Book Review: Stuff

Stuff: Compulsive hoarding and the meaning of things by Randy O Frost & Steketee

Highly recommended. Especially for those dealing with hoarding, counselors, psychologists & members of the “Voluntary Simplicity” movement.

Stuff is not just a book for psych majors or people dealing with hoarding. It is written for everyone. Everyone relates to physical items in some way. For some, things are safety. For some, things are cages. And for some, things are simply a means to an end.

Stuff explores those different meanings as well as what happens when normal attachments get out of control. Hoarding is not laziness. It’s not being slovenly. It’s not even just a strange manifestation of OCD. Hoarding is a unique psychological syndrome.

Randy Frost and Gail Steketee are at the forefront of hoarding research and it shows. They have the remarkable ability of the true expert and are able to make their research easily accessible to most readers.

The case-studies are presented with infinite compassion and affection for their subjects. There are no negative value judgements here and in no way are the people presented dehumanized or degraded.

The incredible work in these pages reminds me why psychology fascinated me in the first place.

This is an absolute must read. It’s not just an exploration of dysfunction. It raises questions, at least for me, about how I personally relate to objects, money and my own behaviors.

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