Sure, everyone has to deal with messes now and then. It’s part of life, right?
But when the mess is too big to tame and it’s causing way too much work for you, that’s when you know it’s more than everyday life.
Maybe you feel like you need to declutter but you never quite get around to it. Does starting to declutter quickly overwhelm you or you feel like there’s no end in sight?
Maybe you got partway through the process but got stuck.
Maybe you’re conflicted about what to do with the things you don’t want any more.
Section 1 – Gaining the Decluttering Mindset
Ground rules for this book
Cost of clutter
Benefits of a decluttered home
The tools you will useHow to decide what to do with all that stuff
Section 2 – Quick Wins Build Confidence
Easy setup / decluttering framework
How to do a 20 minute decluttering session
Resistant family members
What if you love everything?
Section 3 – Start with the Kitchen
What to declutter first
How to organize the kitchen
How to declutter the kitchen
Section 4 – Build Momentum
The messy middle
Dealing with resistant relatives
Specifics for clothing, books
Decluttering around and with children
Section 5 – You're becoming a pro!
Decluttering sentimental items
3 Tips for maintaining your spaces and staying organized
3 Questions to ask before buying new things
A suggested decluttering order
Personal reflection worksheet
Section 6 – Worksheets and Printables
Listen to Step-by-Step Decluttering when you're on-the-go or cooking dinner. At 90 minutes in length, it's just long enough to give you all the tools and inspiration you need without taking forever to listen to.
I've got 4 active boys and while our house is (mostly) uncluttered now, it wasn't always that way!
You might think that since I write an organizing blog that my house is perfectly organized. Well, I've gotta tell you, I don't have it all worked out.
Sure, my kitchen is in great shape and my closet is pared down to only my favorites. But let's not talk about those shelves in the basement, shall we?
I wouldn't want you to think that I'm some sort of superwoman.
But I do hate clutter. Let me back up and tell you why.
How many times this week has this happened to you?
I know how you feel!
In fact, my house used to be just like this when my kids were little! And it wasn't the kids' fault either.
We had toys. We had games. We had shoes and clothes and kitchen gadgets. And at the end of the day, it was all too much to put away.
So I didn't.
Let me tell you a story.
A few years ago, I went to visit my sister, Lauren.
Lauren and her husband had become experts at avoiding clutter in their lives. I had taken my 3rd child with me. As I filled a sippy cup, I remarked on the tidiness of their kitchen cupboards. Lauren mentioned that they only owned 3 sippy cups.
What?! This little comment was a revelation to me. At home, I had spent all kinds of time looking for just the right sippy cup, buying extra valves for our cups, trying to figure out how to store them all without over-stuffing the cupboards. And here she was with just 3! One to use, one to wash and one extra. The simplicity of it boggled my mind!
Then Lauren told me how she and her husband had gone through much of their home and eliminated unnecessary things. They'd combed through boxes and boxes of paperwork and family photos. They'd pared down their books to only copies they enjoyed.
It wasn't an easy process, but it was so worth it in the end! Their decluttered home didn't seem sparse or empty; it was comfortable and cozy, and without any mess or clutter. And they had 2 little kids!
Over time, I realized I had a gift for encouraging others to declutter and enjoy the same freedom I have!
So I've written this book, Step-by-Step Decluttering. This book walks you through the process of discovering what clutter is costing you and pinpointing why you want to make a change. Then you move into actual decluttering starting with small, focused projects lasting 20 minutes each.
I am an organized person. I have systems that I think work well to keep clutter out of our lives, but in reading Sarah's book I loved the steps she took you through to REALLY work through it. Her systematic approach made everything so easy.
Plus, Sarah has four kids. She totally gets how small hands can wreck your plans for clutter domination! If you're overwhelmed by what is in your home -- her steps will make it SO much easier on you. I totally recommend it!
“I try to declutter regularly and surround myself with only the things I use, love, and need. However, it seems like “stuff” comes in about as fast as it goes out, and I end up decluttering some of the same spaces yet again.
I love that Step by Step Decluttering tackles the tough questions. Yes, please, I totally need that!
Thank you so much for this book! I feel like I can finally go through my kids keepsake totes. I think there are like 8 totes of “keepsakes” that I’ve just not let go of and your book makes me feel better about setting stuff free!
I’ve wanted to cut in half at least the number of these totes but just have been in the “messy middle” with them.
Thanks for the encouragement!
I know there are a lot of books about decluttering on the market, but what I like about Sarah’s is that it walks you step-by-step through the process and also teaches you how to declutter in manageable bites of time — 20 minutes here, 20 minutes there.
But with a plan and a purpose. So it sticks.
If you need some great steps to follow, this is it! Even if you are a born “keeper” through and through, you can find the motivation, encouragement, and support to help you to take steps towards being more organized.
Often getting the right tools in your hands can make ALL the difference!
I absolutely love your book & have told several friends about it (& sent them your website).
It has been very helpful to me in that I can understand more about the cost of my clutter & now I have manageable tips to tame it. I finally did the easiest thing & cleaned out my kitchen drawers- I was able to throw things away that we have no reason to be holding onto, gave my kids random measuring spoons for their toy kitchen (because 3 full sets plus random ones was just way too much) & am gifting several items to a friend.
I was also able to clean out my plastic containers but that is still a work in progress but I have thrown a good bit away.
Thanks for such a great resource!
Tara said, “It has been so long since that space has been usable that it just makes me happy to look at it now.”
Sabrina said, “Here are the before and after photos from my decluttering challenge. I threw out 4 bags of garbage and two big bags went to a thrift store! I can’t wait to tackle the rest of my house.”
Holly said this about her work: “My grandson was content for a little so I got 15 minutes in and am feeling like I actually got something accomplished today and it’s only 10:00 in the morning…”
PDF ebook (60 pages)
Lifetime eBook updates
Audiobook (90 minutes)
PDF ebook (60 pages)
Lifetime eBook updates
No. This is a digital product. A physical book will not be shipped. You will receive 2 PDF files via email: 1 with the book and 1 with the printables. If you purchase the Community Edition, you’ll also receive an mp3 file with the audiobook and an invitation to the Facebook group.
I struggled with this – I wanted to include pictures to improve the reading experience, but I in the end, I opted to go with a simple video tutorial instead. The video is available in the free mini-course on decluttering.
Organizing and decluttering are certainly related. However, it’s much easier to organize when you’ve decluttered first. There is one section that talks about organizing, but the rest of the book deals with the decluttering process.
I find the Konmari method very inspiring! There are wonderful things to be learned from that book.
However, my needs were different. In particular, this book doesn’t promise that you’ll never declutter again. Also, while Konmari encourages particular, intentional ways of folding and storing clothing and other belongings, that hasn’t proven to be realistic for my family. Step-by-Step Decluttering spends more time on the emotional aspects of clutter.
You may return this product for any reason within 30 days. Just contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your email receipt and I’ll issue a refund. No questions asked!