Frequently asked questions / answers and
general information from
alt.recovery.clutter and DeCluttr maillist.

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Date: 1999-05-01

This page is a compilation consisting of the FAQ posted regularly by Dan Goodman and additions made by Balance Check (last updated by Balance Check 2000-07-18)

From: dsgood@VISI.COM (Dan Goodman)

If you have information which you think belongs in this FAQ, please send it to me. (It's okay to recommend your own web page, book, or software.) If information needs to be updated or corrected, please let me know.

  1. alt.recovery.clutter
  2. DeCluttr Maillist
  3. What is clutter?
  4. Is clutter a real problem?
  5. It's not me with the problem; it's my . . .
  6. Does cluttering go together with ________ ?
  7. Organizations for clutterers
  8. Books on Clutter and Organization
  9. Feng Shui
  10. SHE Online
  11. Clutter Links
  12. Keys and Locks - just what is this key for? Now what was the combination for that lock?


 alt.recovery.clutter is a place where people who have cluttering as a problem can discuss methods of dealing with it, share Experience, Strength and Hope, recommend books on decluttering (and ways to keep them from becoming part of the clutter) and get contact information for organizations. alt.recovery.clutter is not affiliated with any organization, nor does it speak for any organization.

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 You may also be interested in the Decluttr mailing list:

Decluttr@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU. To subscribe, send this message to listserv@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU: Subscribe Decluttr Your Name. To keep your inbox less burdened, in the next line say: set Decluttr digest. Put these in the body of the message (the Listserv software ignores subject headings), and don't put anything else in the message (this includes your signature). Note: "Decluttr" is spelled with only one "e". There are point-and-click links available on the mini-FAQ to generate the subscribe/unsubscribe messages.


More information on handling the list as well as the point-and-click e-mail generation is on the Mini-FAQ.

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Q: What is clutter?

A: "Clutter is anything we don't need, want, or use that takes our time, energy or space, and destroys our serenity. It can be outgrown clothes, obsolete paper....We may be selective in some areas, but not in others. Objects may be strewn about or wedged into drawers; neatly stacked or stowed in storage." The Twelve Steps of Clutterers Anonymous, CLA WSO Literature Committee, approved February 1996.

Q: Is clutter a real problem?

A: Anything that can get you evicted, get your children taken away from you, keep you from inviting people into your home, get you charged more by retailers and the tax authorities because you can't find the paperwork needed to pay them on time is a real problem.

Q: It's not me who has the problem, it's my elderly mother/father.

A: Minneapolis has an Office of Senior Services -- and someone there who did her masters thesis on cluttering. (Kildow, Ruth. Compulsive Hoarding Among Elderly Clients. 1993. University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN.) Other cities would have the same services, not necessarily under the same name.

Q: Does cluttering go together with ___?

A: Clutterers are more likely to have one of these: clinical depression, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. But none of these invariably goes together with cluttering; and cluttering doesn't invariably go together with any of them.


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 Organizations for clutterers
  1. Clutterers Anonymous World Service Organization
  2. Messies Anonymous
  3. Hoarders and Clutterers Support Group - San Francisco
  4. Clutterbuddies

If there's an organization or local meeting not listed here which you think should be, please let me know. I'm also interested in people's experiences with groups.

Clutterers Anonymous World Service Organization is at PO Box 25884, Santa Ana, CA 92799-5884. For information, send a long first class self-addressed envelope with twice the minimum first-class postage (currently, 55 cents). (Nothing said about writing from outside the US for information. You should be able to use International Reply Coupons, but I don't know how many would be needed. My guess is 2 from Canada or Mexico, 4 from elsewhere.) Clutterers Anonymous (CLA) is a 12-step organization. Note: The WSO is staffed by volunteers, and their PO box is sometimes cluttered; so you may need to be patient.

Clutterers Anonymous Website: http://www.clutterers-anonymous.org

Positive Affirmations of Clutterers Anonymous available on a separate page.

Changes: (5/98)

  1. Mail from the WSO is expected to speed up considerably.
  2. You can get the quarterly newsletter by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope to the contact address. Mark the envelope you send it in "Newsletter". If you want to get it quarterly, do this four times a year; there won't be subscriptions any longer. (People who have subscribed will get a bunch of back issues, along with the latest one.)
  3. CLA literature will be going up on the Web. Watch for further news.
  4. Note: Phone numbers given only for CLA meetings which have okayed having them on the Net


  • California
  • DC
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey


    • California:

      Carlsbad, Saturday, 10-11 am. St. Michaels by the Sea, 2775 Carlsbad Blvd.

      Orange, Saturday, 4:30-6 pm.
      Mariposa Women's Ctr., 812 Town and Country Rd.

