Lighten Up by Peter Walsh - organize your mental being to organize your lifeI first discovered Peter Walsh, the  clutter expert and organizational consultant, on one of my favorite reality shows, “Clean Sweep.”  This could be called the prequel to “Hoarders” in that Peter and a team of people would enter a hoarders house and school them on all the reasons they’re in the mess they’re in because of issues in their life, marriage, etc., not just because they’re lazy.  In the end, they’d empty the house, hold a garage sale, and the hoarder was rewarded with a clean house and a home makeover.

What I loved about Peter was his common-sense approach to possessions.  He reminded people in every show that stuff was just stuff – it didn’t hold memories, your mind does, so holding on to things won’t bring someone back and having more stuff won’t make you feel whole.  I like to think I learned a lot from him and yet I still struggle with one of his recommendations – stop assigning value to everything you save.  Some stuff just needs to find a new home so you can live in yours.

Peter’s new book, “Lighten Up: Love What You Have, Have What You Need, Be Happier with Less,” delves into more detail about his philosophy.  Peter helps you do this by demonstrating how to find more time, get out from under debt, and find out what’s important to you. Surprised?  I was.  I expected a book about how to store things.  This isn’t it.  It’s how to deal with everyday life so you don’t have to store things – you deal with them and move on.

The main premise is to live a life of less and in doing so, you’ll have less financial misery and more emotional satisfaction.  Am I following all of his suggestions?  No.  Because I haven’t sat down to do the work, but I’ve laid the foundation by reading his guidebook to success.

Peter now has his own show, “Enough Already!” on the OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.  I’ve not seen it because for the life of me I can’t find the channel on my cable provider, but I’m sure I’d love it as much as his original show.

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