Get a free audiobook

Unstuff Your Life

Kick the Clutter Habit and Completely Organize Your Life for Good
Written by: Andrew J. Mellen
Narrated by: Andrew J. Mellen
Length: 10 hrs and 21 mins
4 out of 5 stars (19 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 33.54
CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

One of the country's most sought-after professional organizers here makes his foolproof rescue plan available for everyone.

Arguably the most organized man in America, Andrew J. Mellen has created unique, lasting techniques for streamlined living, bringing order out of chaos for a client list that includes attorneys, filmmakers, and even psychologists. With Unstuff Your Life! he puts his powerful program in the hands of his widest audience yet. Acknowledging that it's often the "stuff behind the stuff" that holds people back, Mellen offers an action-based plan to redirect clutterers from dwelling on their feelings. This simple shift yields immediate results that will help everyone achieve organizational bliss. Mellen's mix of humor, honesty, tough love, and foolproof strategies will motivates listeners to work through their feelings and make real behavior changes that will have long-lasting effects.

Written in Mellen's signature no-nonsense yet hilarious tone, Unstuff Your Life! brims with personality, along with approaches not found in other organizing books. Built on the principle that we must distinguish ourselves from our possessions, Unstuff Your Life! starts with truly achievable goals and works toward the nightmare projects everyone tries hard to avoid. From the basement to the bedroom, the kitchen to the car, and more, listeners will learn:

  • Where to find a permanent home for your keys and wallet
  • How to sort the mail in a manageable and time-effective way
  • What it means to group "like with like"
  • How to tackle bills and budget
  • How to problem-solve with your new skills, and more

The result is absolute freedom from the burden of clutter - and more free time than you ever imagined possible.

Please note: Lists and worksheets mentioned in the audio can be downloaded from andrewmellen.com/uyl-downloads/.

©2012 Andrew J. Mellen (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What the critics say

"Living in chaos? Professional Organizer Mellen has written the book to help.... [T]hose willing to take even a small sip of Mellon's Kool-Aid may enjoy a more organized, efficient, and well-managed life." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Well written

plan on listening to it again..the author was easy to enjoy...lots to think about ..thankyou😁

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Judy
  • 2012-12-07

Good Stuff

Really enjoyed this book. As I go about simplifying my life, I find myself repeating key phrases such as "like with like" and "the thing is not the person". I even lecture myself on returning things to their designated homes when I get careless.

In a fulsome act of disorganization, I soon discovered that I had already read this book about a year ago, but continued with the audible version anyway, and quickly found that I had overlooked much valuable material during my first go-round. As I am already a fairly well-organized person, I had scanned or skipped whole pages during my first reading, figuring that certain sections did not apply to me. Such arrogance. During the audible version, I discovered that every chapter contains valuable information.

I lost my husband to cancer 3 years ago and letting go of his belongings has been a difficult process. When I was ready, I donated most of his clothing; then I threw out university papers and essays, etc., the accoutrements of a life that were once significant but not particularly personally valuable. For the smaller yet somehow bigger things, author Mellen's advice helps me as I continue to struggle with memories such as theatre ticket stubs, stacks of photographs, his bedroom slippers, his e-mail address. I'm filing and organizing the treasures, discarding the duplicates or the unlovely photos in which my butt does indeed look big, and handing off special items to his family, who I know will value them. In a truly heartbreaking moment, I was forced to throw out the cards, love notes, and other special paper mementoes that I had temporarily stored in a plastic box. In the basement. Too late came Mellen's warning never to store paper-based valuables in the basement. These precious treasures were coated in black mould when I opened the box, and they could not be salvaged. I can only console myself with Mellen's observation that the thing is not the person.

Mellen's delivery is perfectly suited to the material, and he manages to inject humour into the narrative with a pause here and a little emphasis there. Well done.

I will keep the slippers.

367 of 373 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Angela
  • 2012-05-07

My lightbulb moment

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Your purse needs a home. Don't let it follow you around the house from room to room like a lost puppy! - this line made me laugh so hard it was like flipping a switch in my brain. I was always looking for important stuff like keys and wallet and late for work because of it. The humorous imagery Mellen uses to point out the absurdism of living in chaos has helped me understand how my beliefs about stuff were keeping me drowning in it, and then he told me exactly how to deal with all my stuff.

Any additional comments?

I have already listened to it 3 times since purchasing a week ago.

145 of 148 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Elizabeth
  • 2012-07-30

Stands Out From Other Organizing Books

What did you love best about Unstuff Your Life?

Ready to get organized in the shortest possible time with a minimum of fuss? This is the book for you. This is no-nonsense advice from an expert who has worked out practical systems that really work. Andrew J. Mellen's two battle-cries, "A home for everything" and "Like with like," echo throughout the book and every organizing challenge. Anecdotes and stories about real people solving clutter problems help round out the more technical details.

Who was your favorite character and why?

A feature that sets this book apart is that it addresses electronic clutter -- e-mail, phone messages, computer files, etc..

What does Andrew J. Mellen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Mellen's theater background comes through in his narration, and sets it apart from other author-narrated How-Tos. He brings genuine enthusiasm and an expert tone to his subject.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Mellen encourages his listeners to pace themselves through the many stages of organizing their lives. And, he gives helpful support and advice for parting with sentimental items -- a process that often takes time.

Any additional comments?

If you're serious about getting control of your clutter and simplifying your life, this book can really help.

123 of 126 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Thomas J. Olofsson
  • 2012-08-27

The Right to un-Stuff

This is easily the most likely to be put into practice. I have already pitched 4 huge garbage cans full of stuff. Terrific progress particularly since the stuff has been sitting on shelves in my office for over 10 years.

