Clutter Around the House is Worth Looking At

Brooks Palmer, the author, will give a talk about decluttering at the Richard Byrd library in Springfield on June 24th.

Let’s face it, we’re living in a world of “stuff,” that’s filling up rooms, landfills and the shed in the backyard. Do we need all this stuff? And even worse, how are we going to decide what we need and get rid of the rest? That’s where Brooks Palmer’s book “Clutter Busting, Letting Go of What’s Holding You Back,” comes in handy and provides options for de-cluttering.

The book opens with the notion that the home is a big trash can and it’s time to take out the trash. Calling your stuff “trash,” is a little extreme but it does bring this to the forefront. The book points out that excess stuff makes the home seem to be a trash can, but not in a pushy way. “It’s a gentle approach,” said Palmer.

The “gentle,” chapters include letting go of the past, clutter as an addiction, mental clutter and clutter as punishment. At the end, there’s a summary of clutter-busting principles, like “If you haven’t used it in a year, it’s clutter.” What? What about the one rare circumstance where that item would be perfect? Beware, clutter will try to trick you so question everything, it says.

Palmer is a former resident of Springfield and “for 20 years I've professionally helped people let go of what no longer serves them,” he said. Palmer attended Rolling Valley Elementary School and Washington Irving Middle School in 1967-75, and now lives in California.

He’s written two bestselling books on the topic – “Clutter Busting: Letting Go of What's Holding You Back, and Clutter Busting Your Life,” and “Clearing Physical and Emotional Clutter to Reconnect with Yourself and Others.” Both were published by New World Library and have been translated into nine languages.

Palmer has been featured on the Oprah Network and lectured at many events. “I’ve given a lot of talks and workshops,” he said. Many could identify with what he was talking about, so it grew from there. “It took off,” he said.

Now there’s a hoarding reality show that is popular on cable TV and in many episodes, it becomes a health issue. Palmer’s health was compromised by clutter as well. While working to help others tackle clutter on various levels, his lungs were damaged. Palmer got a double-lung transplant on June 28, 2013. 

“I got really sick from the clutter busting,” he said. “My lungs became clutter.” This could be a big lesson for many out there with homes full of stuff.