The best books on getting rid of clutter

Who am I?

I speak from experience because within the decade of 20092019, I downsized from my enormous home and cleared out both of my parent’s houses. I felt like I was drowning in stuff when I added up all three houses. Lighter Living is a collection of my insights from, and candid reflections on, my journey of owning less. The benefits of lighter living are so broad and deep that they can’t be boiled down to one end result. My hope is that you will find the process of consolidation to be satisfying and fulfilling. That was my experience. My choice of a lighter lifestyle has brought me a greater sense of well-being. In a world that often seems stressful and chaotic, that’s a feeling I cherish.

I wrote...

Lighter Living: Declutter. Organize. Simplify.

By Lisa J. Shultz,

Book cover of Lighter Living: Declutter. Organize. Simplify.

What is my book about?

Clearing clutter is much more than cleaning out a closet crammed with things or getting rid of the contents of boxes piled in your basement, attic, or storage unit. Most of us have unfinished business that might make us feel like we walk around dragging a heavy ball with a chain connected to our ankle. When you declutter and possibly downsize, you can free yourself of weighty matters that tie you down physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Lighter Living explains why you might want to simplify your home and your life. It shows you how to declutter and then organize what you keep. Finally, you are given a vision for lifelong decluttering and how it can lead to well-being and peace of mind.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Breathing Room: Open Your Heart by Decluttering Your Home

Why did I love this book?

I love the concept of being able to breathe easier in life and at home. The first part of this book is about getting clear on the intention of decluttering each room. I appreciate that each chapter offers a blessing for that room as well. The second part of the book dives into spiritual decluttering: heart, mental and emotional clutter, relationships, roles, and responsibilities. I particularly love the concept of passing your clutter through the three gates of meaning: "Is it true to my intentions? Do I use it? Is it kind to my heart and spirit?" I enjoyed the gentle nature of this book.

By Lauren Rosenfeld, Melva Green,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Breathing Room as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Breathing Room, Dr. Melva Green, expert on A&E's Emmy-nominated series Hoarders, along with Lauren Rosenfeld, creator of the popular blog Your To Be List, help you find emotional healing and spiritual renewal through the unique practice of decluttering. Whether it's clothing that no longer fits or relationships we've outgrown, we all have burdens and attachments that manifest themselves in our physical living space.

In each chapter, Green and Rosenfeld focus on a different room, showing how each one represents a corresponding place in your heart. The bedroom is for peace and intimacy. The kitchen is for comfort and creativity.…

Book cover of Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui: Free Yourself from Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Clutter Forever

Why did I love this book?

As I age, I am all about increasing my energy. I rarely read books twice, but this book is on my short, repeat-worthy list. It had a large impact on my life the first time I read it. However, I find clutter continues to accumulate gradually over the years. So, I recently read the book a second time and dug a little deeper. Kingston has a unique approach in dealing with clutter describing how energy can become stuck and that stagnation can affect you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I enjoyed a boost of energy each time I read the book and did the work. In a few more years, I may read it once again!

By Karen Kingston,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this revised and updated edition of her classic, bestselling book, Karen Kingston draws on her wealth of experience as a clutter clearing, space-clearing, and feng shui practitioner to show you how to transform your life by letting go of clutter.

Her unique approach lies in understanding that clutter is stuck energy that has far-reaching physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual effects. You'll be motivated to clutter clear as never before when you realize just how much your junk has been holding you back!
You will learn:

- Why people keep clutter
- How clutter causes stagnation in your life

Book cover of Inheriting Clutter: How to Calm the Chaos Your Parents Leave Behind

Why did I love this book?

Sometimes I just need a major kick-in-the-butt motivational book. In 2020, author Julie Hall renamed her previous book entitled Boomer Burden: Dealing with Your Parents Lifetime Accumulation of Stuff. The content is the same, but the title and cover changed. Julie Hall is a personal property expert, who wishes to show you how to clear a family home and minimize family feuds. The book is filled with excellent advice and guidance and also a few horror stories to motivate the reader to take positive action sooner than later. It is a wake-up call if you need one!

By Julie Hall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Inheriting Clutter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Every day, hundreds of adult children become middle-aged orphans when their elderly parents pass away. . . but what should you do with what they've left behind? Professional estate liquidator Julie Hall provides essential guidance for any executor, heir, or beneficiary.

You've heard the horror stories: arguments over stuff, an inheritance lost forever when easily deceived parents are scammed, siblings estranged, an adult heir taken from daily responsibilities for months because of the enormous task of clearing out a childhood home. It doesn't have to be that way.

The Estate Lady, professional estate liquidator Julie Hall, knows what to do.…

Book cover of The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter

Why did I love this book?

The title of this book may sound heavy, but I found reading it felt physically and emotionally light. The author is almost whimsical as she describes her own death cleaning. She describes herself as somewhere between eighty and one hundred years old. Her stories reflect the wisdom of her age and her words exude softness in a topic that can feel hard. I recommend the book for anyone who a daunted by the prospect of getting rid of a lifetime of accumulated stuff.

By Margareta Magnusson,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*Soon to be a major TV series*

Dostadning, or the art of death cleaning, is a Swedish phenomenon by which the elderly and their families set their affairs in order. Whether it's sorting the family heirlooms from the junk, downsizing to a smaller place, or using a failsafe system to stop you losing essentials, death cleaning gives us the chance to make the later years of our lives as comfortable and stress-free as possible. Whatever your age, Swedish death cleaning can be used to help you de-clutter your life, and take stock of what's important.

Radical and joyous, eighty-something Margareta…

Book cover of The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own

Why did I love this book?

I like this pick as a good beginner book to start on the path of decluttering. You may have no interest in minimalism, but the author does an excellent job describing the benefits of it. He also breaks down consumerism for each generation and discusses the tools of marketers. I appreciated his thoughts on a better way to get rid of your stuff by giving it to charities in need. Joshua Becker has written multiple books on this subject including Clutter Free with Kids. He is an active blogger and this is an excellent guide to reducing your stuff. I found his work lays a solid foundation on the merits of clearing clutter with guidance and support through the process.

By Joshua Becker,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The More of Less as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Don’t Settle for More
Most of us know we own too much stuff. We feel the weight and burden of our clutter, and we tire of cleaning and managing and organizing.
While excess consumption leads to bigger houses, faster cars, fancier technology, and cluttered homes, it never brings happiness. Rather, it results in a desire for more. It redirects our greatest passions to things that can never fulfill. And it distracts us from the very life we wish we were living.
Live a better life with less.
In The More of Less, Joshua Becker helps you...
• Recognize the life-giving…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in order and clutter, simplicity, and minimalism?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about order and clutter, simplicity, and minimalism.

Order And Clutter Explore 14 books about order and clutter
Simplicity Explore 7 books about simplicity
Minimalism Explore 26 books about minimalism

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Confessions of an Organized Homemaker, Joyful, and A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy if you like this list.