If I were to take you on a tour through my house you would see tidy piles in every room. There’s a pile for candle making and craft supplies, a pile for items destined for donation, the pile for clothes I can’t fit in the dresser or closet, the pile(s) of books I can’t fit on my shelves, etc… There used to be piles on the dining table as well but I’m proud to say that area is now cleared off—just don’t look behind the table.
I try to think back to when the clutter began. Did it start when I was injured? Did it get worse as I embraced my creative side? Am I making a statement or building boundaries? The pondering collides in painful chaos–time to escape with a book, this time a funny, poignant, and revealing tale of one woman’s journey into the depths of her clutter and the team of friends who helped pull her out.
A Cluttered Life: Searching for God, Serenity, and My Missing Keys by Pesi Dinnerstein is one of the best books I’ve read in a very long time. Pesi brings us along on her journey as she comes to terms with her clutter—how it defines her, how it traps her, and how it inspires her. Between these pages I found a kindred spirit. I gained insight into my relationship with clutter. I learned how to laugh at myself and my piles. If you live with clutter, or if you just want a good laugh, I encourage you to read this book.
Pesi is currently touring with WOW! Women On Writing. Come on by for my interview with the author, more information about the book, and a list of tour stops. There are plenty of chances to win a free copy too!
Insightful, unsettling, and wildly funny, A Cluttered Life: Searching for God, Serenity, and My Missing Keys (Seal Press) is the story of Pesi Dinnerstein’s quest to create a simple and orderly life—only to discover that simplicity is not so simple and what constitutes clutter is not always perfectly clear. When a chance encounter with an old acquaintance reveals the extent to which disorder has crept into every corner of her existence, Pesi determines to free herself, once and for all, of the excess baggage she carries with her. Along the way—with the help of devoted friends, a twelve-step recovery program, and a bit of Kabbalistic wisdom—her battle with chaos is transformed into an unexpected journey of self-discovery and spiritual awakening.
Pesi Dinnerstein (a.k.a. Paulette Plonchak) has written selections for the best-selling series Small Miracles, by Yitta Halberstam and Judith Leventhal, and has contributed to several textbooks and an anthology of short stories.
Dinnerstein recently retired as a full-time faculty member of the City University of New York, where she taught language skills for close to thirty years. She has been an aspiring author and self-acknowledged clutterer for many years, and has spent the better part of her life trying to get organized and out from under. Despite heroic efforts, she has not yet succeeded; but she continues to push onward, and hopes that her journey will inspire others to keep trying as well.
Share your clutter comments! Commiserations, remedies, and rants all welcomed:)