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Local Author Confronts Hoarding in New Book

Zen of HoardingIn her third book, Zen of Hoarding, Columbus resident Saira Priest approaches the national problem of hoarding with a focus on individual decision-making and empowerment.

Priest estimates that between 6 million and 16 million households in the U.S. struggle with hoarding. Reality TV shows and newspaper headlines highlight the extreme, compulsive hoarders, but Priest says many more families are living with clutter and collections that are interfering in less drastic ways with their peace of mind. With the constant flow of cheaply produced, throwaway items, it’s easy for Americans to get caught up in over-consumerism. Priest believes most people can relate to just having “too much stuff” and being unsure what to do with it all; in Zen of Hoarding, she provides 108 offerings for deciding what to own.

Priest invites readers to use a Zen approach to clearing the clutter in their spaces and minds, suggesting that as people process their things, they also process their experiences. The author hopes to increase readers’ empathetic understanding of how hoarding begins and what compels individuals to hold onto things long after they are done with them, and she offers new and gentle ways to facilitate processing one’s collections.

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