      Orange, Thursday, 5:30-6:30 pm. Mariposa Women's Ctr., 812 Town and Country Rd.

      San Diego, Saturday, 8-9:30 pm. J.Beers Uptown Comm.Ctr., Vermont at VermontWay

      San Juan Capistrano, ---

      San Pedro, Tuesday, 10-11 am. Good Shepard Lutheran, 1350 25th St. (Note: CLA newsletter says to call first.)

      Simi Valley, Wednesday, 7:30-9 pm, Simi Valley Presbyterian Church, 4832 Cochran, room 210.

      South Bay.
      Thursday, 7-8:30 pm,
      Friday, 9:15-10:45 am
      Margaret Mary Church, 25511 Eshelman, Lomita

      Westchester, Wednesday, 7:30-9 pm, Westchester United Church, 8065 Emerson, Crafts Room (Emerson & 80th).

      West Los Angeles
      Sunday 1-2 p.m. Palms Park, 2950 Overland Ave
      Monday 6:30-7:30 p.m. Felicia Mahood Sen. Ctr., Room 3, 11338 Santa Monica Blvd.

      District of Columbia (Washington): Friday 7:30-8:30 pm, St. Albans Episc. Church, Room 203, Wisconsin & Massachusetts NW (No longer meeting as of 6/2000)


      Beverly, Tuesday, 7:1530[sic]-8:35 pm. Doctors Dining Room, Beverly Hospital, Herrick

      Michigan: Southfield. Thursday, 8:30-10 pm. Peace Lutheran Church, 17029 W. 13 Mile Rd.


      Roseville,1st & 3rd Saturdays, 10 am., Patsy, 651-644-1139, St. Christophe's Churh, Room 128, 2300 Hamline Ave (Hwy 36 & Hamline)

      St. Louis Park, 2nd Saturday, 12:15-1:15 pm, Patsy, 651-644-1139, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 8115 Highway 7, Hwy 7 & Texas Ave., across from Knollwood Mall

      New Jersey:

      East Orange,
      Monday 7:30-9:00 pm, 439 Main Street, Second Floor, next to Domino's River Edge
      Wednesday, 7:30-9:99 pm, temple Sholom, 385 Howland Ave

      Union Monday 7:30-8:30 pm, Battle Hill Moravian Church, 777 Liberty Ave.

      If there's no local meeting near you, you can get the latest copy of the quarterly newsletter by sending a self-addressed-stamped envelope to the address shown above. Mark your envelope "Newsletter" You can get one each quarter by repeating this; they do not have subscriptions.

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Messies Anonymous: 5025 SW 114th Ave., Miami, FL 33165. 305-271-8404. http://www.messies.com

Quarterly newsletter $5 per year -- sample newsletter free. info@messies.com

CT: Farmington, Janibeth, (860) 232-3838

Greenwich, Judy, (203) 637-7509

New Haven, Lee, (203) 483-0355

We usually meet on the 2nd and 4th Thursday evening of every month. TIME: 6:30 -7:30 P.M. Call Lee in advance to confirm meeting dates, time and place.

FL: Ft. Lauderdale, Karen, (954) 970-1429

Miami, Maxine, (305) 522-1976

MI: Muskegon, Kathleen, (616) 744-9209

MN: Columbia Heights, Barb, 571-4592. Thursday, 7pm, St. Matthews Church, 4101 Washington St.

NJ: Lindenwold, Sharon, (908) 566-9146

Palmyra, Basia, (609) 829-9596

NY: Forest Hills, Marie, (718) 746-4713

OR: Portland, Carla, (503) 775-2606

Portland, Lee, (503) 235-3977

TX: Dallas. Dates and place are changing. For more info contact: Dorothy at 972-495-1950

WA: Aberdeen, Evelyn, (360) 533-1813

Greater Seattle Area: "We have an active MA group here (the Greater Seattle area).....
Our meetings are the 1st and 3rd Tues of the month.
Our contact phone number is: [Sue at] 206-824-2728."

WI: Brown Deer, Jeanne, (414) 354-3577

Eau Claire, Dixie, (715) 834-7763

"If you write to the address for the newsletter and include your city and state, you will receive a list of others in the area who have asked for the same information OR the name and number of the person who has organized such a group--if there is one. You will also receive as much information and support as you might need if you want to start your own group." Bonnie Rice
Change: You can now ask from the website.

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The following probably has no direct link with Messies Anonymous but is good information anyway:

<< The Messies Home on the Web.

It is here: <URL: http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Meadows/3337 >

Maybe some of you know it. I hope you accept me in your group even if I'm not a cluttr'r but a messie (just joking, of course there is plenty of clutter here!)

