Organized Simplicity Book Review

Overview
“Simplicity isn’t about what you give up. It’s about what you gain.” Tsh Oxenreider encourages readers to rethink simplicity in her book Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living. Although simplifying has become a buzzword today, Tsh explains that true simplifying is more than living off the grid, riding bikes, eating only from our garden, or wearing organic clothes. It’s “living holistically with your life’s purpose.” Since we all have a different purpose in life, simple living will look different for each of us. 

In Organized Simplicity, you’ll learn what living holistically with your life’s purpose could look like for your family. You’ll define a purpose statement, and get motivated to lose the extra clutter in your schedule, finances, and home. The second part of the book takes you through a ten day organizing and simplifying cleanse of your home. In the appendices Tsh also provides recipes for homemade household cleaners and toiletries, home management notebook templates, and lots of resources.

The Good
I was very relieved to discover that simple living didn’t mean more work, and organizing didn’t mean spending hundreds at the Container Store. Tsh made simple living realistic and practical. Her research in the opening chapters was eye opening, it’s crazy how over time, in America people’s houses have gotten bigger but their work hours have gotten longer, so they work more to be able to buy more stuff that they then can’t enjoy because they have to work! It’s crazy how busy people’s schedules are, and how much more stressed we are in this generation. The first section of the book gets you motivated to simplify, and walks through the areas of making a family purpose statement, simplifying your time, finances, and routine. It encourages the reader to savor the little things and make time for the activities that are truly rewarding.

The recipes for homemade cleaners are easy, and they work! Making my own cleaners definitely will simplify my life, since I can use what I already have in my cupboards.

The way the book is bound, so that it stays open on any given page, and the fact that it’s small is really nice. It’s easy to carry it around with you from room to room while cleaning and organizing.

The Bad
The first section of the book is phenomenal, but the ten day cleaning section could have been better, in my opinion. We don’t have a big house or much stuff, and I took used ten days I had off of school and completely open, and I still didn’t get it all done in ten days. I can’t imagine that a family with children and more rooms could either.

Secondly, the way the cleaning part is written is really hard for me to follow. There’s one checklist in the front of each chapter for the things you’ll need, and then one vague checklist in the back of each chapter for the things you should declutter, clean, and disinfect. But the chapter itself is written in a parenthetical style that makes it really hard to follow step by step. Every couple minutes I had to re-read the paragraph to make sure I did it all. It would have been much easier to follow if it had been laid out in numbered steps.

Some of the stuff in our “give” and “sell” piles

Overall
If you’re interested in living life more intentionally as a family, I definitely recommend this book. I think just about all of us could make better use of our time and resources, and would love to have more time to enjoy the things that are truly enriching to us. Unlike most organizing books, this one tailors to you, your purpose, your goals, where you are in life right now. I suggest planning on more time for the ten day cleaning section, and I think you and your family will be encouraged and blessed by the changes that result when you define simple living and commit to it.

Get it: Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living $10.98 on Amazon.com for the spiral bound hardcover, and $8.99 for the Kindle edition.

What would make your life more simple?