Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Reads: Throw Out Fifty Things by Gail Blanke

Lately, I've been reading a lot of minimalism blogs and might be on the way to becoming a bit neurotic about culling in our own home. Even hubby has jumped on the cull wagon. We just want less stuff. Less stuff means less to deal with and less to clean. It means that if we ever had a serious fire, we wouldn't be as freaked out because we'd have less to replace. As a result, we've been working our way through our house and are selling/tossing/giving away as much as we can to just get rid of it.

As I am prone to do - I immediately went on a hunt to find books to help me with the task. To give me different perspectives on culling. Throw Out Fifty Things ended up in my Kobo cart one day and I finally got around to reading it.

The premise of the book is that she takes you through your house, one room at a time, and talks you through what to let go of. She also provides rules for culling like "if you have to think about it for very long, then it's time to cull it" and "if it makes you feel bad, it's time to get rid of it". Helpful thinking points for people who might tend to get a bit sentimental about their possessions.

Speaking of sentimentality, she also talks about how to cull the items you've inherited that you don't want to loss - even though they might not be the things you cherish enough to keep and use regularly.

This is not a book that talks about just sweeping your whole house into a garbage bag - she gives you permission to keep things just because you live looking at them. If it is something that makes you feel happy - then it's ok to keep. The point is to clear out the things that are weighing you down.

Unfortunately, the house culling portion of the book doesn't even take up half of this book. By around the 40% point onward, the book becomes a self help book to help you clear out mental clutter. I read a couple of chapters of this, but it isn't what I needed so I started to skim pretty heavily and pretty much stopped absorbing this content. I didn't want to waste my time reading stuff I didn't feel I needed when I could be moving on to the next book.

As far as a book on organizing and culling goes - this one is only "meh". I think people with a larger aversion to culling than myself might find it helpful to get them started, but I am pretty sure I already got rid of way more than 50 things...I need a large scale assistant in the book market :) This book isn't it. And the self help section at the end sealed it's fate for me. I'd look for culling advice elsewhere. On to the next book!

1 comment:

  1. Purging is something we try to do on a regular, even weekly basis. Clutter builds up so fast, for us it's hard to stay on top of it. Sentimentality is my biggest problem, I should find a copy of this book to at least read that part!

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