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Breathing Room: Open Your Heart by Decluttering Your Home Paperback – April 1, 2014

4.6 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Breathing Room is a fascinating blend of the spiritual, practical and personal stories about how we can all declutter our lives. The book provides a clear guide to accomplish the inner work you need to do not only to declutter your physical world, but also to accomplish this in mind and spirit." (Matt Chan creator and executive producer of A&E's series Hoarders)

"With clarity, compassion, and humor, Lauren Rosenfeld and Dr. Melva Green help us see the deep connection between living space and heart space—guiding us toward freedom and ease within both. With both spiritual lessons and easy to do exercises, this book is a perfect blend of theory and practice. Readers of Breathing Room will soon find themselves rejoicing in the wide open spaces of both home and heart." (Joan Borysenko, PhD author of Minding the Body, Mending the Mind, and Inner Peace for Busy People)

"[Breathing Room] has helped me deeply understand that clearing space is not just about the 'stuff' in my house, but, more importantly, the 'stuff' in my heart." (Patti Digh author of Life is a Verb)

"This book is genius. If you shut down when faced with your clutter, if clutter is stopping you from living the beautiful life that is your birthright, read this book! It has what you need to change your relationship to clutter forever! (Jennifer Louden author of The Woman's Comfort Book and The Life Organizer)

"Breathing Room puts the Om into your home and the grease into your elbows! This is where the spirituality of clutter meets practicality with a big dose of compassion. Well done!" (Tisha Morris author of Mind Body Home)

"Who knew that clearing your physical space of unnecessary clutter could be a path of self-reflection and deep learning? Well Lauren Rosenfeld & Dr. Melva Green—that's who! In Breathing Room these two wise women guide us in how to learn from the spaces where we live and create rooms that reflect a nourished and nourishing heart. With compassion and humor they help us find a way to let the beauty we are shine through the inevitable messiness of being human." (Oriah Mountain Dreamer author of The Invitation)

"A compassionate guide to clearing out your clutter, and inviting space, light, and peace into your home and heart." (Francine Jay author of The Joy of Less and A Minimalist Living Guide)

"Melva Green in soft, super creative and direct. If anyone can provide the necessary 'breathing room' in our space or in our life it's her! This book is just fantastic!" (Dorothy The Organizer, creator of Curb the Chaos System and expert on Hoarders)

About the Author

Dr. Melva Green is a board-certified psychiatrist, TV personality, and spiritual healer. She is an expert doctor on the popular and critically acclaimed A&E show Hoarders. Dr. Green travels nationally and internationally assisting spiritually awakening souls who have committed to detoxing and decluttering—mentally, emotionally, and spiritually—so that they might live their best lives and awaken into their full potential. She lives in northern California with her son.

Lauren Rosenfeld, M.A., M.Ed., believes that the mundane details of our life are the stepping stones on our intimate path of the spirit. She is a professional Soul Declutterer who helps her clients let go of physical and emotional clutter that are preventing them their Breathing Room. She coauthored Your To Be List and blogs at LGRosenfeld.com, where she shares lessons on how our daily lives shine with spiritual lessons. She is an unapologetic hippie-peacenick-pluralist-dreamer who resides in Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband and four children.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books/Beyond Words (April 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582704570
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582704579
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #272,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Yansa M. Toussaint on July 27, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The premise of this book "Breathing Room" is that all of the clutter we have in our homes is ultimately simply a manifestation of the clutter we carry within our hearts. These emotional blockages and physical blockages end up clocking the light of our soul our true essence and our connection to the world,to other human beings,to nature and to the Divine. This book is a "bible" of decluttering techniques that helps us find a way to take away our mental,emotional and physical clutter so that we can live in that deeply rooted deeply connected way that we're meant to live in the present moment in happiness,love,joy,peace and contentment. Unfortunately the clutter we have is always trying to draw us away from the moment which is why we are so unhappy when we live with clutter. There are Buddhist philosophical underpinning for this very important work but no matter what your religious traditions the spiritual principles are the same. Do this really powerful spiritual work; work of letting go and knowing the beauty of enough,knowing the beauty of contentment and happiness and we can't learn that until we find the willingness this open spirit to let go of what needs to go. Decluttering is not an "end all be all" it's a lifestyle an ongoing thing.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love the approach of this book! Our internal world is reflected in our external world, and vice versa. Clearing the clutter in our environment helps us have a space to live that is more inviting, purposeful, and intentional. The book is spiritually thought-provoking, but also action-oriented. I have specific exercises that I can choose from based on my needs. I'll continue to use this book as a resource for many years to come.
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Format: Paperback
This is who this book is intended for:
- Middle-aged women (mostly due to the style of language, and due to all of the anecdotal stories in the book focusing on middle-aged women)
- Those who have mild to moderate clutter difficulties
- Those who want to enact change in their lives and already have sufficient motivation to do so

