30 Day Clutter Bootcamp



So what’s all this bootcamp business about anyways? The 30 Day Clutter Bootcamp is for folks who are ready for a change. Specifically, those of you with lots of clutter who are ready to start tossing it to the curb.


Howdy. You probably already know me from my blog, but if not, I’ll give you a quick summary. I’m Tanja and it’s nice to meet you. I used to be a serious packrat. My stuff was holding me back and weighing me down. I needed a big-time change but didn’t know how. I needed to hop back in the driver’s seat and take control of my life.

Guess what folks. I did take control! It took me three years to declutter my stuff (packrat, remember?) and along the way I learned a serious trick or two about how to toss my clutter out.

30 Day Clutter Bootcamp is a program I put together to help other folks declutter too. It’s got all my serious tricks in it, as well as a full 30 day action guide that walks you step by step through each category of “stuff” in your house.

From the Critics


“It’s phenomenal.  I loved every bit of it.  The areas you chose to cover over the 30 days cover 90% of the clutter in people’s lives.  You succeed in your goal to make decluttering fun and non-threatening.  You might think you are teaching people how to throw things out with this book but you are actually giving them the gift of freedom.”

~ Scott Kostolni of The Experimental Life

“$19.99 seems too little for a life changing book!!! I’ve read other systems and methods and this is the first one that I’ve connected with in a real way.  Tanja doesn’t write from an ivory tower.  Nope, she’s been in these trenches herself so she writes with a heart that knows how hard this can be. She really offers great support throughout the book from Handy Tips in the sidebars to saying it’s okay to cry during the Hobbies day.  Truly, this is emotional journey, as you know, for us packrats and being given that permission…to know that it’s okay to have trouble with it, is HUGE!!!

~ Laura Gonzales of Urban Mayberry

“I truly wish I had this guide when I started trying to declutter all of our stuff. When you are ready to take back your house and make a change, this book will help you take it one step at a time.”

~ Faith Janes of Minimalist At Home

A Little Bit About Bootcamp

  • 106 pages of decluttering magic.
  • 40 sure-fire decluttering techniques.
  • A 30 day clutter action guide.
  • A personal cheerleading squad on every page.
  • Inspiration quotes in callout boxes.
  • Quick and easy action days. Most under 30 minutes.
  • Flexibility. You can go at your own pace and comfort level.
  • 100% money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied. (No one’s asked for their money back yet!
  • A unique category approach to decluttering so you won’t get overwhelmed.
  • All decluttering all the way. It’s not watered down with organizing tips. (declutter first. organize later.)
  • A ton and a half of inspiration to keep you bootcamping your way to a clutter free house.
  • 100% new content. This is not a collection of blog posts. None of the material in the book has been posted before.
  • Free support right here on the blog. Ask your questions or ask for inspiration and I’ll be here for you!

Purchase and Get Instant Access to the Download

Download 30 Day Clutter Bootcamp and start changing your life today. The cost is just $19.99 and you can use paypal or a credit card.

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Want to Read a Few More Testimonials? Here you go.

“What you have put together is amazing. We have done it before – in fact, we have had three really big purges since 2007.  We are down to the “hard stuff” but your advice (from 30 Day Clutter Bootcamp) has made it easier.  You have been a fantastic inspiration for us.  In fact, whenever I push a little too hard, my husband declares that this is “minimalist packrat” at work and threatens to contact you via email and give you a what for :)  All in jest of course.

Seriously though, I think my husband is finally and fully on board.  This morning, as we were taking down all of our christmas decorations, he said,  “Throwing things out is awesome!”   PROGRESS!  When we are finished with this purge, I m even consider using the M word to describe our lifestyle.  We owe you a big thank you for the last kick in the butt we needed.”

~ Jaime McLean Dalrymple

“Im LOVIN’ the “30 Day Clutter Bootcamp” book and already looking forward to your next book! Thanks so much for the tips and motivation. I’m pumped.”

~ Pat

“I’m really enjoying the 30 Day Declutter Bootcamp. I started on the weekend and I’ve recruited a few friends to join me. I found Jill at Daily Bread and her blog updates on how her bootcamp is going. Just starting this decluttering process has already energized me. I’ve done Day 1, 3, & 4. Waiting for my husband so that we can do Day 2 (music) together tonight when the kids are in bed. THANKS for the kick in the pants!”

~ Cindy

“Just wanted to say I am POWERING through your Bootcamp and loving it. I must say though, I was a little bit smug in some areas, having already made some serious in-roads to minimalism on my own. I happily breezed through sections which were either as de-cluttered as they could get, or no longer even existent in my life!

Well. You just stumped me! Here I was, thinking I was doing awesome on my own and only needed your Bootcamp as a refresher and then I get to day 18, aka. Hobbies. Speechless. Thank you for exposing my Clutter Blindspot.

