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312 of 319 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Useful Tool
In the introduction of "Buried in Treasures", Tolin, Frost and Steketee offer two cautions to the reader. Caution 1 "this book will not solve your hoarding problems". They state "this book is a guide that will provide you with the necessary information to understand the problem of compulsive hoarding and will give you tools to help beat the problem". Caution 2 is that...
Published on May 7, 2007 by Alice Price

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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Workbook
In a workbook format, with clarity for the layperson Ready to clean up their living or work space. This book, I think, would also be Perfect for the professional that has hoarders amongst their clientele.

I must admit I'm a hoarder living with a hoarder, and when I began taking action, my husband became Furious. My advice, then, is that everyone directly...
Published on January 4, 2008 by Candy Purveyor


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312 of 319 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Useful Tool, May 7, 2007
By 
Alice Price (Long Island, NY USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding (Paperback)
In the introduction of "Buried in Treasures", Tolin, Frost and Steketee offer two cautions to the reader. Caution 1 "this book will not solve your hoarding problems". They state "this book is a guide that will provide you with the necessary information to understand the problem of compulsive hoarding and will give you tools to help beat the problem". Caution 2 is that "overcoming compulsive hoarding will be hard work".

The authors emphasize that hoarding is "a problem of emotional, mental, behavioral, and social well-being" and that "some scientific evidence suggests that there may be a genetic component to hoarding". It is basically a description of the treatment program that they have developed over many years of treating patients at their hoarding clinic. While the book discusses the physical side regarding sorting and purging as well as the stopping of the acquiring, its' emphasis is on the mental/emotional side of hoarding.

As opposed to other similar books, this book is based on science and ongoing clinical research. The book is essentially a guide to change and the authors note that "people start to work on their hoarding problem when the reasons for change outweigh the reasons for not changing, and not a moment sooner". Their suggested treatment is based on CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy) which is solution focused.

This is somewhat of a workbook. It includes many exercises to help the hoarder to consciously change their thinking. Some examples are a self-assessment test in the chapter "What is Compulsive Hoarding?", a hoarding severity scale that is very similar

to the NSGCD Hoarding Scale, Visualization Exercises, Category & Location lists and questionnaires such as "Comparing Your Perceptions with Those of Others".

Early in the book, the authors introduce and discuss the Bad Guys: 1 - It's Just Not My Priority, 2 - Letting Unhelpful Beliefs Get In Your Way, 3 - Overthinking or Confusing Yourself, 4 - Avoidance and Excuse Making and 5 - Going for the Short-Term Payoff. Then they introduce the Good Guys: 1- Keeping Your Eyes on the Prize, 2 - Downward Arrow, 3 - Thinking It Through, 4 - Behavioral Experiments and 5 - Developing the Right Skills. The authors revisit the Bad Guys and the Good Guys again later in the book when dealing with motivation and "taking on your brain".

An interesting observation noted by the authors was that when hoarders attempted to sort their own items, they tended to have lots of little categories but when sorting similar items that belonged to other people, they were able to sort into a few large general categories. This suggests that when dealing with their own possessions, "their emotions get in the way and cause them to process information differently".

As a Professional Organizer, I consider this book a tool. It is not a `how to' that a hoarder could pick up, read and follow to a successful conclusion. On their own, most hoarders are just not capable of following some of the suggestions, such as, "you might want to think a step or two ahead"! However this is an excellent book if used as part of a larger treatment program.
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181 of 186 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MOTIVATING!, March 9, 2007
By 
J. R. Smithers (Aurora, Colorado United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding (Paperback)
What is going on in our society? Are more people struggling with acquiring, saving and hoarding or are we just more aware of the problem? Either way, some real help is provided in this book and it moves you to turn and face the compulsions.

I work in an outreach program and periodically we come up against a person struggling with this problem. There are other things going on but we discover this aspect usually during a home visit.

There are other titles that address this topic but I have found this one, by David Tolin, to out-distance the others. Why? Because it is a workbook approach first of all, and secondly, it addresses the underlying feelings of those who deal with this in a workable way.

We sit down with the individual and get them started on the book. We then process the insights they have had during the reading. By then they begin to feel a spark of hope that they can manage the compulsion.

One huge asset to this book is that he includes a significant chapter on 'acquiring' and what to do about it. The philosophy behind the need to acquire stuff is fascinating. Once there is an understanding of the need there is motivation to shift and change it.

