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Buried in Treasures

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  246 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
Buried in Treasures outlines a scientifically-based and effective program for helping compulsive hoarders dig their way out of the clutter and chaos of their homes.
Discover the reasons for your problems with acquiring, saving, and hoarding, and learn new ways of thinking about your possessions so you can accurately identify those things you really need and those you can d
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Published February 8th 2007 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published December 1st 2006)
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"Buried in Treasures" is one of the best books I've read on the subject of compulsive hoarding. It's like having a therapist/professional organizer take you through the steps necessary to combat what truly is a genuine disorder (no pun intended). The author addresses many of the characteristics, cognitive dissonance and limitations faced by people with this illness, as well as those who suffer along with them due to living with or near a hoarder. While hoarding is not a new illness, it is becomi ...more
So far, so good. I can say that because I'm not a hoarder! And the better news is that I'm finally getting some insight as to why I can't stay on top of clutter.


I found the first part (the why) better than the how-to. There are any number of how-to organize books out there with better and worse instructions on how to go through your things and sort them.

The why of clutter is much more interesting, and a neglected discussion. I found for me, the qualities that contribute to clutt
Jul 23, 2011 Marcia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about helping people with compulsive harding issues. If you have a family member with hoarding issues, this helps explain their way of thinking and how to deal with and help them. If you have hoarding issues, this is a very practical book to help you understand why you hoard and to overcome this addiction if you want to. If you aren't sure if you are a hoarder, this book will help you undersand yourself better and determine in a relaxed noconfrontational way weather or not you need ...more
Aug 14, 2015 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is pretty decent. It's written for chronically disorganized people, as opposed to a regular messy home or the mental illness of true intensive hoarding. It talks through the mental processes that hold you up, the reasons you hold on to things, and how to train yourself to think and feel differently.

It does not have cute organizing ideas, or photographs, or gimmicks. It has interview questions to ask yourself and worksheets to fill out. It is a book of counseling, psychology, and unders
Alison Brown
Nov 26, 2013 Alison Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: minimalism
The first workbook I've read for helping hoarders. Since I had already done a lot of the mental shift and physical decluttering before reading this book, it was a little difficult to assess whether this would have been helpful at an earlier stage. However, I do definitely think it's worth reading if you believe you struggle with hoarding but aren't sure how to proceed (and aren't ready to seek professional help)

My two concerns: the quizzes to assess whether you have a problem with hoarding are l
Jul 16, 2013 Kat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I dunno about the "scientific" aspect of the authors' approach. But I do know that they ask the right questions, intelligently, and without soft-pedaling or minimizing the problems of hoarders. There's no "just get over it". They show a true understanding of the fact that when one can see fifty uses for an object, that makes it harder to get rid of it. And yet, they encourage the reader to live a real life, unencumbered by stuff and the false selves that the hoard can represent to the hoarder.
This is an interesting book for those who are interested in the topic of hoarding, a recent fascination of mine. Particularly interested in the psychological factors that predispose to this disorder, I have found limited resources for understanding. This book does provide some useful perspectives, especially using a self rating scale that helps to delineate contributing factors to the severity of the problem: See pages 21-23, The Hoarding Severity Scale. This measurement is particularly helpful ...more
Sep 19, 2014 Joyce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book for a person that really wants to change. Read through it, now going back and working on the exercises. I will get my life back on track, thanks to this wonderfully written book with the guidelines to work through my mess.
Terry Collins
The workbook aspects of this guide to helping you (or someone you love) with acquiring, saving and hoarding do not translate well to the Kindle Fire, so if you are planning on using the information within to "work and make notes and affirmations," you simply MUST purchase a paper / hard copy.

