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Making Peace with the Things in Your Life: Why Your Papers, Books, Clothes, and Other Possessions Keep Overwhelming You and What to Do About It Paperback – May 3, 2002


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Frequently Bought Together

Making Peace with the Things in Your Life: Why Your Papers, Books, Clothes, and Other Possessions Keep Overwhelming You and What to Do About It + One Thing At a Time: 100 Simple Ways to Live Clutter-Free Every Day + Clutter Busting: Letting Go of What's Holding You Back
Price for all three: $34.62

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (May 3, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312284888
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312284886
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

While both of these books are aimed at people who bemoan the amount of stuff they've accumulated, their approaches are completely different. Glovinsky, a professional psychotherapist and professional organizer, asks readers to examine the underlying psychological issues that they have with "things." She explains different mental glitches that can make organizing harder for some people than others. Quizzes and checklists are offered so that readers can identify their thing issues and compensate for and/or ameliorate them. Basically, she takes Julie Morgenstern's Organizing from the Inside Out to the next level. Smallin, on the other hand, shares some concrete tips and techniques to control clutter. Unfortunately, she strays from that direction and digresses into topics such as personal finance (she gives tips on saving and investing), personal safety (she explains why semiannual fire drills are important), and final arrangements (she provides lists of what must be done when there's a death in the family). This lack of focus, coupled with an annoying tendency to repeat the same hints in different paragraphs, makes her book an optional purchase for public libraries. Glovinsky's book is recommended for any public library where clutter-control books circulate well. Pam Matthews, M.L.S., Olmsted Falls, OH
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Cindy Glovinsky, M.S.W., A.C.S.W., is a licensed psychotherapist and personal organizer. The program director of the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization, she has presented at the National Association of Professional Organizers conference. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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Customer Reviews

It's an easy read, and a FUN read.
Madelyn Griffith-Haynie
This book helps the reader analyze what the source of the problem may be, so the behavior can be changed.
Virginia Allain
This book approaches a problem in a counseling manner.
MRB

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

446 of 456 people found the following review helpful By Yanique Redwood on December 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
As Editor-in-Chief of a magazine about getting and staying organized, I read a lot of books on organizing to find good writers. But sometimes books get repetitive. When I read Making Peace with the Things in Your Life, I just had to email the author. What a fresh perspective! This book helps you to differentiate between the things in your life and the Things in your life (when you buy it, you will really get this point). It also helps you to understand the meanings you attribute to your stuff. Not only was there value in this book from my perspective as an editor (I asked her to write an article for the magazine), but I also found gems that helped me to stop and think about my own possessions and those of my family members. For example, I was able to understand why my daughter's room was swamped with paper by examining the meanings she attached to each and every sheet. Soon I was able to help her see the difference between things and Things, and that's just one success story. I loved this book and highly recommend it to anyone, whether you are organized, not so organized, or somewhere in between.
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222 of 226 people found the following review helpful By MRB on August 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
It really did. Knowing the "why" that I was doing something really helped to change the habit. And the part where the author says that there is no "Magic System" was perfect!

This book approaches a problem in a counseling manner. And anyone who has been through AA or counseling understands getting to the root of something, in order to make a change.

Frankly, I look at the above negative reviews and see that those people missed the whole point of the book.

No, feeling overwhelmed is not as serious of a problem as drug abuse, but when the author helps you look at the base issues and reasons why you may feel overwhelmed with all the things and things to do in your life, it DOES help you in other areas of your life that are important.

Get this book - it will change your life.
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192 of 195 people found the following review helpful By Debbie Stanley on December 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
As a professional organizer, I have shelves full of organizing books, but Glovinsky's is the first to consider the problem of disorganization from a psychological perspective. Her unique vantage point as a therapist who is also an organizer provides valuable insights for other organizers, yet is presented in a way that is accessible to anyone wishing to get a grip on clutter. Some people have success molding their lives around a generic how-to system, but many need to know why they are the way they are before they can embrace the change required to get organized. If you need a deeper explanation combined with an empathetic, humorous approach to clearing out your clutter, or if you are an organizer looking for new ways to help clients understand disorganization, I strongly recommend Glovinsky's book.
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124 of 125 people found the following review helpful By C. Potter on September 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
I have a number of books on organizing. They do give specific advice, as a previous reviewer wanted, but the trouble is, they didn't fit my situation. Their advice was often so detailed (and specific to the exact items being organized) that I found it impossible to translate it to my things in my home. My stuff stayed disorganized. This book is wonderful! As another reviewer said, it explains the difference between your things and your Things. It helps you understand the psychology of why you buy the Things you buy and why you keep them. Once you understand that, the organizing part is easier. You'll have a better understanding of what is most important to you--what Things to keep and which will need to be kept in a prominent place. And you can always refer to one of the many "clinical" books out there if you need more help with the putting away part! As for me, I am finally making headway in my organizing effort. If you enjoy learning about people--especially the different personality types represented in all of us--you will probably appreciate this author's approach to organizing as much as I am.
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99 of 100 people found the following review helpful By Virginia Allain on February 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
I see myself and others struggling with management of their things. We buy storage boxes, thinking that is the solution. I know people who even rent space to handle their overflow of stuff.
This book helps the reader analyze what the source of the problem may be, so the behavior can be changed.
*Is it acquiring more than can be handled?
*Is it lack of time, energy, space to care for what you have?
*Is there a process for moving things onward when they are no longer useful?
The author shows that clutter comes from problems with these three areas (acquisitions, managment, and disposition). Many books on clutter work out structure to manage what you have, but doesn't change the influx that overwhelms even a good system. This book won't tell you how to organize your sock drawer, but will get you to change some behaviors that contribute to your clutter problem.
I really like the questions at the end of each chapter. They really make me think about my possessions and why I have them, how I use them, where I keep them, and why I haven't gotten rid of them.
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63 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Matthew L. Ferguson on September 17, 2002
Format: Paperback
After recieving Cindy Glovinsky's book as a gift, I was very skeptical. Why would I spend any of my precious time reading a book about dealing with clutter? Who would even write such a thing? But it works! I'm not Martha Stewart, but I do now have a filing cabinet instead of a sea of papers on the floor and I've learned to part with lots of [stuff] that I never really needed. Glovinsky doesn't badger you or try to give you some miracle solution. Just some new ways of thinking about "things" that make life a little easier. Buy it!
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