I asked Lisa what it was like living in this chaos. She said, "It's suffocating. I feel like I can't breathe when I look in the office." Lisa felt buried by her own stuff. She went on, "Something has to change. I don't want to live like this. But I have no idea where to begin."

And then I heard the one refrain that sums it all up, the words of despair that I hear over and over again from everyone I work with: "It's all too much."

That is why I decided to call this book It's All Too Much. It's a response to the hopelessness of that refrain. It's about what to do when you reach the point where you don't know where to start. When you're faced with so much mess that you throw up your hands in despair and give up. When you just want to move into a hotel, or throw it all out, or shove it in the garage, like when you were a kid and stuffed all your dirty clothes under the bed. Amazingly, I have dealt with people who have purchased a second home rather than face the mammoth task of decluttering the home they have lived in for many years! Well, there's no place to hide your mess when you're an adult and, eventually, you have to come home, so you might as well start dealing with the problem now. It's All Too Much is the solution.

Peter takes on a home of hoarders.
Excerpted from It's All Too Much. Copyright © 2007 by Peter Walsh. Excerpted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


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