walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

_It's All Too Much_, Peter Walsh (kindle)

Subtitled: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff

I understand Peter Walsh to be the guy from "Clean Sweep" on TLC and also to be part of the Oprah empire. This book is one of his earlier efforts, dating from before the bust. The title is from a phrase he is accustomed to hearing from clients.

Walsh's entry in the decluttering/organizing/get-it-together genre has a lot of moving parts. There's the usual: get some bins or bags, pick a shelf, figure out what to keep, what to throw away, what to give away, what to put somewhere else, along with how to turn doing a shelf here and a drawer there into a house-wide strategy for decluttering and organized living. There's the not-unusual: figure out what is important to you (for this room, for your life, for the other people involved) and use that as your guide and goal. There's a chunk of cognitive behavior therapy, which is probably why a bunch of reviewers thought the book could be shorter because it was a slow start even tho they felt it was personally beneficial (whenever I see reviews like this, I have to scratch my head. So, _you_ liked a section and thought it was useful, but you think it shouldn't have been there? Hunh? Usually it means that a book is doing something well, but the reader lacks a framework for understanding what just happened.). There are a bunch of stories about Walsh's experiences with clients, which some reviewers perceived as tooting own horn, but which on balance I thought were useful (altho the one about the woman with the brain thing who died and whose daughter killed herself was devastating to read -- forewarned is forearmed, right?).

Because Walsh actually knows what he is doing and why and how he is doing it, the book works quite well. And it's the closest approach to something I have been looking for, which is a process-oriented book about being organized. Process is still a little bit lost-in-the-middle -- prioritization/goals/guides are established well, and implementation is handled well, but process is still a bit of a just-do-it enterprise, with some tips-and-tricks (the box of cards with 10 minute tasks was pretty brilliant, and a potential replacement for signing up with FlyLady).

If this is a genre you read, Walsh is on your list. I'm marginally more interested in some of his later books, but the reviews of those said you should read this one first, so I did.

If you would like ideas for having a less cluttered, more functional home, Walsh is pretty good. He respects beauty, but does not implement it -- which at least is an improvement over some of the decluttering/organizing books.
Tags: book review, decluttering

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