Sherry A. Phillips

Suspense Author

How to Declutter and Tidy Up Your Life

A decluttered, clean and tidy life – doesn’t that sound like a dream?

Wouldn't you love to have a decluttered, clean and tidy house?

Wouldn’t you love to have a decluttered, clean and tidy house?


Coastal Living Magazine – Photographer: Mark Lohman, Stylist: Francoise O’Neill

I have a confession to make. I’m married to a hoarder. Not only that, but I have a bit of a hoarding streak myself, though it’s not nearly as bad as my husband.

Together, we have amassed a huge amount of stuff. We have dragged this stuff from Richmond and Memphis to Nashville, to a new home outside of Nashville where it magically grew in our basement like rabbits in Springtime.

When it came time to move from Nashville to Virginia for my husband’s work, we attempted to declutter a 3600 square foot house for the move to a much smaller rental. We managed to fill up a dumpster with stuff and somehow still managed to need a garage-sized storage facility to store the stuff we couldn’t bear to throw or give away.

Cluttered stuff in my house

Cluttered stuff in my house

After two years in Virginia, the door opened up for us to move back to the Nashville area. You guessed it, we again moved that garage of stuff back to Tennessee with us. This stuff has been filled one of the spaces of our 2 car garage, as well as our “formal living room.” At least that’s what I think that space is supposed to be utilized for, I wouldn’t know, since it is filled with boxes of stuff.

Finally, I’d had enough and decided I was going to get rid of all the stuff that hadn’t seen the light of day in years. But where to start?

The clutter that accumulates every day on my husband's desk at home.

The clutter that accumulates every day on my husband’s desk at home.

A friend of mine recommended this book and I am so grateful she did. It’s called The Life Changing Method of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (you may also know it as The Kon Mari Method).

I have just finished reading it and will be attacking these boxes later today. Make no mistake, there are hundreds of boxes. Yes, you read that right. Hundreds. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s probably around 200.

Do you know what really made me decide to declutter and get rid of all this stuff? I was tired of the mess and finally put my foot down with my husband and said the boxes had to go, because I was not going to continue living with a living room that looked like a storage facility. We started looking around and there are many, many storage facilities in our area, most of them filled up and no openings for new renters.

Isn’t that sad? People have so much stuff, that they need to store it in a facility. I can understand temporarily needing a storage unit when you’re preparing to move, but how many of those storage facilities are actually just filled with boxes of stuff that no one is dealing with?

This is why this book has been a life-saver for me. Instead of just moving all of this clutter from one place to another, I’m going to tackle it head on and get rid of anything that is not bringing me joy.

That’s the real secret to living a decluttered, clean and tidy life. Only embrace those things that bring you joy. Not things that once brought you joy, but is now gathering dust in the back of your closet. Not the blender your grandmother used to make you milkshakes in, but that you no longer use because you’ve got an awesome Vitamix to blend all your fabulous food with now.

I highly recommend this book. Buy it and adhere to her advice. You will be glad you did!

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