Thursday, February 7, 2013

"Five Days to a Clutter-Free House" Blog Tour

Five Days to Live Happily Organized-Ever-After
Professional Organizer & Time-Management Expert Create Plan to De-clutter the Messiest House

No matter how cluttered and disordered your house, professional organizer Sandra Felton and time management expert Marsha Sims encourage readers to transform their homes from chronic disorder to beautiful and organized.

In 5 Days to a Clutter Free House: Quick and Easy Ways to Clear Up Your Space, Felton and Sims share their systematic, team-based approach so even the most overwhelming de-cluttering job becomes doable. The “toe-to-head” approach cuts decision-making to a minimum so readers can transform their home in only five days.

“You can have a home that refreshes and inspires you,” write Felton and Sims. “Real, long-term change will come only when the heart and mind passionately embraces the dream of an organized way of life, which fills our lives with what we really love – beauty.”

The authors' enthusiasm and energy keep readers pushing forward to the goal, and their time-tested tips and habits help readers preserve their newfound clutter-free space. Felton and Sims detail their proven five-day method that begins by assembling a de-cluttering team, clearing surfaces and sorting everything that doesn’t belong into labeled boxes.

Each day the team tackles a new level, beginning with everything below the knee on Monday. By Thursday, the house should see a U-turn as open space emerges. Then it’s time to tackle the inside of drawers and cabinets before turning to the attic, utility room and garage. By Friday, surfaces should be clear, and readers can begin to have the organized home they always wanted but could never achieve.   

Once readers conquer the five-day plan, Felton and Sims give practical insights on living happily organized-ever-after including the ten minute tidy challenge and clutter-buster habits.  The authors show how to deal with common obstacles to maintaining a clutter-free house including storage needs, health issues, space restrictions and even family sabotage.

Available February 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

About the Authors:

Sandra Felton, The Organizer Lady, is a pioneer in the field of organizing. She is the founder and president of Messies Anonymous and the author of many books including Organizing Magic. Sandra lives in Florida.

Marsha Sims is a national speaker who has taught seminars on time management and organization, managing the front desk, and projects and priorities. She has been a professional organizer for fifteen years as the founder and president of her Miami-based company, Sort-It-Out, Inc.

Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, offers practical books for everyday life.  For more information, visit

My Take:
This book caught my eye when it came up for review because I like to try new and innovative ideas when it comes to getting rid of clutter in my home. Our house is not even close to being the next home featured on Hoarders, but, admittedly, my husband and I could both use some motivation to clear some of the clutter (especially our basement storage room and our garage – yikes.)

What I was not prepared for was the team-based approach that this book takes to clearing the clutter. This phrase (“team-based approach”) was used in the summary of the book, but I just assumed it meant sort of getting your immediate family to pitch in and help out, not calling in friends or extended family or even acquaintances to help you de-clutter your home. To me this seemed unrealistic. I for one would not want to subject my friends to my clutter, and since most of my friends and acquaintances are parents with young children, I’m thinking it would be pretty difficult to assemble a team for five days in a row. Even if different people came different days, it would be tough.

As far as the de-cluttering process is concerned, it is a good overall plan. The questions to ask yourself as you are trying to decide what to keep and what to get rid of really cut to the heart of the matter. I tried the method on one room in our house by myself (not the team concept), and it worked well. Of course, it only took me about an hour to do the first part of the plan in that one room, and then I spent another hour or so sorting everything that had been put in boxes. So, I was not “living out of boxes” for several months afterward. I think this would drive me crazy. And I know it would stress out my husband. Growing up as a military kid, if he came in and saw all of our stuff packed in boxes, he would feel as if we were moving at any second and would be way too stressed.

I also am not quite sure I understand the part of the plan that involves the boxes. When I cleaned out my one room, I put stuff away that same day. I don’t think I would have enough space to keep boxes stacked up in each room, and I think that if you are prone to clutter, you might end up living out of those boxes from now until eternity.

The second part of the book that tells about how to maintain your clutter-free home did have some helpful things in it. There were some good tips on different ways to manage your time and to change your mindset from one who is clutter-prone to someone who does not procrastinate about putting things away.

Overall, though, I felt that this book was more motivational than completely practical. Yes, there were a lot of practical tips, especially in the maintenance section, but it seemed like most of the first part of the book was just cheerleading. This made the book very repetitive, too. The real-life stories that were included were not so much case studies but just retellings of the de-cluttering plan that had already been explained.

Another part of the book that really bothered me was the assumptions that were made about the reader. I for one am someone who struggles with clutter and what to keep and what to give away, but I am not really a disorganized person. When I was in school and when I worked full-time, I was very organized in my school and work efforts. Because of our busy lives and all of our stuff, we are prone to clutter more than I would like us to be. But the authors seemed to think that if you have clutter then you are a free-spirit, disorganized type of person. Take this quote, for example: “We disorganized types especially enjoy living as free spirits, flying by the seat of our pants, kicking over the traces, whatever figure of speech you want to use to describe how we don’t like to function in regimented ways. And that can be a charming part of our exuberant personalities.” This quote does not describe me at all! I am a practical person who likes a schedule, not a free-spirit. But, I am still prone to clutter and procrastination. So, it just bothered me that the authors lumped me into the free-spirit category just because I have clutter.

I think the best quote to come out of this book is one that was in the margins from Billy Graham: “The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives. The greatest waste in all of our earth, which cannot be recycled or reclaimed, is our waste of the time that God has given us each day.” And that is what I choose to take away from this book.

I will give 5 Days to a Clutter-Free House … 2 BookWorms.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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