Anyway, I'm glad I found you! Claudia >>

Hey, Claudia, Pull up a chair and a cup of (name your beverage). Lots of messie's here!! Also folks with ADD, and other disabilities. Lots of Sandra Felton fans too.

I checked out your website..awesome! Thanks for posting it.

KC (who is gonna surf the site some more later tonight)



 Passed on by Lori Burkart

'A Hoarders' and Clutterers' Support Group has been formed in San Francisco and meets twice a month (2nd and 4th Mondays, 3-4 p.m.)


'The flyer reads:

"For Mental Health Consumers who have too much stuff and want help, the San Francisco Mental Health Association's Consumer Housing Group presents a Hoarders' and Clutterers' Support Group"

'"Twice a month, starting Nov. 1997:
2nd Mondays ....
4th Mondays at Canon Kip, 705 Natoma (@ 8th St.)

'"[note: the Association is responding to the problem of evictions due to Hoarding problems]"'




Sun Jan 18 1998

"I saw the original post of the San Francisco....group meetings and attended my first meeting at the Madrid Hotel. Due to parking restrictions and space considerations in that area the plan for the 2nd Monday in February is to meet @ the Canon Kip location, 705 Natoma@8th Street (S.F.) I find the support mutual and encouraging. I encourage anyone interested in the area to attend. I also am interested in the possibility of starting a meeting in the east bay.

One other person at the meeting lives in Berkeley. Due to a vision problem, it would be much easier to attend meetings closer to home.

Anyone else interested?"

Informal: Minnesota; around St. Louis Park/Edina/Golden Valley -- someone who can't currently get to the CLA meetings would like to meet informally. Call Zola at (612) 921-4917.




Clutterbuddies Updated City Listing - October 1998 - from Michelle

AUSTRALIA -- New South Wales, Sydney

BRAZIL -- Rio de Janeiro


  • Alberta: Edmonton, St. Albert /
  • British Columbia: Burnaby, Nanaimo /
  • New Brunswick: Fredericton /
  • Nova Scotia: Halifax /
  • Ontario: Kanata, Niagara Falls, Ottawa, Toronto, Windsor /
  • Quebec: Montreal

CUBA -- Guantanamo Bay

ENGLAND -- London, Weybridge, York

GERMANY -- Bavaria: Aschaffenburg

ICELAND -- Kopavogur

IRELAND -- Dublin

JAPAN -- Yokohama


NEW ZEALAND -- Auckland, Christchurch

NORWAY -- Aneby

PAKISTAN -- Karachi

SCOTLAND -- Edinburgh, Newtonmore

SPAIN -- (No city given)