This book has made a difference. Wish it had been around earlier!!
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133 of 137 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At Long Last!, April 17, 2007
By 
A. Merkley (Sausalito, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding (Paperback)
I have been following Dr. Tolin's research online and was thrilled to finally receive this book. I am a Professional Organizer and I regularly assist clients trying to deal with hoarding. It is an extremely difficult, highly emotional, and debilitating way of life for a lot of people and the authors of this book really get it right. There are still a lot of unaswered questions as to why people hoard, but this book sheds more light and offers more life changing steps than others I have read.
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79 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book!, June 7, 2007
By 
Caroline Totah (San Francisco, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding (Paperback)
While it's true that it is not presented in a scholarly way (as a previous reviewer commented), the information in the book represents the most current knowledge we have on hoarding. As others have mentioned, the authors are preeminent experts in the field. All three are Ph.Ds and have published numerous scholarly works on this topic. I believe the authors must have deliberately chosen to leave out the clinical jargon for this book, in order to make the information accessible to those without a medical or science background. I think the book is quite elegant in its simplicity and clarity, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about hoarding.
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69 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take tiny steps necessary to discard all that unnecessary stuff, June 11, 2009
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This review is from: Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding (Paperback)
"Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding" is for "collectors," of which I most certainly am one! If you are a "collector," you know you must solve--all on your own--this problem of accumulating too much stuff.

Oh yes, it would be wonderful to have someone come in and help you make all the stuff disappear, as the team on "Clean House" does. Sort it in bins, then discard, donate, sell--yep, the way to go, except, Mr. or Miss Collector, you cannot put it in any bins except to keep it. Right?

That's where this book comes in--it actually breaks down every argument your pesky little mind can throw in your way to de-clutter. I won't go into details, but my severe acquiring and cluttering developed as a result of divorce. I literally could not touch anything to put away or discard. It had to just sit there, taking up space, keeping people away. Someone volunteered to help me organize, but the thought put me in panic mode.

"Buried in Treasures" is helping. Writers David Tolin, Randy Frost, and Gail Steketee name the condition as compulsive hoarding and stating that overcoming the problem is hard work. They define three conditions for hoarding:
1. Accumulating, then having difficulty getting rid of things of limited or useless value,
2. Clutter that limits or prevents the use of living spaces in the manner for which they were intended,
3. Both the clutter itself and discarding the clutter cause distress.

In order for the hoarder to address the problem, he/she must understand the causes for hoarding, the results, and reasons to change. Hoarding did not happen overnight nor will the clutter disappear overnight. Reinforcement through repetition of information and self-help tests interspersed throughout the book force the reader to think and respond, think and respond.

The authors show the hoarder how to begin discarding through information: strategies, lists, categorizing, flowcharts, agencies that will accept your discards, setting up filing systems, rules, everything, anything that will help begin the discarding process.

Here's an example of treating one aspect of hoarding: Making decisions. Easy for you? A hoarder will pick up something, not be able to decide what to do with it, and put it back amidst the clutter for a decision later. A decision has two parts: make a decision, then follow-through. So, how does a hoarder follow through? A whole list of questions is provided for handling each item. Tedious, you say? The point is to get past the point of getting started.

Getting started: Obtain bins for trashing, donating, and keeping. The point is to have the "keep" bin the emptiest. The second step is to set a specific length of time every day to de-clutter until the clutter is gone, whether one hour or fifteen minutes. Make a schedule. Follow it.

The book is very helpful. At least, I have started the process and have thrown out several boxes of stuff in the last week alone. It's a beginning, whereas I was stuck in time before this book.

Thank you, Tolin, Frost, and Steketee. Your book is itself a treasure, but it's not buried.
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88 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars extraordinary insight into holding onto and letting go, February 28, 2007
This review is from: Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding (Paperback)
The authors completely changed my understanding of possesions, their meaning, and role in my life. Having been a compulsive about acquiring and saving, I am delighted to be more free of each behavior. I am applying the concepts daily with great results.
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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding, April 5, 2007
This review is from: Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding (Paperback)
This is the absolute best book I have ever read on this topic.

Perhaps that is due to the fact that the 3 authors are "THE" undisputed

experts in this field. There are questionaires to take throughout and many helpful ideas. It really hit home more than any other book I've found. I highly recommend it.
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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend to hoarders who need actual help, November 21, 2007
By 
M.E. "lewnytewns" (Anchorage Alaska USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding (Paperback)
This is a must have for actual help with hoarding. Very practical and insightful. Discusses the why as well as very practical steps in overcoming the behaviors. It is not condescending but is also not so clinical as not to be practical. You have to actually do the work as in writing down everything it tells you write down. This is an incredibly difficult disorder to overcome but this book will surely help if you do the work. It is not easy and takes commitment and perseverance as the book reiterates. There is no book that can "cure" this but this one is worth the money to give you some help.
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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You might need this book and not know it., May 21, 2007
By 
This review is from: Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding (Paperback)
Hard core look at why we can't throw things away. New info, not just a "how to organize" book. Real help for pack rats like me who are not over the edge yet, but are teetering.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life-saving book!, December 22, 2007
This review is from: Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding (Paperback)
This book is a life-saver for those who have a REAL problem with clutter, AND for those who want to help someone who does. It is not just "how to clean your house." It goes into the issues of why you cannot part with stuff. It contains worksheets & self-evaluations, so it's good to have your own copy so that you can write in it. I've purchased copies for all of my family members!
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Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding
Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding by Gail Steketee (Paperback - February 8, 2007)
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