Alexandra Chauran book Clearing Clutter: Physical, Mental, Spiritual takes on the bane of modern culture, and one of the most common side effects of western culture’s daily pileup. Much reiterates advice from lifestyle blogs and magazines: get rid of things, have a plan for what new objects you do bring into the home, and stop holding on to things for other people. Chauran, adds a new level to this lifestyle trend by suggesting ceremony become part of all junk-clearing, usually with smudging or bell-ringing.

Her questions for all that would minimize do give pause; What is most important to the people living in that house? How do they want to feel about their home? How do they spend their time? In some ways these questions parallel the cleaning segment on Clean House. They differ in that they expand from the practical to the spiritual.

Chauran connects the practical with the spiritual by breaking down clutter into three categories: low-level maintenance, moderate overwhelm, and intense disempowerment. Arguably most readers are in the space of moderate overwhelm, where breaking down cleanup plans into small daily chunks gives them the best chance of getting organized. Intense disempowerment, whether in the physical, mental, or spiritual category is a clear indicator of need for professional intervention, something Chauran emphasizes with just the right amount of force.

The spiritual benefits of a decluttered life are significant, and the visualizations for cleansing a space on physical and spiritual planes seems handy. Chauran's advice that cleanliness is not a static condition is also a necessary reminder that a healthy home is not a static one – changes will cause shifts, piles will come and go, and reducing clutter is about maintaining a degree of movement, not enforcing a constant stillness.  When it comes to mental and spiritual clutter cleaning, Chauran pulls from well-known techniques of mental self-management, and her argument that mental health aligns with physical clutter or lack thereof is reasonably compelling.

Each individual piece of this book isn't new – the decluttering is a popular blog and magazine topic, mental health and meditation techniques are a long staple of New Age, Pagan, and mystical movements, and spiritual cleansing is a cornerstone of nearly all magical training. What does make this book unique is the combination of these concepts in one place – paired with Draja Mickaharic's book Spiritual Cleansing a determined person could establish the SuperCleanse of New Age thinking. It's definitely a place to start if other methods for getting organized aren't helping. The recommended detoxification is certainly preferable to anything involving cayenne and maple syrup.

~ review by Diana Rajchel
Author: Chaudran, Alexandra
Llewellyn, 2015
pp. 220