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Scaling Down : Living Large in a Smaller Space Paperback – February 10, 2005

4.7 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

JUDI CULBERTSON is a New York-based organizing/ decluttering expert who gives clutter-control seminars coast to coast. She is also the author of a decluttering newsletter, Traveling Light.

MARJ DECKER is the CEO of the Denver-based company Time Is Priceless, which specializes in helping people downsize.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books (March 2, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594860939
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594860935
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Erica Wells on April 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
I have read every book I could find on home organization and "clutter-busting". This book is the first one that contained practical, truly helpful information. We are preparing for our second child and just finished a remodel so I really needed some workable tactics to get our home in order. I carried this book around the house with me, consulting it as I went from room to room trying to figure out what to do with an overwhelming accumulation of "stuff". It has taken a couple of months, but the recommendations I implemented from this book are now paying off. I know where everything is, I have made a lot fewer "necessary" purchases and the house is a lot easier to clean up on short notice!

This book also has the gentle guidance you need when trying to cope with your emotional attachments to your possessions. This book isn't full of intimidating, glossy photos of perfectly organized rooms. Instead, it is full of information you will use on a daily basis to both clean up your space and keep it that way.
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Moving to a smaller place forces you to view what you thought was important in the context of "What does it do to improve my life?". Is this important? How many clothes are hanging in the closet or packed in boxes? I had collector's board games (notice how I said collector's!). I got on E-Bay and Amazon and sold them. I have about 100,000 baseball cards. 99,950 of them are worthless. I have a stamp collection...books and books on stamp values. I only read the latest one so I had to be real and toss the historical ones. No one wanted them. I am also a book collector. This book, told me what to do with them. Amazon is going to make a fortune off my sales but so am I.

Be kind to yourself and don't fall in love with things that can't love you back. Spouses, children, puppies, kittens can stay. The other stuff, make room in your life for those things that love you back. One man's junk is another man's treasure. Find that other man and give him your junk. You'll be happy and so will the recipient, even if it's a charitable organization.

Go to Goodwill or the Salvation Army and look at what they have for sale. You know your stuff is better than that. Improve Goodwill and Salvation Army's image, give them something that's good and new instead of junk.

Buy this book and help yourself work through letting go of the stuff that hold's you captive. Freedom is just a few chapters away!
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Format: Paperback
This is a great book, that is helping me make tough choices. I get overpowered cleaning out my storage room, garage or library. They present ideas that help me be more decisive. I am laughing as I read it and was jettisoning the "stuff" that I don't need (or really want) anymore. This is a practical, funny and resourceful help for a task we ALL need to face, but are unwilling to do so often. I recommend it!
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Format: Paperback
To me, these gals have written a winner. They offer guidance for exactly what it takes to analyze, organize, process, and pare down-and feel great about it. Their writing style seems concise, personable, positive, and spontaneous. It is almost as there is a 10 ton dumpster in my front yard and they are in my living room helping me happily get rid of half the contents of my house.

The book cites numerous interesting case examples covering almost every situation including one's own home, olderfamily members' homes, and friends' homes. It also addresses the hows and whys of having and holding on to so much stuff in the first place and various psychological thought processes involved in letting go of particular items yet keeping others.

For me, an added bonus to reading the book is that I now have half of my Christmas list figured out. I will be giving this book to several relatives and friends as nice gift yet subtle hint.

I found it to be an extremely helpful and energizing book and am definitely looking forward to reading their next book.
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Wow a most excellent and helpful book. As you read it the authors seem to be in the same room with you speaking about their own and others experiences on how to eliminate much of lifes unnecesary accumulations. Their suggestions and hints are choice. Whether you are making a big move, buying a new home, moving into an apartment/condo, or just going through everything once your children have left home and are on their own, this book is for you. I highly recomend it. Thank you authors.
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I stayed up all night reading this book as if it were a suspense novel, then I set to work getting rid of things I didn't need. It's amazing what I found, duplicates of things I never used any more, triplicates even, and once in a while something I thought I needed to buy.
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Format: Paperback
While this book is about getting rid of clutter, it stands out from similar books because it focuses on positive reasons to get rid of extra stuff, such as moving to a smaller, more manageable home. I have read many books about clutter. Most of them are either really about finding suitable containers for stuff, or about getting rid of stuff for very vague, intangible reasons ("your clutter is weighing you down" sort of new-age reasoning).

We are moving from a 4000-square-foot house to one 1400 square feet or smaller in order to save money and conserve energy. This book is the first one that has inspired me to be tough in paring down our stuff to the point where we won't be squashing it into our new place. It has also given me clear steps on how to do this.

Like another reviewer, I really wish this book had a section on choosing which children's items to get rid of, or how to cope with a spouse who is reluctant to declutter. (This is the reason I'm giving the book four stars rather than five.) However, the lessons I learned by reading the book (such as skimming the cream off the top--choosing the best items in any category and getting rid of the rest) will be helpful in the first area. As for the second, well, maybe I can get my husband to read this.
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