Otherwise, a decent read, with excellent advice for dealing with a hoarder in your life (patience, patience and even more patience), and for hoarders who fall off the wagon of accumulated things (take a deep
This book is written for a target audience of hoarders, but it does have some good information for someone who may have a hoarder in their life. The authors posit that hoarding isn't so much about holding on to useless stuff as it is a disorder with the brain's decision-making process when considering what to discard. Therefore the book breaks down questions that a person can ask (themselves or the hoarder in their life) to aid in that process so that the hoarder may begin to discard. I found th ...more
Aug 03, 2014 Ray rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting! I am not a hoarder, but have more fabric and yarn than I can possibly use. Hoping some insights gleaned from this book will help me decide which things that I can let go of.
Dec 28, 2008 Cindy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This poor book did not get a fair read from me. It's the third one I've read now on cluttering and hoarding and I'm just tired of reading about the topic. I will recommend this book to interested relatives primarily because there are highlighted sections providing wise advice for the family and friends of the hoarder. I also liked the little tests the reader could take to evaluate the extent of their problem. However, a good half of the book contains a system for actually cleaning up the hoarder ...more
Dec 13, 2014 Tracy108 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting study on the identity we derive from our possessions and the pathology that can develop.
Feb 18, 2012 Barbara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am not a hoarder. But I do see the seeds of compulsive acquiring & saving in myself, and this book was very helpful for that. The book goes beyond the typical "how to get organized" with the three boxes to Keep, Give Away, and Throw Away. It explores some of the thought process behind why we tend to keep things we don't need, and why we keep acquiring things when we have enough. I learned some new things about myself, and will put those things to good use in thinking about whether to acqui ...more
Apr 09, 2016 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A depressing read mainly because it is a depressing subject for the family members of hoarders. The work is well-organized and well-written. It gives insights into why people hoard and why they are compulsive acquirers. I'm not so sure the suggestions for getting people out of the hoarding disorder will work. Some of the ideas sound helpful, at least to a non-hoarder. Not so sure a hoarder would buy into them. But I'm glad I read it and even more glad to take it back to the library.
Dec 02, 2008 Amber rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Written for people whose hoarding has really gotten out of control. I was trying to find help for someone who is working up to a hoarding problem, but I don't think this book would be useful...yet. If the person in question took the quizzes in this book, I think they would be convinced they don't have a problem due to the lack of squalor in their home. My Mother In Law is an undeniable hoarder, though, and I saw her clearly in most of the descriptions in this book.
Though not a hoarder I found myself in the group who has a sentimental attachment to things. It cleared up the whys of my doing this. I know MORE IS NOT BETTER!!!
Maurynne  Maxwell
Aug 24, 2011 Maurynne Maxwell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very well-written look at the possible causes and certain consequences of hoarding. I was able to recognize people I have known and know and also catch glimpses into my own quirks. This book allowed me to be more compassionate and understanding of myself and others and I hope I never get all the way to complete hoarder! But I can see that their therapeutic approach can help; slowing down and making decisions is really a good way to avoid clutter.
Jun 13, 2010 Janna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recently I found out that a friend of mine was a hoarder, so I am doing some research to better understand the condition. This book was chock full of questionnaires to help someone determine whether they are a hoarder and to what degree. Would be a helpful resource (along with a therapist and professional organizer) for someone who wants to break free of the hoarding cycle.
Jan 19, 2010 Jef rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book gave me insight into my acquiring, saving and collecting (i'm not to the hoarding stage as described here and elsewhere, but i do have more than a fair share of cds, dvds and books - can you have too many books?). i think this book would probably be useful to anyone who suspects s/he may have a little "too much" around the house.
Really helpful practical recommendations for decluttering and de-hoarding. Don't know if it would work for really bad hoarding cases though. I gave it to the bad hoarding cases in my life and they're still in denial about being hoarders at all because "Hey at least we're not as bad as the people on Hoarders!" Still, this book helped me declutter.
Jul 24, 2011 LuAnn rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Informative, but not as useful as any of the books by Peter Walsh on overcoming clutter. This books does get more to the heart of why people become compulsive hoarders, and there are lots of "quizzes" to see if you qualify, but from what I've seen of true hoarders, they would never buy this books to find out.
Feb 08, 2011 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought I was a hoarder but I guess I'm not. Actually maybe I used to be? I only have 1 room now that is really bad. Course I've been working on it for a few years and I have lots of rooms with nothing extra in them. I didn't realize how bad some people can get. Got to watch myself.
If you are a hoarder, this is a quick read with helpful tools to help you get through making decisions and sorting through your stuff.

I enjoyed this book because I was able to learn and understand how the thought process of a hoarder can work.
Jun 02, 2011 Judy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mostly-skimmed
This is a workbook to help people deal with hoarding. I think the authors are honest about the difficulty of treating this problem and have written a good manual for those who have the motivation (or will get motivation from the book) to succeed.
Joanna Bedggood
I bought this book because I am trying to learn more about why people hoard and how to help. This book is geared toward people that are trying to cope with this issue. I thought it was pretty good, but sometimes the tone was a bit condescending.
Dec 19, 2011 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome book on learning to be organized and overcome the "collecting" or "hoarding" tendencies we all have to some degree. I also felt it was super helpful in learning to overcome the habit of over acquiring "stuff". Very very helpful.
Apr 18, 2014 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is helpful for those who know someone who is a hoarder and want to help, but also helpful for general spring cleaning ;) Obviously geared for a target audience, but useful to non-hoarders as well.
This is a workbook for people with hoarding problems to work though. I was hoping there would be more info *about* hoarding as a disorder, but there's really not a lot of background info in the book.
Nov 03, 2011 Shannon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Didn't really finish this one since it's more a book targeted to hoarders and how to get help, rather than about hoarders. Love Dr. Tolin though, especially when he's on TV helping people with OCD.
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