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Spring cleaning stuff: Minimalism, decluttering and tidying up


For me, spring is always the time I am inspired to make resolutions and commit to change in my life, not New Year’s Day. There is something about the warmer weather, fresh air, trees and flowers beginning to bud, and all life returning to busy activity that inspires me to get up and start making improvements to both myself and my surroundings. You may feel the same way, as many people go on a major cleaning spree at this time of year. The end of the long winter (and particularly the winter of 2020) triggers something within us to prepare our physical and mental space for a new season of growth.

One excellent place to start is to evaluate your possessions and determine what could be downsized, donated, or removed to tidy and declutter your physical surroundings, which can free up your time, money and thoughts. Of course, the word “tidy” brings to mind Marie Kondo’s iconic book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” (648 Kon), which is also available in large print, e-book and e-audiobook format at our public library. Kondo also published a book that applies the same concepts to the workplace: “Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life” (650.1 Kon).

Another major name in the decluttering/downsizing movement is Joshua Becker, who created the website Becoming Minimalist ( CDPL offers “The Minimalist Home: A Room-By-Room Guide to a Decluttered, Focused Life” (241.68 Beck) in regular and large print. We also offer “The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own” in e-audiobook format.

Minimalism and decluttering projects don’t have to be spearheaded by one person alone — in fact, the practice works best if the entire household gets on board. “Minimalism for Families: Practical Minimalist Living Strategies to Simplify Your Home and Life” by Zoë Kim (640 Kim) offers lots of useful tips and inspiration. “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter” by Margareta Magnusson (648.5 Mag) encourages you to proactively downsize, declutter and organize your possessions in order to best prepare them for the next generation. Of course, in this day and age, our “possessions” aren’t just physical — digital objects can occupy a lot of our time, resources and attention as well. “Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World” by Cal Newport (303.4833 New) helps you wean yourself off of your digital dependence and take control of your relationship with technology and social media, freeing more time and mental space for the human interactions that are so important in our lives.

These titles are just a sample of what you can find at CDPL. A keyword search of our catalog for “decluttering,” “minimalism” or “tidying” will bring up even more resources. And as always, the Reference Department is happy to help you locate whatever you need. You may call us at 765-362-2242, ext. 117 or email us your questions to

Happy decluttering.


Amanda Grossman is the Reference and Local History Assistant Manager at the Crawfordsville District Public Library.


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