USA --

  • Alabama: Birmingham, Sheffield /
  • Alaska: Wasilla /
  • Arizona: Coolidge, Mesa, Phoenix, Tempe /
  • Arkansas: Cabot, Pine Bluff, Maumelle, Star City /
  • California: Apple Valley, Boulder Creek, Campbell, Carlsbad, Concord, Covina, Danville, Davis, El Verano, Eureka, Foresthill, Fresno, Green Valley, Hacienda Heights, Irvine, Laguna Beach, La Mesa, Lodi, Lompoc, Long Beach, Los Altos, Los Angeles, Mountain View, North Hollywood, Northridge, Novato, Oceanside, Redondo Beach, Rohnert Park, Roseville, Sacramento, Salinas, San Diego, Sanger, San Jose, Sherman Oaks, Tracy, Watsonville, Weed /
  • Colorado: Colorado Springs, Cortez, Fort Collins, Lakewood /
  • Connecticut: New Haven, Milford, Oxford, Rocky Hill, Trumbull, West Haven /
  • Delaware: Frederica, Wilmington /
  • Florida: Casselberry, Coconut Creek, Coral Springs, Fern Park, Fort Walton Beach, Gainesville, Hollywood, Jacksonville, Live Oak, Middleburg, Orange Park, Palm Beach Gardens, Tallahassee,Tampa, Waldo /
  • Georgia: Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Covington, Mableton, Marrieta, Savannah, Thomaston, Waycross, Winder /
  • Hawaii: Oahu, Pearl City /
  • Illinois: Carol Stream, Chicago, Deerfield, Dundee, Galesburg, Mundelein, Quincy, Skokie, Warrenville, Washington, Wheaton /
  • Indiana: Bloomington, Elkhart, Fredericksburg, Indianapolis, Knightstown, Kokomo, Marion, Muncie, Noblesville, South Bend, Terre Haute, Warsaw /
  • Iowa: Atlantic, Boyden, Iowa City, Fort Madison /
  • Kansas: Topeka, Wichita /
  • Kentucky: Florence, Louisville, Radcliff /
  • Louisiana: Jefferson /
  • Maine: Bethel, Mexico /
  • Maryland: Baltimore, Bethesda, Camp Springs, Elkton, Germantown, North Potomac, Towson, Uniontown /
  • Massachusetts: Amherst, Arlington, Boston, Carver, Everett, Framingham, Hatfield, Jamaica Plain, Maynard, Northboro, Pepperell, Somerville, Waltham /
  • Michigan: Ann Arbor, Berkley, Bloomfield Hills, Flint, Grand Rapids, Howell, Kalamazoo, Livonia, Remus, Saginaw, Traverse City /
  • Minnesota: Eagan, Minneapolis /
  • Mississippi: Meridian, Ocean Springs, Saltillo, Starkville, Tupelo /
  • Missouri: Cape Girardeau, Kansas City, Platte City, Springfield, St. Louis /
  • Montana: Billings, Lewistown /
  • Nebraska: Bellevue, Grand Island, Lincoln /
  • Nevada: Las Vegas /
  • New Hampshire: Freedom /
  • New Jersey: Andover, Hoboken,
  • Jersey City, Lodi, Newark, Roselle Park /
  • New Mexico: Alamogordo, Aztec, Las Crucas /
  • New York: Albany, Brooklyn, Castleton, Cobleskill, Durham, East Greenbush, Flushing, Hector, Highland, Ithaca, Johnsonville, New York, Orchard Park, Oswego, Poughkeepsie, Rego Park, Richfield Springs, Rochester, Staten Island, Victor, Whitehall /
  • North Carolina: Apex, Asheville, Brevard, Charlotte, Durham, Green Mountain, Hurdle Mills, Knightdale, Lenoir, Marion, Pinehurst/Southern Pines, Staley, Weaverville, Wilmington /
  • North Dakota: Fargo, Minot /
  • Ohio: Burton, Castalia, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Sidney, Toledo, Westerville /
  • Oklahoma: Del City, Tulsa /
  • Oregon: Aloha, Beaverton, Coos Bay, Eugene, Falls City, Gresham, Lake Oswego, Roseburg, Salem /
  • Pennsylvania: Bensalem, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Ligonier, Reading, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, West Chester, York County /
  • Rhode Island: Barrington /
  • South Carolina: Charleston, Goose Creek, Mountville /
  • Tennessee: Clarksville, Knoxville, Maryville, Memphis, Murfreesboro, Nashville, Pigeon Forge /
  • Texas: Arlington, Austin, Beaumont, Boerne, Cedar Hill, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Huffman, Jackson, Keene, La Porte, Niederwald, Plano, San Angelo, San Antonio, Seven Points, Stephenville, Tyler, Waco, Warren, Wichita Falls /
  • Utah: (No city given), Lehi, Ogden, Salt Lake City / Virginia: Blacksburg, Clifton, Falls Church, Floyd, Fredericksburg, Herndon, Matoaca, Richmond, Rixeyville /
  • Washington: Bellevue, Bellingham, Blaine, Mount Vernon, Pullman, Redmond, Seattle, Spokane, Sumner, Wenatchee /
  • West Virginia: Wellsburg /
  • Wisconsin: Franklin, West Bend /
  • Wyoming: Casper, Laramie /
  • Washington, DC
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  Useful Books, etc.


(Added by Balance Check - not part of official FAQ) 5/31/98

Have you thought about the library? I'm planning on checking this book out and reading it for free. And that also means clutter-free because I won't have another book lying around (getting lost) after I'm done reading it.
Mark G.
Balance Check's note: This is my strategy - when my library privileges haven't been suspended for overdue books.

(Added by Balance Check - not part of official FAQ) 8/11/98

NEW BOOK (for me) - I've ordered it. Will let you know more when I've read it.

Lighten Up: Free Your Life From Clutter by Michelle Passoff (March 1998)

Author's statement: LIGHTEN UP! Free Yourself From Clutter is [the name of my] company that provides people tools to create miracles in their lives by being free from too much stuff. In addition to private consultations, seminars, lectures, workshops and retreats, I am thrilled to now have the book available. My suggestion is that you use it as a companion guide to clutter cleaning as a self-growth and life enhancement accessory. Discover how clutter cleaning can be an asset to creating an environment in which to live that nurtures and supports you in your life on a routine basis.

If you just flip through the pages of the book superficially you may mistake the book for a how-to manual like many you have seen before. But, LIGHTEN UP! Free Yourself From Clutter has more to offer than just helping you be neat and tidy. I recommend that you take the time to read it and discover the treasures that are woven throughout the pages. Like clutter itself, there is more in LIGHTEN UP! Free Yourself From Clutter than meets the eye!

