Stop Clutter from Stealing Your Life: Discover Why You Clutter and How You Can Stop (Anglais) Cassette – Version coupée, Livre audio
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My patients have complex issues, ranging from clinical depression to various OCD tendencies. A fairly common symptom among many of them, though, is hoarding or cluttering, as Mr. Nelson defines it. For a layman, he displays a good understanding of the difference, and is able to explain the psychological aspects of this disorder in easy to understand terms. More importantly, he offers real solutions to the root causes of this manifestation of symptoms.
Hoarding affects a very small percentage of the population, but cluttering (a more benign expression of less acute symptoms) is far more common that generally discussed. Because of the shame it causes, those not in therapy do not talk about it. Since the symtoms are not exhibited in public (like alcoholism), people can live their wholes lives without being diagnosed.
Something I often tell my patients is, "You aren't going to clean out your house until you clean out your feelings." Cluttering may be a lifelong tendency, or may start after a traumatic psychological event like a divorce, death, loss of job or other emotional episode. Mr. Nelson echoes this sentiment. I was impressed by his interviews with professionals in the medical community to give his book a solid foundation. Combined with the stories from self-diagnosed clutterers, and the thoughts of professional organizers, he presents a well-rounded picture of a hidden epidemic.
Thankfully, he has done with with a sense of humor that makes it easy reading. This book will elicit strong feelings from the readers, and his humor can keep them from feeling overwhelmed. That he weaves a spiritual view into his advice for recovery, without being preachy, opens an entirely new window of enlightenment.
This is not a book for people who want to "get neat." While there are chapters with practical advice on physically decluttering, they are written as only a real clutterer can appreciate. There are many books on housekeeping and organizing that would better serve someone who doesn't have an emotional attachment to her "stuff." The reader who will benefit from this book has tried and not succeeded in organizing her physical world. She had probably read other books that told her "how to" do it, and those tips had no lasting effect. This book is for those who want to understand the "why" of their cluttering. In my opinion, this is the first step that needs to be taken before the "how-to" can take place.
In conclusion, don't buy this book if just need to arrange your house better. Buy it if you need to arrange your life better.
Cluttering is not just a problem with having a messy kitchen or closet. For those of us who are clutterers and hoarders, it is a psychological and spiritual blockage that limits our lives and even destroys relationships. Yet, while he treats the subject seriously, his humor shines through like the sunlight of the spirit. The stories of clutters are honest and touching, but you have to laugh at the one who has 27 refrigerators in his yard!
The medical and psychological information, full of quotes from experts in the field, (family counseling and Obsessive Compulsive Disorders) is well-written and understandable to a layman. Where the book really shines is in the practical, yet spiritual approach to deluttering our lives and then our living spaces.
Mr. Nelson's practical advice for dealing with debt and bill collectors (which often accompanies cluttering) is priceless. His family relationship chapter will help so many non-clutterers understand how to save their marriages.
Our nonprofit organization, Clutterless Recovery Groups, has recommended this book to all of our members and adopted it as our "Big Book." Kudos, Mr. Nelson, and thank you. You will touch the lives of millions with this book.
I nearly passed this book over, becasue I've read half a dozen "organizing" books. But when I saw that Ann Richards, former governor of Texas and Lucia Cappachione, a spiritual self-help author I adore, endorsed the book, I took a look.
It is amazing! Mike (and you will feel like you know him personally when you read his book) approached cluttering from an entirely new perspective. He's obviously a clutterer himself who has found a way out. He manages to write with alternating seriousness, insight and much-needed humor. In fact, I found myself laughing out loud at his obviously single man's approach to housecleaning!
We need to change our ways of thinking about the stuff in our lives and improve our spiritual lives to really, permanently, get better. He shows us how.
The chapter on relationships hit home. I was using my clutter as a defense against closeness. I never knew that. By applying the principles he puts forth to my clutter and our relationship, things have already improved. He doesn't promise a miracle cure, or overnight curing, but he does point us on the right road.
If there is one criticism of this book, it is that it is not long enough. Oh, the 200+ pages are packed with information, but I felt that it could go on and on. I just wanted to keep reading. I hope that Mike will write a follow-up workbook. I just love his writing.
Thank you Mike, for writing such a personal and revealing glimpse into the lives of clutterers. You put a lot of yourself into this and it shows. I'll buy any book you write!
He doesn't try to suggest that there is ONE reason for this, but there are a few that probably do cover most situations. I certainly recognized myself in many of the examples. I also discovered that as awful as I thought my situation was (until I moved recently, I couldn't let almost anyone in my apt, and had pretty much stopped using parts of it at all), it turns out plenty of people who are NOT afflicted with OCD or anything of that level, nevertheless have situations even worse than mine. Regardless of the specifics of each situation, the real thing about the examples was recognizing that other people who seem totally 'normal' in their public lives, can have this awful situation in their home environment, and not know how to fix it. As always, *understanding* is key to beginning the process of healing, and that's what this book offers.
Reading the examples reminded me again how incredibly POWERFUL it is to realize that you're not alone. It's one of the key elements in AA, in Weight Watchers, in women's groups, etc. Just *reading* the book made me feel more able to tackle my clutter and gave me real hope that I can prevent the same problems from happening to my new place, something I'm really afraid could happen all too easily.
I have to mention his chapter on 'okay, let's start decluttering' - I was instantly skeptical - 'here we go, this book is about to turn into all those others' - but I was happy to find it did not. His very straightforward description of what to do is both to the point, and also takes into account the dodges he KNOWS you will immediately think of as a reason not to get rid of things. He is not being Little Mary Sunshine - 'It's really *easy* once you know - just do this!' - but he also doesn't let the difficulties of it be an excuse not to try. He speaks with the empathy and understanding only someone who has had this problem can about how difficult it can be to get rid of things, and he suggests various ways you might get past blocks, recognizing always that different things work for different people.
If you are like me, you've bought lots of books on organizing over the years, and never really been able to implement the suggestions of any of them. I bought this book along with a more practical one that got the most consistently good reviews (Organizing Plain and Simple), and I actually think that after reading this book, I may finally be able to make use of the 'how to' one! I'm also seriously thinking about going to a weekly Clutterers meeting in my area, because it really is best to get support from others who truly understand. My friends are *wonderful* and have been totally supportive of me, but they don't actually understand the problem, not actually having it themselves.
Thanks beyond measure to Mike Nelson for this courageous and helpful book!