Excerpt: 'Enough Already'

Photo: Book Cover: Enough Already!

With his new book, "Enough Already!," Peter Walsh hopes to bring the craziness and unbalance in your life to an end. By focusing on six key areas of your life— family, relationships, work, health, money and spirituality — Walsh discusses how parts of your life are interrelated.

Read an excerpt of the book below and click here to hear an introduction to the book.

Money

If a home I am working in has a clutter problem, there is a money problem not far behind. This is true without exception. We live in a culture that sends very clear messages about what we have and what we should have. The more successful we are, the more we should acquire—that's a sign of success, right? More is better—heck, if one is good, then two must be great, right? Don't pass up a bargain—if it's on sale, it has to be a fantastic deal, right? It's the ultimate irony to me that every year, especially around the holidays, we get media reports on the "health" of the American economy. The way that "health" is measured is by the rate of consumer spending. That's correct, the economy is only "healthy" if we're all out spending money on more stuff. By implication, if we happen not to be spending, then clearly we're not too well.

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We are confronted daily with many conflicting messages: Buy, buy, buy. Save, save, save. Spend your tax rebate. Put money away for the future. The problem is compounded by the amount of "stuff" we see around us. Things are cheap, credit is easy to get, and we feel we deserve to have whatever we want, whenever we want it. But, and you know this, individually and as a nation we are spending more than we are earning, and sooner or later we'll have to pay the price of having whatever we want whenever we want it. It's easy to pull out the plastic, but not so easy to make the payments when gas, groceries, and the price of most other commodities is rising daily. If you have credit card debt and no idea how to get rid of it, you're not alone. But the fact that many of your fellow Americans are equally trapped in financial quicksand is no excuse, and it doesn't mean you're going to be okay. The stuff that chokes your home may well also be choking any chance you have for financial health. If this sounds like you, read on!

Photo: Book Cover: Enough Already!
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Clutter takes us out of the present. The homes that I work in are usually filled with either "memory clutter"—the stuff that holds us strongly to an important person, an achievement, or an event in the past, or "I might need it one day clutter"—that's the stuff that we're keeping for that "just in case" moment sometime down the track. It's a wonderful thing to have important objects to remind us of beloved people or events from our past. It's useful to plan for an unpredictable future. However, people become so preoccupied with what they have that they can't focus on what's most important—the here and now. Without a balance between these "past and future items," combined with a keen awareness of what is needed now, there cannot be peace and harmony in a home.

As with the stuff we own, so with the money we have. It's exactly the same.

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