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140 of 141 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Make Purging Painless - Read this book & live clutter-free!
I have never considered myself a packrat. Nevertheless, this book's title intrigued me, and I thought it would be an smug, intellectual exercise to confirm my "clutter-free" life. Two hundred pages later, I was purging closets with a vengeance, filling boxes for my neighborhood garage sale, and making daily trips to the Goodwill Drive-thru donation...
Published on April 3, 1997

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Same thing over and over!
Not only does this book only tell you things that are common sense, it tells you every one of them at least 10 times. A complete and utter waste of time to read.
Published 18 months ago by Step


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140 of 141 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Make Purging Painless - Read this book & live clutter-free!, April 3, 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Not for Packrats Only: How to Clean Up, Clear Out, and Live Clutter-Free Forever (Paperback)
I have never considered myself a packrat. Nevertheless, this book's title intrigued me, and I thought it would be an smug, intellectual exercise to confirm my "clutter-free" life. Two hundred pages later, I was purging closets with a vengeance, filling boxes for my neighborhood garage sale, and making daily trips to the Goodwill Drive-thru donation center.
Don Aslett owns a multi-million dollar cleaning business, and after cleaning thousands of homes and offices, he knows clutter! He also speaks nationwide at seminars that have helped countless packrats. Unlike most "organizing" books, Don's book is aimed at removing clutter, not piling it higher and deeper. Packrats will use almost any excuse in the book to hold onto clutter, and Don has heard them all. In this book, Don goes from closet to closet, room to room, constantly stressing the cost and burden of our junk.
His style is both inspiring and hilarious. "Not for Packrats Only" combines down to earth purging techniques with real life "confessions of clutter" and stories of success. In one of Don's seminars, he held a contest for the most useless piece of clutter. A couple with a goat-bra (and no goat) were the hands down winners. The runners-up included a man still saving his ex-wife's, late husband's leg brace and several women who had saved their baby's umbilical cord stumps (I almost fell off the sofa when I read this one-I still have my daughter's!)
After reading the introduction, I took the "packrat quiz", and discovered I was not quite as free as I had thought. I poured over the chapters on clothing and shoe junk (do I really need the purse with the baby alligator on top?), kitchen gadget junk (I finally got rid of the never-used "tart-master"), photo junk (those ex-boyfriend shots had to go), memorabilia junk, craft project junk (I finally acknowledged that I will never finish the cross-stitch I started in 1967), and the ever present garage junk (and we've only had a garage for a year). I especially enjoyed the chapter on de-junking your spouse (his junk, not him!) Don Aslett understands the emotional power our possessions hold, and uses humor to encourage even the most diehard junker to let go.
The most difficult aspect of a clutter-free life is to stay that way. Madison Avenue spends billions of dollars every year convincing us what we NEED to feel happy, sexy, successful and confident. The truth is that things will never make us happy. The last chapter of the book is filled with inspiring testimonies of the exhilarating freedom of a clutter-free life. Don realizes how difficult it is to resist the urge to shop, and reminds us "not to love what does not love you back". This is one of those books that really changed the way I think about myself, and I can't say enough to recommend this book.
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60 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book!, October 12, 2000
By 
teebeezee (Colorado Springs, CO USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Not for Packrats Only: How to Clean Up, Clear Out, and Live Clutter-Free Forever (Paperback)
I was so inspired to declutter my house, I couldn't even wait till I had finished reading the whole book, I started right in on some overflowing drawers. I like his writing style; it's very down-to-earth and funny, especially when he mentions some of the things he himself had accumulated before he "saw the light." I laughed out loud several times while reading it. He really gets into the nitty-gritty details of decluttering too, like how to identify clutter, why you've saved it, excuses and reasons for cluttering/saving, how to get rid of it, and even how to spot potential clutter before you even acquire it. There was no aspect of clutter that he didn't cover. I loved the cartoons too; they really hit home and lightened up the whole prospect of the task ahead. I highly recommend this book. After decluttering my own areas, my husband (who said he didn't have any clutter) starting reading the book and amazingly found some things he could part with too. Yippee! I plan on re-reading parts of it whenever I start backsliding. (Yes, he covers that too.)
