I just finished this book and really enjoyed it. Walsh has a personable writing style and can convey the hard truth (that stuff's gotta' go!) without browbeating the reader. I did catch a big gaffe, in that he recommends making digital copies of CD's on your computer and throwing away the CD's (Ummm... can you say copyright law violation?), but overall his tips are worthwhile. And really, this book isn't about the tips, it's about overcoming the frame of mind that keeps us hoarding the things that we never use and don't need, and keeping our eyes on the prize of living in a home that enhances our lives, instead of detracting from them.
This is an absolutely wonderful book. It gets into how we let our stuff control us and what to do about it--not just organize and reorganize it, but toss it out. Even my 10-yr-old daughter got into "being brutal" when it came to cleaning her room and making a more pleasant space. A highly recommended book.
As with most books of this type, you've probably seen most of the ideas before. But I once heard that a book like this is "worth it" if you get one good idea to take away. I got several:
-- Don't donate something to Goodwill or Salvation Army that you wouldn't buy there yourself or that you wouldn't give to a family member (or friend?). Just throw the other stuff away.
-- When tackling a decluttering or reorganization project, think hard about what you want your life to be like in that space, then start with the things that will help make it what you envision.
-- For closets and shelves and drawers and other confining spaces, clear everything out first, then put back only what will fit (with a little room left over for new stuff).
After reading it I spent almost three days working on my in-home office space (including filing tasks), and I was quite pleased with the result, although I'm sitting at this desk two weeks later and it's cluttered again. The good news is that I can get it cleared in about five minutes . . . when I decide to do so. :-)
I read this book in one sitting. It starts to get repetitive after a while. For me, no new tips. But if you follow Peter's common sense advice, you'll cut down on a lot of useless crap. I always have paperbags in my closets. Once they are filled, I take it to a shelter. I never buy anything new unless I'm replacing it. I've cut down on a lot of "stuff" by recycling it or giving it to my students as prizes.
I'll edit this review in the future, to be more useful, but for the time being - I'm disgusted by this book (and really, really, really disgusted to see it eagerly wished-for on PBS). The concept sounds fine: you own too much junk, and it's starting to own you. The solution? Get rid of it? Not exactly - throw it away is Walsh's specific solution. And while that might make great TV (in my opinion, it's moronic TV, too) but it's irresponsible and trite.
The first section of the book, you can skip entirely, because this guy is just too damn chatty. I don't need to know all this stuff, and he's not exactly informative, just chatty. He finally gets to the point in part two and then, immediately, starts babbling again. I do not need to be psycho-analyzed by a professional organizer, a career option that shouldn't even exist.
What I want, and want he provides in the way of organizing, could have been printed on a leaflet, thereby saving me a couple hundred pages of clutter in the form of the book. Instead, I've got this guy blah-blah-blahing his way to a point. The point: Take all the stuff that you don't want, need, use or care about and over-stuff the already overflowing landfills so that my children, and yours, can what? live in a clutter-free home between mountains of garbage on a planet slowly dying from the amount of garbage we make?
Sickening. Read the book, if you're really incapable of handling your own clutter. It's got some decent ideas about WHAT to part with. But have a garage sale, donate it, recycle it, give it away (and I'll credit the schmoe for mentioning these things, but because he doesn't push these ideas anywhere near as hard as he pushes "throw it in the garbage", he gets jack in the way of stars for it) - don't keep adding to the horrific amount of trash we make. I'm literally appalled by this thing. And I will, indeed, be posting the book on PBS: recycling is GOOD! Walsh is half-baked. 2 stars, no more - and here's a real bit of de-cluttering advice: stop wasting space in your house on books that tell you how to de-clutter it.
While I might not be a compulsive hoarder like some of the people in this book, I have a really bad problem with being a packrat.
This book is helping me completly change how I look at my stuff, and decide to get rid of things before we move to our first home. It's great advice, and almost as soon as you say "Yes but!" he has a reason why you're excuse doesn't work.
Not all the advice is perfect, but it's a great place to start. Much better than the other organizing books I've read.
Good practical ideas on decluttering, addressing the psychological as well as the practical considerations. At the end is a chapter including hints on maintenance after you have everything in shape. The best part of the book though was the examples, I thought. They were inspiring.
This was a helpful book. There were useful tips for even those who aren't serious hoarders - as well as on how to identify whether you are one! I've been on the get organized track for a long time so have pretty much achieved my goal, but this book left me with some serious reminders to keep on track.
I really like this book. It gives me new ideas for why we keep our stuff, and if we should. I don't agree with everything, but that's ok. Some Mama's keepsakes from raising her babies just AREN't going to be tossed.