Thursday, March 10, 2011

I am "unstuffing" my life.

I have decluttered. I have minimized (sort of). I have gone through my belongings with a fine tooth comb and gotten rid of just about everything I didn't use or love or want anymore.

But I have never "unstuffed" my life. Until now.

When I saw a group of friends chatting on Facebook about how they were following a plan outlined in some book, I was skeptical. Listen, I've read all the books. OK, many of them. I'm a self-improvement book guru. There can't possibly be a book or blog out there that says anything radically different than what I've already read about strategies to simplify your life.

In a sense, that's true. Andrew J. Mellen's book Unstuff Your Life has some of the same suggestions I've read elsewhere. But there is something about how Mellen presents the questions he insists we answer about how we relate to our "stuff" and how it makes us feel that somehow takes this idea of "I'm not my stuff, my stuff is not me" to another level.

Exhibit A: The stuff that is leaving my home after spending a few hours yesterday unstuffing the kitchen.

Now, that's a pretty big box for someone who thought she had a grip on kitchen organization. (Except the clock radio, which I've been meaning to get rid of for a while.)

It may be Mellen's writing style that drew me in - how he addresses the reader as if he is a friend on the other end of the telephone line. "Go get a notebook and a pencil and write this down. Do it. I'll wait." That kind of thing.

Or it may be the season of life I am in; I only thought I had been brutal when decluttering in the past. Now I'm seriously getting down to business. What's different now is that I am ready. I have no use for things - stuff - in my life that do not bring a smile to my face or add to my life in some other way. So as it turns out, this book came along at just the right time for me to make the most of it.

I haven't even read the whole thing and I would already recommend it. And if you decide to try it, I would suggest downloading it to your computer (via Kindle for PC or a similar program) or straight to an e-reader (if you have one). Saves on clutter that way.

I'm taking Before & After pictures to share with my fellow unstuffers. If I get brave maybe I'll post a few here too as I go through the process.



  1. It sounds wonderful. I've done it all too. And you're right, sometimes you aren't ready. I was once super inspired by someone to change some life things, but didn't really get it. A couple years later I went back to the original book and it all just clicked. Real and lasting progress was made.

    I need a good tuneup on a lot of things right now... unstuffing my life sounds like a good start.

    Tell me, do they make a "Don't stuff your kids life." For parents and in-laws? Because that I know I could use.

  2. Will have to stuff my head with Mellen's Unstuff Your Life! Currently doing 40 days/40 bags for lent.

  3. Oooohhhh... I didn't know there was a level that comes after decluttering. I am so on this. Organizational tactics are manna to me. Off to find this book. :0)