Book Review - It's All Too Much by Peter Walsh
My wife and I have been struggling lately with the "too much stuff" syndrome... too many clothes, too much clutter, etc. The book It's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff by Peter Walsh caught my eye on one of the personal improvement blogs I follow. I think Sue and I now have a handle on how we need to approach our clutter situation, and it's not a matter of organizing the junk we have... :)
Part 1 - The Clutter Problem: This Is Not My Beautiful House; Excuses, Excuses; Imagine the Life You Want to Live
Part 2 - Putting Clutter in Its Place: Step 1 - Kick Start - Tackling the Surface Clutter; Step 2 - Hash It Out!; Step 3 - Conquer Your Home; Room 1 - Master Bedroom; Room 2 - Kids' Room; Room 3 - Family and Living Rooms; Room 4 - Home Office; Room 5 - Kitchen; Room 6 - Dining Room; Room 7 - Bathroom; Room 8 - Garage, Basement, and Other Storerooms; Step 4 - Maintenance; Step 5 - Cleanup Checkup; Step 6 - New Rituals
Afterword: Take What You've Learned into the World; Acknowledgements
Walsh is a professional organizer who is part of the show Clean Sweep. So this isn't just a hobby with him. It's his life. Many of the people he works with have significant issues with hoarding, to the extent that it affects their day-to-day existence in the house. Rather than just going in and throwing stuff out for them (which would just mean they have more room to hoard with), he works with their emotional issues that put them in this predicament in the first place. By imagining the life you want to lead, you can start to figure out the way your space needs to be laid out. Then dealing with the emotional attachment behind why certain things are compulsively saved, you can begin to discard stuff without suffering from major trauma as the trash man hauls it away. :) I liked his progression from clearing surface clutter to looking at what you actually use (rather than what you think you might use one of these days). Once you get things down to a workable level, then you can practice the "something comes in, something goes out" philosophy. Bottom line, by using these techniques and dealing with the underlying causes, you *can* have a life that's less cluttered and more peaceful.
Fortunately, my wife and I are not at the stage of many of Walsh's clients. But we could be doing so much better, and be so much happier. After we get back from our vacation, I think that the trashman is going to start getting a major workout. I already started today by going through all my clothes and culling out half of what I owned. Given the entertaining style of writing and practical advice dished out here, I think we're well on our way.