Clutter: An Untidy History

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, September 1, 2020, ARLINGTON, VA:

Arlington, Virginia, Professional Organizer Heather Cocozza interviewed and quoted at length in the new book Clutter: An Untidy History (Belt Publishing, September 1, 2020; Available for purchase from Amazon.com or BeltPublishing.com)

Author Jennifer Howard examines the messy topic of clutter from all angles, including interviewing industry leaders such as Heather Cocozza, owner of Cocozza Organizing + Design, LLC. Howard writes:

“In person, Cocozza comes across as warm, helpful, and well prepared. It was easy to picture how she could help a stressed-out client deal, sit down and sort through a backlog of files decades in the making. Like many organizers, she started with individual clients who needed a hand with home organizing; she now works with many institutional clients as well, including a major museum complex. It surprised me to learn that the two realms—home and workplace—offer similar challenges from an organizer’s perspective. Cocozza found the transition easy to make.” Howard goes on to explain how Cocozza’s system of best-practices can be applied at the office and at home. Cocozza makes her see that the basic principles are quite straightforward, but that a professional organizer also teaches clients how to set aside time for long-term maintenance of any organizational system. Solutions must be customized to the individual or they won’t last.

Howard acknowledges that professional organizers do much more than just “set up a sensible, sustainable system of higher-level categories and sort, label, and discard accordingly.” Through her interview with Cocozza, Howard conveys the depth of empathy and people skills needed to help clients make tough decisions about their possessions and those of their departed loved ones. Rather than a how-to book (which is what you often find in the organizing industry), Howard offers an in-depth investigation of this sprawling topic, its history and psychology. It is a must-read for anyone who has ever or is currently dispersing an estate or going through the downsizing process. Through her research and interviews, Howard shows readers that they are not alone in their feelings of overwhelm, downsizing their parents’ homes.

Advance Praise for Clutter: An Untidy History:

“Jennifer Howard has written a brilliant and beautiful meditation on the nature of our attachment to things. Reading Clutter made me long for a life without clutter.”— MALCOLM GLADWELL, New York Times bestselling author and host of the “Revisionist History” podcast

“Howard’s exploration of one dark corner of consumer culture is quick-witted and insightful—and, appropriately for the subject, refreshingly concise….A keen assessment of one of society’s secret shames and its little-understood consequences.”—KIRKUS REVIEWS

Clutter: An Untidy History was featured in the “New & Noteworthy” section of the New York Times Book Review on August 30, 2020.

new heatherCocozza Organizing & Design, LLC, is a boutique consulting company which provides organizing and productivity services to residences and businesses. It is a fourteen-year-old women-owned small business (WOSB) based in Arlington, VA, and serves clients in the District, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV). Additional information is available at www.cocozzaorgdesign.com.

Heather Cocozza is the owner of Cocozza Organizing + Design, LLC, and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Certified Professional Organizer (CPO®). As an Organizing & Productivity Consultant she has a passion for helping people improve the quality of their work and personal lives. She works with clients to initiate and complete the overwhelming projects in their offices and homes related to physical and digital organization. She also focuses on personal and team productivity. Cocozza is currently on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO). She was the NAPO Washington, DC (WDC) Chapter Organizer of the Year 2018-2019 and NAPO-WDC Chapter President 2017-2019. In October 2019, Cocozza presented the topic of Mastering Productivity at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce co-sponsored small business event. 

Jennifer Howard lives in Washington, D.C., the city where she was born and raised. She’s the author of Clutter: An Untidy History (September 2020). A former contributing editor at the Washington Post and a former senior reporter at the Chronicle of Higher Education, Jen is a frequent contributor to the TLS. Her work has also appeared in Humanities magazine, Slate, EdSurge, and many other publications. Her fiction has been published in VQR, the Collagist, the anthology DC Noir (edited by George Pelecanos), and elsewhere. She lives in a book-filled house—so many books, so little time!—on Capitol Hill with her husband, their two children, two cats, and two dogs. JenniferHoward.com; Twitter: @JenHoward; Facebook.com/JHowardwrites; Instagram: @JHowardDC