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As for 'you'll never need to do it again', surely that only works if you never buy anything ever again?

Her claim is that once the house is free of everything that's unnecessary and when you've then (and only then) arranged proper storage (she offers ideas here) for the remaining items, then it becomes so easy to put things away properly as a matter of course that your house STAYS tidy and never needs a full-on 'tidying' session again.

The process of discarding, and the shock of realising how much unnecessary crap has been accumulated (let alone the waste of money spent on it!) also brings in a change of mindset such that in future you only ever buy things that you really do need, most likely as a replacement for something you're throwing away. In essence, it is recommending a much less materialistic approach to living. I'm sure we can all agree that that is something to aim for :-)

Yes, it sounds idealistic, I agree - but honestly, the book makes a good case!

The ORDER in which you tidy is crucial.
How so?


Now this was the interesting bit. Her technique is not to tidy by location, but to tidy by theme, and she recommends (well, insists) that the best place to start is with clothes, and to work your way through books, CDs, and finish up with personal papers and photos. She gives the full list.

Her logic is that discarding clothes is the easiest place to start because the decision-making process is relatively easy and clothes have the least emotional investment of all possessions. There is also the least potential for distraction while doing the discarding task. Let's not forget that people whose house is a total mess are often people who really have trouble making decisions, so it's best to start with 'baby steps'.

I suspect that it is possible to take certain hints and tips from it but taking it all seems like a pipe dream.

Perhaps. But it is a very sensible little book and I'm going to give it a go. It's better than not trying at all and honestly it's the only such book that has ever truly inspired me.
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