Cover image for Year of no clutter : a memoir
Year of no clutter : a memoir
Schaub, Eve O., author.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Naperville, Illinois : Sourcebooks, [2017]
Physical Description:
xxviii, 290 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
The author explores the hoarding phenomenon as reflected by such cultural examples as Hoarders and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up while sharing the personal story of how she organized a single room in her house that had been overtaken by psychological clutter.
Welcome to Hell -- We begin -- The hoarder -- Problem? what problem? -- Cluttered blood -- We continue to begin -- I hate Edith Piaf -- A good problem to have -- We continue continuing -- Do you want this? -- Like father, like daughter -- What we talk about when we talk about clutter -- Strategies of stuff -- The old heave-ho -- The autobiography rug -- The weirdest things I own -- Everything must go -- It goes so fast -- Are we there yet? -- The room fairy.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RC569.5 .H63 S33 2017 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
RC569.5 .H63 S33 2017 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Eve has a problem with clutter. Too much stuff and too easily acquired, it confronts her in every corner and on every surface in her house. When she pledges to tackle the worst offender, her horror of a "Hell Room," she anticipates finally being able to throw away all of the unnecessary things she can't bring herself to part with: her fifth-grade report card, dried-up art supplies, an old vinyl raincoat.

But what Eve discovers isn't justold CDs and outdated clothing, but a fierce desire within herself to hold on to her identity. Our things represent our memories, our history, a million tiny reference points in our lives. If we throw our stuff in the trash, where does that leave us? And if we don' do we know what's really important?

Everyone has their own Hell Room, and Eve's battle with her clutter, along with her eventual self-clarity, encourages everyone to dig into their past to declutter their future. Year of No Clutteris a deeply inspiring--and frequently hilarious -- examination of why we keep stuff in the first place, and how to let it all go.

Author Notes

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.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Owning your mess is everywhere, from episodes of Hoarders to Marie Kondo books. Schaub (Year of No Sugar, 2014) admits she has a real problem letting go of stuff. Her quest to reclaim the giant, junk-filled Hell Room in her home is aided by her two daughters, who seemingly represent the two parts of her brain, catch-and-release and keep-it-forever. While musing on what led her to save her fifth grade report card and a long-deceased rodent in a box, Schaub weaves in thoughtful cultural references, pointing out that while the ability to have too much stuff is a phenomenon of privilege, it also reflects how far we'll go to put off painful decisions. She describes the pain of how much messier her entire house got until the boxes and bags of trash and donations were hauled away and questions, at what point . . . do we hold on to our past so tight that we risk strangling it to death? Her recognition that clutter of the mind is as real as tangible clutter makes this a personal and powerful read.--Howerton, Erin Downey Copyright 2017 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Schaub (Year of No Sugar), a lifelong collector of countless possessions, decided the time had come for her to take on what she has dubbed "The Hell Room" in her house, which was so full of discarded items and such a source of anxiety that she rarely went near it. She thoughtfully and humourously recounts her fascinating project, getting the whole family involved as she figured out whether she was messy and overwhelmed, a hoarder, or something in between. Schaub raises a number of insightful questions: Are you a hoarder if you have a place for everything, like William Randolph Hearst, who built a castle for his prized objects and is seen as a visionary? If, like Andy Warhol, you have a collection of toenail clippings and boxes of old plane tickets and newspapers that he called cardboard time capsules, are you artistic or eccentric? According to the American Psychological Association, 2%-5% of the population are hoarders, and many have other mental health issues, including Schaub, who takes medication for OCD. Those who, like Schaub, are looking for a way to declutter that encompasses finding homes for discarded items rather than simply going to a Dumpster, will appreciate Schaub's judgment-free, instructive, funny approach to being a "domestic belonging preservationist" with a place for everything that matters. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.