WELCOME TO THE 2008 version of the Costco Household Almanac. You’re
about to delve into a resource of tips, advice, information, how-to’s and occasional trivia—all intended to help you in your everyday living. In true almanac fashion, I’d like to start off the book right away with a tip on this topic:
Dealing with clutter is my job. To the amazement of many, I love it! Helping people dig out from under the overwhelming mess that fills their homes
is part of my daily routine. Hundreds of families have invited me into their
homes and hundreds of thousands have seen on TV how I tackle clutter or
have cleared their own spaces using the same techniques that have worked
so well for me.
Everyone deals with clutter to some degree, whether it’s clothes bursting
out of our closets, boxes that stop us friom parking in the garage, bills and
paperwork that are spread over the dining room table or kids’ toys that seem
to cover every square foot of the home. When the stuff we own starts to own
us, the message is clear: What we own is stopping us from living the life that
should be ours.
All clutter is not the same. Many homes are filled with “memory” clutter—
reminders of an important person, event or achievement in the past. Other
homes are filled with “I might need that one day” clutter. You know what I’m
talking about. The amount of stuff seems to increase daily, and we have no
idea how to get it under control.
I’ll share a secret with you: If you focus on the stuff as you attempt to get
organized you will never succeed. Never!
I learned long ago that the very first step in successfully decluttering your
home and getting organized is to ask yourself what kind of a life you want to
be living. What do you want from your life or your home or each room in your
home? Only when you have a clear answer to those questions can you then
look at what you own and ask, “Does this item move me closer to the life I
want or farther away from it?” “Does this item help me achieve the life I want
If it does, hold on to it. If not, what’s it doing in your home?
Your home should be a haven for you and your family—a place of peace
and calm that welcomes you and makes you feel safe and nurtured. Everything that you bring into your home should help you achieve that goal. It’s as
simple as that.
I have a belief that Costco se ems to share with me: We each have one life
to live. Live it as well as you can!
Peter Walsh is a noted international organization expert, a regular guest on The Oprah
Winfrey Show and the author of the New York Times bestsellers It’s All Too Much: An
Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff (Simon & Schuster, 2007) and Does
This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?: An Easy Plan for Losing Weight and Living More
(Free Press, 2008). More details may be found at www.peterwalshdesign.com.