5 Best Books on Decluttering

Jon Fesmire | Feb 10, 2020 @ 08:39 AM

Does your home feel like a dungeon you can barely navigate? Do you just have too much stuff? Fortunately, there’s a solution for that: decluttering.

Unfortunately, decluttering your home can be tough, but there's help. We have plenty of articles on the subject, but if you want to dive deeper, here are five books on decluttering that we recommend.

The Joy of Less by Francine Jay

This book will introduce you to the concept of minimalism, including what it is and what it isn’t. The author, Francine Jay, considers herself a minimalist with a mission to teach others to simplify and organize their lives.

The book has four parts: philosophy, streamline, room by room, lifestyle. Jay says, “Your home is living space, not storage space.” Minimalism isn’t about getting rid of everything. It’s about living simply and being happy with the things you have.

The Joy of Less starts with the philosophy that having less stuff can make you happier, helps you get into that state of mind, then teaches you how to declutter.

It’s All Too Much by Peter Walsh

Does it seem contradictory that having less stuff can enrich your life? It shouldn’t. Generally speaking, it’s not things that enrich us, it’s the enjoyment we get from life itself.

Walsh’s approach is to confront your excuses for not decluttering and to overcome them. The book goes into why we accumulate clutter, why it’s a problem, and why we don’t tackle it when it holds us back. Walsh helps you declutter one room at a time and emphasizes that with less stuff gumming up your home, you’ll enjoy better health.

One of the most valuable lessons in the book is not to feel guilty for tossing things you don’t need. It even has a decluttering quiz and encouragement to imagine your life clutter-free.

Cluttered Mess to Organized Success Workbook by Cassandra Aarssen

More than an instruction manual, this is a full kit to help you organize. This workbook covers both organizing your home and your time. It comes with more than 100 worksheets, checklists, and schedules to help you not only declutter, but sort your life in a way that works best for you.

Plus, if you need additional advice, the author, Cassandra Aarssen, has her own YouTube channel called Clutterbug where she shares additional tips and ideas.

Clutter Free by Kathi Lipp

Kathi Lipp’s book, Clutter Free, focuses more on why it’s important to clean and declutter than on how to do it, but sometimes, what you need is a shift in philosophy. That’s not to say she doesn’t cover how at all, but most of the book is about mindset.

The book tackles important topics like over-buying, not being able to find what you need at home even when you know you have it, feeling unhappy at home because all the stuff is just so overwhelming, and the cost of clutter. Lipp examines the psychology behind buying stuff and keeping what we don’t need. Finally, she includes how to purge your home of the excess stuff.

This can be a fun read, and you may laugh, reading about your own silly habits. Take on the “One Thing a Day” challenge and “2000 Thing Challenge” to really get into the spirit of decluttering.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Many consider this the ultimate book on decluttering. The author, Japanese decluttering guru Marie Kondo, even has a Netflix series illustrating her methods.

Kondo’s central philosophy is that we should live simply, with things that make us happy. It’s not anti-stuff so much as it’s about keeping only things that “spark joy.” (Yes, you should keep things that have an important utilitarian purpose, too, like can openers, cleaning products, and so on!)

The methods outlined in the book are tough, and if you find them too brutal, you should look at alternative methods, including those in the other books we’ve listed. Kondo encourages you to do things like take out all your clothing and decide what to keep, item by item, based on whether it gives you a sense of joy or not. You’ll end up living a much more spartan lifestyle, but one with more serenity.

Any of these books will help you create a clutter-free home where you can relax, rather than a space that adds to your stress. And remember, for things that you don’t need in your home all the time, but that you still need to keep, such as off-season clothes or camping equipment, you can always turn to self storage.