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Banish Clutter Forever: How the Toothbrush Principle Will Change Your Life [Paperback]

Sheila Chandra
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

4 Mar 2010

Why is it that even the most disorganised person never seems to lose their toothbrush?

How can this simple fact solve all our clutter problems?

The Toothbrush Principle is a simple yet inspired approach to de-cluttering your home. Whether you live in a mansion or a bedsit, this book will show you how to: organise according to the unconscious blueprint that naturally tidy people have, so that getting and staying organised is easy; know what to throw away with confidence; set up your wardrobe so you get much more use out of the clothes you have; work from home productively in a clear, designated space; tame your inbox!

Step-by-step, room-by-room, you'll soon find that you hardly ever lose things, massive clear outs become a thing of the past and you never spend more than 10 minutes a day tidying up.

So stop drowning in piles of clutter, learn how to be organised and start creating space to live out the life of your dreams!

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Banish Clutter Forever: How the Toothbrush Principle Will Change Your Life + The 15 Minute Rule: How to stop procrastinating and take charge of your life + No More Clutter
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Vermilion (4 Mar 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091935024
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091935023
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.4 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sheila Chandra has been a successful singer and songwriter for 28 years with 10 albums to her credit. She has always managed herself, runs her own music publishing and production companies and oversees all the various aspects of her career without an assistant, and with a heavy workload and a constantly changing schedule. Initially, Sheila suffered serious clutter problems firsthand, and she became faced with the challenges of trying to function effectively in a disorganized environment. Because her livelihood depended on it she developed the simplest and quickest system possible for dealing with her own disordered ways. Subsequently she has helped many others by passing on her system. She even has a fool-proof system for dealing with the modern curse of email.

She's set out her secret blueprint for living in a clutter free home and office effortlessly in this book, and believes anyone can use it to live clutter free, no matter how bad their clutter problems are. She says "I know people might think a book on organising a bit of a strange choice for a singer to write, but whenever I've given workshops I've been keen to pass on musical strategies which I know really work, and to inspire people to feel empowered to run with them, in their own way. This is a subject that's more 'behind the scenes' but the principle is just the same. It's much easier to achieve what you want in life, if you're organised and systematic, and I know this system works because I use it myself everyday. "

Product Description


"Does it work? Yes! I feel....I know where things are." (Kate Baily Sunday Express)

Book Description

A revolutionary new system that will enable you live in a state of clutter-free nirvana, forever

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
107 of 110 people found the following review helpful
`Banish Clutter Forever - How The Toothbrush Principle Will Change Your Life'

This is so much more than a book about de-cluttering your living space. It's also a self-help book, one that helps you face and deal with any mess there may be in your life as well as your home. It shows how steps taken to improve our living space can lead to a more smoothly run home and life. Once you understand the system - based on the principle that if you can find your toothbrush you can find anything - you're away, with helpful advice regarding the two principle concepts of Zoning and Completion.

The book also looks at why we collect clutter, as well as deeper issues such as debt management. Emotional issues are dealt with, looking at the role clutter accumulated from the past plays on our present, and whether keeping these items brings us happiness. The realisation that some items I had kept from the past brought me sadness helped me give them away and this was a positive clearing experience.

