Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Clutter Busting: Letting Go of What's Holding You Back

Clutter Busting: Letting Go of What's Holding You Back Clutter Busting: Letting Go of What's Holding You Back by Brooks Palmer

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

To paraphrase another review of this book, this is not a book about how to de-clutter but rather WHY to de-clutter. Which would be perfectly fine...except that it's not at all what I was looking for when I chose to read it. What I really need is a how-to manual of tips & tricks to get and stay clutter-free.

I am a clutter-magnet, especially for paper, and I know this is primarily because of two reasons: 1) I forget about anything I can't see (apparently I missed a brain development stage as a toddler!), so I can't put something away until I've finished dealing with it, and 2) I'm too tired and lazy by the time I get home every day to deal with most things right then & there. However, my home & my desk at work are merely cluttered, not piled high with accumulated junk--or "treasures," depending on your point of view--like the dozens of people and examples Brooks Palmer talks about in this book.

Palmer's former clients seem mostly to be hoarders, and his stories are about helping people break free of their OCD habits caused by various types of trauma, negative thinking, denial, addictions, etc. The book is cataloged with subject headings like "house cleaning" and "storage in the home," but obviously the person who assigned the subject headings never actually read the book. I would classify it as self-help or therapy. There are a few tips--"exercises"--included in grey-shaded boxes here and there amongst the chapters, but overall it's designed to help readers make the mental shifts necessary for letting go of excess stuff.

If you are a person whose possessions (or even thoughts) have become a prison of sorts, this book might very well rate 4 stars. For people like me who just wanted tips on organizing my living room & office, it's not that useful.

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