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Clutter Clearing Choices: Clear Clutter, Organize Your Home, & Reclaim Your
by Barbara Tako
Home & Garden
Jan 31, 2010
Humorous and seasonally organized informational tips to clear clutter and get organized. Clearing clutter frees up time and energy to live our priorities. We can live green by donating and help others in tough economic times.
Clutter Clearing Choices is humorous, authentic, and entertaining, and organized by season because we struggle with different clutter concerns at different times of the year. It offers a variety of tips for clutter clearing, home organizing, and simple living.
If someone thinks they have already read everything out there about clutter, this book will show them they haven’t. If this is the first clutter clearing book someone picks up, they will be pleasantly surprised by the flexibility and quantity of helpful ideas and resources here.
Readers are invited to pick and choose what works for them. There is no single right way to get rid of clutter!
This book is filled with practical ideas to reduce clutter and get organized to free up time and energy for personal priorities, whatever they are! Isn’t that much more fun than hunting for car keys or misplaced paperwork?
Victoria Moran author of Creating a Charmed Life
Funny, thorough, and not the least bit intimidating, this book is a godsend for the organizationally challenged. It makes keeping the clutter manageable seem manageable after all.
Barbara Hemphill Author, Taming the Paper Tiger at Home
When I began my organizing business 30 years ago, it was based on four simple words: Clutter is Postponed Decisions®. Few of us (even professional organizing consultants!) ever reach the point of being satisfied with their ability to get rid of clutter as it just seems to keep pouring in. Barbara Tako has done a wonderful job of giving her readers practical suggestions for getting rid of the clutter in their lives. Less is more!
Barb Szyszkiewicz of FamilyCorner.com Magazine, Inc.
A step-by-step, concrete solution to overcoming household clutter, this book is full of helpful hints and resources. The easy-to-follow program is designed to take the reader through a whole year of clutter control. Barbara Tako’s book is loaded with common sense, humor, and good advice.
52 of 54 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars TEN stars The best book on cleaning, clutter I own, December 16, 2009
By MotherLodeBeth "MotherLodeBeth" (Sierras of California) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER) (VINE VOICE)
This review is from: Clutter Clearing Choices: Clear Clutter, Organize Your Home & Reclaim Your Life (Paperback)
Perhaps once a year I get a book that when I sit down to read it, I cannot stop. This is what happened when I got this book at 10 am one morning. When I finally set the book down it was 3 am the next morning. Yes, I tried reading a few chapters and setting the book aside, but then as soon as I was finished with a job I grabbed the book, anxious to see what new wisdom the author had to share.
Bear in mind I must have at least 32 books on the subject of cleaning, clutter, but in all honesty your books is brilliant for a variety of reasons. The New Year chapter that starts with First Resolve to Take Care of You is brilliant. Because it does begin with the individual.This book is brilliant because its laid out according to season. Sounds sensible but it seems to be something every other author has missed. And because of the authors approach clutter and cleaning should be less stressful.
Less stressful because because one isn't made to feel guilty if they aren't some type of super man or super woman, and able to clean and declutter within a week. Instead the author wisely recommended making one change per week, work off a list (something I love and what works for me), don't sweat the small stuff, and if you mess up, pick yourself up and begin where you left off.
She does a nice job when it comes to learning to cook simple and learn to start dinner in the morning, not when you get home tired in the evening. Page 32-33 have some of my favorite cook books, like once a month cooking, which I have done and recommend. After Ron was disabled by the drunk driver cooking once a month and freezing meals is what kept me sane, as I was his 24/7 caregiver for 14 years until he died.
And take care of yourself as far as getting enough sleep, stopping to smell the flowers, and getting enough physical activity. Sit down and have a cup of tea or other beverage treat, Sit and look out the window and calm down. Take a hot bath, wear comfortable clothes when home.
Chapter 14 deals with keeping ones home smelling fresh, especially in winter when most homes are closed up, lacking fresh air, although I open the house up even in the dead of winter. Just make sure the heat is off so you don't heat the cold air outside. Having a wood burning stove allows for a quick reheat once the place has aired out. Loved her suggestion that one put a fabric softener sheet in the vacuum bag. I place dried lavender since I have a cat and the occasion chicken who wanders into the house and lavender is great for taking care of any stray flea.
Am glad she recommended doing wash once a week, like our elders did. Because I belong to the small house society I also highly recommend having fewer clothes. The late actress Audrey Hepburn believed in ten basic clothes items, which fit inside a traditional French armoire. Its why I use an armoire, since it makes me pay attention to what I do have, so I wear what I have, and take care of what I have. The author also reminds us to make sure our underwear drawer only has good underwear and not items that would make for better dust clothes.
Had to smile when I read beginning on page 204 how the authors mother in law shared how she did laundry, changed the bed sheets etc., since I swear for a moment that she was speaking to my Mother, who did such a great job teaching me how to clean correctly, that I rarely stray off course. Although I flip the bed mattresses every two months, not just spring and fall. And my Mother also insisted that the refrigerator coils get vacuumed monthly as this would allow the refrigerator to run better. And the refrigerator was emptied and cleaned thoroughly once every three months.
And also glad the author shared the importance of rotating toys a child has. We did this and it was great, since our son always had 'new' toys to play with every few months as we packed old one away and brought our others for him to enjoy. It also meant fewer toys were being bought, fewer toys needed to be picked up, and we saved money.
One thing I do recommend is stop buying paper towels and cleaning stuff for every situation. Learn about multi purpose cleaners. A friend got me hooked in using Seventh Generation dishwasher detergent for also cleaning floors and appliances. So one cleaner does more than on job. Instead of buying fabric softener I use a cup of plain clear vinegar which also helps keep drain pipes clear. The vinegar removes any soap residue form fabric which makes the item dry faster and softer, and also helps fabric last longer. Since we are a 'green' family and have been since I was a kid, we also use the clothesline and an awesome wood drying rack we got from Lehmans.com (they sell to the Amish). Not only do we save on running the dryer, which we use sparingly. But when we use the clothesline we turn dark clothes inside out so they don't fade, and we hang items early in the morning so they are dry before the hard heat of the day. The Amish clothes rack is used inside during the winter because the slight moisture from the clothes as they dry, helps prevent wood furniture from becoming dry and brittle. Did you know that most chair rungs come loose in the winter because the wood dries out? Having some slight moisture in the air keeps the wood from drying out.
The author also covers an issue no other author has done. Be a careful gift giver. Give something needed not just a gift that you feel is an obligatory gift. This is why I love gift certificates for books, movies, dinner out, massages, or even a full duty car wash. Because you aren't adding to someone's own clutter, but are giving them a break from home and clutter. Personally, since most of my family and friend have enough stuff as it is, I also like giving to Heifer International, because they help women in other countries become self sufficient. For women friends I also like to give a gift certificate for a mammogram, since breast care is near and dear to me.
Again I couldn't put this book down and will read and re-read it often as there are so many words of wisdom within its pages.