O Magazine focuses on uncluttering

The March 2010 issue of O: The Oprah Magazine just hit newsstands and it is dedicated to the theme “De-Clutter Your Life!” The uncluttering articles begin on page 142, but most of the content in the rest of the magazine is tangentially related to the topic.

If you turn to page 158 of the issue, and search diligently, you can even spot a quote from me (hunting for it is like playing a game of Where’s Waldo?). This was my first time being quoted in O, and I was thrilled they thought of me for their big “De-Clutter Your Life!” issue.

For one of the uncluttering stories, Oprah let camera crews into her closet to see how much clutter she had stored on her rods and shelves. Her closet seemed to me to be in decent shape, but she talked frankly about her decisions to keep and purge items with Adam Glassman, O‘s creative director:

OPRAH: “I bought a lot of little bags when I thought I was going to be a ‘lady who lunches.’ I’ve never been one, but I’ve always liked the idea and longed for that life. There’s something about dressing up and being ladies–it’s like playing house.”
ADAM: “Fashion can help you create an image, but be honest about your lifestyle. Do you really need yachting clothes when you never set foot on a boat? When buying an item, if you can answer ‘Where am I going in this?’ with at least four legitimate places, you have my blessing.”

One of my favorite features in the issue is a chart on page 153 “The 10 Habits of Highly Organized People.” From the list:

9. FORSEE (AND AVOID) PROBLEMS. You wouldn’t leave the house on a gray day without an umbrella, right? People who appear to sail through life unruffled apply this thinking to every scenario, says [Dorthy] Breininger [president of the Delphi Center for Organization]. Have a cabinet packed with leaning towers of Tupperware? Organized folks will take a few minutes to short-circuit an avalanche before it happens. (In other words, rearranging that cupboard now is easier than chasing after wayward lids as they scatter underneath the fridge.)

There are many great tips to be garnered from the March issue of O. Also, the items that Oprah decided to pitch from her closet are being auctioned on eBay starting March 1, and proceeds with benefit her Leadership Academy.

23 Comments for “O Magazine focuses on uncluttering”

  1. posted by Beth on

    I have a client who is “addicted” to all things Oprah – her life goal is to appear regularly on the Oprah show.

    She is also a clutter magnet! Desk with piles of papers. Piles on the floors – books EVERYWHERE!

    Over 5000 emails in her Inbox. Refrigerator packed to the gills – so much so that I can squeeze in my lunch sandwich!

    She is the anti-Unclutter!

    But, I will bet you all that, when I go back next month, her office will be cleared out just to please her buddy Oprah!

    Although, she will probably be bidding on eBay for Oprah’s stuff!

  2. posted by Allison on

    I have never really paid attention to Oprah but I really appreciate what she decided to do! I hope I can scan the magazine next time I’m in line at the grocery store and take a peek at that article. Thanks for the heads up!

  3. posted by Ronique Gibson on

    Whether we like Oprah, her show, her wealth, or magazine… she’s truly an icon. Like Martha, she’s the business woman we all look at to see and hear what she’s talking about. Hurray! for O magazine this month, to focus on uncluttering your life. I have many clients that believe uncluttering is a one time thing. “Come to my house-unclutter and we’re done.” No, No! It’s like a diet, it’s a lifestyle and mindset change throughout our lives. It’s nice to see that organizing our lives, is just as fashionable as the hottest runway dresses!

  4. posted by Kyla Cromer on

    I once heard clutter described as constant noise around you (maybe at a feng shui thing I once attended?) That really hit the nail on the head for me. I want more quiet.

  5. posted by Suzyn on

    I hunted for your name as soon as my issue arrived. Congrats!

  6. posted by Vanessa (One New Thing) on

    I got a subscription to O for Christmas, so I’m looking forward to getting this issue in the mail. 🙂

  7. posted by sock on

    Oprah’s magazine does the ultimate to drive consumer desires. This month’s magazine cover seems pretty counter to that. Are they selling/pushing organizing products?

  8. posted by Karen on

    So, she’s decluttering her life by encouraging others to add her discards to their own clutter? Sounds counterintuitive, though I suppose it’s better than just chucking the stuff.

    Reminds me of when a celebrity claims to be “simplifying” his or her life by selling one of their five homes.

    Also, Oprah is always pushing stuff in her magazines. Not just ads, but her list of “favorite things” and other stuff. Just like most magazines.

  9. posted by thebubbreport on

    I just picked this up yesterday. I am kind of obsessed with that closet Nate made for her at Harpo, and I’ll always wish I’d had access to her garage sale, as we have the same shoe size and she was selling Manolos for about $20.

