The best books to inspire you to declutter

The Books I Picked & Why

The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store

By Cait Flanders

The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store

Why this book?

In this beautifully written and painfully honest memoir, the author gives up buying anything but consumables for a year. During that year, she realizes the treadmill of consumerism had kept her stuck and unhappy. Working to live, living to work. She dives deep into the cycles of spending, debt, and regret and realizes how often she had turned to spending, food, and booze to avoid feeling her feelings. 

Not only did Cait’s journey remind me so much of my own in my 20’s. Spending money I didn’t have to make myself feel better about things I couldn’t change about myself, all the while ignoring the things I could change, she also reminded me of so many of my clients. Hoping that the stuff they buy will fix their problems.


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Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002)

By David Sedaris

Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002)

Why this book?

By sharing his private journals from 1977-2002, I realized why David Sedaris is one of the funniest writers alive today. This laugh-out-loud accounting of his observations of both the outside world and his inside voice makes this a read you don’t ever want to end. From his relationships with his family to his inability to hold a job to his fascination with accumulating collection, I was reminded again that it’s never about the stuff but about the feelings the stuff gives us. He illustrates the meaning we pile on our clutter with an uncomfortable, painful but hilarious accuracy.


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Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding

By David Tolin, Randy O. Frost, Gail Steketee

Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding

Why this book?

As a child of an extreme hoarder, this book helped me realize the extent of and truly understand my father’s disorder. The authors do an amazing job of explaining a very difficult and painful mental disorder and offering real treatments that work. If you or someone you love is afflicted with hoarding disorder, this book is a must-read.


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The Wreckage of My Presence: Essays

By Casey Wilson

The Wreckage of My Presence: Essays

Why this book?

In this gorgeous, funny, heartbreaking, and heartwarming book of essays, Casey dives deep into her relationship with everything from her parents to food to The Real Housewives franchise. Her realization about her sugar addiction is parallel to so many people’s addiction to stuff. You could substitution shopping for candy in this book and this book would be about decluttering. If you have ever lost a parent, this book will hold your hand through the grieving process. And laugh a lot along the way.


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

By Margareta Magnusson

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

Why this book?

Listen to your grandmother, or someone’s else adorable Swedish grandmother. Don’t leave a mess behind! This practical guide to decluttering before you transition on reminds us that the messes we make are ours to clean up. Mixed in are some words of wisdom about a life well lived and some delicious recipes. Wise words from an elder. 


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