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It's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff Paperback – November 6, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Veteran "organizational consultant," TV show host and author Walsh (How to Organize (Just About) Everything) has more ideas in his latest book on clutter management than the spare closet has junk, and, even better, it's organized, in-depth and entirely user-friendly. Part One examines the "Clutter Problem": how it happens, how it hampers and how to face it without excuses or discouragement. Part Two presents a step-by-step approach to "Putting Clutter in its Place," which begins with "surface clutter" and developing a household plan before moving on to the bulk of the book, a walkthrough of each room in the home. Also included are ideas for involving other family members, letters Walsh has received from viewers of his TLC show "Clean Sweep," vignettes illustrating how real people deal with common organizational challenges and plenty of charts, checklists and sidebars ("Clutter Quiz," "Yard Sale Planning") for added utility. Walsh is upbeat and funny throughout, treating the task at hand like "a thrilling archeological dig," a "positive and exciting" way to unlock your "ideal home" and "unearth those things that are most important in your life." Entertaining and instructive, this is one guidebook readers should place in their "keep" pile.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"The best organizing advice we've ever heard!" -- Woman's Day
Top customer reviews
One of the hardest parts of de-cluttering, especially if you're sentimental, is letting things go. This wonderful book helps you establish what things you truly want to keep, and what things are dragging you down with maintenance - with finding a place for them when they no longer have any function or meaning. It doesn't encourage you to get rid of everything. It does help you to determine the things you really love and want to keep, and to give those things a place of honor instead of stowing them in a box. It makes it clear that the thing is not the person or place... that the memories are far more important than the item that sparks the memory.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who needs help in deciding what and what not to keep. There is a great deal of peace that comes with a lack of clutter, and this book helped me immensely to reach that peace.
If you need help organizing and simplifying your home (resulting in a happier life), check out "Home Staging That Works" by Osborne. (I think that's the author's name.) Yes, it's a guide as to how to stage your home for sale, but it's so much more than that. I've used her suggestions in every room of my house, and now I don't want to move! LOL.
Seriously, don't waste your money on "It's All Too Much" - which should be titled "It's Not Enough."
My mother is a hoarder and could easily be featured on a show. Her hoarding has gotten worse over the years. I grew up without learning the skills from her, but just as important, I didn't learn the "normal" useful values, attitudes, and habits from her about organizing space, life, etc. I have worked on that for many years of my adult life. Walsh has shown me how to connect emotional dots I didn't even know existed, but when I truly reflected on things and looked, sure enough, there they were. For example, the concept that your spaces should "show what you value" and "support the ideal life you want to have" are things I did not pick up from my upbringing with a hoarder mother.
Walsh's approach of hammering his major themes home repeatedly in "It's All Too Much" book is very effective, and I am achieving a degree of decluttering success using his ideas that eluded me for decades before. He also helps connects some dots between the emotional clutter, relationship clutter, financial clutter, but to get more from him on that, you would want to look into his other books, "Enough Already", and "Lighten Up", which I also highly recommend. In my experience, Walsh is dead-on accurate in his approach.
There are a whole lot of people who did not get every lesson they needed to learn in their family of origin about managing physical space, and those are the people this book is for. Walsh helps people identify and address the root causes, so lasting change then becomes possible. I suggest looking at things as a continuum: Highly functional, organized, balanced people at one end, on the left, and the worst of the hoarders at the other end, like the New York City Collyer brothers who died in their homes (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collyer_brothers), on the right end of that continuum. Walsh's material is for the right-most 2/3 of that continuum. If you are in the top 1/3, congratulations, and you may not be the target audience. In any case, the roots of most of these issues are emotional, and Walsh gives a helpful set of tools for looking at all these areas, space, money, relationships, etc.
I would encourage anyone who has tried other "organizer's" books and mostly failed to try Peter Walsh's material, and if you truly commit to doing what he recommends, your chances of success are very, very good. "It's All Too Much" is excellent, and so are "Lighten Up", which also addresses the financial clutter issue in more detail, and "Enough Already", which addresses relationship clutter and other areas as well.