I absolutely love this email I received from one of you!
Just a warning that the first part is totally a recommendation to grab the audio version of my book. But that is how SHE opened the letter, so it’s not like it’s ME trying to convince you to get it!
I love hearing from people who declutter while they listen to my book about decluttering!
The very best way to understand how my style of decluttering works is to get to work, so I love that audiobooks let that happen!
But even if you skim over why she likes my book, read from the third paragraph on. Her in-the-moment understanding and application of The Container Concept made me giddy!
I’ve tried other books, and the writers were well-meaning with some “Oh I’ve been in your shoes I’m messy all you have to do is set your mind to it and do exactly what I say every day because heck it worked for me when my house got messy that one time.”
But this time instead of sitting down and spending time reading a book about cleaning, I listened to your audiobook, while I cleaned.
I was actually being productive while taking it all in! And . . . the container thing.
Yesterday, while cleaning up all my kids’ Christmas presents, I thought, “I’ll go to Walmart and get some cute tubs to put all this stuff in! They’ll have all the new designs out!”
I drove all the way to the store, filled a cart with nice new clear bins . . . and then it hit me.
I don’t need containers for all this stuff.
I have a games shelf for games.
It’s full but there are probably 10 old ones that I bought at garage sales that literally no one has ever bothered to play. I can donate those to make room for the new ones.
The kids (7, 8) got new books, but I don’t need a container to put their baby books in to store them until I have grandkids. I need to get rid of some of their other ones to make room for the new ones.
Well, I walked right out of that Walmart with a pack of tortillas and not a single bin! I wasted an hour of my day but I saved my house from another $50 worth of bins that I don’t need.
I packed the books into laundry baskets and took them to Once Upon A Child. I got $200 for them (there were a lot of books) and took the leftovers to Value Village.
This was a long winded THANK YOU, but, thank you!
Need help decluttering? My book, Decluttering at the Speed of Life, will teach you everything you need to know to make progress (and never a bigger mess) in your home. It’s available wherever books are sold in whatever format you prefer to use (paperback, digital, audio). Learn more here.
There’s also a lot of free information here on the site to get you started. Learn more about that here. I have recorded more than 200 podcasts!
And not free, but on sale right now, my video course, The 5 Day Clutter Shakedown, is half off through the 31st! Find out more here.
The Container Concept is the single biggest game changer for me too and my household. It helped me with my stuff, and it’s been really helpful for getting buy in from the family. I’m not saying they need to get rid of stuff. The drawer just doesn’t fit all of their t-shirts so please fill it with your favorites. Yes, I love all our books too, but they don’t all fit on the bookshelf. Which are you favorites?
I love your books. You are a blessing to those of us who have lost control of our homes. While decluttering a room I found sewing supplies here and there. I enjoy sewing but do not have a place in my house to do it other than the kitchen table. I have cats, so it isn’t possible to keep my projects and sewing tools lying about. I hated the thought of having to go to the bedroom closet and carry everything out to the kitchen to work on a project then have to carry it all back and put it away when finished sewing for the day. While in the pet food aisle at the grocery store, I saw a large rolling bin for storing dog food. Ding! I could store my sewing project and tools in the rolling bin, roll it out to the kitchen table when working on the project, and roll it back to it’s storage place when finished for the day. No clutter and no searching for what I need to work on the project. Thinking outside the box that I learned from reading your books and reading your blog has got me doing things I enjoy again. They are so motivational. I am no longer afraid of some of the areas in my house. You make it so easy. Thank you.
I concur that the container concept is life changing! There is limited space, and if I want to fit one more thing in I need to remove something. And if I want to keep my 10 million or so cardigans and sweaters, then I need to empty another container (like the drawer of fancy undergarments I never wear) to make room. Just don’t tell my husband I value comfort over lacy uncomfortable things that end up on the floor anyway 😉
Taught my 6yo daughter the container concept for her bookcase. 1 shelf for chapter books, 1 for any style (favs first), 1 shelf for papers and misc. She was shocked that she had a full empty shelf to put her stuffed animals on. Even went back to Dad to tell him he was right that she was able to get an empty shelf if she cleaned up. Only been decluttering for two months but finally training the kids the right way for us. Thank you. The audio books are the best as well as listening to the podcasts.
Yes, the Container Concept! I didn’t realize that is what I was doing but it really helped. I moved from an apartment that had a bedroom closet the full length of one wall-I had put a modular system in there so I had shelves and hanging rods and everything was in order- to a 100-year-old house that had maybe a 3-foot-wide closet with one rod. Well, I’ve been donating clothes for 6 years trying to get down to the “container” I have now. It has been WORTH IT! I didn’t realize how many items I had that I never wore. I may have liked them but they didn’t even fit! I always have a sack or box by the closet and even if there are only 3 items in it if I’m going by the donate place I take it. I hand it to the guy and say there’s only a few things but he always says “Thank you!” It feels SO GOOD to get things out of the house!!!
I try. I really do. I decluttered a whole 4’x7′ bookcase worth of books. So my housemate filled it up with his books. Then I said, “You know, all 15 bookcases in the house are full, and we don’t have any more walls to put bookcases on. What can we do about that?” So he bought another house to put books in. It’s a tiny house, but still.
It’s hard to remember that I just need to deal with my own stuff.
I love listening to audio books and podcasts while I clean. And I have a few on cleaning that I listen to while cleaning. It helps keeps me motivated and one of my goals this year is to listen to the books I’ve already got and not buy more until I have. If I clean while I listen, I should be able to get the entire house done by the time I finish all of them. I may be dreaming on that last one, but have some books in my TBR pile that are over twenty hours and at least one over thirty.
My new question (in addition to you’re two questions) is “Do I want a clean and organized closet/bedroom/garage/life more than I want all this stuff? Well then I can keep what nicely fits in the containers I have and the rest needs to go. This is keeping me on task in my closet and it’s what I will need to focus on next weekend when I start with the garage.
After I told my husband I was reading this blog he asked me what I was learning, and I told him about the container concept. He grasped it instantly and started looking around for overflowing containers. The first one he noticed was his teapot shelf. It has room for three cute little teapots but he had four, and his favorite one had to live on the counter. So he got rid of the one he didn’t like,and now all three can fit on the shelf!