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59 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book saved my life!, November 11, 1998
This review is from: Not for Packrats Only: How to Clean Up, Clear Out, and Live Clutter-Free Forever (Paperback)
I grew up with packrats for parents. The need to save was ingrained in me from day one. If I was eating a bag of M&M's and feeling sentimental - I'd save the bag! I was drowning in my clutter without even knowing it. This book quickly became my bible. I became a tossing tornado only pages into the book. Don has a way of pointing out the junk in our lives and the emotional, physical and financial cost of our clutter. He gently prods us and pokes us and keeps us motivated to clean out that junk! In the past three years, since I first read this book, I have made hundreds of dollars of tax deductable donations to charities and completely changed my life. My house is clean and neat and very easy to clean, and the treasures I've held onto are truly treasures that I can enjoy everyday. You'll save yourself thousands of dollars on what you may have spent on clutter and thearapy sessions if you invest less than $20. in this book. He leaves no cranny untouched! It's truly a godsend!
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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life changing advice!, August 8, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Not for Packrats Only: How to Clean Up, Clear Out, and Live Clutter-Free Forever (Paperback)
I highly recommend this book for anyone swimming in junk and wanting to make their life less "cluttered". My husband and I are both long-time pack-rats and this book has helped us get started on sifting through the mounds of stuff. When I get stuck I pick up and read the book just for inspiration on how to get started again. Mr. Aslett recognizes that pack-rats are emotionally involved with their stuff and counsels you through how to overcome that problem. We have managed to get rid of huge amounts of things that we really didn't need to keep and I don't know if we would have gotten this far without his advice and "counseling". I'd recommend this book to anyone wanting to simplify their life with less "stuff".
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read, February 18, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Not for Packrats Only: How to Clean Up, Clear Out, and Live Clutter-Free Forever (Paperback)
If you are drowning in clutter and have boxes of "unknowns" in every spot in your house, this book is for you. If you think you need more storage space, think again! This book will help you eliminate unnecessary junk and clutter, so that you can once again use the space you have. I heartily recommend it!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Everything you get takes looking after.", May 29, 2006
This review is from: Not for Packrats Only: How to Clean Up, Clear Out, and Live Clutter-Free Forever (Paperback)
Don Aslett has done more than anyone else I know of to help us clear up the clutter. I read his book, Clutter's Last Stand" many years ago.I dig it out every once in a while and thumb through it to help me "Get Back on the Wagon".You'll find a review on it amongst my reviews dated December 29,2005. By the way ,a good decluttering principle is followed here;Amazon keeps and stores these reviews---not me!
This book is pretty much like his others in principles;but I never tire of reading the reasons for and the suggestions given for de-junking.
Even if you are not a junk ammasser;you'll really love this book,because it will show you that you have been right all along--by natural instinct.
Then there are the rest of us who are junk collectors by instinct reinforced by yeard of dedication ,practice and our own finely honed instincts.
Even if you have the will power to ignore all of Don's reasons,suggestions ,insinuations,you'll still enjoy the book for the excuses for keeping junk;as he'll have some even you have never heard or used. Keeping junk is a fine art and you can utilize all the help you can get. From Don,you'll be learning from the master himself,as he has devoted his life to this subject. You've probably seen numerous little newspaper and magazine articles over the years on this subject;but none can hold a candle to what you will find in this gem of a book.This book of 214 pages is loaded with humor,a zillion illustrations and every excuse imaginable and will give you hours of side-splitting laughter. If you really want to drive someone nuts;put a 'brown wrapper' on it and let the belly-laughs roll.On second thought ,try a cover from a True Crime Stories.
I really enjoyed Chapter 16,"Dear but Not Departed"
Don gives us great lines like;
"Your junk and clutter will survive you,count on it."

"She was so young. She had so much (stuff) to live for."

"The funeral is over;many mourners paid tribute and now will
pay dearly for what you left behind."

"Suddenly your death isn't a sweet sorrow,it's a sorry mess."