Thank you again… I cant wait to go home now (I am reading your Bootcamp at my desk, preparing for tonight!) and truly deal with those habits, once and for all. BIG BIG smiles on my face, thanks to you. :)”

~ Mia

“Tanja….My house is singing because it is so happy to release clutter. My biggest THANK YOU goes out to you for writing your book. I’m so glad I’ve been blogging my way through because it has really held me accountable and go that extra step in each area. I’m still plugging away at books and kids clutter….those are definitely big projects for me….but I’ve made progress there. Photos are also a big project for me.

I seriously think about you many, many times throughout the day and just wanted to say thanks again.”

~ Jill Foley

“Thank you!!!! We’re doing your boot camp together as a family. We’re on day 9 already and needed to tell you how amazing the experience has been for us. I can already see the difference and we are both ecstatic!”

~ Theresa and Andy Briggs

Need to Read a Little More Before You Decide? Here’s some Frequently Asked Questions.

The bootcamp is set up as a 30 day program. It has 30 easy bite-size decluttering projects so that you can look around one month from now and see the magic that’s happened in your house! Each day of the program focuses on one type of clutter in your house and all together the 30 days cover all the clutter types found in your home. There is also a section with my 40 powerhouse decluttering tips to help you out when you get stuck. These 40 tips are a goldmine. They’re tricks I used to kick-start my bootie into gear whenever I started to get bogged down. They’ll work for you too!

What if I Don’t Have a Lot of Time?
I’ve designed the 30 Day Clutter Bootcamp specifically for people who don’t have a lot of spare time. I mean really, who does have a lot of extra time on their hands these days? That’s how all that clutter accumulated in the first place! There just wasn’t enough time to deal with it. That’s why I made most of the projects very quick. Most of them can be done in under 30 minutes. A few of them are bigger, like tackling your clothes and books. The program is flexible so you can do those tougher days on your weekend when you have more time. So even if you have a full-time job you can tackle your clutter with the 30 Day Clutter Bootcamp.

This is easy as pie folks. Easy as pie. It’s called a bootcamp because you’re booting your clutter out the door! No drill sergeant will come to your house if you get busy and miss a day. You can go at your own pace. It doesn’t even have to be completed in 30 days. You can hop from section to section if you want and tackle an easy 15 minute project when you’re tired instead of a more involved project! From start to finish

I’ve designed the 30 Day Clutter Bootcamp to be simple and easy. One of the biggest issues that folks face when decluttering is getting too overwhelmed. When you’re overwhelmed you stop! I keep you going from day 1 to day 30 by keeping everything very simple. It’s flexible enough that you can shrink projects down even more! As an example on day 11 you do your books. But there’s flexibility built in. If you don’t have a lot of books, you’re done in less than 30 minutes. If you’ve got 500 novels staring you in the face you can choose to declutter a section of them instead of all of them. I give hints and tricks for downsizing each project if you need to so it’s always simple and easy as pie.

Maybe you’re saying, “I’ve read other clutter books before but they didn’t work for me. How is yours different?” Well guess what! I’ve read all those other clutter books too! I devoured them when I was trying to declutter. A few of them were helpful and steered me in the right direction, but a lot of them focused so much on organizing they didn’t really talk about getting rid of my junk! Then when they did throw in a page about actually decluttering they’d say something vague like, “Donate anything you don’t want anymore.” That didn’t help me at all!

I needed inspiration, hand holding, guidance and little nudges of encouragement every step of the way. That’s why the 30 Day Clutter Bootcamp is not about organizing your stuff. It’s about decluttering your stuff. From page 1 to page 106 the entire focus is on clearing out your junk. It has oodles of tips and inspirations for you to start chucking that clutter out of your life. There are tons of practical, simple and effective techniques for breaking your clutter down into easy to toss chunks.

Another thing that’s different about the 30 Day Clutter Bootcamp is that it focuses on categories of clutter instead of rooms. Many clutter books tackle clutter room by room. That didn’t work for me at all. I’d get bogged down by the size of the project! Yeah. Go declutter your whole kitchen right now. Ack! In fact, I’m going to give you one of my turbo-charged decluttering secrets right here and now.

As you declutter focus on types of things. It’s a lot easier to pull out just your pots and pans, spread them on your dining table and downsize those than it is to try and do your whole kitchen at once. So the bootcamp is broken down into one simple little category per day. It’s one of the secrets that makes it easy to do so many of the projects in 30 minutes or less. Let’s look at the kitchen for example. In the bootcamp one day is just spices, another is just your kitchen gadgets, another is just your pots and pans another is just your dry pantry goods and another is your fridge! It keeps it from being overwhelming and means you’ll find it easy to finish each mini-project. End result? A serene and clutter free home!

