Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Clutter Busting

True confession (because that's what blogs are all about): I have not made another trip to Goodwill since I last mentioned it.  However, to encourage myself and you would-be chuckers out there, I will share the book that I was reading when I really started chucking (and started this blog).

Now, I have read a lot of books about getting rid of clutter, getting organized, time management, effectiveness, etc.  Each one of them got me to do something.  I'm not going to say this one takes the cake and renders all the others obsolete.  It is the Now book.  The book that has me motivated Now.  Brooks Palmer is so compassionate in his approach and has a lot of Zen exercises to get me in touch with my feelings about my stuff and to be gentle with myself (and yet, busting occurs).

What really drew me in to this book, though, was the combination of Palmer's kind awareness of what goes on for messies like me, and my own awareness about the parallels between my relationship with stuff and my relationship with food.  I am in treatment for binge-eating/compulsive overeating, and I found that with this book (more than any other), I was able to plug both of my addictions in and still have it make sense to me.  Sometimes I would go back and read several paragraphs substituting "food" for "clutter" and "eating" for "keeping" or "buying" and it resonated as written and with my substitutions.

Maybe that's more about me than it is about the book, but I've known for years that I binge on shopping and other activities, like I do on food.  I know that I cling to piles of stuff the same way I cram too many tasks into time the same way I can't stand white space when I'm making art the same way I use too many words (and can't resist parenthetical remarks) the same way I don't feel satisfied unless I'm overfull.  Reading this one book, I felt like I was doing therapy in multiple arenas.

Now, my dilemma.  I kept the book as long as I could from the library.  I want to go back and do every exercise.  Do I buy it because it will be truly useful?  Or would it just add to my clutter?  I think I will take the middle way and pick it up from the library again.

Clutter Busting: Letting Go of What's Holding You Back

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