I found the tips on using `sub-bags' (Chapter 8) very useful and now incorporate these into my daily life. Instead of having a huge handbag overflowing in chaos, I now have `sub-bags' inside and everything within each one is grouped logically, making it easier to find each item. You can adapt any of the ideas here to suit your own needs. For instance I now have several `sub-bags' for travelling away from home. They are all ready packed for a speedy get-away and being in clear bags they are perfect for passing through customs with ease. The general advice in this chapter on keeping your wardrobe and make-up orderly once you have de-cluttered is also very useful.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
At last....I have the missing piece of the jigsaw! I've read the books on de cluttering, understood why I would love to stay clutter free. But this is the ONLY BOOK that has taught me how to do it and keep it that way. (It has a step by step guide that even I can follow) My house is now well on its way to becoming the home I have always wanted, and this time I am armed with the knowledge of how to keep it that way. Thank you Sheila
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving house? Buy a copy! 4 Mar 2010
I recently moved house and used this fantastic book as a guide when unpacking, sorting, putting things away, arranging my wardrobe and getting rid of stuff. I've read other books on clutter but nothing really seems to work - Sheila Chandra's system is so simple and effective it even worked on an inveterate hoarder like me. I've also solved my email in-box clutter problems at the same time. Absolutely brilliant.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Guilty 21 May 2012
This is an amazing book. I live in a two bedroom flat and we sometimes have 5 of us in here. I always feel so overwhelmed by clutter, but this book really inspired me. The best thing about it is the fact that it acknowledges that humans are notoriously lazy. This took away the guilt about me being clutterful! Loved it. Definitely recommended!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than it looks! 27 Jun 2011
I found this book really helpful - it didn't look as promising as some of the more glossy books initially, but the content is great. The principle (basically keep things where you use them, so they are easy to put away again) is basic common sense but most people don't actually follow it. Sheila Chandra has managed to expand this concept into a book by providing loads of detail about HOW to implement it, and the right habits to develop to keep it that way. Forget the lists, detailed routines, etc that other books suggest, this is an easy, practical way to keep things in order and still have loads of free time. The system for staying organised and managing your time at work is aimed at those working from home, but equally applicable to any workplace; again, this sounds like common sense but if you actually try it you see how powerful a technique it is. Highly recommended!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By Boglee
Format:Kindle Edition
I could not put the Kindle down when reading this!
Excellently written, broken down into areas to concentrate on. It worked for me!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just a "clear your clutter" book 3 Mar 2010
By J.Rose
This book is packed with down-to-earth advice on how to create a more harmonious, organised lifestyle. I would particularly recommend it to anybody who seriously wants to find a simple step-by step system to fundamentally change their home environment for the better.
Ms Chandra has written an easy to follow book in a friendly non-preaching tone which is positive and motivating. Using the simple principle that most of us know where to find our toothbrush; (as teeth cleaning is generally a firmly embedded habit) the reader is taken on a tour of the home with a view to applying this system - a place for everything and everything in it's place.
Read the whole book through first to give yourself a good overview of the system then go for it! You won't look back.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It *did* change my life, yes, really, honestly 4 Dec 2010
It took an artist (excellent one too) to get through to me on the subject of how to keep domestic order. I thought there was a secret no-one was telling me -- turns out there was, and she calls it the 'Toothbrush Principle'. I must admit I didn't do all the exercises she gives, and you don't need to once you have the idea. I did go round my home, though, and realized that what worked was, without exception, stuff that already obeyed the principle. It was a real underlying truth about organization. I gradually transformed everything using this one idea, which is so simple. It's like having the secret the tidy people never taught you.

If you are like I was, finding tidiness a question of look and 'neat piles', this book is for you. Tidiness is actually about an easier existence in harmony with your surroundings, where things are in the right spot because there's nowhere else you'd rather have them and nowhere easier for them to go. A snap once you get it... it became a joy and privilege for me to alter my habitat. So simple, so effective. Recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Can highly recommend!
I loved reading this book and found the information, useful, practical and easy to put into practice. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Athena
5.0 out of 5 stars She understands the problem
Sheila Chandra is unlike other authors I've read on this subject in that she clearly appreciates the inner turmoil of the clutterer and what
makes them tick. Read more
Published 23 days ago by silverbirch
5.0 out of 5 stars get it and do it. I can see why it works.
so simple but so effective. But you do need to be able to set aside the time to do the exercises properly in order to make permenant changes. Read more
Published 27 days ago by J. A. Chard
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book!
I have never been tidy until now! This book has made my house look so lovely I am just thrilled
Published 1 month ago by Susan
5.0 out of 5 stars It makes perfect sense!
Of course! Keep things where you use them and they will always be there for you when you go to get them. Read more
Published 1 month ago by louise burridge
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good
Excellent book to get you thinking. I even use tips from it now with my son to try help him to make places to keep things.
Published 2 months ago by Sheena S S Swift
5.0 out of 5 stars good
No nonsense book - the author really does know what she is talking about. She is not preachy about it either. Very good stuff.
Published 2 months ago by H. Bell
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of clever ideas
At the beginning of this book, the author says something along the lines of "have you always wanted to be like people in lifestyle ads". Yes! I thought. Yes I have. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Julia Flyte
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book, sensibly written
I thought this described a good method for applying order to a household. There was reference made throughout to the underlying emotional reasons why people get into a mess without... Read more
Published 2 months ago by cbowiemorrison
3.0 out of 5 stars Good idea but very repetitive
I liked the ideas presented in the book and it really is a theory that makes sense and works, but the book is very repetitive. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Shushkat
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