It’s time for our recommended books section again! If you liked our past article 7 Books On Minimalism A Minimalist Need To, or you are a honestly book lover, you’ll definitely like this one too. This column is specially prepared for readers who want more specific content, which is more focused, efficient and accurate.
And very welcome our main guest today: Decluttering At The Speed Of Life: Winning Your Never-Ending Battle With Stuff.
What is Decluttering At The Speed Of Life about?
Remember our last article about declutter challenges? If the declutter challenge is a challenge suitable for beginners, a first try in a room that has never been decluttered, then this book is about advanced products for a minimalist who has already learned a lot.
It is more suitable for a family that has been baptized by the years, a house where many people have lived for many years, and there are too many traces of life and debris that cannot be cleared away.
Decluttering At The Speed Of Life can help you declutter rooms more naturally and relax because as long as you continue to live, clutter will continue to appear. You can’t make clutter disappear forever, so you can only clean up the room with a peaceful mind and spend less time and energy. Not just the methodology, but the psychology behind the events.
Dana K. White is the author of Decluttering at The Speed of Life. She runs her own YouTube account (the same name), has her own website (also about Cleaning, Decluttering & Organizing) called A SLOB COMES CLEAN (also a podcast), and has written many other books about decluttering your life, like Organizing for The Rest of Us and How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind. If you have trouble with words, then you can also watch her videos or go to her website to find fun declutter challenges.
Find your motivation for decluttering
I believe that many people have the same experience as the author of this book. He used to be a maximalist. He bought whatever he liked and bought it home until there were more and more things at home, and it almost looked like a Vintage store, or storage room. This is similar to what I have experienced before, and sometimes I even forget that I have bought the same thing!
Or, you just live, but the number of objects will always increase as you age, especially in families with children (we will talk about the declutter of toys later). If you could really take out all the items in your home, you can’t imagine how many items there would be!
All you need to do is find your motivation to organize and say goodbye to a complicated life. Not just general ideas like “I want to live a happy life” or “I want to learn to organize things anyway”, but being able to concretely imagine what it would be like to live in a room that has been organized. Visualize everything, the more specific the better.
By comparing the perfect imagination and the reality, I’m sure that you can discover what things and spaces you need to organize.
The Container Concept
Unlike Marie Kondo, another declutter master we mentioned before, Dana K. White does not emphasize “spark joy” in this book. After all, not all objects in life can inspire happiness. Dana White This book pays more attention to practice, pays attention to practicality, and solves problems from a realistic perspective.
Think of your living space as a container, she says. For example, each room is one container and each cabinet is another. When your container is full, you have to make room before you can put anything else in it.
For example, if you want to organize your shoe rack, plan your container area. Your shoe rack is a container. Put in pairs of shoes that you absolutely can’t bear to part with, and the rest will need to be thrown away or donated. Unlike some previous declutter challenges, you don’t have to empty your container first, which might disrupt your thoughts. After all, remember, what we need to declutter now is a house that has been lived in for a long time and is full of traces of life, not a new house.
Like the declutters challenges and games suggestions we mentioned before, Dana also suggested that we take out three boxes for items that need to be donated, thrown away, and kept.
Dana gives specific and precise suggestions for every space/room, kitchen, garage, cabinets, the only thing you need to do is to follow the book. Coincidently, it’s just the time to organize the seasonal clothes. When Dana gave an example of the concept of containers, she used a box of scarves as an example. I guess I should also declutter my scarves.
There is actually a common logic in decluttering, sorting, and cleaning for every room, every space, and every container. Dana suggests we ask ourselves two questions:
- If I need this item, where will I look for it?
- If I need this item, will I remember that it exists?
For the former, you can realize the connection between items and space through this question, such as keys on the cabinet by the door, books on the bookshelf, remote controls in the drawer of the coffee table, etc.
In this way, you avoid the situation of not being able to find something. Moreover, after you have thought about this problem once, it is usually the same when you think about it in the future. Do not put something in a space that has no fundamental connection with it, so that you can easily forget its existence.
Just in time, it’s time for our second question. As I mentioned above, I have purchased the same item over and over again because I completely forgot about its existence. Related to the efficacy of items I repeatedly submitted before, if an item is of no use and you never use it, then its sense of existence will become weaker and weaker until you completely forget about it.