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It's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  4,372 Ratings  ·  741 Reviews
Whether it’s tidying up or tiny-house living, the decluttering revolution is taking America by storm. In It’s All Too Much organizational expert Peter Walsh reveals the tools for taking control of your physical—and emotional—clutter in order to reclaim your life.

Are you surrounded by papers? Overstuffed closets? Are you stepping over toys or searching under piles, and leav
ebook, 240 pages
Published January 2nd 2007 by Free Press (first published December 12th 2006)
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May 14, 2008 Abby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, I thought this book was fine, but I didn't love it. It may not even be the author's fault. I might have liked it a lot more if it was the first book I read about de-cluttering, and before I had gutted 75% of my house last spring.

I have another book that I loved 100 times more. It was more detailed, more convincing on why to de-clutter, and totally funny. And inspiring. I read it, and I stayed up until midnight for days on end, went without sleep, food or exercise in favor of cleaning out
Virginia Messina
Peter Walsh is a self-styled expert in the area of organizational consulting. According to his website he considers himself to be "part contractor and part therapist in his approach to helping individuals attain their goals." He doesn't mention any particular credentials.

I disagree with Walsh about clutter in general; he seems to have zero tolerance for it while I don't think there is anything wrong with a little bit of clutter. A few piles of assorted stuff around a home make it look interesti
Sep 24, 2008 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
and my obsession with organizational books continues…
I liked this one. Seems like a cool guy.

2/2009: edit to add another star and this note:

Apparently I more than liked this book. I have read it two more times. This is odd. I don't have clutter and am somewhat of a minimalist. Why has this book been almost a spiritual experience for me?

He asks Big Questions. What do you want your life to be like? Does your living space reflect that? I love his message that we should relate to people rather tha
Feb 14, 2008 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I have always considered myself to be an organized person, but in the past few years, with two kids, a full time job and a slew of volunteer commitments, that intrinsic organizational skill seems to take a vacation.

I bought this book on the recommendation of a friend and also because I loved Peter Walsh on Clean Sweep.

While my home doesn't even remotely look like the ones he worked on for TLC, I confess to the problem of "too much stuff". My cabinets, drawers and my closets are my personal Water
Apr 01, 2009 Valerie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice to have a book on organizing that approaches the problem from a different angle. Instead of what containers/system would work best, Peter Walsh asks what do you really want out of your life? Is your home getting in the way of that? What do you want to use this room/space for? What things in this room get in the way of that? Sparks a more heartfelt approach to decluttering that helps keeps your stuff from getting in the way of your life.
Mar 05, 2008 Bryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the desperate disorganized.
This book is for people who are overwhelmed by the accumulation of stuff in their homes. They yearn for clean, empty spaces, but they just don’t know where to start.

Peter Walsh is the Dr. Phil of neat and tidy. If your house looks like the bargain basement of the local discount store at the end of the Boxing Day sales, and you’re sick of it, you need this book.

Walsh is a lively enough writer to keep you modestly entertained while he is putting his ideas across. His fundamental philosophy is t
I've read several home organization books, and this one was a little different, in a good way. The author has you visualize what kind of life you want and how you want each room of your house to look and feel, before you even start decluttering. He claims that the clutter really isn't about "the stuff," and I know that to be true. There ends up being a lot of shame and guilt about clutter, self-recriminations, "why can't I keep the house straightened?" Etc. Visualizing what I really want has hel ...more
Louise (A Strong Belief in Wicker)
This is a perfect book for me to be reading now, but it's not surprising I had to renew my library copy 3 times before I even got around to starting it. Peter Walsh makes some big claims about how we'll all live a better life after we clean up the clutter that is overrunning our homes. He feels that our stuff comes to own us, and that we no longer own our stuff. Not only will we have an organised, clutter free house that will allow us to have a dinner party at the drop of a hat and without any r ...more
Marina Finlayson
May 13, 2015 Marina Finlayson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read this one before, but it's the kind of book you can come back to. It provides inspiration and encouragement for dealing with all the stuff that clutters the average home. At times it gets quite philosophical, acknowledging that a large amount of clutter can be just as much a mental or emotional problem as a physical one, and the author talks a lot about the deeper personal benefits of decluttering.

