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home : features : the bookshelf September 29, 2014

10/23/2013 6:00:00 AM
Learn how to live a healthy life as a hoarder
Rosita Smith

BLYTHE - We all have attachments to certain things in our life. But when those things take over and drown us in multiple replicas - do you really need 50 pairs of shoes or 69 albums of Frank Sinatra CDs - you have crossed over into clutter - hoarder territory.

Hoarders rationalize that someday in the future they might have need for a certain, hard to find tool or maybe a black tote festooned with a flaming dragon spitting out red garnet stones, so they better hang on to the one they have in hand. Hoarding can lead to living in isolation and depression, under unsanitary conditions. A hoarder is unable to function under his load of stuff that has taken over his living environment. He just can't cope. Compulsive hoarding is a psychological condition, an illness, not a preference.

A cluttered room can overstimulate the senses and cause a person to feel anxious or unable to relax. Hoarders do not invite people over because they have to move things around to accommodate guests.

A cluttered house can lead to social isolation and negatively impact health. Cognitive behavioral therapy aims at decreasing clutter, improving decision-making, and strengthening resistance to the urge to save stuff.

Dr. Robin Zasio specializes in working with hoarders and clutters. She is the therapist on A&E Network's "Hoarders." Her book, The Hoarder in You: How to Live a Happier, Healthier, Uncluttered Life, is brimmed full with information on how to overcome clutter in your life, and deal with hoarding tendencies.

Her examples are from real people she has helped. Her book is easy reading and full of examples that can be incorporated into real life.

One feature throughout the book are light gray boxes that Zasio uses to condense the most important points that she is trying to make.

Even if not interested in reading The Hoarder, it is strongly recommended the book be checked out and turn to pages 168-169 where Zasio gives a storage time chart to safely keep refrigerated foods. Pages 176-177 lists, in condensed form, all the stuff a person should keep and for how long. Things such as property records, estate material, pension plans, insurance policies, health records receipts from major purchases etc., are all listed.

If interested in having a copy of the lists without checking out The Hoarder in You, ask the librarian at the circulation desk to make copies of the pages for personal use.

The Hoarder in You is on the new non-fiction shelves under 616.85 ZASIO.

The Palo Verde Valley Library is at 125 W. Chanslorway, Blythe, across from the Senior Center in Todd Park.

The library opens at 10 a.m. daily, except Sunday. It closes at 6 p.m. during the week and at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Sunday the library is closed.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Article comment by: Rachel Papworth

As someone who helps people all over the world to declutter (deleted), I'm glad it's possible for people who struggle with this to borrow, rather than own, this book. Books, videos and DVDs about how to deal with clutter have a nasty habit of becoming clutter themselves!

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