Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living
By: Tsh Oxenreider
Publisher: Betterway Home
Publication Date: November 2010
Reviewed by: Guest Reviewer Ken Myers (please see Ken's bio below review)
Review Date: March 2014
Simple living is not easy, ironically. It's hard to know where to start, what steps to take, and what it really looks like. Most simple living books are inundated with theories, step-by-step plans, and experts who can tell you exactly what your simple life should look like.
This is not one of those books. Sure, there are checklists and tasks to help you on your journey toward a simpler life. But at the foundation of this book is the idea of redefining simplicity. You must understand simple living as something more than just a catch phrase, some pie-in-the-sky ambition, a trend. Only then will you find the motivation to create a simpler life that works for you, your family, and your home.
Such begins the book written by Tsh Oxenreider, creator of the popular blog SimpleMom.net. Tsh has written an easy to read, easy to use book about finding ways to simplify your life. This book is not a simple "how to" book based on someone else's ideas on how to create a simpler, less stressful way of living. Instead, Tsh invites you to discover what your (and your family's) life purpose is. Then she lays out specific tools which will help you accomplish the goal of "living holistically with your life's purpose."
Part 1, Living Simply in the Real World, is laid out in such a way that you can sit and read it all at once or in short bursts. First, Tsh has you create a family purpose statement. Next, she talks about time management. She states that "other than money, the biggest commodity that keeps you from living simply is time." In this chapter is a simple exercise that really helps give a sense of what your true priorities are. Part 1 goes on to explore ways to make the money you have work for you. She explains what has worked for her family regarding debt management. She has you create a home management notebook and explains how having it will proactively help you create a simple home and lifestyle. Finally, she has you imagine your home running as a well-oiled machine where family members work together. All members have time for leisure activities but also work together as a team managing the home.
Part 2, Ten Days to a Simpler, More Organized Home, gets down to the nitty gritty of simplifying your home. Each day she gives specific room-oriented tasks to complete. Room by room your house will become clean and clutter free. It is a doable system and she encourages and inspires every step of the way.
The appendix includes recipes for cleaning solutions and homemade toiletries. She also offers many helpful templates for your home management notebook. There is also a handy FAQ section at the end.
Quill says: In short, this is a nifty book to have if you are seeking a simpler lifestyle. It is beautifully done and quite inspiring.
About Our Guest Reviewer: Ken Myers is a father, husband, and entrepreneur. He has combined his passion for helping families find in-home care with his experience to build a business. Learn more about him by visiting @KenneyMyers on Twitter.