Gradually, I came to the realization that I was being controlled by a bunch of old books and magazines. I have not used it in years and in many cases have never opened them. I hung onto them even when I had to rent an extra office to store it all.

I now save $200 per month all from listening to this simple book.

Andrew Mellen gave me permission to unload my stuff, to be free from caring for it and from paying for it over and over through excess "carrying costs".

Remember, Don't Fear Sentimental Land.

93 of 96 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Perrykd5
  • 2012-07-23

I started unstuffing after chapter 2!

Where does Unstuff Your Life rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This was one of the best audio books I've listened to.

What did you like best about this story?

Andrew J Mellen causes you to analyze what your problem organizational areas are and gives strategies to prevent you from falling back into old habits. Each chapter takes you into a living space in your home and helps you organize (after getting rid of the stuff) in a way that makes it easy to keep it that way.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Mellen's advice is to read a chapter, and tackle that space before going on to the next chapter. It's exactly what I did and it works.

Any additional comments?

If you've read a lot of books on organization, I think you'll find this one to be one of the most valuable in your library.

63 of 65 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Elizabeth Wolfinger
  • 2012-08-22

Great organizing and an entertaining listen

Would you listen to Unstuff Your Life again? Why?

Yes, because Andrew describes new ways to make the things you own useful and available. Following his advice makes your home and office more enjoyable, functional places to be without having to spend any money.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The author is the only character and he is quite good. A surprising aspect of the book is the impact it has had on my thoughts about acquiring new things.

What did you learn from Unstuff Your Life that you would use in your daily life?

Everything has a home, one home and following this principal means you never spend time looking for anything.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sharon_BB
  • 2013-08-08

Uniquely palatable. Even, gulp, DO-able.

This is not your typical organization book. And believe me, I've read them all.
Even paid an 'organizer' to help me figure out a system for paperwork.
ho hum.

I listened through this book to the end, then again as I followed instructions.
This in and of itself speaks to the success and uniqueness of the author's approach, cause I can snub my nose at the best instructions out there. (oh there's a "to spite my face" in this sentiment, believe me)

This author is firm in his convictions that everyone can unstuff: anywhere, without too much pain, and in realistic spaces of time. His methods make sense, in that obvious way that relatively intelligent people like me respond to with, "I KNOOOW!!!".
(um, so why am I still reading books like this, right?)

Wish I could accurately share why this book worked for me. I'll try...
-His explanations about WHY I hold on to things are brief, gentle yet busted through my typical resistance.
-He says anyone can learn a new behavior if practiced consistently for 30 days. ("I KNOOOW!!!") But somehow this author makes me believe I can do it. Without a litany of pep talks and flowery sentiment.
-"Like w/ Like" and "Everything has a home" is the mantra. That's DO-able and downright sensible!
-He 'walks you through' assignments (eg, unstuffing and organizing your kitchen) on the audio.
-His filing system alone is worth the price of the book. Soooo much more practical and easier than the system I paid for (and stopped using after a week)


Already recommended to friends and fam

28 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Angela T. Szpojda
  • 2012-02-26

For some a tough task master, for others a genius

If you could sum up Unstuff Your Life in three words, what would they be?

Simplify, expel,move on

What was one of the most memorable moments of Unstuff Your Life?

Don't berate yourself

What does Andrew J. Mellen bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

This guy is tough, in a nice kind of way. If you have a friend who is OCD they really need to listen to this as they may hate him and then learn to love him. He has a tough narration style, point blank, do it and move on - kind of like a nice army sergeant - yeah right! Anyway, if you really need to get your stuff sorted you will appreciate the tough narration.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

duty sergeant meets paper clip and the paper clip wins!

60 of 66 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Caitlin Martin
  • 2016-10-14

Unsuitable for an Audio Book

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

This book is unsuitable for an audiobook. Huge sections are set up as workbook pages, and you'll be fast forwarding through SEVEN MINUTES of just random words. No, I'm not kidding. I checked the time stamps. If you don't mind the fact that half of what you're getting is just him reading the worksheets, go ahead and get it... but it'd probably be more worthwhile to buy the paper book instead.

How could the performance have been better?

It's narrated by the author, who spends way too much time telling you that he's so fantastic and he'll make you fantastic too, but only if you do it his way. It becomes somewhat insufferable pretty quickly. If he cut out the kitchy, used car salesman sort of pitch, it might be worthwhile... but his performance makes you feel like you're being sold snake oil.

Any additional comments?

Ultimately my biggest issue with this book is that large sections are designed as workbook pages, which do not translate to an audio book performance, and which are also not skipped. In chapter one, there is a section where he asks the reader to select a handful of words out of a list of several hundred words, and proceeds to read those several hundred words... That's a VERY hard listen.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Finlay
  • 2013-05-01

Not suitable unless your in dire circumstance

I purchased this audiobook knowing it wasn't all going to be relevant to me. I consider myself a pretty organized person, but wanted some tips to make me an organized superman.

It didn't get me much closer. The book is 10% psychology and 90% practical instructions. There were a couple of good tips in the psychology part for me, like his suggestions for getting over the idea that something might be worth something and self-defeating sentimental feelings.

The most cluttered part of my life is probably on my computer and the chapter in this book on organizing your computer was disappointing and at times bizarre.

He just talked about putting things in folders etc, nothing we don't all try to do anyway. At one point he explained in detail how to resize a window on your screen. He then seemingly went completely off track and explained what social networking and instant messaging are and why everyone should use them.

His style is frank. I would call it condescending, but I can see from other reviews that a lot of people appreciated this style. I guess if your in dire circumstance with clutter then it might be just what you need, but if your not, then probably give this a miss.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful