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

3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  895 Ratings  ·  192 Reviews
We all have treasured possessions—a favorite pair of shoes, a much-beloved chair, an ever-expanding record collection. But sometimes, this emotional attachment to our belongings can spiral out of control and culminate into a condition called compulsive hoarding. From hobbyists and collectors to pack rats and compulsive shoppers—it is close to impossible for hoarders to r
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Hardcover, 222 pages
Published November 22nd 2011 by Rodale Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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7jane
Apr 01, 2016 7jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is for hoarders, those who know them, and those who have different levels of difficulty with clutter while still not so much as to be called hoarding. The book is divided into two parts, the first being chapters 1-4, then 5-9 deal with action against stuff. I'll list what I think each chapter is about here:

1: What hoarding is about. Even non-hoarders with clutter may have organising troubles
2: On love of stuff: what it's like for a hoarder (different from usual clutter-person); what ho
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Rose
Initial reaction: I picked this up from my library as a random read on organization, and this turned out to be a nice resource in the realm of organization and clearing clutter on a psychological level. It addresses both cluttered lifestyles and hoarding, and Dr. Robin Zasio, psychologist on the series "Hoarders," approaches the topic with a myriad of stories, helpful tips, and analysis of such problems on a psychological level. I really appreciated that this book takes on the topic on a level o ...more
Yodamom
Oct 09, 2015 Yodamom rated it really liked it
Yoda time: (Guilty secret) I am a pack rat who dreams of being a minimalist. I attach emotional value on clothes, jewelry, gifts, and other items. I have clutter closets filled beyond acceptable capacity. I am not an extreme hoarder, my house is clean and neat but I am uncomfortable with the level of stuff I do have hidden in my closets. I seem to place sentimental value on clothes above all other items, weird huh ? I figured that out after doing all the questioning steps in this book. I found t ...more
Wanda
Oct 26, 2015 Wanda rated it really liked it
I guess I intuitively knew there was a “hoarding continuum.” I have one sister who exists very much on the minimalist end of that scale—I envy her ease at keeping her house clean and organized. My other sister and I inhabit the mid-range of the scale, thankfully well away from OMG territory, but we struggle with accumulations of “stuff” in our homes.

It makes complete sense to me that the hoarding tendency goes hand in hand with anxiety issues and with perfectionism. My desire to do things not me
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I'm not really much of a hoarder, but I'm always looking for ways to help me get rid of stuff and clear the clutter. Unless you have a serious problem with hoarding, only the first part of the book will be useful. Unless, of course, you like to read case histories of people who have/had pathological hoarding tendencies. The one that sticks in my mind from this book is the guy who could not even offer people a place to sit when they came to his house because every surface was covered with dog fig ...more
Jamie
Apr 11, 2012 Jamie rated it liked it
Shelves: self-help
In the 1-5 hoarder continuun, from neat freak to hoarder, I am, actually a 4. I don't actually hoard anything (with 1 exception) and I don't have ANY trouble throwing things away, usually. I constantly have a bag of clothes set to donate, I sell stuff at a community yard sale every year. That said, I'm a huge slob. There is crap in every room of my house. I throw some away but it's still a total mess. So this book gave me hints on how to tackle this in small doses which were helpful. I immediate ...more
Ariel
Dec 29, 2011 Ariel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help
I love the show Hoarders and I love Dr. Robin Zasio. I picked this up thinking that it was going to be a lot of stories of extreme hoarders as is presented on the TV show. While some examples were discussed, this was more of a self help book to help you purge the clutter from your life. Even if you are not an extreme hoarder as depicted on the show (I still remember that episode when they were pulling out the dead cat bodies from the clutter and the home owner was like so that's what happened to ...more
Stacy
Feb 06, 2016 Stacy rated it really liked it
This was more geared towards a hoarder rather someone like myself who finds hoarding fascinating. I did like the organization tips, though.
Ashley
Jan 26, 2013 Ashley rated it it was ok
Recommended to Ashley by: SWE-D Book Club
If the root cause of your clutter is NOT psychological attachment or compulsive acquisition, this book is not terribly helpful. Nor is the book particularly well-written; I found it clinical and repetitive. Don Aslett's classic, "Clutter's Last Stand," covers the same territory in a much more entertaining manner. I picked it couple up randomly as a fourth grader and still remember it. "Clutter's Last Stand" has also stayed in print for over 25 years, which I doubt will be the case for this medio ...more
Paullette
Nov 23, 2012 Paullette rated it it was ok
I had high hopes for this book, touted in reviews as a practical decluttering guide with credentials (its author is a clinical pychologist & expert on the treatment of compulsive hoarding). After a promising start it got v. clinical, v. quickly, and aside from a couple of token single-dweller examples, is otherwise entirely devoted to clutterers who live in 2- to 6-person households. In fact, so much of this book concerns the relationship dynamics of roommates and family members that by the ...more
Lee Anne
Jan 04, 2012 Lee Anne rated it really liked it
Dr. Robin Zasio is my favorite hoarding specialist on the A&E reality series Hoarders (Matt Paxton being my favorite cleaner, BTW). In this book, she explains how all of us are on the "clutter continuum" (I'm between a 1 and a 2) and outlines logical steps to overcome problem clutter areas. Dr. Zasio uses the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy so that you aren't just cleaning up the mess, you're changing the thought patterns that cause the mess, and adopting new, better habits that w ...more
Rachel
Feb 10, 2016 Rachel rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
Although I, myself, am not a hoarder, I found this book to be very educational and interesting. I liked that they talked about our attachment and relationship with our things whether you are a neat freak or a hoarder and why we keep what we do. I have read lots of organizing books and get a little OCD about my need for order, but this book touched on things that other organizing books I have read did not. It talked about all the paths that get a person where they are on the organizational spectr ...more
Carrie
Apr 02, 2014 Carrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've found this book quite helpful at this time in my life when I am moving from a 3,700 sq ft home to a 2,195 sq ft home. It's interesting to find out why I am hanging on to an old Dooney & Burke and a Coach bag that are worn and that I would not use in public because of this - feeling bad to let them go because they were so expensive! Also, feeling bad about giving away things that no longer serve my lifestyle or that I don't like but were given to me by family who are no longer with us. M ...more
Douglas Lord
Jun 03, 2014 Douglas Lord rated it really liked it
Zasio (a psychologist on A&E’s Hoarders) presents the dysfunction she specializes in treating as not as a one-in-a-million freakshow but as something that everybody does to one degree or another. Indeed, most regular people have “crap” issues (my term, not Zasio’s)—be it a closet crammed with sweaters or shelves of review copies you’ll never read (I’m talking to you, Barbara Hoffert!). As a book, Hoarders is a completely fascinating, wtf chronicle of seemingly normal people hoarding weird cr ...more
Meredith
Feb 18, 2012 Meredith rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction

