Organized Simplicity

Doesn’t the phrase “organized simplicity” make you feel inspired to get your home and family on a better track?  It does for me!  In her book Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living, Tsh Oxenrider lays out a vision for how small steps toward organization and simplicity can improve your life and your family dynamic.

If you’ve read the Simple Mom blog before, you’ll feel like the content in this book is familiar, but unlike some books based on blogs, this one doesn’t feel like a series of blog posts stuck together.  I think it’s helpful to consider topics in different ways, so even though I’ve read many of these ideas in blog posts, reading them in a more structured narrative was helpful.

The author defines simple living as “living holistically with your life’s purpose.”  She gives helpful pointers on how to identify a purpose statement for yourself and your family, and then how to structure your activities, commitments, and home around that purpose. I think this is a really profound point – all the organization and paring down in the world will be useless to you if the system you’re devising doesn’t line up with your particular and unique priorities and goals.

The first half of the book explores ideas related to simple living, identifying your purpose so you can live simply within it, and gives guidelines for how to take concrete but manageable steps toward a more workable and sustainable life.

The second half of the book focuses on how to make your home more organized and simplified.  Once you’ve identified your purpose and goals, it’s much easier to figure out how to apply those to your space.  The book walks through each section of an average home and makes suggestions for how you might get it under better control.  Reading this section made me feel like I could actually do this and that it would be effective, rather than seeming overwhelming or of questionable utility.

Overall I found Organized Simplicity to be a helpful and inspiring little book and I’d recommend it.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

5 thoughts on “Organized Simplicity

  1. I thought the first half of the book was the most helpful to me, as you wrote above “all the organization and paring down in the world will be useless to you if the system you’re devising doesn’t line up with your particular and unique priorities and goals.”

    I am such a list-maker and love planning *everything* so most of the second half was less original info for me, so making sure that all of my lists and plans are taking me in a direction that is worthwhile. Or even to make sure that I’m not spending time working on things that really aren’t that important to us compared to others.

    [As an aside, I think this kind of relates to your earlier post Own It. My life and house priorities need to be my own, and it doesn’t matter what other people do. Having a beautifully decorated house that could be photographed for a magazine at a moment’s notice is a priority for my sister-in-law. While I think that’s a lovely idea and all, it’s way, WAY down my list of priorities and I sometimes need to remind myself of that when having certain people over to my house. Their priorities (and strengths even) aren’t mine and that’s ok.]

    One of my favorite aspects of the book is that it’s compact and easy to read in snippets as time and a young child allows. That plus it being inspiring and yet still practical made it one of the better reads for the year for me.

  2. I’m wondering which you preferred more — From Clutter to Clarity or Organized Simplicity?

    I’m actually doing a Clear the Clutter challenge! But I’m taking 30 days — and not 10. I don’t think I could do it in 10!!

    1. Although they are both ostensibly about clutter, I think Clutter to Clarity and Organized Simplicity are do different that I can’t really say I prefer one over the other. Clutter to Clarity goes far beyond physical clutter to look at the root causes of cluttered thoughts and a cluttered heart and WHY our lives and schedules get so cluttered. Organized Simplicity, on the other hand, starts with helping you determine your goals and priorities and then shows you how to manage your stuff and your time to line up with those goals and priorities. So I think the books are complimentary, but they don’t really cover the same ground. I hope that helps!

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