How to Manage Your Home

Recently I came across How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind: Dealing with Your House’s Dirty Little Secrets, by Dana K. White. Her second book, coming out in 2018, is Decluttering at the Speed of Life: Winning Your Never-Ending Battle with Stuff.

In her debut title, White courageously shares her struggles to be organized, taken from her blog at Most books are replete with strategies that worked for the author, but not so much for the rest of us. By contrast, White challenges readers to discover the blocks unique to them. Like me, she has great ideas for projects, but are unfinished. Like her, I can empty the dryer, but clothes remain folded on the chair instead of being put away because my closets and drawers are too full. Her takeaway, for me at least, was to finish one task before starting another.

One day I took White’s advice and did a quick 30-minute purge of my dresser drawers and closets. Now I can put laundry away immediately. Is it perfect? No. I’ll do a full purge one of these days, but for now, this works.

A library patron named Sally stopped by my desk the other day, and we commiserated yet again on how difficult it is to keep on top of not only clutter, but our lives. We’ve envied women who seem to have it together, until they confess to me that they don’t. Speaking as a librarian who has heard it all, there are lots of women (and men) looking for ways to clean out their lives, not just their stuff. Some people don’t have an organization challenge. Then there are the rest of us.

Between the two of us, we’ve read most of what was on the library bookshelves, trying to figure out how the heck to get organized. More importantly, once we’re “organized,” how do we stay on top of it? At work we have a “weeding” schedule, where books are discarded if they haven’t gone out in years, smell stinky or look like they’ve gone through the wars. It’s a never-ending chore. Why, oh why, can’t I do this at home? Because it’s boring. I’m attached to “stuff.” Maybe I’ll need it some day. The excuses are endless.

Sally and I can both declutter and organize, but how do you stay on top of it?

We’re all different; what works for us as individuals to keep organized?

How can we declutter our activities, not just the stuff?

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