Despite the fact that I’ve (mostly) decluttered my family’s living space, I still love to read books on decluttering. I have a passion for helping other’s declutter their space and I like to keep up on what everyone has to say about reducing clutter. Because I have read almost every decluttering book ever published, you don’t have to. I have narrowed down my favorites to the following top 10 books on decluttering. By reading just one of these books, you will be instantly motivated to declutter your space. I guarantee it.
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My Favorite Things: Top 10 Books On Decluttering
While most of the following books are how-to books, some are why-do books. I believe when decluttering, you should focus on the how and the why. By doing this, we can hopefully stop the habits which got us into this mess to begin with.
If you click on each of the books, you will be able to read a sample of it without signing into Amazon!
Without further ado, here are my absolute favorite books on decluttering.
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I have recommended this book many times because it’s just that good. As a Christian, I’ve had to look past Ms. Kondo’s views on the ‘soul/feelings’ of objects, but overall, her message makes sense. Her approach is to hold each item and only keep it if it sparks joy for you. Marie focuses less on getting rid of everything and more on how stuff makes you feel. Thus, her book is a good starting point for anyone looking to reduce their belongings but are afraid to let go of too much too soon.
2. Spark Joy-An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. This is the sequel to The Life-Saving Magic of Tidying Up. While the first book focuses more on the reasons behind the process Ms. Kondo uses to declutter (a category-by-category verses room-by-room), this book takes the reader by the hand and leads you through each category in order. It also addresses the fact that although some items do not spark joy (like your broom and dustpan), you should hold onto them for their utilitarian purposes.
“Discarding is not the point; what matters is keeping those things that bring you joy. If you discard everything until you have nothing left but an empty house, I don’t think you’ll be happy living there. Our goal in tidying should be to create a living environment filled with the things we love.” -Marie Kondo
3. Clutter Free by Kathi Lipp. Less of a how-to guide and more of a why-do inspiration. Kathi narrows her focus down to how we accumulate clutter, why we keep it and the overall cost of clutter on our physical and mental well-being. The last chapter in the book is dedicated to how to get rid of stuff.
4. Clutterfree with Kids by Joshua Becker. For the longest time I struggled to find a resource which presented a clear picture of what it looks like to live a simple, clutter free life with kids. As a family with three children, my need was real. Then, along came this marvelous book. This book is not a how-to guide necessarily, but rather an encouragement to change the way you approach your life when kids are involved and how to provide lasting family memories without buying tons of stuff.
“Overscheduled children lose the space to simply be with themselves and learn the art of being alone. In our noisy, busy world, the importance of developing the life skill of solitude, meditation, and quietly being with oneself can not be overstated.” -Joshua Becker
5. It’s All Too Much by Peter Walsh. Mr. Walsh first covers the various excuses we make for our clutter and gives advise for how to counteract them. In addition, he gives actionable steps for room-by-room decluttering. He also touches on how a cluttered environment affects our health.
“You only have one life to live. How you live that life is your choice. As far as I know, no one has ever had ‘I wish I had bought more stuff’ inscribed on their tombstone. What you own can easily blind you to who you are and what you can be.” -Peter Walsh
6. 31 Days to a Clutter Free Life by Ruth Soukup. This is a handy guide complete with checklists of daily tasks to help you declutter your home, mind and schedule. Ruth does a good job of dividing the categories into manageable tasks. My favorite part of this book isn’t in the book itself; it’s the support you receive from people online who have taken the challenge and have shared before and after photos of their progress. On instagram alone, there are almost 900 photos available for inspiration.
7. Unstuffed by Ruth Soukup. Due to the fact that I am currently reading this book, I cannot write a complete review, but so far, so good. Ruth focuses on the three areas of: home, mind and soul. I love that she is a fellow Christian going through this decluttering journey with me. Here’s a quote from Unstuffed:
“We are drowning. I look around at all this stuff-some of it nice stuff, some of sentimental stuff, some of it useful stuff, some of it pretty stuff, some of it expensive stuff, some of it inherited stuff, but almost all of it unnecessary stuff-and I wonder, honestly: Will we ever become UNstuffed?”-Ruth Soukup
8. The Joy of Less by Francine Jay. This is one of the first books I read on decluttering. In my opinion, it’s also one of the best. In fact, I became a minimalist partly because of Francine’s transparency. Before reading this book, I was under the impression that in order to be considered a ‘minimalist’ you had to live out of a backpack and shun creature comforts. Her book is divided into four main parts: philosophy, streamline, room by room and lifestyle.
“Your home is living space, not storage space.” -Francine Jay
9. The Hoarder in You by Dr. Robin Zasio. Don’t let the title scare you off. For a long time, because of family tendencies, I was worried I was destined to become a hoarder. That feeling is what prompted me to read this book. I no longer have that fear. However, I have come to the realization that the reasons many hoarders give for being unable to part with their stuff, are the same reasons we non-hoarders give. Much of Dr. Zasio’s book covers the psychology behind our clutter. Even so, the final three chapters are devoted to teaching you how to reduce your clutter, room by room, once and for all.
10. Clutter Free: Simplify Your Life by Leo Babauta and Courtney Carver. This little decluttering guide is a quick, yet informative read. It is written by two of my favorite bloggers. By far, what I like most about these two, is they are both parents AND minimalists. Leo has (6) children and Courtney has a teenage daughter. Consequently, they have mastered the art of decluttering. The first section of their book is devoted to the emotion behind clutter. The second and third sections deal with how to declutter. Especially relevant is the chapter on clearing kid’s clutter as well as a chapter chock-full of resources available for donating, selling and giving away your stuff.
There you have it, my absolute favorite top 10 books on decluttering. If you read just one of the books on this list, you will be motivated and inspired to begin decluttering right away. In addition, you will have a framework within which to focus your efforts.
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