Dr. Robin Zasio, the psychologist from the hit TV show "Hoarders," offers self-help for those of us with a tendency towards accumulating clutter (non-hoarders with hoarder tendencies or "clutterers") using the same professional guidance she gives her hoarder patients. This book is amazingly helpful for people wanting to deal with excessive clutter, but readers with even a low-level "hoarding" problem will probably need professional help as this book provides tools but cannot replace an actual th
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Beth
Dec 19, 2014 Beth rated it it was amazing
I am fascinated and repelled at the same time every time I watch Hoarders on TV. Dr. Robin Zasio was always one of my favorites and I truly admire her seemingly endless patience with those who hoard. In her book, she explains many of the causes of hoarding and gives good, down-to-earth suggestions of how to deal with the causes. Many times the inner voices of the people who hoard attribute feelings to items in their home and believe by throwing these things out or by giving them away they are so ...more
Jeremy
Feb 01, 2016 Jeremy rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, audio
Listening to this as an audiobook finally got me to straighten up my bedroom and closet and clean my car, so that's something. I expected more of a guide to decluttering, which was light. Rather, I learned a lot about why compulsive hoarders and clutterers hold on to things, and how best to be supportive when helping them address their situations.

tl;dr: You probably won't find any life-changing magic here, but it's great for reframing and broadening one's perspective on compulsive hoarding.
Asma
Feb 08, 2014 Asma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Asma by: Huda Al-Anbar
This was my first audiobook, and first organizing/decluttering book as well.
For a first-time experience, I have to say I really enjoyed listening to it while cleaning.
The author explains hoarding, clarifying the definition with examples of different motivations and degrees. She also gives advice on how to declutter crowded spaces and avoid clutter in the first place.
What I liked the most, and plan on following, were the following: how to avoid the black and white problem, as well as the Ohio Rul
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Catherine Faulkenburg
Mar 06, 2016 Catherine Faulkenburg rated it it was amazing
Excellent book with helpful tips that I have already begun to employ in my home. It's easy to read and inspirational. I am not a hoarder (yet), but I recognize behaviors and tendencies and this book makes that easy to tackle.
Vicki
May 22, 2012 Vicki rated it it was amazing
Excellent companion read to Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things, an examination of the terrible toll hoarding can take on people and their loved ones. Zazio takes an informed and sympathetic look at how hoarding can arise and manifest, and how those who hoard can be supported and helped to relate to their possessions in a healthier way. Her advice is good even for those of us who may not actually hoard, but who are dissatisfied with the overabundance of clutter in in our lives.
Charlene Intriago
Nov 02, 2012 Charlene Intriago rated it really liked it
I thought this was a pretty good book. I've never watched the program about "hoarders" but have seen a few commercials for it and thought the author addressed the seriousness of that problem and what she does to help people overcome it. She also has some good tips for those of us who just want some help with our small areas of clutter. I liked how she addresses the amount of stuff we have in our lives, what's important, what's not, why we save it, and how we can change our way of thinking so we ...more
Leticia
Aug 12, 2016 Leticia rated it liked it
Robin Zasio's book is a fascinating insight into hoarding. Having a massive interest in minimalism, and a personal struggle with getting to the point where I could be even considered minimalist, I figured that this might be a book that would add to my knowledgebase, without having any expectation for what it would be like. The version that I read was the audiobook version.

