will free the years, the months, the weeks, the days, and the hours you’re spending hauling, digging through, sorting, and protecting junk. With the clutter will go messes you’ve battled all your life—and defeating clutter will cost you nothing but a decision.”
Personally, I found this book useful in evaluating my own patterns for hanging on to clutter. It also gave me a vision of what letting go of stuff could mean to me. Decluttering means less stress, frustration, and depression. It means more free time, more energy and more general satisfaction with life. No amount of stuff can buy happiness, but having less of it cluttering up your life is almost sure to increase your happiness quotient. Are you ready for this to be clutter’s last stand in your life?