There are lots of inspirational stories of people with truly desperate clutter situations
Apr 05, 2007 Tracy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who needs to declutter their lives!
"How to live a richer life with less stuff..." when I saw this book at my store, it spoke directly to me. I finished it within a couple of hours, and it actually made me want to go upstairs and trash those old term papers that I haven't looked at since college! The part where Walsh talks about book clutter was especially relevant, but I don't think I'm ready to part with any of mine. He has some sensible, easy to follow advice that I'd better start listening to.
Jun 20, 2008 Loren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: overwhelmed and disorganized people
Recommended to Loren by: book store display
This book rocked my world! The title says it all, really. I've never watched the author's show, but I love this book! The author has you analyze your stuff and why you're keeping it. It's a great shot of perspective, and has practical ways to go about methodically going through your stuff and thinning, trashing or caring for your things. I found my attachment to what is essentially "junk" disappear after reading this; there is something profound in his analysis of how we value and overvalue our ...more
Jun 08, 2007 Cynthia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any one who lives in a pig-sty!
Wow, this book was helpful. See, I'm a second generation pack-rat; I grew up with piles of papers on the dining room table and clutter everywhere. I've actually read quite a few of these self-help organization style books, but this was the first one that addressed the real issue with living you life in a pig-sty: you are cheating yourself out of the life you want to live. When put that way, parting with all the crap I've been lugging around since I moved out of my parents' house has become much ...more
Jan 25, 2008 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who want to de-crap
Shelves: non-fiction
here's the deal:
Peter Walsh v. the Container Store.

I'm downsizing my life, which I meant to do when I got back from Louisiana two years ago, as I expect natural disasters every day. The less stuff I have, the less stuff I'll mourn prepared and all that. Plus, I have a lot of crap. This book may help you let go of your crap. Or maybe it won't. Maybe I read it because I wanted to get rid of it all. it's like a diet book for your stuff.
I used to be sentimental about possessions, but the past few ears have seen me shed most of that sentimentality. The last vestiges are clinging pretty tightly, but this book is helping me assess where that sentimentality is coming from, whether it's making my life better (it isn't), and what to do about it.

Even before reading this, I had gotten rid of so much stuff it was shocking. Every bit of junk discarded makes me feel a little freer.
Bonnie Anderson
Mar 22, 2012 Bonnie Anderson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bonnie by: Janet Seto
I feel like this book is a must-read by anyone who needs permission to let go of STUFF in their homes. This author gives great tips, but more than that, by reading through a whole book reinforcing how to deal with "stuff" and getting organized, my frame of mind changed. Even if you don't take his literal advice, you can benefit from the organization mentality he reinforces throughout the book.
Sep 29, 2009 Tripleguess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'll start with some background. I consider myself a fairly organized person, and I throw a lot of stuff out. I don't buy a lot. It's common for me to walk through a store and come out without making a purchase. I do not feel the need to acquire lots of stuff to make my life whole. I can find my keys, my papers, and my wallet -- immediately.

Nonetheless, after reading just a few chapters into this book, I put it down and yanked some photos and papers off my shelf -- items I did not want but felt
Jan 19, 2012 Ruth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My parents always had books in the house. We had fiction and non-fiction which matched the things they were interested in. They had four children and ALL of us like to read. Yes, even though boys notoriously are often not readers, both of my brothers are avid readers. This is another of the books that my brother, Gordon recommended to my sister, Barb and I. How well does he know us, huh?! It was definately a winner. Now all I have to do is put it into practice.

Barb and I started reading this boo
Dec 10, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Glad I read this one. I learned some new strategies for clearing up the clutter in my home, but more importantly, I think, is the reality that I have limited storage space and that a good deal of what is using up that storage space currently, is stuff I haven't used during the five years I have lived in this house. So, if I want more storage space for the things I have used or the things that add value or beauty to my life, I need to clear out the stuff that does not do either of those things.

Very helpfully inspirational, even though I didn't actually *like* the book all that much. (I've read much kinder and gentler organization books, but then again, this approach might be more effective.) The author does a great job of pushing readers to let go of "the stuff" and move on to the more interesting and more important business of living their lives, in the present. He has no patience for excuses about why people think they need to hold on to "treasures" if they're stashed away accumulat ...more
Jen B
Jan 11, 2010 Jen B rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, 2010
Pregnancy has put me in nesting mode, so I've been on a crazy cleaning and organizing tear these last couple of weeks. I don't really think I have too much clutter in my home -- I'm not a hoarder, and I regularly get rid of things I don't need. But, the issue is that mainly with a hectic life (job, kids, errands, gym, etc.), things don't always get put back where they belong. And as a result my house gets messy...and I find a messy house stressful. So I like books like this one because even thou ...more
The beauty of this book is that I can't tell you what exactly made it effective for me except for the fact that I have felt a HUGE shift. I am currently living differently, in a different mind set and in a different physical realm so to speak. My tiny house is feeling freer and more spacious. I am feeling better in my relationships, more organized in my every day life functions. I am not bogged down by clutter, and not feeling like a deer in the headlights, unsure of what to do, where to start, ...more
Feb 22, 2009 Kirsti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Peter Peter Peter. Must you ask me to reflect on my goals for my life and my living space? Can't you just tell me how to stop being a slob? I AM AN AMERICAN . . . I expect solutions to be immediate and painless.

