Mike Nelson has written a painfully honest autobiographical account of his life as an extreme clutterer. That honesty is something that other clutterers MUST read, because I think it can give them hope. Nelson convincingly documents that a very disorganized person can gain control of his/her situation with a narrative very few therapists or Professional Organizers can offer. In that spirit, I think his effort is admirable.
His technical details, for example about computer programs, are completely out-of-date, but that’s to be expected in a book published in 2001. Likewise, some of the support groups he recommends are no longer in existence, and much of the therapeutic understanding of cluttering and hoarding has become more significantly more extensive and sophisticated. I also regret some of what he writes about Professional Organizers (After all, I am one). I suspect he may have encountered both very good ones and some not-so-good ones, because he has the opinion that some can be rigid. In my opinion, be careful to avoid rigid ones. Rigid service providers may not be doing the work of trying to help their clients design systems tailored to their clients’ strengths. Rigid service providers may only be designing systems that work for themselves. Look for those of us who are adamant about taking the training we need to be able to teach skills to our clients.