book "Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness" (Storey Publishing,
$10.95) is practical. You can open to any page and find a quick tip
that will help you get a handle on the things you own — and shouldn’t.
organizer since 1999, Ms. Smallin is the author of seven books on the
subject, all of them filled with one-minute tips to getting out from
under your belongings and organizing your life. These easy reads are
perfect for people who want to get organized quickly.
that the less you own, the easier it is to maintain and the more you
can enjoy what you have.
about living like a minimalist," she said in a phone interview.
"It is more about that William Morris said, ‘Have nothing in
your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be
As an example,
she says every time she settles in a new place, she brings out her
antique Japanese teapot for decoration.
that organizing in small chunks can make a big difference. Her book
shows how 10 minutes a day adds up to 60 hours in a year, and a lot
can be accomplished in 60 hours.
"One of the
easiest ways to tackle clutter is while watching TV," she said.
"If you have boxes that you can organize, watch TV and work your
way through the box."
She says a good
question to keep in mind is: "What is the worst possible thing
that could happen if I let this go?"
mantra of living with less took on a whole new meaning when she and
her husband, Mike Kuper, purchased an RV in the fall of 2012 with the
intent of visiting family and friends from their home base in
Michigan. Plans changed and now they live full-time in the
300-square-foot motor home.
finished downsizing in July of 2013 and took to the road
full-time," she said.
The process of
deciding what she needed forced her to evaluate everything. "You
ask yourself, ‘What can I not live without?’ It is not a lot of
stuff. We have everything we need. I feel abundant," Smallin
In fact, she
says the RV has bright, beautiful things that fill their world. She
works from the road, writing books and running her website,
The process of selling her goods led her to update a previous book,
"How to Declutter and Make Money Now." It was scheduled to
be released in January.
had changed since I released the original and did this," Smallin
said. She’s also updated her first book "Unclutter Your
Home," and it has been re-released for Kindle. "A lot has
changed since 1999."
will leave you renewed, she believes. "When you make space in
your life, you are refreshing your life and allowing yourself room to
grow and express yourself instead of wasting so much energy, taking
care of things," Smallin said.
She says that
her Facebook page and online support group sees a lot more activity in
January. "People want to start moving and making progress. The
hardest part is getting started."