Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Book Review: Organized Simplicity

Organized Simplicity: The Clutter Free Approach to Intentional Living
By Tsh Oxenreider

I received this book as a gift from a friend who had received this book as a gift from her sister-in-law. And as it goes with good books, word of mouth is the best marketing system. Yes, I already have a friend in mind to pass the book along to.

How-to, self help, minimalism, and cleaning books are not lacking in our society. Yet houses are getting bigger, families are getting busier, and dare I say families are getting poorer. When we were first married we lived in a house that was about 1000 sqft, but fantastically affordable and just right for newlyweds. Fast forward 7 years, add two children and one new, better paying job later and we were ready to move to a better neighborhood. The two 1700 sqft homes we lived in over the course of the next three years always seemed a little too big (my husband would disagree, I'm sure).

We longed to own a home and finally found one in our price range and took aggressive measures (ok, maybe just measures) to make sure we could fit in our new 1/3 smaller home. And so I find myself today cozy in my 1150 sqft home. And while my kids get bigger (both boys predicted to break 6 feet tall) I have been tempted to add on (I love our location so I don't want to move). But about a year ago I realized that to increase this home would deprive potential future buyers of their cozy first home. #LoveGrowsBestInLittleHouses

What I loved about this book is that it not only addresses your clutter, it addresses time and money. Tsh has great concepts that can be applied to any area of your life. This is what I walked away with:

1. Live Intentional.
Not doing this is probably the biggest thief of our lives. We are so busy just getting by that we forget why we are alive (some have never stopped to even consider why). God has s purpose for each of us; how sad to think we may have ignored it in our busyness. Prioritize your life as an individual/family and then live in a way that congruent with your life's purpose.

2. Create Availability.
This was a life changer for me. Our lives are so full that we are prisoners of them. Payoff your debt and bulk up your savings so you can use your money to help someone when needed, take that dream vacation, or retire in style. Don't keep your family so busy you can't savor the activities you do. Clean and declutter your home so you can host a girls night, let your kids have that sleep over, or even house a visiting friend.

3. Deny obligation.
Do you really "have to"? I know there are some things that you really do "have to" do but when you live intentionally you will start to see you don't really have to do everything. It's ok - even appropriate - to say no. Does a kid have to play four different organized sports? Do you have to watch six reality shows instead of living your own life? Do you have to have a new car? Do you have to keep that gift that you will never use? Ask yourself these kinds of questions and you may be surprised at the answers.

I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did. I will likely re-read this in years to come, which I don't say often, but it was really that meaningful to me.