Dinky Manor

Giveaway: “Stuff Your Face Or Face Your Stuff” by Dorothy From Hoarders


My New Year’s Resolution for 2013 is “More Money, Less Dusting.” To that end I’m trying to remove 3650 items (a.k.a Get Rid Of 10 Things A Day) from my house by December 31st. As of today, I’m stuck on item #587. 2013 is more than halfway done, and alas, I have yet to achieve one quarter of my downsizing goal.

To kickstart my downsizing efforts for the second half of the year, I’ve decided to start sharing my stuff with the commentariat of this blog in the form of giveaways. Every week I will be giving away free items to lucky readers.

I think it’s only appropriate that the first giveaway is Stuff Your Face or Face Your Stuff–a book about organizing and decluttering AND weight loss by Dorothy Breininger, the interventionist and professional organizer from the hit tv show Hoarders.


Look how beautiful Dorothy is when she’s not covered in rat poop!

Dorothy “The Organizer” is my friend and occasional employer. I started volunteering to work on hoarding intervention jobs for her about ten years ago. What you see on tv is what you get in real life with Dorothy. She really is that nice. I always get an emotional lift from spending time with her, even if I’m shoveling moldy food out of a refrigerator. She’s one of the people in my life who inspires me to be the best version of myself. Hoarding runs in my family and I know the crazy is in me. The only reason why Dinky Manor is reasonably tidy is that I manage my possessions like some people manage their sobriety. Not only do the clean-up jobs help “scare me straight,” but Dorothy’s super loving manner with hoarder clients has really been a guideline for me when I feel myself getting frustrated with my hoarder relatives. She really gives everyone she works with so much respect.

One of the many odd facts I’ve learned about personal organization from working with Dorothy is that weight is tied to clutter. Hoarding and disordered eating are often symptoms of the same underlying emotional issues. What I’ve seen over and over with Dorothy’s clients is that once they start downsizing their belongings, the extra weight they’ve struggled to lose usually comes off as well! Dorothy applied this lesson to herself and has lost 75 pounds off her five foot frame over the last two years. She totally walks the walk.

But, you don’t have to be chubby to enjoy this book, which is also happens to be a (gripping) memoir. Although the book focuses on losing weight by removing the emotional and physical clutter from your life, it’s full of fantastic tips for everyone on how to organize every space.To enter to win my signed copy of Stuff Your Face or Face Your Stuff write your favorite decluttering or weight loss tip in the comments section below. I will randomly choose the winner Tuesday, June 18th, at 11:59pm Pacific Standard Time.

Here, I’ll start. Other than Getting Rid Of 10 Things A Day, my favorite tip for downsizing is to get rid of duplicate belongings. How many kitchen knives do I really need? How many pairs of shoes? How many clocks?

Now, it’s your turn! What is your best tip for decluttering or weight loss?

Although this giveaway is now CLOSED, please feel free to continue sharing your genius in the comments section below. Thank you to everyone who participated! Every single tip submitted is super awesome.

Laura (posted June 18, 2013 at 3:22) is the winner of this week’s giveaway.


  1. Posted June 15, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Such a great topic and sadly I think it applies to most of us. I love your tip of getting rid of 10 things a day. The thing I do that really helps me in the moment of whether to buy or not to buy is this:

    Stop and think about which like item in my home I am ready to let go of BEFORE I buy that new shiny one at the store/goodwill/estate sale. If I can’t find at least 1 to go out the back door, nothing is coming in the front door. It keeps me at the same level of clutter.

    But what I find is that when I employ this, more often I get rid of many items. For example, I have a hard time finding a great pair of shoes that fit well, look cute and are on sale. When I do I want to get them in 2 or 3 colors. So if I find a pair of shoes I will typically get rid of 3 or 4 others that are just not working for me.

    I will be checking back in to see what tips others have. I can always add in a new habit that makes the process easier. Thanks!

  2. Dawn Montague
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    I love this topic. It makes sense to me emotionally. My goal is to get rid of all the paper clutter in the next month, and I know I’ll have less stress, and then I’m likely to lose weight.
    So my best tip for weight loss is to ride a bike everywhere possible. I love my bike, and I feel better when I’m riding it regularly.

  3. Cecelia
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    While de-cluttering, I kept rationalizing keeping stuff by reminding myself how much it cost, who gave it to me, etc. I finally switched gears after a friend lost everything in a fire. I started asking myself, “If I lost everything, would I buy this again?” Kitchenaid stand mixer that I use all the time? Yes. Pasta plates for The Kitchenaid stand mixer that I was gonna die if I didn’t have, but haven’t used once in the 10 years I’ve had them? No! Yes, they were expensive, but how much sense does it make to keep something I don’t use, just because it was expensive?

  4. Posted June 15, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Hi Dawn-

    I hear you on the paper clutter! That’s my Waterloo. Luckily Dorothy has an entire section in the book that covers this topic. She also uses the “pile” system vs. “file” system where she stacks important documents in trays on a bookcase rather than vertically in a file cabinet. The main thing I’ve learned from Dorothy is to stop being such a perfectionist with my filing. Some people can do the color coding, but when I run out of label tape, the right colored folder, sticky notes, whatever, that’s when I start to procrastinate on my filing and that’s how stuff gets out of hand for me! I was making filing a huge chore for myself by trying to maintain “perfect” files, when I only need things to be “acceptable” to actually find stuff later.

