Stop Clutter from Stealing Your Life - Mike Nelson This is more than a typical decluttering book because it focuses much more on the reasons why we hang on to "stuff" we no longer need and gets to the root of the problem. I don't recall reading any clutter books that delved so deeply into pinpointing the causes of the cluttering so you can become healthy in mind, body and soul instead of just throwing your crap away and later just accumulating more.

I've discovered my need to keep stuff around, particularly books, knitting supplies and old clothes (and a creepy doll or two), stems way back to my childhood when my mom threw away my stationary, sticker, toy & book collection. Actually, she threw away everything I ever owned as a child without ever asking me. Often I'd come home from school to find my stuff gone, either given away to a cousin or friend or thrown in the trash, because she went on a crazed cleaning frenzy while I was away. This makes sense to me but I never put two and two together until reading this book. Fortunately this is one of the easier "causes" of cluttering to overcome (especially since I dealt with mom issues years ago), unlike compulsive shoppers or people with serious depression, anxiety or OCD conditions which I'm thinking this book won't do much in the way of helping. Over the years I've been doing a decent job of decluttering my home and throwing away all of those useless magazines & knick knacks and broken items I'd get fixed "some day". Still, I find it difficult to weed out my books to a healthy level and the garage filled with junk we've accumulated over 20 years has been too overwhelming to tackle. This book gives me hope that if I can just do a little at a time, he recommends working in 15 minute increments similar to Flylady.net, one day it will all be gone and I will actually be able to park my car in the garage!

The one section that bothered me is the one about dealing with clutter you will one day inherit. The author recommends confronting your parents, grandma, etc. and pretty much forcing them into weeding through and getting rid of their junk (with your help, of course) so you don't have to deal with it later. I would never do such a thing because it seems so invasive and downright insulting. Getting rid of your junk has to be a personal decision you make, not forced upon you by someone else and the author is a bit contradictory here. I'd rather hire one of those gotjunk.com places and have them haul it away instead of alienating and offending my relatives to save me some work when they die.

There's a bunch of info. here for businesses dealing with clutterbugs and home office clutter, etc. that I didn't find particularly useful because I am strangely organized at work but I'm sure it would be helpful for others.

A big bulk of the book focused on the emotional issues which cause clutter. It went on a bit too long for me and my attention began to drift but I did enjoy the section of true stories written by real people struggling with their clutter problem and wish it had been a little longer. I don't know about you but it sure makes me feel less strange to know there are others out there who have more clutter than me :)

This book is jam packed with information and is a very helpful starting point for those just beginning their decluttering lifestyle change.