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

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  1,979 ratings  ·  367 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 hoarder
Hardcover, 222 pages
Published November 22nd 2011 by Rodale Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Apr 01, 2016 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
Oct 07, 2015 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
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
Oct 07, 2015 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
Apr 11, 2012 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
Jeanette (Again)
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
Nov 29, 2011 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
Feb 03, 2012 rated it really liked it

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
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So, so good. And timely! I got a lot out of understanding myself and others. Professional advice from someone who actually has kids. I can finally get rid of some of the silly things I've been hanging on to and maybe even be slightly less judgmental of others. *maybe*. This book is for everyone who has belongings not just hoarders. I just happen to be purging at the moment so my head is in the zone and very open to the idea of letting things go.
I planned to take today off. Instead, I ended up doing chores, cause I had this audiobook playing.
Douglas Lord
Jun 03, 2014 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 crap. ...more
Dec 27, 2012 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
Nov 23, 2012 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 time ...more
Carrie Ridgeway
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. My wo ...more
Dec 21, 2011 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.
Jan 26, 2016 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.
Blair Hodgkinson
I picked up this book more out of a growing interest in minimalism than out of any inclination to think myself a hoarder. As reading of the book progressed, I realized I was more of a clutterer than I thought. This wasn't a painful revelation and this book offered me some good insight into myself, and for that alone I'd be grateful for the read.

In addition, the book is well-written, organized into useful sections for self-help and to support friends or family who may be hoarders or clutterers. T
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I don’t consider myself a hoarder (and I don’t think anyone who knows me would), but this book has some super helpful tips on how to declutter your life. It made me take a look at the things I hang onto and why. It made it WAY easier for me to start cleaning out my closet, kitchen cabinets, etc. I read this book because I find the topic interesting, but I wasn’t sure it would help me streamline my home. Worth a read :)
Jun 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audio download from my library. Dr Zasio gives a lot of great information and advice for those anywhere on the clutter/hoarding continuum. She offers a list of questions to determine where you fall, how many hoarding tendencies you have. Just having tendencies does not make you a hoarder, but it does mean you need to be aware of your issues and know how to deal with them. Many people hold onto items, thinking getting rid of useful items would be wasteful. Dr Zasio points out th ...more
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you need some inspiration to really clean up the clutter in your house, this is a great book. I listened to the audio version and after every time I listened to part of it, I wanted to clean, clean, clean.

I ended up going through my garage, closets and junk drawers and donated so many things I really didn't need, but had been keeping "just in case." There was so much stuff I was keeping around with the thought that one day I might use it or need it. But I really don't need 10 water bottles w
Jun 08, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Asma by: Huda Al-Anbar
This was my first audio book, 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 and clarifies the definition with examples of different motivations and degrees. She also gives advice on both how to declutter crowded spaces and how to avoid clutter in the first place.
What I liked the most and what I plan on following were the following: how to avoid the black and white problem, as
Lee Anne
Dec 27, 2011 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 will ...more
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I tend to accumulate things in piles and dropping them on the dining room table with the intent to take care of them later. I watch episodes of "Hoarders" to encourage myself to clean up. Dr. Zasio's book sheds more light on how and why we tend to collect and hang on to things in a disorganized and cluttered environment. She also shares strategies on cleaning up, helping someone else to clean up their space, and how we can keep the clutter away. She encourages self love and acceptance by remindi ...more
Jan 17, 2016 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.
Sarah Booth
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very informative about hoarding and hoarding traits. There is lots of useful information about dealing with hoards if you aren't one and hoarding if you are one. I realized that I have hoarding tendencies, but my periodic purging of thinks keeps them from being a problem, though the book suggested ways of managing those tendencies so it didn't turn into such a major event and planning things to regularly keep things under control.
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audible-books
I give this 5 stars, not for the writing style, or because I think every single person should read this (though I do think it would help most), but for how it impacted me.

I’ve been on a decluttering journey for the past year (and have had the strong desire, with periodic bursts, for over a decade). On her scale (1 being a neat freak and 5 being borderline compulsive hoarder), I have ranged from a 4 or 5 to a 3 over the course of my lifetime. But I had been stuck firmly as a 3 for a long time. I
William Schram
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Hoarding can be a serious issue. On the other hand, hoarding behaviors often fall on a continuum, just like any other behavior. It isn’t a binary condition where you have it or you don’t, oftentimes there are things that you just don’t feel like sorting and it gets out of hand. All of us have some sort of feelings for our things as well, but that can lead to an unhealthy level sometimes as well.

That is the feeling that predominated in The Hoarder in You by Dr. Robin Zasio. The book offers helpfu
Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-audiobook
I listened to this as I am downsizing because I'm aware of the fact I have too much stuff. Cassandra Campbell did her usual excellent job of narration, although having watched Dr.Zasio on the TV show Hoarders, she could easily have narrated this herself because her voice is that pleasant.

Speaking of Dr. Zasio's voice, it comes through clearly here. She doesn't blame or belittle. There is no moral failure in hoarding. Like many other obsessive compulsive disorders, people can recover. She explain
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book can help people who have to deal with mild hoarders or clutterers because she gives a good explanation of the emotions that these people feel and tips on how to be helpful in encouraging them to get rid of stuff. The book has some quizzes to see where you are at on the clutter continuum and how you can improve your living situation. The best take away for me was that it was okay to get rid of something you were saving for future use because you have to trust that you will be able to ta ...more
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have always struggled with keeping things that others would see as useless. As a child, I remember really being involved in saving the environment, Reduce Reuse and Recycle was drilled into us. So I tried to save trash and reuse it. I can't blame the environmental program for my hoarding tendencies. It runs strong in my family, my grandparents had it, my mother has it and yes my sister has it too. I do think that I can put some recent blame on Pinterest. I can now show my husband in beautiful ...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

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Are you having a difficult time reading these days? If so, you're not alone. Since the pandemic began, I've found it harder to concentrate on...
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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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