Brooks Palmer is a stand-up comedian who regularly performs in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York, so I was surprised, even disappointed, that Palmer didn’t write Clutterbusting with humor. Once I got over that twist, I found compassion, wisdom, and the most absurdly creative exercises that I have ever read to help ANYONE loosen ties to stuff. If someone gets this book and only reads the exercises, they will draw huge benefit from it.
Much of Palmer’s orientation reminds me of other works I’ve read which emphasize Zen and Feng Shui practices. Palmer believes that anything can be clutter. He also holds that clutter has emotional foundations; finding your emotional underpinnings of your attachment to any item allows you to let go of the thing. It’s a theme echoed in books from many other authors, from Julie Morgenstern to Cindy Glovinsky to Karen Kingston. Palmer’s orientation, while just as gentle as theirs, is more blunt. For example, he’s fond of words other Professional Organizers avoid: trash, garbage, dirty. And he believes in getting to the core emotions as quickly and thoroughly as possible. No hiding, no gradual approach. The minute you realize what’s holding you back – analyze, react, acknowledge, embrace… Not easy, but worthwhile.
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