Stop Clutter From Stealing Your Life by Mike Nelson

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Subtitle: Discover Why You Clutter & How You Can Stop

Stars: ****

I received this book for review from the author.

I’ve read quite a few clutter books in my short life and the best one for tips on HOW to de-clutter is Don Aslow’s Clutter’s Last Stand. However the best book for info on WHY you clutter and how to STOP, this is the book you want.

This is actually a second edition of the book which was originally published in 2001. The book has some new sections and less of other sections and although I haven’t read the first edition, it sounds like this one is better.

So what will you find in this book? There are 20 chapters entitled: Are you a Clutterer?, Types of Clutterers, My Story, 40 Ways to Leave Your Clutter, Common Clutterer Traits, OPC – Other People’s Clutter, Paper Clutter and Filing, Clutterer’s Stories, The Medical View – [Depression, Anxiety, ADD, Hoarding and OCD,] Unpack Your Stuff With TCI, Alternatives to TV-Style Forced De-cluttering, Living with Cluttering Kids and Spouses, The Organizer’s View, The Spiritual View, Prosperity is an Inside Job, Offices – Home and Otherwise, Hearses Don’t Have Trailer Hitches, Maintenance Steps, Backsliding and Support Groups.

You will find only a few actual ideas for how to get through your clutter, the rest is to help you understand WHY you clutter and what you can change in yourself to limit or eliminate your cluttering. Mike Nelson knows how hard it is to stop cluttering because he’s a recovering clutter himself. He also started Clutterless meetings (like Clutterers Anonymous but focusing more on the whys.)

Apparently in the first edition he spent more time discussing hoarding but this time around, he realized that only a small percentage of people are true hoarders and those people wouldn’t be picking up a book on cluttering anyways.

Hearses Don’t Have Trailer Hitches is about getting rid of your clutter NOW so you don’t burden your family with it when you die. Nelson did a good job with this chapter getting across his points without sounding to morbid.

The Maintenance Steps chapter has great reminders of what you need to keep doing to keep the clutter down and backsliding tells you what to do if and when you have a rough time and start getting cluttered again.

Nelson also suggests using a journal to document your de-cluttering journey and write about your feelings on objects you can’t seem to part with. There’s an appendix with instructions on how to do this. This personally doesn’t interest me and I’d either abandon it altogether or spend so much time figuring out what to write I wouldn’t have time to de-clutter. However I’m sure it works for some and it sounds like a good idea.

This is the first time I’ve seen a clutter book discuss the WHYs in detail and I think this book needs to be in the hands of clutterers everywhere.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.