Unclutter Your Life in One Week: Your questions answered

The following are the most common questions I have received about Unclutter Your Life in One Week since I signed the contract to write it almost a year ago. If I don’t answer your questions in this post, feel welcome to leave them in the comments. I’ll try to check in over the course of today and tomorrow and respond to the questions that have been asked there.

  1. Is the book a reprinting of posts from the website?
    No. Obviously, it is the same message and tone as the website, but the vast majority of content is new for the new medium. “The Weekend” chapter of the book does include a portion of the text from the post “Saying farewell to a hobby,” and that is because a.) it’s my favorite post of all time, and b.) it fit in perfectly with the chapter.
  2. Will there be an electronic version of the book?
    Yes, and it should be available for pre-order this week. I’m also under the impression that it is going to be available in the three most prominent electronic formatting types. I have no idea what the price will be through the different retailers. Prices are set by the publisher and retailers — unfortunately, authors have no say in how the prices are set.
  3. Will there be an audio version of the book?
    Simon and Schuster doesn’t decide what books will be released as audio books until after the first wave of hardcover sales. I don’t know what formula they use to make this decision, so I won’t even try to predict the answer to this question.
  4. Can I see some of the text from the book before I buy it?
    Yes. Currently, Amazon.com has a chunk of the chapter “Foundations” up on its website. Go to the book’s page, and click on the link “See all Editorial Reviews.” An excerpt of this chapter should appear after the advance reviews.
  5. Is the David Allen who wrote the Foreword to your book THE David Allen?
    Yes. I am truly honored that he wrote the Foreword. His book Getting Things Done is a life-changing text.
  6. Can you print the Table of Contents?
    Here is an abbreviated version —

    • Foreword
    • Erin’s Story
    • Foundations
    • Monday: Your Wardrobe, Your Office, Your Reception Station
    • Tuesday: Your Bathroom, Fixing Your Files, Household Chores
    • Fall Cleaning Guide
    • Wednesday: Your Bedroom and Commute, Communication Processes, Kitchen and Dining Room
    • Thursday: Living Spaces, Productivity, Your Home Office
    • Spring Cleaning Guide
    • Friday: Scheduling Strategies, Work Routines, Living with Clutterers
    • The Weekend
    • Celebrating and Maintaining Your Success
    • Notes
    • Resources
    • Acknowledgments
  7. Did you write this book?
  8. Is it available outside the U.S.?
    Yes. It should be available November 3 in Canada, Australia, Britain, and most other English-speaking countries. Foreign rights are still being negotiated, but I know a publisher picked it up in France and others are in the works.
  9. Will you do a book tour?
    This questions receives a big “sort of” as an answer. I didn’t want a book tour in the traditional sense because sitting in a bookstore talking about my book for 45 minutes is not really my style. Instead, I’m going to have casual meet-n-greets in bars. A small bookseller will have books available, people can talk to me one-on-one, and readers can also get to know each other. Once these dates are set, I’ll post them on the site. As of right now, these happy hours are being planned for New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Kansas City, and Los Angeles. More cities may be added.

29 Comments for “Unclutter Your Life in One Week: Your questions answered”

  1. posted by Malena on

    Erin, another question. From someone who is notorious for her good intentions and clutter to match, is the book written in “chunks” that are palatable to an ADD’er? I will probably order the book, at the risk of having it join the other dusty make-it-all-better books. Although I really, really want to read and apply it. We’re at critical mass at home, and the Duchess of Clutter has to get a grip. I can’t find my butt with both hands. And if anyone saw my butt, they’d be mighty surprised.

  2. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Malena — It’s written in a way that should work very well for you. In fact, you don’t even need to read it in linear order (although, I do recommend starting with the Foundations chapter).

  3. posted by Dawn F. on

    Plan a happy hour in San Antonio! ๐Ÿ™‚ A south Texas trip would be great during the winter!

    Congrats on your book – I look forward to reading it!

  4. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Dawn F — There might be one in Austin around SXSW.

  5. posted by Suzyn on

    Congrats, Erin – it’s a huge accomplishment and I hope that the book does really well.

  6. posted by Dawn F. on

    Sweet!! PLEASE keep us all posted with dates/locations!

  7. posted by anonymous on

    Does this book come with a book brush?

  8. posted by Sky on

    When Peter Walsh recommends your book….WOW!!

    Congratulations, can’t wait to read it.

  9. posted by Todd on

    Assuming one of “the three most prominent electronic formatting types” is going to be the Kindle :), how is the book formatted? Is there lots of pictures and sidebars? I’ve bought several Kindle books that I wished that I had bought the paper version because it didn’t translate well to the Kindle.


  10. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Todd — There are charts and images, but not so many that I would think it would be annoying. Unfortunately, I don’t see it in e-book format until everyone else does.

  11. posted by Lose That Girl on

    For Canadian ‘Unclutterer’ fans …. I ordered Erin’s book from Amazon.ca with no problems so there’s no need to go to the U.S. site. It’s coming out the same day here as it is in the U.S.

  12. posted by heather t on

    Hi Erin – Congratulations!

    Just FYI – Amazon does not have your Author Information, only David Allen’s, which seems unfair. You might see if your publisher can fix that for you.

  13. posted by Bobk on

    Congratulations. I love your stuff on the website, and god knows that I could make good use of the contents of your book…..

    but, having been unemployed for going on seven months now, I will have to wait and hope that my local public library buys a copy.