  5. Doris
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    This is something I have been working on a long time; I think I finally got the acquisition part under control so just need to get rid of some more stuff (and weight).

  6. Posted June 16, 2013 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    I love vintage stuff. I’m always finding it myself, or others find something and feel it needs a home with me! My best tip and the one that holds down the overflow in my house is:
    Something in, something out!
    If I stick to that, I have a manageable amount of things to enjoy at one time.

  7. Leslie
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    As I’ve grown older I’ve begun looking at my accumulated stuff (that’s what the majority of it is = just stuff) and think…..”why?” I’ve been slowly decluttering but i seems like it’s 1 step forward and 2 steps back for a while. It’s amazing that I found this blog just this morning for I’ve promised myself to start on the kitchen today and needed encouragement. One of my downfalls is the fact that I’m a librarian and, as you ay know, we keep everything. Having said all of that I am inspired by you to rid myself – or find a new home – for things on a daily basis.
    My weight loss tip is a no brainer -you have to make the decision to take control of your health and once you are determined then activity, fresh vegetables and fruit, lots of water. And stay away from weight loss schemes.

  8. Melanie
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    I have simplified and decluttered my life in many ways over the past 5 years after my mom and aunt died. Oy! What a job it was cleaning out their homes.
    The thought that keeps popping up is Will my daughter look at this and think WHY DID SHE KEEP THIS? Lol, silly but effective.
    Btw, you rock Max, between your beekeeping and humble approach to life…

  9. Heather
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    I have been forcing myself to ask, “Do I really need this?” before actually buying things. I’m not great at it yet, but I’m getting better. I figure the less clutter I bring in, the less clutter to go out. The biggest source of clutter in my house is from the kids. Oh my word! Why does every restaurant/fair/car dealership etc. have to give kids free stuff? My kids take home everything they get for free. I had to explain to my son that we don’t NEED that free loveseat on the corner. Even thought it’s FREE we don’t have to bring it home. My secret decluttering pleasure is sending the kids off somewhere with a grandparent and stealthily throwing out half of the tchotchkes in their rooms. I’m a ninja!

  10. Denise
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    The best “cure” for being or staying a ‘collector’ is to have a sibling or parent die and you have to go clean out their houses and collection of storage units. Experience a wall of bicycle parts 7 foot tall up close and personal and a priceless collection of family cookbooks that were another long dead relative’s legacy covered in cat urine and feces to finally “get” that keeping and adding to piles of stuff in your own life is NOT the prudent thing to do.
    I’ve spent the last 6 years clearing out and changing my life but I still have a long way to go.

  11. Judy C.
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    Religiously watching any episode of “Hoarders” is a quick cure-all of my tendency to justify the keeping, storing, and managing of excess “stuff”. When I hear the hoarders’ protestations echoing my own occasional thoughts “I might need that (random object) someday”, or, “I can fix that and use it”, I look at my own stuff through the eyes of the television viewer and see it for what it is…just…”stuff”.

    Since my “Hoarders”-inspired purge began, I experience more contentment and more time to spend with the ones I love as I possess less. Less is, indeed, more!

  12. Debi
    Posted June 17, 2013 at 3:04 am | Permalink

    My fav de-cluttering trick is to totally clean out the closet, drawer, or whatever, and only replace the things I love and use. The rest goes in the bye-bye box to be donated.

  13. Sharron
    Posted June 17, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    My favorite weight management/decluttering tip is to walk every day. Walking is good for your health; it pulls me out of my head, job, clutter, or whatever and into the present moment. When I’m living in the present moment, it’s a lot easier to hold lightly to “stuff” and let it go, trusting that there is enough in the universe that my needs will be met.

  14. Laura
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    I do more reading about decluttering than actual decluttering, but this year I started The Compact, where you don’t buy anything new for a year. It has been the best for me! Instead of standing in the store debating whether I should or shouldn’t, I just don’t. Time away from Target has allowed more time for reading, for exercise, for my kids. The declutter happens slowly but automatically–stuff goes out, and very little comes back in. I do still go to yard sales and sometimes find a treasure, but it has not amounted to much.

  15. Posted June 18, 2013 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Hi Laura-

    I’ve been a member of The Compact since 2007. It is, without a doubt, the best treatment for my OCD ever! It has helped me replace a lot of my negative habits with positive ones.

  16. Bonnie
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    I am slowly working on my own clutter, but the best way I have found to get rid of stuff is move! But trying to motivate myself when I don’t have an upcoming move is difficult–and I come from a long line of hoarders as well. One tip I have used with success is to decide to keep 1 box or “x” of a single type of item and give away or sell the rest. For example: if I have 3 boxes of books in front of me, I will keep one box of books (which are most important to me) and give the rest away.

  17. dave
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 3:15 am | Permalink

    Your taste buds can only process about 3 bits worth of a particular taste sensation. After that, your really just remembering the taste from previous bites. So if you really want to get maximal enjoyment out of eating, switch foods after three bites. Sure, you can just go back to the first food, but if you’re paying even a little attention you discover that your craving is satisfied a lot faster.

  18. Annaka
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    How did I stumble upon this awesome blog! I can’t stop reading…lose the guy. That’s my tip for weight loss. I dropped him 4 months ago and have dropped 22 pounds since! 🙂

  19. Posted December 3, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Hi Annaka!

    SO TRUE for so many people. I’ve been on that diet before. It totally works. I’m currently working abroad so stay tuned for a huge amount of new content. It’s coming…

    Thank you for reading!

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