Normally on Saturdays I like to post links to articles from the previous week that I’ve found to be great resources or just plain interesting. This week, however, I’m switching things up a bit (and it’s not just that I’m posting on a Sunday).
It’s been a while since I’ve done a “Sharing Saturday/Link Love” post and because I’ve been doing quite a lot of reading offline, I’d like to spotlight some of the books that have been recently holding my attention:
[Disclaimer: Affiliate linkage ahead!]
When I was first seriously planning out The Stuff Project, I did a bit of research that included reading blogs about hoarding, watching episodes of “Hoarders,” and reading what I could about the disorder. Although I’d been doing these things for a while before I thought up the project, in the weeks leading up to it I began to look specifically for concrete methods as to how I should tackle the monstrous beast that is my house.
Most of what I came across fell into two categories: resources that describe hoarding from a psychological perspective and resources for “normal” organizing methods (i.e., how to organize a filing cabinet, ways to use a hanging shoe organizer, etc.). I desperately searched for the book that could combine the two– a book that could explain solid methods to overcome or simply deal with extreme clutter (i.e., chronic disorganization or hoarding).
It’s All Too Much is exactly this perfect combination. It provides usable techniques for organizing a home one room at a time as well as addresses the emotional stickiness accompanied by extreme clutter, without getting into too much of the psychological nitty gritty jargon. I’m so thankful that I found it; it has managed to become like my cleaning bible. I feel like it’s been glued to my hands… whenever I’m not actually cleaning, that is.
Here’s my best summary of some of the main ideas from this guide:
Crap sucks and costs a lot, not just monetarily. Distinguish between what’s crap and what’s not and you’ll be surprised at how much crap most of it is. You will really, yes really become happy once you’ve cut out the crap. And you can make money (and pay off your debt) by selling it.
The stats and figures presented about the cost of clutter were incredibly sobering for me, so much so that I was literally in tears just pages into reading the guide. But even if before reading it you were already convinced that an excess of crap is bad, the guide provides an excellent step-by-step about how to free yourself from it.
Sell Your Crap addresses every excuse you could possibly come up with and gives detailed instructions on what kind of items to sell, where to sell them, and how. There’s even a list of charities you can donate your stuff to, organized by the kinds of items they accept. The guide is so detailed and thorough; it essentially does everything just short of doing the actual purging and selling.
I worked with Adam Baker several months ago, so it would be only fair to say that I’m slightly biased towards his guide. But I’d only recommend something if I truly find value in it, and in this case, I find Sell Your Crap to be genuinely invaluable. I have been and will continue to use the guide as a blueprint in setting up my brand spankin’ new eBay listings in the upcoming weeks.
It was only after finally owning up to the fact that I’m growing up and need to start taking responsibility for my money that I started reading and learning about personal finance. At first, I didn’t think there would be any connection between it and home & office organization but the more I read, the more I realize that many of the principles applied to one can be applied to the other. The two seem to go perfectly hand in hand, especially considering that we need money to buy the items to fill our homes that in turn needs to be organized.
Though I’ve been following The Simple Dollar blog for a little less than a year, I just started reading The Simple Dollar book within the past week. Third chapter in, I’m already finding some really awesome gems that can apply not only to finances but to your approach on life.
In addressing whatever overwhelming obstacle you have (had) in your life, and how your attitude affects your success in achieving goals like overcoming debt, Hamm writes:
Every negative in your life is a positive... Your story has power–the ability to bring about positive change in others, no matter what their background…
If you’ve gone through something difficult… that’s not something to be ashamed of. That’s something to be proud of. You have the strength of character to survive obstacles that the people around you can scarcely imagine, and your story has the potential to inspire others. Don’t be ashamed–be proud of who you are, the good and the bad.
Debt can be an enormous beast to try and overcome, just like hoarding can be. As I read I will continue to connect the dots between debt and extreme clutter, and hopefully learn a few things about personal finance along the way.
Another blog-turned-book, The Art of Non-Conformity is essentially both a manifesto and a how-to guide to break the mold. As it has been mentioned in numerous other reviews, this particular book is not for everyone. If you’re open-minded, have a passion to follow your own path, help others, willing to challenge the status quo and take full responsibility for yourself, then this book is for you.
This book appeals to me because I’ve grown weary of the conventional life plan: going to school, going to college, then getting a job, getting married, starting a family, retirement, etc. There’s been something inside me itching for something more, something bigger and more meaningful and I’d love to observe the ideas of like-minded people. I’m almost half-way through the book.
There’s a quote in the book that the author heard that helped changed the way she approached pursuing happiness in her life:
“What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.” – Collette
This hit me like a ton of bricks when I first read it. What kind of remarkable life am I living now that I’m blinding myself to? I started reading this book and I hope to make time to finish it sometime soon.
Once when I was hanging out at a book festival, I exchanged a quick glance with this guy who walked past me. I looked at the badge he was wearing, and for some strange reason I felt drawn to him. The next day, as I walked through town I decided on a whim to stop by a local used books store to browse. I saw What Should I Do With My Life and was struck by how appropriate the title was for how I was feeling. I’d been asking myself this question over and over again for the past several months. Then I saw the author’s name and realized that it was the same name I saw on the badge the man was wearing the day before.
I bought the book immediately and have been slowly reading bits and pieces since. Call me crazy, but when a series of events like that happen I can’t help but feel like I should just go with the flow. Needless to say, I’m still trying to figure out what I should do with my life.