"You wanted your good stuff to carry on in life,to live on,and
now it's being carried off."

"If you're the kind of person who says."Big deal,it won't be
my worry," you're not only a packrat.you're a dirty rat."

As to shopping sales,bargains ,free offers,etc. "Don't go to
the Devil's workshop,if you don't want to do business with
him."
So how do you get rid of all your junk? Simple;get rid of everything that hasn't moved in the last 6 months and read a
chapter of this book every month.
Have I been successful? well hardly.I just got rid of 10 books.Problem is;I've over 700 to go. However; I've got the best of intentions.
Good Luck!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Timing for Packrats, August 21, 2008
By 
Alayna (Cedar City, UT) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Not for Packrats Only: How to Clean Up, Clear Out, and Live Clutter-Free Forever (Paperback)
I've had this book for many years, and it is one that is actually kept! It is so inspirational. Aslett inspired me to get all my stuff out of my parents' house (once I bought a house of my own). He tells parents to dump their kids stuff, but I wanted to save them the trouble, and when my parents moved a few years later, it felt so nice knowing that NONE of their stuff was mine! I wheedled my husband into doing the same--six months before his mother died. Same wonderful feeling! Knowing that none of that junk is mine/his and we are kicking karmic [...] if we choose to help sort! I love the anecdotes. They make me feel like cleaning my purse. I also really liked that Not for Packrats isn't a "system" of how to sort, no time-lines or stupid rules (like the "if you haven't used it in a year" rule then giving the fire extinguisher example). You sort when you feel like it, for as long as you feel like it. And you can deal with emotional issues as they come up rather than having to push through to meet a deadline. This is one of my favorite "self-help" books.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for "collectors", July 13, 2006
By 
This review is from: Not for Packrats Only: How to Clean Up, Clear Out, and Live Clutter-Free Forever (Paperback)
I LOVE this book. So much I read it twice and am currently reading another of his books. So far this one is my favorite. Some of it is "fluff" but he makes you see that it is a joke keeping all the stuff you probably should throw out. It makes you laugh and say yep I do that! Since reading this book, I haven't been able to totally dejunk my home; however, before purchasing anything - I really think about the item and where I would put it in our home.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book!, December 14, 2009
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Not for Packrats Only: How to Clean Up, Clear Out, and Live Clutter-Free Forever (Paperback)
The previous lengthy 5 star reviews pretty much covers it.
I've read both this book and "Clutter's Last Stand" by the same author and 'Not For Packrats Only' is the superior book.
My favorite part of the book is where he shoots down the excuses people give for keeping things.
By reading that I was able to undo years of hearing my mother saying "I might need that someday"
or "I paid good money for that!" and my dad's excuse for not getting rid of something -
"I guess I'm just sentimental..".
My decluttering began a short way into the book.
It was also key in finally getting rid of the ridiculous non-functional things I had kept for nearly a lifetime for "sentimental reasons" and sports & hobby gear in areas I no longer participated.
The sentimental items took awhile to work up to but many worthless items I held on to for silly reasons are now history.
One point I would add for an update is to have an area for things you want to try and sell on craigslist -
if it doesn't sell in a set time period then it is donated.
The fun thing is once you've made the breakthrough and start getting rid of things, you find it easier and easier.
Update: I liked it so much I sent a copy to a friend for Christmas.
In Sept 09 we had a shed built (we have no garage). I was determined that no clutter would make it's way into the new shed. By the first week in January I had finally sorted out and pitched the nonsense that made up 80% of what I had been keeping for 14 years in a pay storage locker. The actual emptying of the locker took me about 1 month of working on a few hours a day several days a week. I no longer pay $40 a month to storage. The book was a very strong resource in getting me mentally able to do the sorting and pitching.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best de-cluttering book ever, December 20, 2010
By 
M. Irvine (Melbourne Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Not for Packrats Only: How to Clean Up, Clear Out, and Live Clutter-Free Forever (Paperback)
Have read many books on this subject - this is the one that actually made me DO SOMETHING !!!

Fabulous
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