Although I have not yet achieved a clutter -free house, I have two great books

I recommend buying...buying, because you will refer to them often. They have been a great help in getting my clutter under control.

The first is "It's Here...Somewhere" by Alice Fulton & Pauline Hatch (appr. $11.00) and "File...Don't Pile" by Pat Dorff (apprx $10.00)

More --

 Get your act together by Pam Young and Peg Jones :In association with amazon.com bookstore. (see below for more books by them)

Organize yourself by Ronni Eisenberg and Kate Kelly - (see below for more books by them)

Totally Organized by Bonnie McCullough

Sidetracked Home Executives by Pam Young and Peg Jones : (see below for more books by them)

Organizing for the Creative Person by Dorothy Lehmkuhl ($14)

Bonnies Household Organizer by Bonnie McCullough

HOW TO CONQUER CLUTTER. Stephanie Culp. PB, ISBN 0-80879-362-9 (1) $15 (see below for more of her books)

Don Asletts Clutter Free by Don Aslett

500 terrific ideas for organizing everything by Sheree Bykofsky

I'm ok...but you have a lot of work to do by Pam Young and Peg Jones


Clutter Control: Putting Your House on a Diet by Jeff CampbellIn association with amazon.com bookstore.

Spring Cleaning by Jeff Campbell

Speed Cleaning by Jeff Campbell


Messie's Superguide Strategies and Ideas for Conquering Catastrophic Living by Sandra Felton

The Messie Motivator by Sandra Felton

Messie No More by Sandra Felton

The Messies Manual : The Procrastinator's Guide To Good Housekeeping. Sandra Felton. Fleming Revell Co.

Messies 2 by Sandra Felton

I think this one is good.

"It's About TIME! The 6 Styles of Procrastination and How to Overcome Them" by Dr. Linda Sapadin with Jack Maguire

(It was only $14.35 at Borders - 10% off the price on the book of $15.95)

Hmmmm, think I need to read this one again. . . soon. . . well, maybe later. :)

(Added by Balance Check - not part of FAQ)

I've noticed this seems to be a common thread among the "organizationally impaired"--we buy tons of organizational books. I have tons of them. The problem for me seems to be that knowledge doesn't seem to translate into action. I KNOW what I need to do--I just don't DO IT.

This has always been somewhat puzzling to me. I seem to get overwhelmed and I don't do anything--or I start a new system and stick with it briefly but then get derailed somehow. I have done or not done most of the things I've read about on the list -- including not paying bills when I have the money to do so. Logically it doesn't make sense and I know it--so why do I do it? I seem to have great difficulty establishing a routine in my life. It just doesn't make sense to me. Can anyone else relate to what I am saying?

For anyone who could have written this, here are three more books!

You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid, or Crazy?! - Kelly & Ramundo

Driven to Distraction - Hallowell & Ratey

Women With Attention Deficit Disorder: Embracing Disorganization at Home and in the Workplace Sari Solden


Sandra Felton. THE MESSIES MANUAL: The Procrastinator's Guide to Good Housekeeping (see above for more of her books)

Sandra Felton: THE MESSIES SUPERGUIDE: Strategies and Ideas for Conquering Catastrophic Living.

Sandra Felton, Meditations for Messies


(Added by Balance Check - not part of FAQ)

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Organizing Your Life by Georgene Muller Lockwood, 1997, $16.95

(5/29/98) I started to research various ways I could store stuff and still find it. While traveling somewhere, I was checking out a bookstore when I spotted this book: THE ORGANIZATION MAP, by PAM McCLELLAN.

I flipped thru it and decided it was worth buying (the retail is 12.95, I got it for 4.98 ). It is set up in two parts, one is decluttering info and the other is step by step decluttering and decorating for each room of the house.

While her recommenations for decoratating seem too spare for me (the collector of beautiful things <grin>), I really like her storage idea. She calls it the box storage system: Everything that is not in frequent use goes into storage boxes that are all the same size and fit on a shelving unit. All the extra kitchen gadgets go in one box, all the holiday decorations in another, memorbiilia in another, and so on. She says the "average family" might end up with 30 boxes.

I never did the complete sort and group of everthing I own, BUT it did use the idea in a smaller way. I bought some shoebox sized plastic boxes w/lids at the dollar store. I put all my camera stuff in one, all my batteries in another, all my cat care stuff in a third, 3 embrodery projects I'm working on in another,all my small walkman and cassettes (w/parts) ,all my pens, markers, pencils together, etc. I have been doing this as I accumulate a pile of related items: into a labeled plastic box. All the boxes are stacked up on one of my bookcases. It feels great finally knowing if I have batteries and where they are, ditto with the film. And I've stopped buying writing instruments, since I've got a whole box full.