But what if you’ve got a lot of clutter? That’s not a problem! Let’s be totally honest here folks. I can’t stand big false claims on sales pages so I’m not going to make them. Most people wouldn’t be able to completely declutter their house in 30 minutes a day for 30 days unless they only had a little baby clutter problem to begin with! What the 30 Day Clutter Bootcamp will do is provide a framework for jump starting your decluttering journey. It all depends on how much you’re starting with and how easy it is for you to part with your stuff. I had mountains of clutter. It took me 3 years to downsize all that junk! Your journey may take 30 days, 3 months, or a year.

If you’ve got moderate clutter you can get your house done in 30 days using this program. If you’ve got heavy clutter you can cut your clutter dramatically using this program, to the tune of around 50% to 75%. If you’ve got really heavy clutter (like I did) you can toss a ton of junk during the 30 days and use the time to learn good decluttering habits to take you the rest of the way. Plus all those additional tips, tricks and inspiration will guide you on the rest of your journey too! No I’m not. As a matter of fact (no offense to organizers round the world) the clutter books I read by professional organizers were most often the ones that helped me the least. I needed a kick in the booty at just the right moment. I needed a cheerleader to tell me I’d get through that pile. I needed solid and easy to use techniques for getting me to release my junk (it’s not just picking it up and putting it in a donate bag after all) and I needed permission to cry a little over my lost junk! I needed advice from someone who knew what it was like to be going through exactly what I was going through at that moment.

The best books I ever read on clutter were those from people who had been there, done that and had their own nitty-gritty experiences from the decluttering trenches. I know what it’s like to get motivated, pull out the trash bags, get started and completely freeze up on the first item I saw. I know what’s it like to stare in dismay at my living room, not believing it could belong to me because it was so full of junk! I know what it’s like to have boxes of stuff lining one wall and packed up to the ceiling because there was nowhere to put it all. I worked through my mountain and I learned what works and doesn’t work. I’ve got the serious hardcore experience of a packrat decluttering a mountain worth of junk!

What? You’re saying your book isn’t for everyone? Yeah. Truth in advertising! You’ve got to be ready for a change. You’ve got to be willing to commit to spending just a touch of time working through your junk. You’ve got to be ready to see some of it go. It’s for people who are ready, right now, to start booting their clutter out the door! It is easy and it will fit comfortably into your busy schedule and it will provide you with a ton of tricks and inspiration to get you going but you’ve got to be ready! The 30 Day Clutter Bootcamp can transform your life and your home, but you’ve got to be ready. Are you?

Purchase and Get Instant Access to the Download

Download 30 Day Clutter Bootcamp. The cost is just $19.99 and you can use paypal or a credit card. 100% money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied!

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the minimalist packrat clutter bootcamp


69 Responses to “30 Day Clutter Bootcamp”

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  1. Kasey says:

    I just bought your book last night and read it all the way through. I was hesitant about spending money on something that I couldn’t glance all the way through (like at a bookstore), but I think this book is exactly what I was looking for. Over the past couple years I’ve eliminated tons but I still have some areas that I would like to see less in (kitchen and old collections are at the top). I started with day one today, and plan to follow it as written (a couple won’t apply like clothes and linens but I’ll just skip those). Thank you and I can’t wait until you publish more! =)

    • Hi Kasey,

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying the book! I’m planning on getting some sample pages up so people can look at part of the book before buying it. Thanks for the nudge on that little project! I’d love to hear some feedback on how your progress goes. Tell us all the juicy details!

      I have another book in the works. It will be out in about 6 months. It’s going to be a complete decluttering program with a strong perspective on emotional and sentimental cluttererers (you know, just like me, folks who have a hard time parting with stuff!).

      Glad you’re enjoying the bootcamp and thanks for dropping off some feedback on it!

  2. Pat says:

    ‘m LOVIN’ the “30 Day Clutter Bootcamp” book and already looking forward to your next book! I started leaning toward minimalism a couple of years ago when my husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I said… “just to not have to worry about what “stuff” to buy you and what to do with the “stuff” you buy me!” And, we’ve been gift-free every since and seem to enjoy the holidays more now than we ever did.

    The more I got rid of, the better I liked it! I’ll probably never be an extreme minimalist but I’m finding my comfort zone is narrowing as far as living with things that serve no purpose but to collect dust and remind me of the money I *shouldn’t* have spent on it!

    My only problem area, and one I hope you might have a suggestion for is my passion in life… quilting! I recycle fabric that other people fall out of love with and donate to me. I make quilts for kids in a local YMCA sponsored shelter for moms and kids of domestic violence. I love what I do, BUT my sewing room is usually a mess when I’m being the most creative and I find that being surrounded by so much fabric makes me feel a little claustrophobic now. I can’t seem to find a middle ground and sometimes I get paralyzed and get NOTHING done! Any suggestions what to do when your hobby or passion in life just really requires a lot of “stuff”???

