Simple Living: Doesn't That Sound Great?! | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Simple Living: Doesn't That Sound Great?!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Simple Living: Doesn't That Sound Great?!

Simple Living: 30 Days to Less Stuff and More Life... Doesn't that sound wonderful?!

I just finished reading this eBook by Lorilee Lippincott and it really resonated with me.  This is one of my favourite quotes:

The purpose of de-cluttering our lives is to make space for enjoying what we love.  When everything else is out of the way, not tripping us or taking up our time and energy, we have time for what we love and value.

Doesn't that sound beautiful?  Even with all the decluttering I've done as part of the 365 Items in 365 Days Challenge, it's always good to be reminded on why I'm doing it.  If you want a simpler life, read on!

This book has 30 short chapters and is designed for you to read one chapter each day and then spend 30-60 minutes on the task.  That part kind of reminded me of my 31 Days of Easy Decluttering series :)

I liked that the chapters alternate between material simplifying (counters, drawers, files, cars, photos, fridge magnets, etc.) and non-material simplifying (time, money, email, social media, routines, etc.).  The topics in this book cover a lot of ground and I learned a lot!

Here are a few strategies I learned through this book:

1.  Make it easy to declutter by having garbage, recycling, donate, sell, and give away baskets throughout your home. 

We're basically lazy people and if it's easier to keep something than figure out where to put it to purge it, we probably will hang onto it, and then it becomes clutter.  Having options nearby make it easier and everyone in the family can be involved in purging. 
Create many clear, easy-to-access pathways out of the house. Once set up, they are a way to maintain your simple living. Simple Living is always going to be a process, not a destination.
This is a good reminder... you never "finish" de-cluttering! 

2.  Keep your vehicle decluttered to help you feel more in control of other areas in your life.  

Or whatever area you come in contact with the most that will make a big difference (closet, bathroom drawer, kitchen counter, etc.).

Sometimes just keeping the small areas of our life organized can make us feel like we are in control of much more.  

For me the area that does this for me has usually been my living room table.  If it's cluttered I feel like life is getting out of control.  But when it's clear I feel calm.  More recently my kitchen counters have taken over this role.  It's amazing how much more in control of life I feel when my dishes are done and the counters are clear!

3.  Get rid of things that are bogging you down.

In the book Lorilee talks about getting rid of dead plants from your home and says that it's OK to not have a green thumb, even if you feel you should.  She says to forgive yourself and move on.  Then she extends that beyond actual dead plants.

As I got to thinking about plants, I realized they represent so many parts of our life. There are so many things we think we should love but in reality don’t. These things take up space, are left undone, create feelings of guilt when we see them, and are a liability to our lives instead of an asset.

What are the "dead plants" in your home or life?  This question has challenged me since I read this chapter.  I think books are my biggest "dead plant".  I have tons of books on shelves in our house that I keep thinking I'll read, but rarely do. I feel guilty every time I pass any of the shelves. I need to go through them with a "dead plants" mentality and let go of a lot of them. 

{By the way, I let go of growing actual plants a few years ago.  After years of trying, and feeling guilty every time another one died, I realized we just don't have the natural light in this house that they need.  And while everyone else in my family seems to have a bright green thumb, I did not inherit that particular passion or skill.  And I'm OK with it now.  No more guilt.  I guess I applied this lesson literally without even knowing it :) }

Need more convincing to declutter your "plants"?  Read this quote from the same chapter.
There are lots of things in life we “have to” do. We have to figure out how to make money, we have to pay the bills, we have to bathe. These “dead plants” we are looking at today are things in our life that we don’t have to do. They are things we think we should do. Big difference. In the need-love-clutter mix, they qualify as clutter. Because you started a project, because you have all the pieces, and because you used to love it aren’t good reasons to hang on to it.

And the end of the chapter says this:

Trying to do things because we think we should steals our life, stresses us out, makes us unhealthy, and generally makes us worse to be around. Because relationships are the most important thing in my life, I don’t want these other “shoulds” that I really don’t enjoy to take away from the things I love.

So powerful.

There's so much I can say about this book.  I've only scratched the surface here.

If you're overwhelmed and want to simplify your life, this book will help you get started.  Or motivate you to continue simplifying.

And if you're decluttering, why not join our 365 Items in 365 Days challenge?  Our Facebook group is filled with really encouraging people who are all decluttering for various reasons.

So get this book!  It's full of this great stuff!  I didn't go through it over 30 days as it's designed, so I know I will get even more out of it when I do.  But I learned a LOT from my first read through it!

Simple Living: 30 Days to Less Stuff and More Life is part of the All Organized ebook bundle.  You get this book and 22 other great organizing ebooks for only $20!  That's over 85% off the regular price of all those books individually!

Click the picture to get all the details on what's included!

[Update: This bundle sale is now over, but you can still get Simple Living by clicking here.]

If you're still debating about buying this bundle, here's a great opportunity to help you decide.  I've joined forces with several other bloggers to share reviews of various books in this bundle.  Click the links below to read all the reviews and see how this bundle will help you get organized {this list will be added to so feel free to come back again over the next few days to read more reviews}.

And then come back here to buy your bundle!

{Note: I'm an affiliate for this sale, which means if you buy a bundle after clicking one of the links on this blog, I'll make a small commission.  This helps cover the expenses of running this blog.  My opinions are 100% my own and I absolutely love this bundle :)  Thanks for your support!}

If you just want to buy Simple Living and not the whole bundle, you can get it here.  

Which ebook are you most excited about reading?  Have you read any of these ebooks?  If so, how did they help you get organized?

Happy reading and happy organizing!