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     Book Review: Clutter's Last Stand

We are a cluttered society -- and cleaning out is never very high on anyone's list (who wants to spend a Saturday knee-deep in old newspapers and clothes from the 1960's?) But Don Aslett's "Clutter's Last Stand" makes the de-cluttering process much easier to swallow. Mr. Aslett is recognized as America's #1 CLEANING EXPERT -- and does his dirty work with humor and style. Follow along on this adventure through the forgotten wilderness -- as he educates you about the three biggest beasts you will face while cleaning out:

The only way to truly eliminate clutter is to understand where it comes from -- and Don Aslett is merciless in pointing out the habits and behaviors that lead to "clutteritis!" He discusses the many lesson that we learn throughout each stage of life that REINFORCE JUNK -- the culture of materialism and our unwillingness to let go of anything that we "might need again someday." 

Along these same lines, Mr. Aslett offers 101 feeble EXCUSES for hanging onto clutter -- and points out the flaws in each line of reasoning. He also points out the "9 Warning Signs Of Junkitis" and ways to recognize if you are a JUNKEE. And if you still aren't convinced that you need to do some cleaning out, you can take the "junkee entrance exam." Your score will let you know how cluttered your life really is!

Get ready to dig in, because we're going deep! Mr. Aslett leads his readers on a junk-removal tour through every possible area of their lives. He starts with easy areas -- like basements and closets -- and discusses the many ways to eliminate PHYSICAL CLUTTER. He then moves on to bigger challenges -- such as your car and what you take with you on vacation -- and applies the same principles. Along the way, Mr. Aslett offers a plethora of suggestions for reducing, relocating, and organizing your stuff. 

He also offers some helpful guidelines to follow when deciding whether or not a particular item should go. His suggestions of viewing your belongings as ACTIVE or INACTIVE can be especially useful when you get stuck on a hard decision. Throughout, he suggests that using common sense and asking yourself the hard questions will help you make the right choices -- even when emotion threatens to get in the way. He also points out some of the junk DANGER ZONES -- such as flea markets, garage sales, and antique stores -- so you can be aware of (and avoid) the urge to collect more junk that you don't need.

The final step in de-cluttering is to decide what to do with all of the stuff you really don't need. Mr. Aslett simplifies the process by breaking all clutter down into 4 basic categories. JUNK is anything that is broken, useless, or moldy. This pile immediately goes into the trash -- period.  CHARITY items are still repairable and could be of some use to another person. These may be donated (or sold, if you think it's worth it). SORT objects serve a purpose and you definitely want to keep them -- you just need to come up with a good place to store them. 

Finally, the EMOTIONAL WITHDRAWAL pile contains sentimental, nostalgic, unused, outdated stuff. Mr. Aslett suggests that you let these items linger (stored out of the way) for no more than 6 months before you make a decision to let them go. If you simply can't bear to get rid of these treasures, at least put them in INACTIVE storage (an attic or basement) with the rest of your memorabilia.


Copyright Ramona Creel, all rights reserved-- you are welcome to reprint any article, but you MUST include this resource box.

Ramona Creel is a modern Renaissance woman and guru of simplicity -- traveling the country as a full-time RVer, sharing her story of radically downsizing, and inspiring others to regain control of their own lives. As a Professional Organizer and Accountability Coach, Ramona will help you create the time and space to focus on your true priorities -- clearing away the clutter other obstacles and standing in the way of that life you've always wanted to be living. As a Professional Photographer, Ramona captures powerful images of places and people as she travels. And as a travel writer, social commentator, and blogger, she shares her experiences and insights about the world as we know it. You can see all these sides of Ramona -- read her articles, browse through her photographs, and even hire her to help get your life in order -- at www.RamonaCreel.com. And be sure to follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

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