    I think being quoted in O has some sort of karmic, aha-moment attached, or you’ll find your spirit, or your angel, or something…

  10. posted by Noel on

    This O article is not as good as this web site! If you can resist, read the magazine at the library. I’ve had a subscription to O for years, but now I feel like it is clutter (and I recycle or bring them to the library within a week of reading). I love magazines, but the have less substance now, and more advertising.

  11. posted by TanyaZ on

    Not a big fan of Oprah or magazines in general, but I will consider this one. Hope, it is truly about unluttering and simplifying. I am a little disappointed in Real Simple – who needs a “real simple” recipe for homemade cleaner made out of borax, ammonia, and what not (I don’t even know where they sell that kind of stuff, talk about “simple”).

  12. posted by HappyDogs on

    The link to Oprah’s article (?) just points back here.

  13. posted by Keetha on

    I just picked up that magazine today because of the cover touting the articles about decluttering.

    Over the weekend I did some decluttering and posted before and after. Feels so good to have finally gotten rid of and/or organized all this STUFF.


  14. posted by Kathryn Fenner on

    O’s approach is far better than Martha Stewart Living, where her design director “reorganizes” his “closet” It is the size of my bedroom. His wardrobe would stock a good sized men’s store–sweaters in every conceivable color, multiple times, and so on.
    I get frustrated with closet organizing pieces that either use a closet way way bigger than my rather reasonable-sized, non-walk-in one or have about five items in the final result. My lifestyle is too complicated and our weather too variable for me to have ten outfits and done.

  15. posted by WilliamB on

    @TaynaZ: the ingredients are available at most supermarkets and some hardware stores.

    Ammonia is very easy to get, it’s in the liquid cleaner section with products like 409 and Soft Scrub. Don’t mix it with bleach or products with bleach: ammonia + bleach = a chlorine-like substance; ammonia + bleach + water = chlorine gas.

    Borax is less well known. It’s usually found in the laundry detergent section, typically on the top or bottom shelf where the usual stuff goes; 40 Mules is a common brand, it comes in a box about the size of a cereal box.

  16. posted by Melanie on

    My everyday cleaner for kitchen counters is a mix of hot water, 1 tsp of borax and 1 tsp vinegar in a small spray bottle. Bought the small box of borax months ago and have quite a bit left. Very easy, cheap, and cleans well.

  17. posted by Another Deb on

    One of my favorite organizing moments came from an episode of “Mad About You” several years ago. The main character and her train-wreck sister accidentally walk off with each others’ tote bags. The organized sister is the train wreck by the end of the day. Meanwhile, her scatterbrained sister has dug into the bag and produced exactly what she needs (umbrella, spare nylons, etc) to put her chaotic life on the road to serenity and success.

  18. posted by Another Deb on

    Oops, the quote from this article didn’t copy. I was referring to the “#9 Forsee and Avoid Problems” reference.

  19. posted by TanyaZ on

    WilliamB, please don’t take the following seriously, it is not about your knowledge (which I respect) and not about the value of doing things from scratch, which I also love, it’s more of a comedic statement on the topic of “Real Simple” magazine. Since we are talking about doing things real simple, I have a real simple solution for my cleaning needs – Tide, Tilex, Clorox, or whatever else is on the shelf of my local grocery store, where I already go twice a week. Not only it is pre-mixed, it is also put into convenient spray bottle – how genious is that?! And real simple.

  20. posted by WilliamB on

    @TanyaZ – Oops!

    Now you got me thinking, which would yield me fewer bottles – making cleaners or buying? For the purposes of this discussion I’m going to pretend I buy a new spray bottle with each refill.

    – veggie wash (vinegar, water)
    – 409 (borax, vinegar, water)
    – soft scrub (baking soda)
    – dish soap (dish soap)
    – windex (vinegar, water, optional glycerin)
    – laundry detergent (borax, ammonia, water)
    – brillo (baking soda)
    – granite & marble cleaner (borax, vinegar, water)
    – stainless steel cleaner (stainless steel cleaner)
    – spray & wash (spray & wash)

    Assuming I have my lists right, buying gives me 10 items, making gives me 6 (7 if you count the baking soda separate from the kitchen supply) plus the containers for the mixed items.

    It’s a wash!

    grinning, ducking, running

  21. posted by TanyaZ on

    WilliamB, I think you forgot grated Ivory soap for laundry detergent. A trip to hardware store, grocery store, and some soap grating – that’s a simple way to do the laundry! 😉

  22. posted by TanyaZ on

    Just for the record – I am not saying it is wrong to make your own cleaning supplies. I just don’t know what those things are doing in a magazine called Real Simple.

  23. posted by zhou on

    WilliamB,nfl news,nfl teams, I think you forgot grated Ivory soap for laundry detergent. A tripTiguan, Modelle, Volkswagen Deutschland, Der

    Tiguan to hardware store, grocery store, and some soap grating –英雄岛 that’s a simple way to do the laundry!

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