I’m a self-identified bibliophile. I read a lot and hold high standards for the books I read. Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui is so far, the most influential book of my life.
As I have told the story many a time, I was a lost teenager wandering through a used book store in a town I was just passing through, and the title of this book caught my eye. I slid it off the shelf, skimmed a few pages, and instinctively knew this book would nourish me.
Eleven years later it turns out to still be true. The practical wisdom Karen Kingston shares was a gold mine. I devoured it, and my life continued to change course in a way I would never have foreseen. If I had never found this book, I may very well have built a life I didn’t realize I didn’t want, looking good on the outside but slowly dying on the inside. Yes, clutter-clearing is that powerful.
I would probably have a lot of money in my bank account, even more debt, and an expensive apartment full of the nice stuff. Or I maybe would have found another way, other than what this book started for me, to the self-realization that clutter-clearing is a way out of the struggle.
The subtitle of the 2013 (and most recent) edition is Free Yourself from Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Clutter Forever. For me the consistent practice of clutter-clearing really does just that, because life is a process that demands adding things and people to your life consciously, and knowing how to let go when life moves you forward. This book successfully taught me a vital pillar to living life fully, that I don’t know if I would have learned otherwise if I didn’t find this book.
Although Kingston’s work has impacted the intangible in countless peoples’ lives, her book is effortlessly pragmatic, through a clear no-nonsense approach to clearing clutter. She has a chapter on paper clutter, time clutter, and other people’s clutter. She explains about clutter and teenagers, moving on from relationships (sometimes people in your life become clutter!) and how when it comes to being attached to items when you don’t want to be, it is all about changing your standpoint. I think that is the secret of its success (over 1 million copies have been sold in 16 languages); her writing style is clutter-free in itself – simply transferring the key information into your head.
The whole book is less than 200 pages, yet it’s like the Baghavad Gita; a relatively short story but immeasurably rich with wisdom. I´m trying to think of what else to include in this book review, like who it is for or if this book is right for you, but the truth is that this book is for everyone. It captures the solution to a global problem of our times: clutter.
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