    By the way… I grew up in New Smyrna Beach and would love nothing more to eventually find a little bungalow a couple of blocks from the ocean in Ormond Beach someday. (Livin la vida loca over-populated south Florida now.

    • Hi Pat,

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the 30 Day Clutter Bootcamp! And how cool that you grew up in little ol’ New Smyrna Beach. I’ve been enjoying it here. It’s still a small town which in Florida is turning into a rarity!

      Hobbies. Have you gotten to the hobbies day yet in the Bootcamp? There’s a lot of inspiration there, though it is focused more on downsizing the number of hobbies in your life rather than downsizing the hobby supplies from one hobby that you love! I’m going to go into hobbies extensively in my next book. The Bootcamp is a quick start guide to moving lots of stuff out of your life fast and easy. The next book is going to focus on the “sticky clutter” the stuff that’s harder to part with, and it’s going to have a strong emotional focus as well. What I’ve found is that emotions are one of the big roots of why people keep clutter.

      In the meantime, here are my thoughts. Now I used to do a lot of sewing so I know where you’re coming from with all those little scraps of cloth. First, how awesome that you have a dedicated sewing room. That means your hobby fits in your life. That’s step one believe it or not!

      What I want you to do is to take a look at the whole room. Just a quick scan. What do you see? What furniture is in there? Do you have bins? Do you have a closet? What’s in that space?

      Now shut your eyes for a moment and visualize yourself in your “dream sewing room”. What would be different? How does your dream room inspire you while you’re creating?

      Now open your eyes again and look at your real life room. How is it different from your dream room? There might be a few obvious things that jump out at you right now. Things that don’t fit your vision are clutter!

      Is there anything in that room, anything at all, that isn’t related to sewing? Unless they’re decorative elements that help you get in the mood to create you should seriously consider finding another place for them in your house or getting rid of them. I’m talking about if there’s a treadmill in the corner or Christmas supply tubs or something like that!

      All right, now this is where it gets time intensive. You are going to go through each and every item in your sewing room. That’s right, each scrap of cloth, each spool of thread, each piece of quilt batting. It’s going to be a two-part process. You’re going to decide with each small piece whether it fits your “future vision” for your room. If it doesn’t your donating it. If it does fit your “future vision” your going to put it in a pile of “similar items”. So a spool of thread goes in the thread pile. Cloth will be organized by pattern and shade. All pieces of one pattern together (regardless of size). Then those patterns will be organized by shade. So once all the patterns are together, all blue patterns and blue cloth will be stored together. Green patterns and green cloth will be stored together.

      This will make it so you can clearly see and find all color types with a quick glance.

      But before you get really into the organizing aspects you need to put a serious focus on decluttering some of those supplies first.

      I know what it’s like to love each little scrap but if you dig hard I know that you know there are some scraps you love “less” than others. There are also some scraps that are really, really small, almost unusable. Focus on getting rid of any piece that doesn’t make you tremble with delight. Also focus on getting rid of any piece that isn’t really workable for a quilt (because of size or shape or because you don’t have enough of that pattern left).

      As a creative person I know what it feels like to want “all” the options available. But when there is so much you can’t find things, or start getting paralyzed that is a sign that less really will be more.

      I did this with my jewelry supplies. I recognized beads that were cluttering things up, beads I didn’t like as much so I didn’t use them. They were just taking up space, giving me “options” yes but making me feel nuts too. I culled 50% of my collection. It helped! I didn’t feel quite so overwhelmed by it. I could get more work done.

      You don’t need to cull 50% but consider 20%. It will revolutionize your quilting!

      • Pat says:

        Thanks for taking the time to give such a detailed reply! How did you know I had a treadmill in there????
        I know I can scale back 50% (maybe even more) and pass off the excess to friends.
        I have a vision of what the ideal workspace will look like but never thought to try the close your eyes and open them to see what jumps out. It WORKS!
        Thanks so much for the tips and motivation. I’m pumped… even though I know it’s going to take some time. I’ll make sure to take some before and after photos and send them to you when I’m done.

        • I knew you had a treadmill in there because I had a dusty unused treadmill too! I can’t wait to see your results Pat!

          • K.D. says:

            I just literally laughed out loud reading this delightful exchange. I don’t quilt – although I do actually have a few bins of fabrics and a sewing machine because I’d LIKE to sew again. But it was inspiring. I’m looking forward to your next book.
            K.D. recently posted..Success

          • Debra says:

            I agree with K.D. I really appreciated reading this conversation and can relate. I am glad I just got rid of old treadmill we had :) Now to buy this book of yours!

  3. Cindy says:

    Hi Tanja,

    I’m really enjoying the 30 Day Declutter Bootcamp. I started on the weekend and I’ve recruited a few friends to join me. I found Jill at Daily Bread and her blog updates on how her bootcamp is going. Do you have anything like that in your blog, a day by day post of encouragement where your readers can comment? I’m just looking for some more encouragement. Just starting this decluttering process has already energized me. I’ve done Day 1, 3, & 4. Waiting for my husband so that we can do Day 2 (music) together tonight when the kids are in bed.

