From Hoarders to The Life- Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the question of what to do with all of our stuff seems to be on everyone’s mind. Eve Schaub’s new memoir is the tale of how one woman organized an entire room in her house that had been overtaken by pointless items. It’s also a deeply inspiring and frequently hilarious examination of why we keep stuff in the first place—and how to let it all go.
Eve O. Schaub graduated from Cornell and Rochester Institute of Technology. She has written for Vermont Life and Vermont Magazine, among others. During her family’s year of no sugar, Schaub blogged regularly and was often a guest on WAMC, New York’s NPR affiliate, as well as a regular visitor to Vermont Public Radio. She lives in Vermont with her family.
I wanted to read this book to learn how Eve had managed to have a year of no clutter - whilst eventually there were some tips on clearing clutter the majority of the book describes just the opposite. It tells Eve's struggle with not being able to let things go and how she even acquires more things from other people, such as her Mother and Father. These are things that she has to have as they once belonged to her and are her memories. I began to feel overwhelmed by her clutter just reading the book.
Eve references Marie Kondo a few times in this book - the lady who wrote the The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up. I too have read this book, and really this book is at the complete opposite spectrum - if you are looking for tips - this is maybe not the book for you. If you want to understand hoarding or cluttering then this gives an insight into a very mild form of that. Eve mentions an extreme hoarder who had 36 cats - 13 of which were found dead due to the amount of stuff they had become trapped under and undiscovered. Although Eve is not this extreme she does describe how her own cat goes and pees in her clutter room and she found a dead mouse in there too!
Eve has a few mantras through the book - Less is More and Keep Less Use More both of which I subscribe to. About two thirds into the book she describes "Gift Ban Strategy" and I thought - yes this is it! - great idea. You need to read the book to see if you agree.
Overall this is a humorous book - Eve brings the whole dilemma of "should I keep it or not" to life in a comedic manner. I especially loved the tale of the fate of her childhood Blankie. There are also lovely quotes at the beginning of each chapter including one of my personal favourites by William Morris "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful".
I'm giving this book 3 out of 5 stars. My thanks go to Netgalley for an advance copy of the book for review.