Customer Review

218 of 227 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book for Everyone to Read Before Attempting To Declutter, March 6, 2007
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This review is from: It's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff (Hardcover)
*****

What I found most valuable with this outstanding book was that it was about the motivation behind excess accumulation and cluttering. Unless you address this motivation, the clutter is bound to come back, even if you hire a professional organizer and everything in your home is perfect. All of the clutter will creep back.

There are so many outstanding points in this book. For example, with sentimental-type clutter, the author says that the most important thing is to separate the memory from the item. Then the item can be dealt with appropriately. You are not discarding the memory, just the item. Thus, if you have an overabundance of momentos, you can divorce the memory from the item, pick a few items that you want to represent the memory and truly honor them by displaying them in your home (rather than storing them in boxes in your garage), and discard (or digitally scan and then discard) the rest.

In my house, my husband has a wealth of pictures of his children when they were small. These pictures are filling boxes in the garage and our barn. We have all of their schoolwork and many personal items because he loves his children and feels as though throwing away one of their things is throwing away a part of them. They are now adults; however, until this underlying motivation for hanging onto things is addressed, all attempts at decluttering will be futile. For me, the whole book was profound. I'm great at organizing techniques, but the idea of looking at the feelings and problems sourcing the whole hoarding behavior was most helpful.

I am getting ready to declutter my house, as we are bursting at the seams and can no longer function well in our home. This is the perfect book to read to understand the emotional work and the letting go that must go on so that the process of decluttering can take place. Then whatever vision and purpose you have for your home can be implemented, and you can enjoy the space you have in your home. The book targets a huge consumeristic flaw in our American culture, and gives solutions.

I cannot imagine who would not benefit from this important book. Highly recommended.

*****
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 21, 2008 7:52:45 PM PST
I definitely fall under the sentimental-clutter type, and a light bulb went off in my head when you wrote that the book states to "separate the memory from the item". Thanks for a great review, I look forward to reading the book!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2009 9:10:27 PM PST
O. Brown says:
Thank you so much for writing, BookLover. I'm so glad my review helped! O.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2011 9:38:55 AM PDT
Nancywppw says:
The statement, ""separate the memory from the item" really struck a chord in me, too! I have been guilty of doing that all my life! What a great insight! Thanks for your review! :-)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2011 10:04:26 AM PDT
O. Brown says:
You're welcome, Nancywppw! O.

Posted on Aug 30, 2011 7:02:25 AM PDT
snail parade says:
My parents have boxes upon boxes of photos too. We just spent a weekend going through them and picking out the ones that we really love (and there were hundreds). We boxed them up and sent them in the mail to ScanDigital (a company that digitizes photos, negatives, tapes, etc.) and now are just waiting for them to be done. I recommend trying that for your favourite photos (and that company often has Groupons that will save you a lot of money so keep your eyes peeled). It'll be so great to have digital copies of the photos so that we can easily share them with family, back them up remotely, and never have to worry about losing them in a flood or anything. Just wanted to share that suggestion.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 31, 2011 10:15:47 PM PDT
O. Brown says:
Great suggestion, snail parade! O.

Posted on Feb 3, 2012 9:16:43 AM PST
Steve says:
Your write up on this book has encouraged me to choose this, over "Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding: by Gail Steketee.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2012 1:19:24 PM PST
O. Brown says:
Thank you, Steve, I always appreciate when a review I write helps someone else make a buying decision. I appreciate your taking the time to comment, O.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2012 2:07:30 PM PST
Steve says:
Thank you for your post. It makes a difference for those of us looking to pursue self-help!

Posted on Feb 8, 2013 8:29:27 PM PST
hestia74 says:
I would like an update. Did you manage to declutter your home? Have you been able to keep it clutter-free? Thanks!
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