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Living Simply - Book Review
With twenty-eight chapters and two useful appendices, this Living Simply book will help you find your way to a life that is physically cleaner and mentally more free. These are short chapters for fast, easy reading, but pack a lot of information together.
I appreciated all the tips on how to rethink your relationship to your stuff and your time.
The first chapters establish what exactly clutter is, how the clutter got there, and the effects it has on your life.
Chapter Six discusses how how to get rid of your stuff (with details on whether to toss donate, sell, or freecycle) in clear terms. The author provides tips from her own life (like setting up a 'free' box in front of her house), and on deciding whether something is worth the bother of listing on eBay.
Chapter Seven gets into the nitty gritty of seriously decluttering an entire house, starting with the floor (yes, there is a floor down there somewhere) and then deciding which specific rooms to spread your cleaning efforts out to, for the most mental impact.
Chapter Eight offers hands-on tools for getting motivated to do the actual decluttering work. The author suggests making short lists, using dice (neat idea!), setting time slots and planning in rewards for getting the job done.
The next set of chapters take you on a room-by-room journey of how to simplify your possessions. Included are closets, the kitchen, bedrooms, kids' spaces, bathrooms, the home office, and the garage. There is even a section on simplifying your computer inbox.
The penultimate section describes how to have a good garage sale and then offers recycling tips. I would have included Chapter Nine, about how to use Freecycle, in this section. These all have very good, specific information on getting your stuff GONE. :)
The last few chapters offer insights about living with less and being more content with what you have. This is crucial information to prevent the 'recluttering' of your life. The final chapter on to live more and spend less is a perfect way to conclude this book, and to take on living in a more frugal and thoughtful way as a new lifestyle.
As a non-parent, I did not love all the references to the things a mom should do, but I can ignore those sections and make the wording apply to my life. Five chapters are devoted to dealing with kid and teen decluttering, and the entire book does have a 'have your kids help you with this' kind of tone.
I did appreciate all the suggestions for how to rehome my books, as I have about a small library's worth. The idea for pulling ten books at a time is a good one. That is actually handle-able.
I wish I had read this book before spending ten years paying for ultimately worthless items in rental storage units! I finally have everything here in my own home, but it would have been much better to declutter these things before I packed them up for storage in the first place.
Highly recommended for people who have too much stuff and don't really know what to do with it. Telling someone to only "declutter and simplify" doesn't actually help. This book provides real-life tips on getting started with your stuff, keeping your energy going, and reassessing your life needs down the line. Very useful!
This very inexpensive Amazon ebook downloads instantly to your computer, smart phone or Kindle - Living Simply - Improve Your Life with Less Clutter.
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