I recently read the new edition of Stop Clutter From Stealing Your Life: Discover Why You Clutter and How You Can Stop by Mike Nelson. Nelson’s book offers explanations for why people clutter and strategies to stop cluttering. While Nelson did a lot of research for his book, what distinguishes it from many other books on organizing is his account of his efforts to declutter. It is his experience that gives this book a very genuine and hopeful quality.
Nelson is very open in his book about his history as a clutterer. He describes how he collected vast and varied items that filled his spaces yet did nothing to fill the emotional holes in his life. “Clutter is the symptom. Recognizing and changing the reason for our cluttering are the solutions.”
Types of clutterers are identified early in the book along with specific emotional and practical solutions for each type. Nelson distinguishes hoarding from cluttering.; although cluttering and hoarding share many symptoms and pain. Contrary to what the popular media seems to depict, hoarding is not common and effects a small percentage of the population.
Facing one’s emotions is essential for the effects of decluttering to be long lasting. It will take time but making progress always does. Nelson offers several tools to help develop a less cluttered life. Journaling, identifying and working with one’s learning style, and understanding one’s personality are among them.
The bumpy road of change does not happen overnight. But for those undertake the challenge there are rewards: greater self-esteem, inner strength, greater satisfaction and a less cluttered life. If you feel as though you are trapped by your clutter, read this book. If someone in your life is trapped by clutter, read this book. Mike Nelson does a very good job in showing you how you can make the changes you need to set yourself free.