    • Hi Cindy,

      I’m glad you’re enjoying it! That’s a great idea. I’ve contemplated putting up a forum where Bootcamp folks can ask questions, get inspiration and share their journey. That idea is still a ways off from happening, but you got my gears turning. I’m thinking about putting up a page for each one of the days where folks can comment with questions, inspiration and encouragement. Hopefully I’ll get that project done within the week! In the meantime, you can also check out Jaime at Everything I Dreamed who’s been blogging her Bootcamp progress and Laura from Urban Mayberry with her Bootcamp journey.

      In the meantime (while I’m setting up a specific spot) feel free to ask questions or share your journey right here on this page!

  4. Mia says:

    Hi Tanja!!

    Just wanted to say I am POWERING through your Bootcamp and loving it. I must say though, I was a little bit smug in some areas, having already made some serious in-roads to minimalism on my own. I happily breezed through sections which were either as de-cluttered as they could get, or no longer even existent in my life! I have loved reading it though, all the way through, by the way.

    Well. You just stumped me! Here I was, thinking I was doing awesome on my own and only needed your Bootcamp as a refresher and then I get to day 18, aka. Hobbies. Speechless. How in the world did I end up with 9 hobbies??? Including sewing, flute playing, guitar (which I never learned more than basic chords…) silk screen printing, painting, drawing, SCUBA diving, yoga, bead work (I know you understand this one!) And that isn’t including my time spent at the gym, journalling or perusing tattoo magazines looking for the perfect design, which also take up time. I sketch a bit and I adore SCUBA and yoga but as for the crafty stuff? Well… I only just admitted to myself right this second that I really hate it now!

    Thank you for exposing my Clutter Blindspot. (I swear, I thought I didnt have one!) When it comes to my closet, culling back to nearly 50 items was incredible and cathartic! Yet when it comes to that lone sewing machine sitting in my shed… well, I will get to having it serviced one day then I can mend all my pants, right? Never mind that most of those pants with the bad hems I threw away. Or that is only $10 here to have them tailored, compared to a lot more than that for a service. And those bead supplies, the ones that I hate looking at because they remind me of a lonely time in my life. They were expensive, and maybe one day I will be able to look at them… right? NOPE! Hilarity ensues at the knowlege that my inner packrat isn’t buried as deep as I thought she was.

    Thank you again… I cant wait to go home now (I am reading your Bootcamp at my desk, preparing for tonight!) and truly deal with those habits, once and for all. BIG BIG smiles on my face, thanks to you. :)

    • Mia says:

      P.S. I forgot photography!!! Although I think that hobby goes hand in hand with the SCUBA thing because all I do at the moment is underwater stuff. But yeah… 10 hobbies. And I had no idea. Wow. :)

    • Hey Mia,

      Yeah, hobbies was a big smackeroo for me too. That’s why it ended up in the Bootcamp! My list was just like yours: drawing, stained glass, sewing (complete with never used sewing machine), embroidery, batiking, beading (yikes!), wire wrapping (different set of items than beading), writing, graphic design, and camping. I know I’m leaving a few out, those were off the top of my head!

      It’s something I’m going into heavily in my next book, having “interests clutter”. It’s like without realizing it we get pulled in so many different directions by the things we think we need to do and think we want to do. In the end we don’t have time to do any of them well! I’m a big reductionist when it comes to hobbies and interests.

      It sounds like you’re pretty far along in your decluttering journey Mia, and I’m so excited that the Bootcamp still has relevance for you! It is designed as a beginning kick in the butt to get that clutter out the door and folks that have been decluttering for a while will breeze through some sections. But there’s always a shocker hiding in there! Yours was hobbies.

      I’d love to hear what you end up paring down in the hobbies department. I pared down everything in the list above except for writing. I still have the beading supplies but I’ve consolidated them down to two very small containers. I spent thousands on those beads and have had a hard time parting with them! It will come with time. They’re the last of my clutter!


      • Mia says:

        Hi Tanja

        I think I will be losing the craft and the music. I really, really dont enjoy doing it. I figured out last night (chatting to a mate about your boot camp!) that there were sentimental reasons I kept my flute and my sewing machine/ beads. When I was young I was pretty much raised by my grandmother, and both of those things I assosiate with her, so I feel guilty getting rid of them. I think in my head, I still see myself as the person I was back then. And even though I am good at them, I dont enjoy them – therefore I dont touch them! I figure they need love, from someone who is willing to, and I’m obviously not – so they will be going to the nearest second hand shop this week!

