Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding” as Want to Read:
Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  435 ratings  ·  71 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
Paperback, 182 pages
Published December 1st 2006 by Oxford University Press, USA
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Buried in Treasures, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Buried in Treasures

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  435 ratings  ·  71 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding
"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
Feb 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 14, 2015 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
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As a professional organizer with experience helping clients (and also my own mother) who are "buried in treasures" and need help for their "compulsive acquiring, saving, and hoarding", I highly recommend this book for those wanting to get help and also for their friends and family who want to help them. It includes worksheets that can be completed by those wanting to do it themselves. It also contains extremely helpful tips for loved ones and those trying to help. Even as a professional trained ...more
Jul 10, 2013 rated it really liked it

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.
Sep 05, 2015 rated it liked it
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
Alison Brown
Nov 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 17, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Jul 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Purchased this book to help us assemble a diagnostic tool for use by housing inspectors in our CDBG-funded Minor Home Repair program, to help seniors and people who have disabilities retain their housing and live as independently as possible. Symptomatic hoarding can progress to eventually pose threats to animals (pets) and neighbors, and it is a delicate operation to intervene respectfully and sensitively, yet with assertiveness and concern for the community as a whole. Though limited in its us ...more
Nov 29, 2008 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Maurynne  Maxwell
Aug 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Dec 19, 2014 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Nancy DuPree
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was very interesting to learn more about what hoarders are going on in their minds. There is more going on than just thinking that they can't throw things away and the assumption that they are poor housekeepers. ...more
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
Laura Ostermeyer
I've read many books on clutter and hoarding. All have a few bits of advice but none of them go into the depth of this one and also offer logical ways to modify the behaviors associated with it. This is a workbook styled book and, as such, really helps one dig in and figure out what your own issues really are and what you can do to successfully get past them. This book is very inspiring and not judgmental in any way. I highly suggest it. ...more
Jan 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
May 20, 2010 rated it liked it
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.
Jul 24, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Mar 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Jun 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Feb 12, 2011 rated it liked it
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.
Aug 24, 2011 rated it liked it
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.
J Crossley
This is a good book for either those who are hoarders or those who have hoarders in their lives. It discusses the many reasons someone may have hoarding issues and presents ways that you can gain control of this issue.
Sep 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Full disclosure- I am not a hoarder, I am a therapist who wanted to learn more. This book has a lot of useful exercises, and is written for someone who wants to stop hoarding, not so much the clinician. It is very informative and will certainly use this with clients who need it.
Lauren Williams
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving and Hoarding by David F. Tolin, Randy O. Frost and Gail Steketee is playful. It refers to "good guys," positive habits for controlling hoarding impulses, and "bad guys," negative habits exacerbating hoarding. There are jokes scattered among the pages. It's well-written - there are passages that are just plain pleasant to read, they flow well. There's very little jargon. There are excellent motivational techniques discussed throughout. Bu ...more
Sep 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read this in one sitting one evening. This is a workbook that I'll be purchasing for myself (I read a library copy). It had a lot of good questions to ask yourself (the authors encourage you to write your answers in the book) to get at the root of your problem and determine how serious (or not) it is in your case. It is very good at assessing whether you are ready to actually do something about your level of hoarding and it will tell you honestly NOT to attempt to begin if you're just not ther ...more
Charles Wagner
Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Free from stuff!!

This is a fine book of encouragement for the OCD clatterer who wishes to resolve the problem and end up with living quarters that are not embarrassing… which a friend could be invited to, at least on a modest social level.
However, if the hoarder is a friend, relative, or spouse, good luck!
Tolin offers great suggestions for that situation. I wish you the best of luck. My only success is at death, or major illness when the clutterer is hauled off to a permanent alternative fac
Vicki Boyd
This may be helpful for those in initial stages of addressing hoarding disorder. Not helpful for spouse in long term marriage. Been married for 19 years. Finally moved out 4 years ago. Tried everything. Killing myself trying to stay ahead of hoarding. Sneaking garbage away to family’s cans to insure disposal. Went a year unable to eat at kitchen table. Exhausted.
My moving out changed nothing.
We are still married and spend time
together. Still enjoy each other’s company. He can visit my home. I
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things
  • Coming Clean
  • Dandelion
  • The Home Edit: A Guide to Organizing and Realizing Your House Goals
  • Hidden in Plain Sight (Detective William Warwick, #2)
  • The Road to Character
  • All Black Cats are Not Alike
  • Broken Places (Cass Raines, #1)
  • Cane
  • How To Kill A Narcissist: Debunking The Myth Of Narcissism And Recovering From Narcissistic Abuse (Kill A Narcissist #1)
  • The Good Lord Bird
  • The Home Edit Life: The Complete Guide to Organizing Absolutely Everything at Work, at Home, and on the Go
  • The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation
  • Mercies in Disguise: A Story of Hope, a Family's Genetic Destiny, and the Science That Rescued Them
  • The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter
  • Water Street
  • Real Men Knit
  • The Gift: 12 Lessons to Save Your Life
See similar books…

News & Interviews

Why not focus on some serious family drama? Not yours, of course, but a fictional family whose story you can follow through the generations of...
91 likes · 33 comments