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Clutter Clearing Choices: Clear Clutter, Organize Your Home & Reclaim Your Life Paperback – Bargain Price, January 16, 2010

29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


A step-by-step, concrete solution to overcoming household clutter, this book is full of helpful hints and resources. The easy-to-follow program is designed to take the reader through a whole year of clutter control. Barbara Tako's book is loaded with common sense, humor, and good advice. -- Barb Szyszkiewicz of Magazine, Inc

Funny, thorough, and not the least bit intimidating, this book is a godsend for the organizationally challenged. It makes keeping the clutter manageable seem manageable after all. -- Victoria Moran, author of Creating a Charmed Life

When I began my organizing business 30 years ago, it was based on four simple words: Clutter is Postponed Decisions®. Few of us (even professional organizing consultants!) ever reach the point of being satisfied with their ability to get rid of clutter as it just seems to keep pouring in. Barbara Tako has done a wonderful job of giving her readers practical suggestions for getting rid of the clutter in their lives. Less is more! -- Barbara Hemphill Author, Taming the Paper Tiger at Home

About the Author

Since 1998, Barbara Tako has been a motivational clutter clearing and home organizing speaker and author. Barbara is the owner of Clutter Clearing Choices LLC and the web site which features a monthly clutter clearing tips newsletter. Barbara is based out of the Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota area where she has spoken at corporations including 3M, Target, Medtronic, and Securian, as well as numerous womens' groups, parenting groups, and church organizations in the Midwest.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: O Books, John Hunt; Original edition (January 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846942624
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.6 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,622,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Since 1998, Barbara Tako has been a clutter clearing and home organizing infotainment motivational speaker and published author. In 2010, Barbara became a breast cancer survivor and in 2014 she became a melanoma survivor, resulting in her latest book of tools to get through the emotions of a cancer diagnosis. As a melanoma and breast cancer survivor, she wishes to help fellow survivors get through the emotional anguish of a cancer diagnosis.

Barbara provides a variety of clutter clearing and home organizing techniques through humorous real life stories and thoughts that are organized by season. She believes there is no "one right way" to clear clutter and offers readers many ideas to pick and choose from. Barbara promotes frugality and green living by encouraging her audiences to re-purpose, recycle, or donate their extras.

She offers a free monthly clutter clearing tips e-mail newsletter at to help others and she blogs at She lives in Minnesota with her husband, teenagers, and dogs, and she believes everyone can make clutter clearing choices to free up time and energy to focus on their priorities. Barbara is available for book signings, clutter clearing and cancer survivorship talks, and interviews.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
Perhaps once a year I get a book that when I sit down to read it, I cannot stop. This is what happened when I got this book at 10 am one morning. When I finally set the book down it was 3 am the next morning. Yes, I tried reading a few chapters and setting the book aside, but then as soon as I was finished with a job I grabbed the book, anxious to see what new wisdom the author had to share.

Bear in mind I must have at least 32 books on the subject of cleaning, clutter, but in all honesty your books is brilliant for a variety of reasons. The New Year chapter that starts with First Resolve to Take Care of You is brilliant. Because it does begin with the individual.This book is brilliant because its laid out according to season. Sounds sensible but it seems to be something every other author has missed. And because of the authors approach clutter and cleaning should be less stressful.

Less stressful because because one isn't made to feel guilty if they aren't some type of super man or super woman, and able to clean and declutter within a week. Instead the author wisely recommended making one change per week, work off a list (something I love and what works for me), don't sweat the small stuff, and if you mess up, pick yourself up and begin where you left off.

She does a nice job when it comes to learning to cook simple and learn to start dinner in the morning, not when you get home tired in the evening. Page 32-33 have some of my favorite cook books, like once a month cooking, which I have done and recommend. After Ron was disabled by the drunk driver cooking once a month and freezing meals is what kept me sane, as I was his 24/7 caregiver for 14 years until he died.
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Format: Paperback
It seems ironic that I grew up in a home where everything was "cleared out" and "redecorated" so often that I never got to keep trophies, my highschool yearbooks, or anything else that might be deemed "clutterworthy". (**cue violins**)While I still clean out cabinets and closets often as per my "upbringing", I am not clutter-free. To the contrary, many rooms--especially work areas like my office seem to never be free of clutter.

Rather, they are full of it.

The author immediately opens with full nuggets of inspiration on a subject I thought I'd have to push myself to want to read. (Afterall, I blame my clutterdom on lack of time to fix it anyway.) I love this paragraph for example, that sums up so much:

"Clutter comes from our behavior. We shop. We keep gifts out of respect and affection for the giver. We cling to old organizing habits in spite of life changes that would be better served by new organizing techniques. We hang onto stuff because we "paid good money for it," or it still has some "life in it," or it "could" still be "useful" or just because we "should." We put weeding out and oraganizing low on our priority list. And after a while, we find ourselves buried in our clutter."

Bullseye, baby.

It's funny that I am clutter-free in many areas then in others like my work spaces and studio are surrounded with TOO is my garage...cabinets...

Yes, it was time to herd my shopping habits, change my mental outlook, and learn the phrase "minimalism". HA! That will never happen...but I can at least deal with the clutter.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Denise Yanaura on December 10, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Martha Stewart she is not. Ms. Tako wraps "gems" of simplicity in Maxine-like humor.

She admits her weakness for saving and being sentimental over things, and yet she finds quick and easy ways to deal with clutter. She even admits to being lazy, but getting rid of clutter allows time to do the important and fun things in life.

I avoid home-improvement shows because I feel like I should get off my butt and do whatever they are doing. It is overwhelming. Tako takes the guilt out of it. Nothing has to be done all at once; I can do it at my own pace and when I feel like it. The short chapter format helps me find what I want quickly. Her topics range the gamut from underwear, yard work, travel, and diet.

This book is not about a chore to do; it is how to treat yourself to the time you deserve.
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Format: Paperback
I was contacted by Barbara Tako asking if I would be interested in reading and reviewing her book Clutter Clearing Choices: Clear Clutter, Organize Your Home & Reclaim Your Life. Being someone who is continually plagued by the clutter bug (both my own and my kids'), I was of course interested. I'll admit I was expecting some type of methodology on how to eliminate clutter, but that's not what this is. Instead, it is a realistic view on how clutter affects your life and how "fixing" it is not as easy or as quick as experts might lead you to believe. She also has a definition of clutter than went beyond what I normally think, and that single idea was worth the reading by itself for me.

Tako's book reads more like a journal of one person's effort over the course of a year to declutter her life. She divides up the material into four "seasons": Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall. As you might expect, certain seasons have different clutter challenges. Winter has New Year's resolutions which often involve cleaning up areas of your life. There's also cleaning up the air in your house (less stagnant), learning to live with less, and (if you have kids) cleaning up the massive numbers of toys that aren't played with on a regular basis. Spring gets into the traditional "spring cleaning", how to more easily maintain a clean home, and even decluttering your diet to eat more healthy. Summer moves to the outside realm, with yard clutter, kitchen organization, and family vacations. There's also the focus on decluttering your schedule (especially with kids) so you can focus on stuff that is important, rather than just being "busy.
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