Alcoholics Anonymous TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS - by Anonymous - available in hardcover ($5.40), paperback ($4.50), audiotape ($44.95) and gift pocket ($3.50) versions.

Don Aslett: Clutter's Last Stand, Not For Pack Rats Only, How do I Clean the Moosehead?

Stephanie Culp: How to Organize, How to Simplify Your Life (not found on Amazon.com)

(Added by Balance Check - not part of FAQ)

How to Conquer Clutter
Stephanie Culp / Paperback / Published 1989
 How to Get Organized When You Don't Have the Time
Stephanie Culp / Paperback / Published 1986
Stephanie Culp's 12-Month Organizer and Project Planner
Stephanie Culp / Paperback / Published 1995
Streamlining Your Life : A 5-Point Plan for Uncomplicated Living
Stephanie Culp / Paperback / Published 1991
You Can Find More Time for Yourself Every Day
Stephanie Culp / Paperback / Published 1994
610 Ways to Keep Your Day from Slipping Away
Stephanie Culp / Paperback / Published 1998
(Not Yet Published)
Conquering the Paper Pile-Up
Stephanie Culp / Paperback / Published 1990
Organized Closets and Storage : Ideas for Every Room in Your House
Stephanie Culp / Published 1990

 Deniece Schofield: Confessions of an Organized Housewife: The Secrets of Uncluttering Your Home and Taking Control of Your Life : ISBN:1558703616

Lillian & Kurtis Angelovic <Kovic@SISNA.COM>
I have consistently felt there's more of a problem around here than just clutter -- it's really a matter of "management". And this book has some great ideas! Some of them are similar to things I've seen discussed here. The "calendaring/scheduling" ideas are actually *very* close to the system I have developed myself over the years. I wish I had this book 8-10 years ago so I could have done it right the first time! I would imagine it's available at most libraries and bookstores (Publisher: Betterway Books, Cincinnati OH. The cover lists it at 10.99US, 15.99CAN, 7.99UK).

(Added by Balance Check - not part of FAQ)

Deniece Schofield: Confessions of a Happily Organized Family: Hundreds of practical ways to have a neat home, happy kids and calm parents - all at the same time! : ISBN: 1558704248

Deniece Schofield : Kitchen Organizing Tips : ISBN: 1558704221


(Added by Balance Check - not part of FAQ)

Ronnie Eisenberg and Kate Kelly : Organize Your Home : Simple Routines for Managing Your Household : ISBN: 0786880066 (also by Kate Kelly - You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!)
Ronnie Eisenberg and Kate Kelly : Organize Your Family!: Simple Routines that Work for You and Your Kids : ISBN: 1562828711

Ronnie Eisenberg and Kate Kelly : Organize Your Office! Simple Routines for Managing Your Workspace : ISBN: 0786880376

Ronnie Eisenberg and Kate Kelly : Organize Yourself! : ISBN: 0028615077



Young and Jones, Sidetracked Home Executives (Warner 1981)
The sisters' first book, SHE (for short) outlines the use of a 3-by-5 cardfile system to move from "pigpen to paradise". Written at the end of the '70s, this is definitely a "Becky Home Ec-ky" presentation--but it contains the best description of what we Get O (short for Get Organized) types call SHE Classic. Readers learn to corral household management, clutter control, and cleaning using a 3-by-5 tickler system. Get O Rating: 5

Young and Jones, The Sidetracked Sisters Catch-up on the Kitchen (Warner 1983)

A kitchen book, companion to SHE. I believe the kitchen book is out of print, and it's not quite the blockbuster for the terminally sidetracked that SHE was. Still, it provides a way out of messy, disorganized kitchens and pantries, and offers help for menu planning and meal prep. Get O Rating: 3.5
 Young and Jones, The Sidetracked Sisters' Happiness File (Warner 1985)
Also out of print, and it's too darn bad, too! The Happiness File (or HF to us diehards) was the book that made the system work for me. It shows how to use the basic SHE cardfile to achieve personal growth. A month-by-month guide focuses on different areas for growth and order-- and this, IMHO, is their best book. Even though it's out of print, this one is largely available in public libraries. Get O Rating: 5+.
 Young and Jones, Get Your Act Together (Harper Collins 1993).
GYAT, as it's known, is a streamlined version of the Sisters' earlier works. It introduces a stripped-down version of the cardfile, touches on some of the HF issues, and reprints much of the earlier, ill-fated "I'm OK" dogburger. New publisher onboard, this book is the first effort of the Sisters' new careers as "media celebrities". Some readers like the SHE Lite treatment, others find it doesn't work for really stubborn Sidetrackers. Get O Rating: 3.5 (....) SHE and GYAT can usually be found at large chain bookstores or Christian bookstores (these are not "Christian" publications, per se).

