The Clutter-Busting Handbook: Clean It Up, Clear It Out, And Keep Your Life Clutter-free

The Clutter-Busting Handbook: Clean It Up, Clear It Out, And Keep Your Life Clutter-free

by Rita Emmett


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THE CLUTTER-BUSTING HANDBOOK is a streamlined guide to uncluttering your life from the best-selling author of THE PROCRASTINATOR'S HANDBOOK. We are the clutter generation, inundated by a seemingly daily or weekly influx of clothes, accessories, gadgets, catalogs, mail, and e-mail. Clutter crowds our lives, is a chief source of stress, contributes to sidetracked dreams and opportunities, and can cause guilt and anxiety. If clutter is a problem in your life, then Rita Emmett—herself a reformed clutterer—can help you tame it. This concise, energizing guide gives readers insight and direction as well as proven tips, methods, and strategies that will change lives for the better. Emmett reveals the four primary causes of clutter; that cluttering is a habit that can be broken; the powerful connection between clutter and procrastination; how to help a pack rat part with unneeded objects; and how to prevent clutter from returning, forever. As entertaining as she is helpful, Emmett offers practical advice on separating what you need or truly want from what you have been hanging onto for the wrong reasons. Her combination of experience and good humor—based on her hundreds of seminars and advice received from people all over the country—will win over the most reluctant convert.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802777171
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 05/01/2005
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 5.54(w) x 7.15(h) x 0.66(d)

About the Author

Rita Emmett is a professional speaker who leads workshops on clutter and procrastination. Author of The Procrastinator's Handbook (more than 150,000 copies sold) and The Procrastinating Child, Emmett has dispensed advice on NBC's "Today Show" and in Time, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Family Circle, and Parents. She also publishes a monthly online "anticrastination" tipsheet. Emmett lives in Des Plaines, Illinois.

Read an Excerpt

The Clutter-Busting Handbook

Clean It Up, Clear It Out, and Keep Your Life Clutter-Free

By Rita Emmett Walker & Company

Copyright © 2005 Rita Emmett
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780802777171

Chapter One

Computer Clutter

Some people say that the single best paper-clutter reducer is the computer. Well, it’s true that a piece of paper can be tossed once it’s entered into the computer, but then what about all that computer clutter?

All of the principles for getting control of paper apply to computer clutter as well. To say that you will return to an e-mail and handle it later is exactly the same as setting down a paper on your desk and putting off that decision.

Address the following areas of computer clutter each week. Delete:

• cookies (that is, text files stored on your computer from Web sites you’ve visited)*
• temporary Internet files
• contents of your recycle bin for PC or trash file for Macs
• junk mail
• old e-mails that mean nothing to you now
• old versions of any new programs you have installed
• cartoons and goofy pictures that your friends have sent you, and anything else in your download directory you don’t need

And just as with paper files, give your computer files names that mean something to you so you’ll be able to retrieve them.

Another tip: If you just need to skim a file, try to do so on thescreen and avoid printing it out. Otherwise, you will have added to your paper clutter.

*Cookies can track how often you visit a site, or save your logon name and password. Sometimes these files include graphics and sound files that gobble up a lot of computer memory.

“I’ll finish reading all my new e-mails first. Then I’ll come back and reply to this one.” Such a plan inevitably leads to wild e-clutter. Treat e-mail – whether at home or at work – as you would treat your snail mail.

• Delete the junk mail without opening or reading it.
• Make decisions about e-mails the minute you open them.
• Reply to every one that you can right away.
• The ones that you cannot reply to immediately should be put in an “Urgent” file so you can get to them as soon as you have the time.
• After replying to an e-mail, delete it or set up a file folder for it.
• Rather than carrying each person’s e-mail to individual folders, group them in categories (friends, work, special interests, clutter tips, awaiting response)
• Don’t get sucked into forwarding jokes, poems, and stories when you don’t have the time to do so.
• Every time you start to write an e-mail, ask yourself, “Do I have time to do this? Is this the best use of my time right now?”


Excerpted from The Clutter-Busting Handbook by Rita Emmett Copyright © 2005 by Rita Emmett. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Part IWhen Enough Becomes Too Much
1How Did I Accumulate All This Stuff?3
2Gonna Take a Sentimental Journey31
Part IIGet Rid of Clutter and Keep It Out
3Fifty Ways to Leave Your Clutter55
4How to Start? Work It Smart70
5Caution! Incoming Stealth Clutter88
6How to Handle Paper and Computer Info-Clutter109
7Home Sweet Clutter-Busted Home136
8Caged Clutter-Out of Sight and Out of My Mind154
9The Joy to Be Clutter-Free171

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Clutter-Busting Handbook: Clean It up, Clear It Out, and Keep Your Life Clutter-Free 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
bonaire More than 1 year ago
I have really used the suggestions in this book, it is still going to take time but i am motivated. It took 29 years to accumulate, it will take time, But I know I can do it now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago