Friday 19 April 2024

Are You A Junkaholic? by Schar Ward with Debra Varin #AreYouAJunkaholic #ScharWard #BookReview


Are You a Junkaholic? Is an insightful new book written by the founders of Twin Cities Hoarding Clean Up, Schar Ward, and Debra Varin. Schar and Debra offer invaluable advice and support for those grappling with Junk Collecting Disorder (JCD). This compelling resource sheds light on the complexities of JCD and provides practical strategies to help individuals transform their cluttered living spaces into organized and harmonious homes. Are You a Junkaholic is not just a book; it’s a guiding light towards a clean and more fulfilling life.

Does your blood pressure rise and your heart speed up when you see a garage sale? Do you find yourself buying one more used umbrella even though you already own four? You could be suffering from Junkaholism! It's a disease that can destroy relationships and wreak havoc with your life. The good news is that there is a cure!

Schar Ward and Debre Varin are on a mission to rid people of their excess stuff. Their six-step program will leave you junk free. Whether you are making more space in your present home, downsizing to move to assisted living, or preparing to depart (to anywhere), their advice is, "Dejunk because you can’t take it with you."

Through anecdotes, charts, and quizzes, they humorously delve into your junk areas, wardrobe, car, purse, home, and garage-- offering practical ideas for getting rid of unnecessary junk and cutting it off at the root.

* Take the Junk Test that helps you determine how bad your junk problem is.

* Detailed guides for judging junk and how to get it off your back.

* Hundreds of sensible ideas for storing what you need.

They offer a humorous look and a serious remedy for junk collecting. They will keep you smiling as you learn to manage your life and save your sanity, not dozens of worn-out shoes.

Are You a Junkaholic? by Schar Ward with Debra Varin was published on 1 November 2023 by Universal Publishers. My thanks to the author who sent my copy for review. 

Schar Ward and her daughter Debra Varin are the founders of the  Twin Cities Hoarding Clean Up company based in Minnesota in the US. They have been offering their clean up service for fifty years and now three generations of their family work in the business. Not only do they organise cluttered spaces into pristine living spaces by cleaning, organising and dumping, they also offer their knowledge and share their tools and tips to help their customers to keep their homes clutter free. 

Ive always been fascinated by the fact that some people live their lives surrounded by junk. I'm not talking about huge curated collections of thing people like (books in my case!). I'm referring to the homes that a packed full with rubbish. Bin bags overflowing, piles and piles of old newspapers, rotting foods, animal mess etc. I guess we've all seen the TV shows that bring in the house clearers and then leave again. What is different about this book and the service that they provide is that they've examined the psychology behind why people collect junk and come up with simple, effective ideas to try to cure this.

Schar Ward acknowledges that this is a disorder; Junk Collecting Disorder (JCD), and that it can affect people from all walks of life. The book is written in a caring and compassionate way, explaining why this may happen and taking small steps to overcome it.

A 'Junk Test' is provided and to be honest, it did open my eyes a little. I am convinced that I'm not a junk collector, yet I did answer yes to more than one or two questions. I think my tendency to try to keep things neat and tidy overwhelms my need for collecting more than books ... luckily!

The book is filled with practical advice about storage solutions, about how to go through the junk in your house and decide what to keep, and why to keep it. I can imagine that this is a really difficult thing for those with JCD to go through, and the non-judgemental and totally understanding way that the book is structured really will help. 

Like many people, I am a little bit nosey and at the end of the book there are real-life examples included, with photographs. These are fascinating, imagine that your bed is covered in so much junk that you have to create a sleeping space surrounded by bags and bags of rubbish?  Imagine that underneath that junk, there's a house with beautiful finishings, just waiting to be shown the light. 

It is clear that the authors really do care about the people that they work with. This is a fascinating book that anyone will find useful, especially if they have a tendency to over-collect! 

Schar Ward has used her fifty years of cleaning experience to write Coming Clean Dirty Secrets from a Professional Housecleaner, It's About Time, Teaching Children to Clean, and Are You a Junkaholic?, which she co-authored with her daughter Debra Varin. 

Schar wrote a monthly column for Dog Fancy magazine entitled Ask the Cleaning Expert. 

She was known as The Green Cleaning Lady on Twin Cities Live, a local television show, and has contributed to articles in Family Handyman magazine. 

Schar and Debra have entertained and educated attendees at Home and Garden shows nationwide. 

She lives in Stillwater, Minnesota, and happily teaches the world to clean.

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