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Conquer the Clutter

Strategies to Identify, Manage, and Overcome Hoarding

Why does Cliff, a successful lawyer who regularly wins landmark cases, step over two-foot piles of paper whenever he opens his front door? Why do Joan and Paul ask Children's Services to take their three children instead of decluttering their home? Why does Lucinda feel intense pressure to hold onto her family's heirlooms even though she has no room for them? They have hoarding disorder, which an estimated 2% to 6% of the adult population worldwide experience.

Conquer the Clutter offers hope to anyone affected by hoarding. Real-life vignettes, combined with easy-to-use assessment and intervention tools, support those who hoard—and those who care about them. Written by Elaine Birchall, a social worker dedicated to helping people declutter and achieve long-term control over their belongings, the book

• provides an overview of hoarding, defining what it is—and is not
• explains the difference between clutter and hoarding
• describes different types of hoarding in detail, including impulse shopping, "closet" hoarding, and animal hoarding
• debunks myths about hoarding and hoarders
• explores the effects that hoarding has on relationships, on work, and on physical and financial health
• presents a practical, step-by-step plan of action for decluttering
• contains dedicated advice from individuals who have successfully overcome their hoarding disorder

The most comprehensive work about hoarding on the market, Conquer the Clutter discusses special populations who are not often singled out, such as the disabled and the elderly, and includes numerous worksheets to assist individuals in determining the scope of their hoarding disorder and tackling the problem. Over 40 pages of additional resources are available online at jhupbooks.press.jhu.edu/title/conquer-clutter.

About the Authors

Elaine Birchall, the director of Birchall Consulting and founder of the Canadian National Hoarding Coalition, earned her master's degree in social work from Carleton University. A hoarding behavior specialist and clutter coach for more than 16 years, she provides training, consultations, and counseling to individuals and organizations. Suzanne Cronkwright, a technical writer and editor, earned her honors bachelor's degree in psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University.

Endorsementss

"A great, accessible resource for anyone touched by hoarding—sufferers, family, friends, and therapists."

- Elspeth Neiman Bell, The Bell Center for Anxiety and Depression

"Birchall's compassionate and commonsense approach to decluttering continues to factor into everything we do when supporting people whose lives have been impacted by hoarding."

- Rheanon Funnell, Housing Services, Canadian Mental Health Association

"If you're one of the millions who loved Elaine Birchall's radio show Take Back Your Life When Things Are Taking Over, then Conquer the Clutter is for you. Elaine provides pragmatic tools for managing and overcoming challenges of hoarding while debunking myths. Learn how this disorder is impacting people worldwide, perhaps even your neighbor next door."

- Camille Nash, VoiceAmerica Talk Radio Network

"Clutter was making our home unhappy, our marriage unhappy, and our family unhappy. We didn't own stuff, stuff owned us; stuff was holding us hostage. Elaine's strategies have helped us take charge of the clutter and take charge of our lives."

- J and C R., clients of Elaine Birchall, Ontario, Canada
Johns Hopkins University Press
From 17

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October 1, 2019
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