Actually, I thought this was quite good. The author has a TV show called Clean Sweep, which I don't think I have ever seen. The book is really designed for a woman who lives in the suburbs, is married, has small children, and has a house and a yard and a garage. However, Walsh tries to pr
Feb 19, 2011 Laurel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I''m not a pack rat, but i can always use a little motivation, or ideas for fine tuning home organization. Peter Walsh is SO good at what he does, so it's fabulous that he's written a book to help more people. I've read other clutter books and this is probably the best one out there. Others may have great, practical tips, but Walsh had a special gift for speaking to the heart. Clutter is all about what's in our heart and mind.

My favorite lightbulb moment while reading the book::: All my life I'
Jan 29, 2011 Alisha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-education, 2011
So much of this book resonated with me.

It's a perfect follow-up to The Story of Stuff, at least it is for me, since it turns the reasoning of keeping things (both emotional and logical thinking) on its head.

I like that he takes the approach that American society IS a consuming society and unless you consciously decide otherwise, you WILL have to deal with too much stuff in your life many many times.

This quote, at the end of the book, is something I really liked and will keep me going with this,
Mandy McHenry
Jan 28, 2011 Mandy McHenry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I admit, I skimmed through this book. I don't really think I have a problem with clutter (or is that what they all say?!). I LOVE to purge and clean. I can't stand messes and stacks of stuff. The one chapter that I was really interested in was how to get my KIDS to purge their stuff. It's a constant struggle in our house to donate toys that have been outgrown. I liked the ideas presented in the kids chapter. Overall, the book stressed me out for two reasons. One, I have loved ones who can't seem ...more
Jan 10, 2009 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
AUDIO version review; I won't say this is the best written book primarily because of redundancy, but he did drive home the point. He convinced me to stop fretting over stuff and hanging onto to those "just in case" items. To stop holding onto so many "treasures" (?) from the past, and free myself to live life NOW based on today's priorities.
He gave very good counterarguments to the ones in my head and used humor to boot. I also liked his philosophy of planning life with structure and soliciting
Mar 17, 2013 Pat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read a lot of articles and blogs about decluttering and have spent many years working in offices, so I know all about finding places to put things, filing, using labels, etc. The difference with this book is that he deals with the emotional issues of what we hang onto first & puts it in perspective to help one move on. An ironic side note is that I had bought this book some time ago and it got lost in the shuffle amid all my books and magazines. After doing a little decluttering now a ...more
Mar 09, 2011 Riem rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Media saturation of the natural disasters in Australia (close to home), New Zealand and Japan have had a profound effect on me. Those poor people with nothing left, not even their lives in thousands of cases, and here am I with a house full of 'stuff'. I'm so ashamed. This was an illuminating book to read at this time. My immediate response was to get stuck into the wardrobes and chests of drawers. Four crammed bags are ready to go to Vinnies this afternoon. Also on my to-read list is 'The 100 T ...more
Jess Gill
Aug 19, 2007 Jess Gill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
good advice on how to analyze your belongings and the role they play in your life. what I liked most about the book was that the author stressed repeatedly that your belongings shouldn't impeed you from living the life you want, and that this often is the case, even on a small scale. while i'm definately not a pack rat, it made me rethink our living space, belongings and the purpose for each room in the house. the book is a good guide for how to purge and weed, as well as tips that everyone, eve ...more
Nancy Ellis
Sep 17, 2016 Nancy Ellis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read this two or three years ago, and it helped me tremendously with dealing with the clutter and mess in my life. I've been continuing to incorporate the principles of the book, and I feel that I'm succeeding in getting control of my "stuff". This is the best "get organized" book I've read, and I've read plenty! The focus is on deciding what you want your life to be like and helping you to adopt the principles to get you there. The plan helped me over two years get my house to the point ...more
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life-changing 2 24 Oct 14, 2008 07:57PM  
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Born and raised in Australia, Peter moved to Los Angeles in 1994 to launch a corporation to help organizations improve employee’s job satisfaction and effectiveness. He considers himself to be part-contractor, part-therapist in his approach to helping individuals attain their goals.

When not wading through clutter and large-scale disorganization, Peter divides his time between his work in Los Angel
More about Peter Walsh...

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“You only have one life to live. How you live that life is your choice. As far as I know, no one has ever had 'I wish I had bought more stuff' inscribed on their tombstone. What you own can easily blind you to who you are and what you can be.” 5 likes
“If you choose a craft or hobby, then make sure it's something you really enjoy. Do it because you want to, not because others expect it of you or because it's something you once liked or because you don't want those materials you bought to go to waste. just as you should choose the life you want, it's also your choice how you spend your free time.” 4 likes
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