The sisters themselves peddle a variety of SHE items, but I've not checked in lately to see what they have. Address is:

Sidetracked Home Executives, Inc.
P. O. Box 5364
Vancouver, WA 98668
[360] 696-4091


Other products available (at least in the past) are preprinted cards, and QVC sells "Slob Sisters" set of video and audio tapes. CEO (Cynthia Ewer, Organized)

 The slobsisters (Sidetracked Home Executives) now have their own site on the www at http://www.columbian.com/slobsisters/welcomeslobs.html

The site doesn't have a lot of content, yet, but you can order most of their currently available materials/books from the site. Bonnie Rice (GET-O-LIFE Newsletter) http://getolife.hypermart.net/



(Added by Balance Check - not part of FAQ)

Edward M. Hallowell, MD, wrote "Driven to Distraction." He also has a new book out called "Worry." I attended a lecture of his here at MIT on the subject of toxic worry.

 Surprisingly, Dr. Hallowell said one way to deal with toxic worry is to GET ORGANIZED AND GET RID OF CLUTTER! He said that many people live on the"brink of chaos" and that this induces chronic excessive worry if you're not taking action on it. He also strongly suggested "connectedness" as a way to deal with toxic worry. This group gives me both -- a way to take action on my clutter, and connectedness. Thanks.

(posted to deCluttr but not part of FAQ)






LINKS - see also Clutter Links


Dan, It's official, I've moved my website toIn association with amazon.com bookstore.

http://getolife.hypermart.net and am hoping to provide more interactivity with the new site. I'm working on making the site more helpful. Any ideas would be appreciated. I just finished reorganizing my home organization book list into categories instead of by author. If you are looking for the perfect book on meal-planning or paper handling or clutter control, you can actually go to that section of the list. Many of the books can be ordered through Amazon directly from the list and some of the authors have websites of their own that are linked to the list.

[2/99] ... anyone who has taken the home organization class and wants to join a support community on excite (you need to join excite which might be a hassle to some) please let me know and I'll send you an invitation that will get you in. It's a closed community so we won't have spam or other inappropriate things there.

Fri, 23 Jan 1998


cleaning tools


I follow Don Aslett's book Is There Life After Housework. You can get his catalog 1-800-451-2402. I use his mop, it's called a scrubbee doo. really.

He explains how to use the right cleaning tools, and cleaning products.

[new: http://www.cleanreport.com/]

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suggestions of other books

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Tue, 10 Mar 1998

Balance Check <Balance_Check@bigfoot.com>

Clutter links - update

 Updated site URL:


Clutter Books:


(note that the last part of that is "clutter_books.htm")


Clutter FAQ (this page)


(note that the last part of that is "faq_clutter.html")

deClutter FAQ - Short - note this has different information - primarily about the deCluttr maillist


(note that the last part of that is "faq_sh_decluttr.htm")


Pat Welsh <pwelsh@NWU.EDU>

feng shui

Feng Shui Warehouse, P.O. Box 3005, San Diego, CA 92163-1005.
inquiries: (619) 297-9819, orders: (800) 399-1599, fax: (619) 297-9831
Ask for their free catalog: the Feng Shui Warehouse carries both expensive and *inexpensive* (i.e., bells for US $2.50, bagua mirror for $5.00) item to bring more harmonious energies to your home/workspace/car/body...and carry books, audio cassettes, and video tapes explaining this Asian system of energy transformation. (They even have a few items blessed by a feng shui grand master).

Additionally, you can subscribe to their magazine: Feng Shui/a journal.


Hi, I saw on your FAQ for alt.recovery.clutter the Feng Shui Warehouse. We have a comparable online shop, the Feng Shui Emporium, with lots of items and books, at http://www.intersurf.com/locale/fengshui

FENG SHUI EMPORIUM, P.O. Box 6701, Charlottesville, VA 22906.
(804) 974-1726, fax: (804) 973-2004, Email: fengshui@comet.net
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Clutter Books : Clutter Links

Mon, 19 Jan 1998

Lindell Martin <lindell@GEOCITIES.COM>

CEO has a web page

Some of you may already know the CEO. That stands for Cynthia Ewer, Organized.

Anyhow, she now has a web page! You will want to give it a visit and tell others about it too. http://www.concentric.net/~Cynthiae/
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Clutter Books : Clutter Links

Fri, 23 Jan 1998

ttista <ttista@NETNITCO.NET>

cleaning tools

I follow Don Aslett's book Is There Life After Housework. You can get his catalog 1-800-451-2402. I use his mop, it's called a scrubbee doo. really. More clutter books information.

