Monday, December 24, 2012

The Hoarder in You: How to Live a Happier, Healthier, Uncluttered Life

The Hoarder in You: How to live a happier, healthier, uncluttered life
By Robin Zasio

The Hoarder in You is a very helpful book and I don't think this book review could come at a better time. How many of us will receive gifts on Christmas that we end up hoarding? We may think we will need them at a later time or promise ourselves we will take them back/re-gift them but that never happens. Instead, they at best clutter our closets. At worst, they clutter usable living spaces. Of course, Zasio's clients are on the therapist's end of the clutter continuum. However, she points out that we all have tendencies to hoard.

Zasio is the resident therapist on the show Hoarders. If you have ever seen the show, you have probably seen homes of unhealthy living conditions and asked yourself how anyone could possibly end up like that. Zasio is quick to point out that many of us have the same tendencies as these hoarders but not at such a level. I found her book extremely helpful in that it showed how we can mentally and psychologically keep stuff we don't need, will never use and yet we can't seem to let go. Zasio explains how we got our clutter in the first place, how we can de-clutter, how we can keep from bringing in more clutter and what we can do to enjoy our lives in our clutter-free environment. I found her book extremely helpful and can't wait to tackle some cluttered closets in my own home over the holidays.

What did this book have to do with my faith? Well, where in the world does the bible say to hoard? Certainly the Israelites in the wilderness tried to hoard manna -- look where that got them. Does Jesus even talk about clutter? He tells the rich man to go and sell all he has, give the money to the poor and follow him. For me, hoarding and having clutter is a purely Western if not American phenomena. And is it not sinful? I keep thinking of people like my Compassion International child who has almost nothing -- a few clothes, a couple of books, maybe a pallet to sleep on. And here I am with closets full of things me and my family never use. Keeping stuff in our family often is associated with memories -- good and bad. Zasio keeps saying that there are better ways to remember persons we loved who are deceased. Keeping objects is not having that person with us. Nor do objects really contain the memories. The bible itself is about stories we need to tell others. God never tells us to keep stuff, just the love.

I highly recommend The Hoarder in You.

Happy reading and Merry Christmas!


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