Part Feng-Shui, part Changing Rooms
and part Freudian psychoanalytic theory, Dawna Walters' The Life Laundry: How To De-Junk Your Life
is 100% common sense. Though she's accumulated seven years of experience already in the US and studied the principles of Reiki, the Japanese system of healing, Walters' philosophy is still bound to be scoffed at by some as being "the latest fad from America". They would be quite wrong, however, for beneath the apparently lightweight format of the BBC television series lies an erudite foundation. The basic premise is deceptively simple: clutter weighs you down, physically and psychologically. Letting go of the accumulated debris liberates mind and body: "It is possible to let go of the emotional and physical clutter and move on to a greater awareness of the present moment". The book, Walters states boldly, "will help you restore order in your life". For some, it seems, this is a taller order
Though strict in her ascetic assertions, Walters remains sympathetic, providing a gently building set of goals. Beginning with an extensive questionnaire, she first identifies the type of clutterer you might be. She then creates handy schematic guides for dispensing with each specific brand of clutter: books, clothing and, rather brutally, sentimental items, for example. The writing is pleasant and disarmingly honest, and Walters' simple directness in the questionnaire creates some prescient and resonant questions: "Does your living room reflect who you are?". Once the clutter is eventually sorted, the chapter by Mark Franks (the Handy Andy-style cockney geeza of the duo) helps with identifying, restoring and marketing the wheat once the chaff has been blown away.
Though some may be filled with horror at the use-it-or-lose-it attitude encouraged by this book, one may suspect that these are exactly the kinds of people it's intended to help. And though there may be some rather questionable conclusions drawn--that single women accumulate clutter because they are depressed about being boyfriendless, but that single men accumulate it because their mothers are no longer picking up after them, for example--this is ultimately a useful book for everyone from the most dogged of hoarders to the most organised of go-getters. Ultimately then, though it lacks a little of the humanity that the case studies brought to the television show, this book is also refreshingly free of the sometimes annoying famous-for-fifteen-minutes element, and opts instead to get down to the nitty-gritty of freeing your spirit and beautifying your home. After all, Freud never had such flair with curtains and colours. --Paul Eisinger
From the Back Cover
Do your bills and paperwork stack up? Is your living room littered with newspapers? Can you never find a clean shirt in your wardrobe? In Life Laundry
storage expert Dawna Walter shows you how to take control over your possessions, with practical exercises to tackle clutter hotspots around your home. Packed with invaluable advice, questionnaires, quick tips and check lists, Dawna will guide you every step of the way, motivating you to let go of the things you've collected but never used and start afresh--literally use it or lose it.
And once you've started to organise your possessions, you can follow the advice of antiques dealer, Mark Franks, on how to turn your junk into cash, whether it's at a car boot sale, a second-hand shop or an auction house. And, if your clutter is just rubbish, he'll tell you how to recycle it.
Letting go can be hugely rewarding, freeing up your time for the things that really matter. Practical, inspirational and liberating, Life Laundry will both improve the quality of your life and help you achieve a clutter-free home.