Top 5 Favorite Decluttering Books

Stack of Books - Top 5 Favorite Decluttering Books via www.simplecreativehome

Shopping Bag and Flowers - Top 5 Favorite Decluttering Books via www.simplecreativehome

Like most natural-born magpies,

I have a hard time keeping the clutter at bay. I just love all the shiny, pretty, happy things and want to bring them home!

On top of that we have a pile of inherted junk to deal with, two home-based businesses, two homeschooled kids and a plethora of hobbies. It’s a challenge.

When I am struggling with the mountain of stuff and need some motivation, tough love or useful tip, I turn to one of my tried-and-true trusty favorite books.

Here’s my top 5 favorites and why I love them. I hope you’ll check them out and let me know which ones you like, too!

Decluttering at the Speed of Life by Dana K. White

If the thought of having to make 5,027 emotional decisions or value judgements about your things makes you so tired you instantly retreat to the couch, this book is for you. Funny, helpful and eminently practical, author Dana K. White walks us through her own system of decluttering for each room in the house using her patented steps, which you will have memorized by the end of the book. No more deciding if you want/love/need/value something or if it sparks joy, this is down and dirty, drama-free decluttering that you can do at any time in any space without leaving a mess at the end. Decluttering at the Speed of Life is hands down my current favorite and the one I’m putting to use right now.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

On the opposite end of this spectrum is this 21st century phenom with its lessons in eliminating anything that does not spark joy. I find this deeply appealing because the Japanese version of “tidying up” as taught by author Marie Kondo leaves you with a space that contains only things that make you happy, which is what I strive for in my Desert Island Decluttering. If you follow the process to the letter it is a major commitment, albeit one you only have to do once in a lifetime according to the author. While I haven’t emptied entire closets or put my entire book collection on the floor, I find that The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up helps assure me that I will be happier with less, especially when the things that remain are the ones that are truly precious.

Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui by Karen Kingston

Don’t run away!! While you may be familiar with Feng Shui books that tell you to hang chimes and put certain colors in certain rooms, this is not that book. What this book IS is a manifesto about how your stuff drains you—financially, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Author Karen Kingston does cover the Feng Shui “zones” in brief, but her focus is on how things make us feel. The examples, stories and exercises that the author walks the reader through in this book make it viscerally clear how our stuff creates responsibilities, reactions and weights that we are not even aware of. Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui completely changed my relationship to stuff, making me much more aware of how I reacted to the things in my home. Indispensable.

The House That Cleans Itself by Mindy Starns Clark

Not so much about decluttering as about setting your home up to be as attractive as possible with the minimum of effort, this is still one of my perennial favorite books and one I reference often. Author Mindy Starns Clark walks us through concepts such as sight lines and drop zones, helping us to make simple changes to how our space is being used that have big impacts on how tidy our homes seem. Perfect for when you need to just make a room work and be as pleasing as possible before you dive into serious decluttering or redecorating. The author also brings her deep faith in God to the forefront in this book, which is inspiring even if you don’t share her particular beliefs. I use the ideas in The House That Cleans Itself in this book ALL the time.

For Packrats Only by Don Aslett

This charming book from the 1980’s is a whimsical look at clutter, how it gets there and how to get rid of it. Author Don Aslett has a gentle humor that allows us to laugh at the absurdity of it all and to not let shame keep us from making improvements in our homes. Listening to his stories about being a professional cleaner (and charging 50% more for cluttered homes because they were so much more work) convinced me that my clutter is hindering my ability to have a home that I am happy with. I regularly re-read For Packrats Only: How to Clean Up, Clear Out and Dejunk Your Life Forever to get that extra motivation and some belly laughs along the way (really, I laugh out loud at the crazy stories every time). America’s self-professed #1 cleaning expert is who I turn to when all the clutter just seems ridiculous and I don’t want to feel alone.

Workday at Home by Stil on Unsplash via

That’s it!

I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about my fave decluttering books! Do you have a favorite of your own? I hope you’ll put it in the comments. As a natural-born collector I need all the help I can get!!

Meanwhile, if you need some decluttering help just for magpies like me, check out these posts right here:

Or if you need a little cozy break, go check out my post Hygge in a Nutshell to get some ideas for how to snuggle up and do some self-care.

Love, Angela


Many thanks to the generosity of photographers whose work is shared for free onUnsplash:Kimberly Farmer,Alexandra Gorn andStil.


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