Banish Clutter Forever: How the Toothbrush Principle Will Change Your Life by Sheila Chandra
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Embracing the simple yet fundamental truth, that organized people who live in clean spaces are actually just as lazy as the rest of us, Sheila Chandra's method to get your house to work for you involves work, but once you apply it, once you practice it, is actually something a person can maintain.
Although I don't love the way Chandra writes and her analogies reflect some truly cringeworthy biases and misinformation, like the nearly put-it-down-and-walk-away worthy "Does being overwhelmed by your stuff and being trapped by it feel like being overweight or in debt? That's because in a way it is. Being overweight or in debt is usually caused by the wish to defer the decision and effort it takes to take control of your health or finances. It is the 'Not now, I will be sensible/sort that out later...' philosophy." I don't approve with conflating obesity and laziness, or obesity and difficulty making decisions, or obesity and any other one thing. Of course, this is a book about taking control of one's possessions and surroundings, not one's body and health, so let's move on.
I liked that while Chandra shares her personal experience with clutter and the special sort of despair it can breed, the whole book doesn't live there. It isn't a constant reminder of how horrid it was to grow up with a mother with a mental disorder as organization books can turn into. Chandra deals with the emotional clutter when it's constructive, and moves on. Better still, rather than wasting the reader's time by saying "read my whole method, then try implementing it," she suggests trying chapter two before reading any farther. If it works for the reader, great- read on. If not, put the book down and find something else.
Of course, like a good girl, I read chapter two and (nearly) followed her directions. Why just nearly? Well... I hate following directions. Actually, I felt overwhelmed by the task of finding a notebook to write anything down and figured that it was a small enough bathroom that if it otherwise worked, I'd invest in (finding) a notebook for moving forward with the rest of the house.
As a FlyLady washout, we'll see. Right now, I feel like this can work, and if nothing else, the methods and techniques I'm putting into practice here are well worth knowing, even if I don't use them religiously.
Spring cleaning, here I come.