  14. posted by Shane on

    I concur! Come to San Antonio, Texas! Pretty Please? Please make a Texas Date!

  15. posted by Linda on

    Can’t wait to read it!

  16. posted by Ruth Hansell on

    @Erin, any plans to come to the San Francisco Bay Area?

    Can’t wait to read the book!


  17. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Ruth — San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland are all possibilities, but probably not until January or February.

    @heather t — We have no idea how to change that and have tried diligently to do it. On the main book page, though, is my picture and biography. It’s really strange about the Editorial Review section, though.

  18. posted by Catherine Cantieri, Sorted on

    Just want to add my voice to the “Congratulations!” chorus. Very nice work, Erin. I can’t wait to read it!

  19. posted by trillie on

    Congratulations! I bet it feels great to hold your own book in your hands ๐Ÿ™‚

    Up to now, I just assumed that this book was a “best of” of all Unclutterer posts, sorted and tied together. I’m excited to find out that is not the case!

  20. posted by Nicole on

    What an exciting year for you Erin!
    If you’re planning a Canadian leg of your tour, PLEASE COME TO EDMONTON, ALBERTA!

  21. posted by Janine Adams on

    Erin, your notion of meet-n-greets in bars is genius! So much more comfortable for all concerned than a book-store talk.

    Please come to St. Louis when you’re in Missouri! If you need any help organizing a St. Louis stop, I’m your gal!

    Hearty congratulations.

  22. posted by Simpler Living on

    Congratulations, Erin! Thanks for taking the time to answer questions.

    The thing I’m most curious about is the title of your book and how realistic it is for readers to act on it.

    I had clutter a year ago, and it took me several months to get rid of it because of work and other responsibilities. While the idea of going from cluttered to organized in a week is tantalizing, I’m not sure I could have done it without taking a week off from all of my other responsibilities.

    I’m looking forward to reading your book and finding out how you address that question. Any thoughts on the title in the meantime?

  23. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Simpler Living — The title is explained in the first part of the book. I talk at great length about work-life symbiosis and how you should easily be able to move through a week of your life, free of clutter. The week is the structure for the text, but it doesn’t have to be followed. You could easily make it multiple weekends or multiple projects over the course of a year — or even just do the projects that your home and office need.

    Clearing clutter is a quick process, and I explain that in the book. It’s practicing routines and establishing maintenance systems that takes time. I give a nice chunk of advice on developing and maintaining the order you create — and that obviously will go beyond the one week. But, just getting rid of clutter, that could probably even take someone less than a week.

  24. posted by Beverly D on

    I have to throw in my 2 cents in here, just cuz. I don’t go to bars, I don’t drink alcohol, and I know lots of people like me who like your subject and may buy the book but never go to bars either. So you are missing a whole group of people by restricting yourself this way. I was kind of surprised actually that you would do this. Not that book stores are the be-all but a bar?

  25. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Beverly — I’m going to alienate someone no matter where I go. If I pick a bookstore someone has had a bad experience with, they’re not going to show up there. If I pick a library on the wrong side of the tracks, someone won’t go there. Heck, the weather might even keep people away if it’s too nice or too yucky. Traffic could do it, too. I can’t please 100 percent of the book’s potential audience — there’s just no way to do it.

    The nice thing about a bar is that there is enough ambient noise that people can feel comfortable talking to me without everyone hearing their questions. You don’t have to tell a roomful of people that your husband’s clothes never make it into the hamper or that you leave dirty dishes in your office until ants arrive. It also provides others with the environment to mingle and get to know one another. You can’t really do that in a bookstore where you’re expected to sit side-by-side with a bunch of strangers in silence.

    Also, you don’t have to drink just because you’re in a bar. My dearest friend goes out to bars and she hasn’t had a sip of alcohol in her entire life. And, I can assure you, the places we’re planning to meet aren’t dance clubs or pick-up joints. I’m a married woman in her late 30s with a new baby … it’s going to be about meeting other Unclutterers, not trying to get sloshed. Besides, if you meet me in person, you will quickly understand why a quiet bookstore is not a good match for me.

  26. posted by Simpler Living on

    Thanks, Erin. I certainly could have used your book a year ago.

    I did my decluttering in blocks of free time over several months. Keeping my space and life free of clutter are going to be lifelong tasks, but getting in the habit of getting rid of stuff I didn’t need was a good thing.

    I’m looking forward to reading your tips on routines and maintenance system. That’s exactly what I need now.


  27. posted by Miranda on

    Just pre-ordered my Kindle version! Can’t wait!

  28. posted by Karyn on

    Congratulations, Erin! If you decide to include Minneapolis in future tour plans, may I suggest a nice little local cafe that sells beer and wine?


    I started to type “beer and whine”… ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m not even going to guess where that came from.

    @Bobk – Don’t just “hope” your local library buys a copy: You can request that they order Erin’s book. It doesn’t guarantee that they will, but patron requests do play a role in the selection process.

  29. posted by Karyn on

    Erin, I should add that the reason I recommended Common Roots is because they have a great, comfortable, casual but classy atmosphere, perfect for hanging out and conversation, which sounds like the criteria you had in mind for “meet and greet” venues. Strictly speaking, it’s not a “bar,” but it’s one of my favorite places to get together with friends for good food and chit-chat.

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