He explains how to use the right cleaning tools, and cleaning products.

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Clutter Books : Clutter Links

Fri, 27 Feb 1998

Stella Sloop <seren@MINDSPRING.COM>

SHE Online...

For those of you who have been wondering what in the world the SHE Online thing is all about, and for those who may have been too late to take advantage of it this past time, here's hope:

(from the Get O message board of AOL)

getoceo@aol.com (Get O CEO)

Date: 27 Feb 1998

'Kim asks if the Delphi service (new home of SHE's Online and 21 Days to SHE) is another service like AOL.

'Kim, yes and no. Yes, you can get Internet access through Delphi. No, it's not necessary to have a paid account to visit Custom Forum 222, the Get Organized Board, on the World Wide Web: http://www.delphi.com/mc When it asks "Go to Forum by Number", type in


'All you do is sign up for a FREE membership at the log in page. Don't worry, you can't miss it. Pick a username and a password. and you're up and running.

'In format, Delphi is pretty nice. Messages are threaded, and easy to read and to post. There's no length limitation like the Slob Sisters Online message board. And since blessed Delphi permits me to retain copyright, it's JUST the place to post the 21 Days essays--don't miss out!...'

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Clutter Books : Clutter Links


11 Apr 1998
Mycala W Shaulis <mycala3@JUNO.COM>

Kitchen Web Link : http://www.123sortit.com/RO/

It covers not just the kitchen, but virtually every room in the house...


Sat, 11 Apr 1998 14:37:00 -0500 : Josie Morgan <mccraryj@ASPIRE.CS.UAH.EDU>

Financial Info: What to Keep

I ran across this link while working on our taxes today: http://www.quicken.com/saving/frugal/

It is an article by Jane Bryant Quinn on how to organize financial records --it covers what to keep, how long to keep it, and logical ways to organize it.

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Clutter Books : Clutter Links

Wed, 27 May 1998

OrganizeWize <grace@ttc-cmc.net>



Now that I'm getting more content to my pages I was wondering if you would add Organize Wize to your FAQ. I have added a printable form that helps for setting goals called Daily Active Enforcement(DAE) Goal page and info on how to get started decluttering( or achieveing any goal) called "Charting the course".

Nita in MT FREE Ezine ,online signup

Organize Wize: http://organizewize.hypermart.net

Sun, 26 July 1998

Jeannie Weeks <jweeks@wecosoft.com>

[...] Chore Genie is a shareware application that helps to schedule your household chores, includes a menu-builder and a to-do list.... We offer tips and worksheets for getting started, which can be viewed on our web site at http://www.wecosoft.com/tips.html.... We even have an email loop anyone can join by sending me a request to GenieMail@wecosoft.com. The email loop has tips for using the program as well as general topics for staying motivated, getting started and anything else that is on topic. Anyone is welcome to join!

Jeannie Weeks Wecosoft
Chore Genie on AOL  

Sun, 18 Oct 1998
The Roberts Family

I'm pleased to announce that I've added 3 pages on decluttering to my web site (all decked up in fall colors). More will be forthcoming, of course:



"SaraB" <sara@computer-consulting.com>

Web Site
Thu Mar 18 1999


This is the website by Julie Morgenstern (duh...) of Organizing from the Inside Out. Just found it last night. I especially liked her "challenge" section.


"Terry Voss" <tvoss@computer-consulting.com>

Neat Link!
Tue Mar 23 1999

Online Organizing Expo:


Just found it myself, so I'll be exploring. Looks good, though.

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Clutter Books : Clutter Links


Keys & locks:

I have a suggestion.

In a small file box I have 3x5 cards.

They help me remember things and store small items for me.

In one section of one of my 3x5 boxes I have cards with the combinations to locks and extra keys. When ever we buy a lock with a combination I write down the serial number of the lock and the combination and a description of the lock. And where I will be using that particular lock at. That way if I have locked up something and need to get back in I stand a chance of being able to do so. (I also write down my kids school locker numbers, plus combinations. ect.)

In another sections of the same box I write down the same information about key locks. Plus if there is an extra key to the lock I tape it to a card. If there are no extra keys I place one key on the scanner and print a copy of it. (Before I had a scanner, I would either take the key to the library and make a copy of it there or just trace the shape on to a 3x5 card.) I tape the copy of it on a card. If I have a key I can compare it to the extra keys / or copy of a key to see where it goes.

I also use 3x5 card boxes to store game pieces, extra dice, etc.


Keeper of lists and organizers 8-)


This page is maintained by Balance Check, a member of the deCluttr maillist. While I do the best I can, typos can slip in. For any such, I apologizes. If you spot any, please let me know.
For additions to the FAQ, please contact Dan Goodman.



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