Eve has a problem with clutter. Too much stuff and too easily acquired, it confronts her in every corner and on every surface in her house. When she pledges to tackle the worst offender, her horror of a "hell room", she anticipates finally being able to throw away all of the unnecessary things she can't bring herself to part with: her fifth-grade report card, dried-up art supplies, an old vinyl raincoat. But what Eve discovers isn't just old CDs and outdated clothing, but a fierce desire within herself to hold on to her identity. Our things represent our memories, our history, a million tiny reference points in our lives. If we throw our stuff in the trash, where does that leave us? And if we don't...how do we know what's really important? Everyone has their own hell room, and Eve's battle with her clutter, along with her eventual self-clarity, encourages everyone to dig into their past to declutter their future. Year of No Clutter is a deeply inspiring - and frequently hilarious - examination of why we keep stuff in the first place, and how to let it all go.
©2017 Eve O. Schaub (P)2017 Tantor
I have come out of the closet in the past year and have declared that I am a hoarder. I wouldn't become champion on "All-Star Hoarders," but I do my share. I called myself a saver or a recycler, but I had to finally come clean with myself and admit the truth. While I have "come out" as a hoarder to some people, I still do not have the candor that Eve Schaub has in this book. I love her so much.
I do have to admit a bit of jealousy knowing that she has that huge room and most of her clutter was confined there. Mine is not. But my house is much smaller.
The main thing I loved about this is that she honestly and rationally explained why she is the way she is. I, too, save things for sentimental reasons. As she said about her father, he didn't want to give things up because he might forget the memory that the item evoked.
Something that has prompted me to let go is the thought that my adult children will be burdened by my "legacy" if I don't cut it down.
I so appreciated taking this journey with Eve in making her Hell Room usable again. I'm not sure if I'm ready to get rid of that fifth grade report card (yes, I do have it!) but I hope to channel a little of Eve O. Schaub as I sort through the souvenirs of my life.
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