This book takes you through the psychology of hoarding behaviours and mindsets, without turning into an academic treatise on
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Aunt Edie
Aug 06, 2016 Aunt Edie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audio version narrated by Cassandra Campbell. Not sure if I would have made it through without such an excellent narrator. Campbell made what could be a rather boring book compelling. Not that the content was boring but I find nonfiction much more difficult to read than fiction. Even when the information is interesting, it is usually a slog for me to make it to the end. Having someone read to me was a wonderful way to experience this particular book.

I found the information in t
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Kate
Nov 15, 2015 Kate rated it really liked it
An interesting book with a practical, empathetic and nuanced view of hoarding. Robin Zasio differentiates between hoarders and non-hoarders with some hoarding tendencies in such a way that her book is useful to nearly everyone. I'm in no way a hoarder but she did inspire me to get rid of some clutter and cut back on unnecessary purchases in a way that should make life cheaper and calmer; I hope I can carry through with the practical advice that was suited to my areas of clutter. I had a few issu ...more
Sarah
Feb 01, 2016 Sarah rated it really liked it
Quick, easy read. Helpful diagnostic questions for the people trying to de-clutter, and helpful advice for the people affected by clutter-collectors. I like the secular, psychological approach of this book (as opposed to the eastern-spiritual approach of another popular book on decluttering). This book was also helpful to me in the sense that people with an OCD/hoarding diagnosis actually do not think that much differently than non-OCD/hoarders think... we are all on a spectrum somewhere! Readin ...more
Moira
Jan 21, 2012 Moira rated it it was amazing
Really appreciate this book - keeping too much & procrastinating is on a continuum from mild to severe - this book has useful insight in the whys/wherefores and lots of tips for managing the process to a healthier way of life.

Just after I read this book, I learned that I would be moving. The suggestions on how to go through your belongings and sort were helpful and made the process more kind.
Patricia
Jan 08, 2016 Patricia rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-help
I selected this book because my family keeps “gently” reminding me to look through boxes of items I’ve had a long time and have moved with me over the years. Although not a hoarder in the extreme sense, I was able to see myself in the author’s stories behind some serious hoarders of why people hoard or have hoarding tendencies. It was extremely insightful to grasp my underlying feelings and fears that have led to my holding onto items. The difference in thinking between hoarders and those with j ...more
Tanya Hakala
Jul 15, 2012 Tanya Hakala rated it really liked it
When I first started this book, I feared it was going to be just another fluff book with no helpful or useful information, but I was pleasantly surprised. Whether you are dealing with small excessive stuff issues or my house is no longer livable issues, or are just helping family or friends with those issues, there is valuable information contained within these pages.
Nick
Jan 27, 2015 Nick rated it really liked it
Thoreau (among others) said that he wanted to own as little as possible in life because what you own actually owns you in a sense. This book really unpacks all the ways in which this ends up being true for people who have abnormal attachments to things. This book has just the right balance between practical and theoretical background for anyone who wants to look deeper at their relationship to the things they own.

The author also includes some sound advice for people who are in the position of h
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Susan
Aug 15, 2015 Susan rated it really liked it
Overall, this is a great book for those with hoarding and cluttering concerns. And truly, the book does more than just look at serious hoarders; it is helpful to those, like me (and as Zasio argues like most of us) who have clutter concerns and areas that require more than just finding the right organizational system. In fact, Zasio argues (correctly, I think) that ultimately, finding the 'right' organizational system in itself will just add to the clutter. Zasio shows that a better longterm sol ...more
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Robin Zasio, PsyD, LCSW, is a featured therapist on the A&E series Hoarders and specializes in treating hoarding and other anxiety-related conditions.
More about Robin Zasio...

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“To the extent that clutter gets in the way of living in the kind of environment we’d like to be living in and leaves us feeling stressed or remiss, we can all improve our relationships to our possessions.” 0 likes
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