The book may not be so helpful for:
- True hoarders - i.e., those who have more than just a mild to moderate amount of clutter
- Those who do not think they have a problem or those who do not have the motivation to change their ways

Given that I have several people in my life who fall into the latter category (i.e., are true hoarders), I was a bit disappointed that "Breathing Room" did not turn out to be the sort of book that I thought could be given to them as a form of help. Instead, this book would certainly be useful for those who have "untidy" areas of the house and want to improve the situation, but could simply use a bit of inspiration in order to tackle those areas.

I was a bit distracted by repetitive reference to "the Divine One," the "Divine," and other terms that referenced a "higher power" and "nurturing Mother Nature." I felt that this language was unnecessary, but I suppose it is meant to foster a source of comfort and meaning for the reader.

I found useful the general spiritual guidance repeated throughout the book, which mainly relates to clutter inside the heart being directly related to clutter in the home.

Overall, I recommend this book for those with a mild to moderate clutter problem who want to tackle the problem and who would like a bit of "spiritual inspiration," but not for those facing a major hoarding situation.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an absolute must-have if you are moving. We are downsizing (dramatically) and it would have been impossible to go from 4000 sq ft to 1000 sq ft without this book!!!! After reading this book, it was very clear what was important and what was just "stuff". The most freeing feeling in the world, is letting go of stuff!!! It truly takes the weight of the world off your shoulders. It frees you up to be open to love and new possibilities. As empty-nester's, down-sizing with Breathing Room made a huge difference in my relationship with my husband. We have removed "stuff" and gotten so much closer. It is as if the "stuff" was a wall between us. If YOU want freedom, READ THIS BOOK!!!!
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I was hunting for help to declutter after a sudden move that left me buried in boxes/piles and way too much stuff. I was looking for the mechanics of organizing my space when I stumbled upon Breathing Room. I couldn't help but to see myself in Lauren's and Melva's descriptions and examples of why I was stuck in all this stuff. But these two incredible women not only tell you why but how to get out of the clutter. The first thing I did was to decide what I wanted to feel in each room. I posted these words in each room and then sat with them for a couple days. I stopped trying to tackle the clutter which just turned into moving piles around. By far the best advice I gleaned was to first start with the things that truly evoked the feelings that I wanted to experience in each space rather than focusing on what needed to go. Focusing on what was truly valuable to me made letting go of the other stuff very easy. When I was surrounded by boxes and piles, something else thrown on the pile didn't trigger the sense that it didn't belong there. Now after doing so much clearing, it is easy for me to recognize when something is out of place and easy to quickly put it where it belongs. I took the advice of another reader and went through my closet and my clothes. That was amazingly freeing. I still have much more to do, but I am inspired to keep going. I also pay a great deal of attention to what I bring into my home. Stopping the clutter at the door before it enters is so much easier to manage. Thank you Lauren and Melba. You threw me a rope when I thought I was drowning.
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