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10-Minute Declutter: The Stress-Free Habit for Simplifying Your Home Paperback – May 29, 2015
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Top Customer Reviews
My advice after reading this: don't buy a book on decluttering - just look at a few websites on decluttering and go for it!
That said, I thought I'd give a more thorough review of this book because I made it all the way through to the end, and I have some thoughts. I bought this book to help motivate me to declutter, and I thought it would have some helpful tips.
Here is what I found:
The first 38% was devoted to "building the habit", why you should declutter, and what to buy (because apparently you need to buy more stuff to get rid of stuff and get organized). While reading this, I really just wanted to start decluttering but forced myself to slog through this because I felt like I had to read the whole book. After the first couple of pages, I probably should have just skipped to the room by room, step by step directions, but I like to read books cover to cover.
Excessive verbiage throughout. This is a short book, but it could have been more concise and a much better read, especially if the first 50 pages were condensed to about 2 pages. You can assume people reading this book already want to declutter, otherwise why would they buy the book. This book is 169 pages long. It probably could have been about 8 pages total and given me the same (but most likely better) information.
The authors use a lots of links to lists of things on the authors websites, links to other books the authors have written and want you to buy, links to images of decluttered spaces on Pinterest, and links items to buy on Amazon. It is nice to be able to click to links to clarify or enrich, but it was used so excessively in this book it was distracting.
Some of the advice sounded wrong. "As a side benefit, fewer toys reduces the amount of conflict among siblings". As one of four siblings, I can tell you most fights with my siblings had nothing to do with toys, and reducing the number of toys will not prevent the usual "I want that toy because my brother is playing with it" attitude I frequently see in my young nephews. I'm not a child psychologist, nor did I take the time to search pubmed for articles on sibling rivalry, but a quick google search did not bring up any articles about the number of toys correlating with number of conflicts between siblings so I'm moving this to the "unproven, probably wrong" category.
Some of the advice stated as a fact is flat out scientifically wrong: "germs can grow on bar soap and easily spread from one person to another." This is the type of thing my mom reads on Facebook and warns me about and then I have to prove to her it's not true. A quick google search will tell you that yes, bacteria do grow on soap, but no, you will not get sick from this bacteria, even if it has been used by a sick person. Both liquid soap (the "preferred" soap in this book) and bar soap remove bacteria and germs from your hands when you wash your hands, and both are extremely effective. Use whatever you prefer. (But don't use anti-bacterial soap, because normal soap is just as effective at getting rid of germs and anti-bacterial soap contributes to antibiotic resistant superbugs[...]
All of this combined left me with an unfavorable opinion of the book. I want to declutter, but free advice on blogs is just as good, much more concise, and hopefully not full of misleading information that doesn't have any scientific basis. Why do I give the whole book a bad rating based on the soap issue? Besides the advice on soap, I am not sure what is good advice and what is just nonsense they just made up off the top of their heads and put in this book so I can't really trust anything that is in it. I was going to give it two stars because I like the room by room, step by step decluttering process, but multiple scientific inaccuracies indicate the authors didn't do their research when writing this book, and now potentially thousands of people who read this book might be repeating the bad information this book presents.
I bought the book yesterday and implemented it right away. While I was cooking dinner, I cleaned out one cupboard.
Overall, this was an easy and great read. If you want practical ideas for getting rid of clutter, I would highly recommend this book.
Personally I found the notebook idea used to jot down what storage containers you need for an area you just 'decluttered' just bad advice. Do what you wanna do but if you are truly interested in decluttering the LAST thing you should do is buy more containers to squirrel away stuff in. Just don't. In addition many of the storage ideas don't make much sense either, like to store rarely used kitchen appliances or dishes "far away from the kitchen". Why? So we can forget we have them?
The use of the four box method keeps getting changed throughout the book, perhaps they couldn't remember or should have used five boxes, or six. And they often just don't make any sense. At one point the four boxes were for donations, give away, keep, and store. Isn't donation & give away the same thing?! Yet in the next area the boxes were for trash, donation, keep and store. *sigh* The use of the timer is excessive. So when cleaning out your fridge set your timer for three minutes and wash your dishes. What happens if it takes longer than three minutes? just start again tomorrow!? When starting to declutter drawers in your kitchen, put a post-it note on the outside of each drawer so you can tell at a glance what is in each drawer. Hmmm. Maybe that time would be better spent dejunking said drawers.
The most glaringly bad advice/admission from the authors is that they have a junk drawer AND a junk cabinet. No wonder they have to store grandma's china far away from the kitchen.
I'm pretty sure at this point I've spent more time posting this review than it took to read this book that has very little to do with decluttering.