        I think the hard part with interests clutter is admitting that the time in our lives we liked is over. And admitting that the person we were, is gone. But when I did, it helped me prepare for the the newness of coming life, which cheered me up immensely.

        My SCUBA and underwater photography I absolutely adore, and do several times a month. So that stays. And my sketching is fun, even though I’m not very good, so that stays! I count yoga as exercise, and exercise is a good idea. But everything else is gone! I’m so much happier now I have decided that.

        Also, Im grabbing a CD/ DVD wallet tonight and shrinking my collections into that. I move house in just under two weeks! Hopefully I can have the rest of the bootcamp done before then! I think moving into an already furnished place is cheating slightly, especially since I have the option of just leaving my furniture where it is because my housemate is staying!

        Will let you know the next road block I get to! So far I have read heaps of good ideas, even though I am already a lot de-cluttered, so it has still be amazingly helpful!


        • Mia you’re doing great! It was really the same for me. The stained glass equipment was soooo hard for me to get rid of. I knew I needed to for years before I was finally able to release it. My problem with that was I “wanted” to do it and “loved” doing it. But I didn’t have the space anymore to do it. When I started I had a huge garage and room for all the equipment. And then there I was living in a one bedroom apartment trying to do stained glass on my kitchen floor. A sad sight let me tell you!

          But, after I got rid of all of the stained glass supplies I felt sooo much better. It was a relief to say, “If I ever want to pick that up again -And- I have room in my life for it, I can.”

          Good for you on working through those hobbies. I can’t wait to hear the end results for you!


        • JessDR says:

          I know it’s late to reply, but one strategy I read somewhere* for decluttering sentimental items is to make a different memento that meets the same needs but doesn’t take up much (if any) space. i.e., set the table with your grandmother’s china and take some pictures, record yourself playing your instrument, or write a journal entry about the story behind the item. I especially like the latter two, because they will mean more to your heirs someday than the items themselves would.

          *sorry, I can’t remember where I read that. Maybe Miss Minimalist?

  5. Cindy says:

    Me again! Tonight my husband & I tackled the Day 5: Underwear. I had 54 (YES, FIFTY-FOUR) pairs of underwear, 26 bras, and too many pairs of socks to count. I reduced my underwear by 50% (down to 26). My bras have been sorted into 9 everyday bras, 2 sports bras, and 7 special bras (strapless black, strapless white, extra padding, etc.) and 8 in the garbage. I kept 1/3 of the socks for everyday, 1/3 that were too good to throw out and I stuck them in my closet, and 1/3 in the garbage. I don’t think I did enough but I will revisit this. I’m really enjoying reducing my stuff. I’m enjoying getting rid of the worn, old, ugly stuff. However I’m seeing that I’m having a hard time parting with the good stuff that is just in excess. HELP!!!

    • Hi Cindy,

      54! Wowsa that’s a lot. You should be quite proud of yourself with a 50% reduction!

      Ah, the good stuff. I call that Practical Clutter. It’s the stuff that seems like it still has life left in it so how could you possibly toss it out?

      Think about this though. Imagine your ideal home. Sit down, shut your eyes and really let yourself see it. Spend a few minutes doing this. When your done, think about the fact that the “good stuff” your torn about tossing is really just “clutter stuff”. It’s keeping you from that dream home you’ve been wanting, you know, the serene, peaceful sanctuary that could be your home.

      It’s tough. I know because I’ve been there. One of the biggest tricks I used was to think about how much good those “perfectly good” items were going to be in someone else’s life. I donated with a happy heart when I realized someone who couldn’t afford those items would be able to use them.

      My other bit of advice for you is if it’s just too hard right now, skip them. During Bootcamp focus on discarding the easy stuff. It’s a 30 day program. Even if you toss just a couple things from each category at the end of the 30 days your home and your life will be clearer. Once you’ve got that under your belt it’s easier to go in and start delving deeper.

      Attachment is the toughest thing of all. Here’s a bit more reading inspiration to help you out:

      An Unconventional Approach to Decluttering: About getting rid of something you love to empower yourself to really start tossing.

      Clutter Multiplies: About the perils of having too much of any type of thing with some tips for how to cut back on duplicates and multiples.

      Cindy, you’ll get there. One baby step at a time is all it takes. In the meantime, I’m cheering you through it! Congratulate yourself on your successes and don’t beat yourself up for the stuff that “clings”. It’s a process and you’re doing what it takes.

      • Cindy says:

        Thanks, Tanja! I counted my closet and I had 255 items in it! I got rid of 45 and I’m still going to go back for another round. I’m always ahead of schedule because I’m so excited to get rid of stuff!!! THANKS for the kick in the pants!

        • Hey Cindy,

          A good kick in the pants is typically all it takes! Good for you. That’s a 20% reduction your closet alone. Awesome job. You’re going to tell that junk who’s boss and boot it out the door!

