3 books on de­clut­ter­ing

The Washington Post Sunday - - BOOKWORLD - — Christo­pher Schoppa schop­pac@wash­post.com

With the new year come heart­felt res­o­lu­tions to im­prove our lives over the next 12 months. Well, why not de­clut­ter? It’s trendy — and it’s even be­come its own in­dus­try, with scores of ex­perts to help you tackle those packed clos­ets and sag­ging shelves. Here are books by three of them:

1 LIVE MORE, WANT LESS: 52Ways to Find Or­der in Your Life, by Mary Car­lo­magno (Storey, $12.95).

Di­vided into 52 chap­ters (one for each week of the year), this beau­ti­fully de­signed vol­ume is a guide to what the author terms “blank slat­ing,” a way to rid your life of all the inessen­tials and get or­ga­nized. Chap­ters ad­dress is­sues from par­ent­ing to cloth­ing to emo­tional at­tach­ments, and of­fer daily prac­tices read­ers can use to keep the mo­men­tum go­ing.

2 THE 100 THING CHAL­LENGE: How I Got Rid of Al­most Ev­ery­thing, Re­made My Life, and Re­gained My Soul, by Dave Bruno (Harper, $13.99).

In his in­tro­duc­tion, Bruno ad­mits to hav­ing what many would con­sider the per­fect life: an ador­ing fam­ily, a gor­geous South­ern Cal­i­for­nia home and the money to ac­quire any lux­ury he wants. But he be­came dis­il­lu­sioned with ac­qui­si­tion and de­cided in 2008 to whit­tle down his per­sonal pos­ses­sions to a mere 100. Bruno chron­i­cles his jour­ney with con­struc­tive ad­vice and help­ful anec­dotes.

3 LIGHTEN UP: Love What You Have, Have What You Need, Be Hap­pier­With Less, by Peter Walsh (Free Press, $26).

This stylish Aus­tralian may be the most rec­og­niz­able of the or­ga­ni­za­tion gu­rus, hav­ing rock­eted to celebrity on the TLC pro­gram “Clean Sweep,” penned sev­eral best-sell­ing self-help ti­tles and been anointed as an es­sen­tial go-to guy by Oprah. And he has a new pro­gram air­ing on OWN, Win­frey’s just­de­buted tele­vi­sion net­work. But the truth is, he’s worth the fuss, and in his lat­est book, he con­fronts head-on the chaos the re­cent fi­nan­cial cri­sis has un­leashed on in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies across the coun­try. His ad­vice is to em­brace the op­por­tu­ni­ties of­fered by bud­get-tight­en­ing to pri­or­i­tize your life, sim­plify your fi­nances and fo­cus on what is truly im­por­tant: who you are rather than what you own.

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