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Publisher's Summary

Why does Cliff, a successful lawyer who regularly wins landmark cases, step over two-foot piles of paper whenever he opens his front door? Why do Joan and Paul ask Children's Services to take their three children, instead of decluttering their home? Why does Lucinda feel intense pressure to hold onto her family's heirlooms, even though she has no room for them? They have hoarding disorder, which an estimated two to six percent of the adult population worldwide experience.

Conquer the Clutter offers hope to anyone affected by hoarding. Real-life vignettes, combined with easy-to-use assessment and intervention tools, support those who hoard - and those who care about them. Written by Elaine Birchall, a social worker dedicated to helping people declutter and achieve long-term control over their belongings, the book:

  • Provides an overview of hoarding, defining what it is and is not
  • Explains the difference between clutter and hoarding
  • Describes different types of hoarding in detail, including impulse shopping, "closet" hoarding, and animal hoarding
  • Debunks myths about hoarding and hoarders
  • Explores the effects that hoarding has on relationships, on work, and on physical and financial health
  • Presents a practical, step-by-step plan of action for decluttering
  • Contains dedicated advice from individuals who have successfully overcome their hoarding disorder

The most comprehensive work about hoarding on the market, Conquer the Clutter discusses special populations who are not often singled out, such as the disabled and the elderly. Numerous worksheets to assist individuals in determining the scope of their hoarding disorder and tackling the problem, as well as over 40 pages of additional resources, are available online at jhupbooks.press.jhu.edu/title/conquer-clutter.

©2021 Elaine Birchall and Suzanne Cronkwright (P)2021 Elaine Birchall

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home organizer

As a home organizer who's been given the opportunity to work with several families experiencing severe hoarding tendencies, this book is exactly what I was looking for. Everything else out there seems to give tips on organizing rather than helping to understand the psychological reasons why people hoard. This book has the added bonus of providing the words to use when dealing with someone suffering from this condition.