  6. Jill Foley says:

    Tanja….My house is singing because it is so happy to release clutter. My biggest THANK YOU goes out to you for writing your book. I’m so glad I’ve been blogging my way through because it has really held me accountable and go that extra step in each area. I’m still plugging away at books and kids clutter….those are definitely big projects for me….but I’ve made progress there. Photos are also a big project for me.

    I seriously think about you many, many times throughout the day and just wanted to say thanks again.
    Jill Foley recently posted..Boot Camp – Days 17- 18 and 19

    • Hi Jill,

      A singing house! It sounds perfect. Thank you so much for the sweet words. I’m glad it’s helping you work through your last little bits. You were already quite far in the decluttering process when you started. Now I’m off to see how your Bootcamp blogging is going!


  7. Tracy G says:

    Your project is amazing, Tanja! I love reading the participants’ blogs.

    I would totally be doing this, except as you know, I’ve previously completed much on my own. I do still need to declutter the garage and some accumulated paperwork. Those are both slow-going areas.

    Since you invited us to share on this page, here’s a sampler what I have left for the days that Jill most recently completed…

    Jewelry: 5 rings, 2 necklaces, 2 brooches, 2 barrettes, 1 bracelet, 1 watch.

    Pantry and refrigerator: about two months’ supply of food, regularly rotated and none expired (I checked a couple of weeks ago), and about six months’ supply of wine and beer (we restocked at Christmas).

    Hobbies: 1 treadle powered sewing machine with needles, thread, notions, and scissors tucked neatly into drawers, 1 suitcase about half-full of fabric (with 1 pattern cut and ready to sew), 1 mini quilt that’s pieced but not yet backed, 1/2 skein of yarn currently being worked with 1 crochet hook, 1 drop spindle, 1 sackful recently acquired wool roving, 1 tote bag of treasurer’s records and supplies for the astronomy club.

    Collections: 2 slipcased three-ring binders with stamp collection (mine and my father’s combined), plus about 50 cancelled stamps not yet soaked off envelopes.

    Electronics: 1 laptop computer with power supply, external backup drive, earphones, and carry case, 1 hand-cranked AM/FM/weather radio and LED flashlight unit at home, 1 weather radio at work, 1 CD unit at work (with 24 CDs, but those belong to another day’s tally).

    It’s nifty to see how different people handle the different categories. It’s all so individual and lovely! I think it’d be great if you’re someday able to host a forum, Tanja. One of the reasons I love your blog and have been commenting frequently is that your site already feels very much like a community.

    • HI Tracy,

      Time REALLY got away from me and your comment slipped under my radar, so I’m responding now. :) Thank you so much for sharing your numbers from the perspective of a natural born minimalist. They will serve as inspiration for those still in the middle of decluttering!

      I have been seriously contemplating a forum lately. When we get done with our tiny house project I’ve got a few more things on my plate. But after that I think you’ll be seeing one here. Anyone else second the idea? If I get enough feedback I’ll know I should go forward with it.

  8. Shelby says:

    I got your book and LOVED it! I am a recovering packrat. I had a whole room of just stuff that I “NEEDED” to keep and I’m finally cured! I was wondering if you have a button I can add to my blog to spread the decluttering love. Thanks!
    Shelby recently posted..Oregon RoadTrip

    • Hi Shelby,

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the book! And how wonderful that you were able to clear so much stuff out. Congratulations! :) I do have some buttons, they’re right here on my affiliate page. Just scroll down towards the bottom and you’ll see a couple different styles and sizes. Let me know if those work for you and thanks for sharing the decluttering love! I’m still getting the word out about my book and every single person that shares it with people helps me spread the word. Thank you!

  9. fantastic…..
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  10. paul says:

    hi all,

    i like the information and layout of the website. i also like the paradoxical name “minimalistpackrat”. I, too, am a recovering “rat” and am learning that the fewer things I have the more I appreciate them. I also believe in quality over quantity though it is easier said than done.

    Keep up the great work and I love the internet for making businesses like this possible ;)

  11. Anu says:

    I would love to purchase your book as I’ve been trying unsuccessfully for months now to minimalize my life…however I don’t have a computer/internet access at home and can’t download things at work or the public library. Is there anyway to get the book in print?

  12. Madde says:

    I just got this amazing ebook..Ihave already started with my homeoffice and

  13. Madde says:

    Thank you so much for having this amazing ebook for us that need to declutter our homes..the best book I have ever read about decluttering and I have read mostly everyone on the market..have you done any more ebooks except this one..would love to get them too,….
    thank you and have a blessing clutter career..
    hugs from Madde

  14. Heather says:

    Any plans on making your book available for Kindle? Or considering on doing a brief half-price sale on it? I’d love to read it, especially after all of the great comments from folks here, but $20 is out of my price range for an ebook.

