Friday, September 28, 2012

What I've Been Reading: The Hoarder in You

This past week I read the book The Hoarder in You: How to live a happier, healthier, uncluttered life by Dr. Robin Zasio.  My initial interest in the book was personal -- I am always seeking out ways to keep the chaos of life to a minimum. However, the chaos addressed in this book is well beyond the paper piles and toy explosions (we have children ages 4 and 2) typical in our home.  The pages address those who cannot enter rooms in their home because the piles of "stuff" won't allow a door to open or people who cannot stand to throw out fast food containers.  I was delighted to realize my hoarding was no where near that of many Americans.

However, this book is useful for those with relatives who may have hoarding issues.  As an estate planning and probate attorney I regularly hear stories from children or siblings concerned about a loved one.  That concern is often articulated in a form of a question "what are we going to do with their home?".  Now I can point them to this book, which is full of lists, resources, and action steps.  I especially liked the discussion on how to address peoples fears of throwing something out -- what if I need it?

As always, planning ahead will save time and money.  If you have a loved one who falls into the hoarder spectrum, give some thought now to how you can address the issue before you are in a crisis situation (i.e. untimely death or nursing home admission).  Starting with this book would be a good first step.  My copy was from the local library....a great way to keep the clutter down in a home, borrow instead of purchase!

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