While I was writing Unclutter Your Life in One Week, I stopped reading books to review for the site. Truth be told, I simply didn’t want to think about books after spending five or more hours a day working on mine. I had experienced my fill, at least temporarily.
Now that the text of my book has been shipped off to the publisher, I’m back to reading books again for review. First up on my list was Peter Walsh’s It’s All Too Much Workbook, which apparently came out in April. (April? There was an April this year?!) His workbook is a companion to his popular narrative It’s All Too Much.
What little text is in the Workbook appears to be the same as in the original. Mostly, it includes lined pages where you can physically answer questions and complete charts. There are a few pull-out boxes that contain new text, and one of these boxes really caught my eye on page 39:
Here are some questions to help you make decisions about what to keep without starting arguments or passing judgment. The goal is to reframe the discussion away from the item itself to its significance in your lives.
- Instead of “Why don’t you put your tools away?” ask “What is it that you want from this space?”
- Instead of “Why do we have to keep your grandmother’s sewing kit?” ask “Why is that important to you? Does it have meaning?”
- Instead of “There’s no room for all of your stuff in there,” say “Let’s see how we can share this space so that it works for all of us.”
- Instead of “Why do you have to hold onto these ugly sweaters your dad gave you?” ask “What do these sweaters make you think of or remind you of?”
- Instead of saying “I don’t understand how you can live with all of this junk,” ask “How do you feel when you have to spend time in this room?”
His tips here are right on the mark. They get to the heart of the matter without antagonizing or assigning blame.
If you haven’t read It’s All Too Much, you can benefit from getting both it and the new It’s All Too Much Workbook. (The original is one of my favorite books on organizing and uncluttering.) You definitely will want the original book, though, as the Workbook isn’t a stand-alone product.