  15. Madde says:

    loved it! was the best I read ever on decluttering..still so inspired of this fantastic ebook…now I would love to know if you are releasing another ebook in similar theme..??? you wrote something about a ebook more focused on the emotional side of decluttering….is that one available for buying now?
    Thank you so much for inspiring me to work on my cluttered house and my mentally clutter
    hugs madeleine

  16. I am inspired reading your post Tanja. It is nice to know that you also engage in making books. For sure your book is interesting to read like your blog post. I am excited to get a copy of your book. You inspire me to become a blogger also. I will do my best so that I can be able to be successful on my blogging. I am a newbie blogger and your post gives me a lot of learning. You are a great blogger and I really love your pots.
    Vanilla Sandler recently posted..Night Calm: Your Way to A Restful Night

  17. Paula says:

    Do you have any plans to sell this through Amazon? We don’t do PayPal or credit cards. I buy amazon gift cards with cash at the local grocery store. I have been wanting this for a while now, hoping to see it on Amazon, but sinc ei still don’t, I thought I would ask. Thanks.

  18. Debra says:

    Hello Tanja, I am starting boot camp and I am already stumped on my master plan. I have several areas that would bring me and my family instant gratification like the living room kitchen and bedroom, but then I have a dark cloud of a filing system in the office, I have been a major paper packrat. I am tempted to work on the whole upstairs and last but certainly not least the big trouble spot (which I am anticipating will take a very long time as I have already gone though these papers and still can’t manage to let go of enough). Do you think I am putting it all in correct order by making the office the last on the list for upstairs? I do dread that job as I hate to go through the papers and get distracted, I am very crabby during this work. I know you advocate for one room at a time, but does it make sense in this case to work on this trouble spot in between the other tasks?

  19. Lori says:

    I just purchased the Bootcamp and I’m excited to get started. The problem is that I’m not able to download it on my Kindle Fire. Has anyone been able to download? The message I receive is that the Kindle is unable to open it.

    Any help or suggestions?



  20. Aubrie says:

    Hi Tanja-
    I recently got your book and decided that this was going to work! I’ve decided to start March 1 and am going to be blogging about it. Here is a link to my blog where I have linked to you! I think I will keep your logo up throughout my blogging (hopefully every day). I see you have the affiliate program, which is awesome, but I don’t really need it, so I’ll just trust that someone links to you through me and perhaps you’ll get some more people who are inspired to do this!

  21. Leslie says:

    Hi Tanja,

    I am really enjoying your blog! I have a question about the affiliate program and can’t find an e-mail address for you. Could you e-mail me?


  22. Lisa says:

    I really enjoyed your book. I’ve read a lot of books about minimalism and decluttering – but your bootcamp “fitted” best. I like, that it’s straight forward and that you are not showing “the one and only path of minimalism” but serveral possibilities. It could only be an even better book, if you would provide an ebook-reader-friendly format..

  23. Richie says:

    It is best to create a new email account to use for this, so you do not get spammed.

    When the show starts we only have been a blended family for a very short period of time.
    Richie recently posted..Richie

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  25. cindy c says:

    I just bought your book, I have read through it. And, yes I’m looking forward to putting it in to practice. I signed up for your emails because I felt it might help, I bought the book thinking , ok I’ll try it I’ve tried everything else. But, I really think your ideas may really help me. But, I wanted to let you know that I plan on letting you know how my 30 days go because I have lupus, it is a disease that changes your whole life, for there is no cure, but it thrives on stress and my clutter thrives on stress. So if your plan helps you would have given me back and small part of my old life while helping me start to love my new life instead of looking at my new life will bitterness and dare I say it stress, So in advance thank you

  26. sue says:

    Have just purchased your book…….however when I click on the link to download it I am told that it has expired.
    Am so disappointed as I was hoping to get reading straight away.

  27. Sue says:

    Have sent several emails……have not been contacted back and am still unable to download the book which I have paid for.
    Sorry but I will now have to report to paypal ……..what a scam !!!
    Please do not buy from these people !!

  28. sue says:

    Patrick Ray
    We’re always happy to do a refund for our customers. Next time you have an issue downloading an item I recommend communicating with the seller before filing a dispute. Cheers, Tanja Minimalist Packrat

    Thankyou for my refund HOWEVER I DID EMAIL YOU ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS !!!!!!
    Dreadful customer service !!

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  30. Pauline says:

    Stumbled on your blog today after reading about your newly published book in the newspaper. Congratulations!

    Anyway, I am a hoarder of stuff. My stuff, my husband’s stuff, my kid’s stuff, my parent’s stuff – name it – I am sure I have it. We are thinking about downsizing – I am paralyzed by indecision. I know I need to get rid of lots – but not sure where to start. I went looking for a hard copy of your 30 Day Cutter Bootcamp – Chapters doesn’t even list it on their computers. So, is there anywhere I can get a hard copy?

    Look forward to hearing from you.


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