In "I'm Right Here: 10 Ways to Get Help for Hoarding and Chronic Disorganization," Jill Yesko, a Certified Professional Organizer®, explains the difference between chronic disorganization and hoarding disorder and the multiple ways to access resources for help. Some people develop a hoarding disorder after experiencing a traumatic life event. Others accumulate items due to brain-based challenges such as depression, anxiety, or attention deficit disorder. Whatever the underlying reason is, Yesko outlines the resources available to those experiencing extreme organizing challenges with their environments. She explains the advantages of collaborative therapy and the importance of effective communication and support during the decluttering process.
Plot/Idea: Certified Professional Organizer Yesko has gathered strategies for getting organized from her own experience and that of ten of her colleagues. The methods presented here are intended to help adults with ADHD, chronic disorganization, and the most difficult to treat of all, hoarding disorder, as well as their family and temporary or long-term caregivers. Yesko explains how she got started as a professional organizer (PO) and describes step-by-step how professional organizers work with clients, which makes it clear how this approach differs from the resources available for people who are capable of reading a book or watching a video and organizing themselves. Other methods include working with a professional organizing team, working with a PO with expertise in brain-based disorders that lead to chaotic living environments; virtual organizing coaching, classes, and support groups.
Prose: The book is written in easily understood prose that is both detailed and clear.
Originality: I’m Right Here is a solid introduction to a little-known group of professionals. The author presents several methods and the steps each kind of professional might take in the course of working with a client, making this a practically-minded and informative text.
Character Development/Execution: This book will give the very disorganized person a good overview of the paid services that are available to them, as well as a bibliography and resource list. It will be equally helpful to those family members, therapists, friends, and doctors who are looking for way to help a loved one or a patient.
Date Submitted: January 10, 2022
The emphasis on outside help makes clear that chronic disorganization is not something it’s easy to navigate alone. The split-focus, though, at times makes the guide less inviting for everyday readers than it could be: She refers to clients in the third-person–“They may say to themselves, ‘I know I have this great potential, but I’m not achieving it’”–and frequently relies on acronyms, which can pile up. Readers searching for specific examples may find this to be a more generalized guide, but Yesko does dip down to a micro level when describing supportive organizations and classes.
Yesko’s strength lies in the variety of resources she introduces for readers, and despite its short length, I’m Right Here will be a valuable reference tool, one that can be read straight through. Some sections will resonate with readers who have struggled with chronic disorganization, especially an account of her experience on the TV show Hoarders—“The level of items in the house had gone down but was still three feet deep”—but Yesko’s non-confrontational, reassuring approach will help them gain fresh perspectives and motivation. A practical appendix breaks down specialist certifications and measurement scales to round out the guide.
Takeaway: A brief, well-organized guide offering resources for professional organizers and readers struggling with chronic disorganization.
Great for fans of: Dana K. White’s Decluttering at the Speed of Life, Genevieve Parker Hill’s Minimalist Living.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: B
It's about time! There is finally an approachable book for those that believe they might be hoarding, or like the numbers show us, are probably experiencing chronic disorganization. Jill Yesko comprehensively highlights the many ways to get help from the top professional organizers in the business, many of whom I've worked beside and learned from. This helpful, where-to-turn resource takes the fear and shame out of reaching out for professional help, closing the gap for those who aren't sure where to begin.
- Matt Paxton, Featured Expert on A&E's Hit show HOARDERS, Host of Legacy List with Matt Paxton on PBS
National Motivational Speaker on Downsizing & De-Cluttering
The green bench on the cover of the book has a distinct meaning.
“I chose a bench because anyone can sit on a bench,” Jill B. Yesko said Thursday inside Kingfly Spirits in Pittsburgh’s Strip District. “A bench is usually accessible to everyone. The bench represents my personal opinion to be inclusive, a place for everyone to talk about how to get help.”
The help Yesko of the North Side is referring to is with organizing. She is author of “I’m Right Here: 10 Ways to Get Help for Hoarding and Chronic Disorganization,” which she launched with an event at Kingfly.
Yesko is a certified professional organizer with nearly two decades’ experience in the professional organizing industry. The book explains the difference between chronic disorganization and hoarding disorder.
The Institute for Challenging Disorganization defines chronic disorganization as “disorganization that persists over a long period of time, frequently undermines quality of life and recurs despite repeated self-help attempts.
“Chronic disorganization may be present with brain-based challenges such as ADHD, anxiety, depression, hoarding disorder, post- traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.”
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines hoarding as “the compulsion to continuously accumulate a variety of items that are often considered useless or worthless to others, accompanied by an inability to discard the items without great distress.”
“This book is great for professional organizers and productivity consultants who need a more well-rounded way to reach their clients,” Judith Kolberg, founder of the Institute for Challenging Disorganization, said in a statement. Kolberg is author of “Conquering Chronic Disorganization” and wrote the foreword for Yesko’s book. “It’s practical for allies in the disorganization trade, like psychologists. And, for those struggling with chronic disorganization or hoarding behaviors, it’s a must read.”
Yesko founded Discover Organizing Inc. in 2003. She appeared in Season 11 of A&E’s “Hoarders,” where she and her team help to clear a heavily hoarded home in Wheeling, W.Va.
She said she’s suggested to clients to take photos of items that need to be thrown away and create a book of the pictures. Or set up sorting stations for clothing, shoes, coats, kitchen items, jewelry, personal care and first aid, blankets, electronics and memorabilia.
“If you take pictures, you will have the memory of that item or items forever,” Yesko said. “A lot of seniors have items from long ago that mean a lot to them … items that are a witness to their lives. We want to help people not be frustrated when they are looking for something and can’t find it.”
She said if there are things a person definitely can’t part with, then create a memorabilia box to hold them.
“We don’t want people to get rid of things they really want,” she said. “But we do want to help them make room for the things that mean something to them.”
The book is a resource on how to reach a professional organizer. That can be done through in-person or online sessions.
Yesko plans to release a second book in the fall she’s co-authored with Laurean Kile of Monongahela —“Chronological Order: The Fine Print for a Large Life.” It will help with organizing tips at various decades of a person’s life.
“There are things we think everybody knows, but they might not,” Kile said. “So we are sharing stories about what to know when you are in your 20s, and 30s and 40s and so on.”
Yesko chose to launch the book at Kingfly because “it’s a cool space.”
“We’ve been talking with Jill because Christina and I recently got married, and we are combining two households of stuff,” said Mark Willson, who co-owns Kingfly Spirits with wife Christina French. “I realize I will have to give up three-quarters of my closet space.”
Yesko is a true professional, said client Diane Petronko, of Mt. Washington.
“She helped me clean out my attic and when I moved,” Petronko said. “She does it all, and she does a great job.”
Chapters include everything from Hands-On Organizing One-on-One with a Professional Organizer to Clutter Support Groups, Books and Research Publications, Online Resources and Television Shows.
“If this book closes the gap between those who are suffering and those who can help them, then it will be a success,” said Yesko, who interviewed 10 colleagues about chronic disorganization. “Accessible, nonjudgmental, expert help is an important objective. Whether the help is online, in person in the home, at a weekly support group, a podcast, or over the phone, it’s there. And I will be there waiting.”
On the green bench.
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 724-853-5062, email@example.com or via Twitter .