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Lighten Up: Love What You Have, Have What You Need, Be Happier with Less
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Lighten Up: Love What You Have, Have What You Need, Be Happier with Less

3.27 of 5 stars 3.27  ·  rating details  ·  181 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Peter Walsh, bestselling author and popular regular guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show, is back with a book that moves beyond clearing clutter to help listeners create a less-is-more life that is completely fulfilling.
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published December 28th 2010 by Free Press (first published December 21st 2010)
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Deb
*Less is really more*

Sure, we all know (at least on some level) that money can't buy happiness. But, the costly truth that many people don't realize is that "we tend to spend money on very little that has lasting value and that can truly add to the quality of our live over the long term." In fact, the true cost of the purchases that once promised a better life comes in the form of the emotional, physical, and financial clutter that gradually smothers--and devastates--lives.

In his timely book _Li...more
Jay
You know how ticking travel clocks are supposed to help calm puppies by reminding them of their mother's heartbeat? That how I feel about self-help books like "Lighten Up", they are a calming reminder of where I've been. And sometimes there are a few useful ideas to learn as well. This was similar to the corpus of books on being happier by appreciating what you have (including great opportunities!) that are on the market, which I would call the "happy collection" since most of these books have a...more
Gregory
The chapter on doing a home inventory was of value. The author gave good insights on letting go of "stuff" including the things that have been passed down from family members which we find sentimental value in.

Time to get rid of Auntie's bread twist collection :-)
Tanya
I thought this book was totally on target for 2010-2011 when so many Americans are in debt and feeling hopeless because they don't know how to dig themselves out of it. I've read several of his books and this one is a favorite in terms of he way he helps peope step by step reassess their priorities and take action to remove the clutter.

p 49: ""This is about about 'getting organized' in the traditional sense--mentally or physically...I want you to move way beyond 'getting organized.' I want you...more
Karen
"Clutter--no matter if it's in your home, your head, or your heart--is anything that gets between you and the life you want to be living."~Peter Walsh, "Lighten Up", p. 184. This quote sort of sums up the book for me. It isn’t the traditional “how to get organized” guide. “…it’s planning for the full happy life you want to live.” (italics author’s). In Chapter one you define the life that you really do want to live; you define your vision for your life. We get clear about what we want, people. O...more
Heidi
This book was not what I expected, hence the lack of stars, although that is my problem and not necessarily the fault of the book. Most of the book deals with consumerism and learning to spend less and be happier and avoid debt. This is not my problem, so much of the book just didn't apply to my life. There were a few things in it that I found helpful, like the monthly maintenance plan at the end and the idea that each square foot in your home is worth a certain amount of $$. I'd like to check o...more
Kelly
I was so excited about this book, I've really enjoyed Peter Walsh on TV and thought this book would have helpful advice. I think the title is a bit misleading...it's more of a financial guide than an organizational guide. I kept reading because I thought there would be some great tips. Unfortunately I was wrong.
Alina
Very good, motivating and helpful. A bit wordy at times. The best one of his I read so far.
Lenore Webb
I am ready to Lighten Up. But it is so hard to do at the same time. I want to get rid of things we are not truly using and have more space around here. It feels wasteful at the same time to have these things just go away. How do you settle that inside where you have spent time and money to acquire to only to now want to 'un-acquire'? Well I am going to have Peter Walsh help me. Well yeah it would be nicer if he would just pop in here and really do the job for me. But instead I am going to use hi...more
Susan
Anyone who has seen Peter Walsh and heard his no-nonsense-yet-compassionate advice on TLC's "Clean Sweep" or on "Oprah"/OWN will read this book in his voice. I've read one of his other books, so a lot of what he related here is familiar territory. However, this installment in his series focuses on how clutter relates to one's financial state. Walsh offers solid, DOABLE activities to help the reader bring his or her possessions and $$$ into an alignment that supports his/her vision for a quality...more
Kristen
I read this because I thought it would be good to recommend to a coworker that is having some financial troubles. It's definitely a kinder, softer, gentler version of Dave Ramsey and focuses more on the personal, emotional, and psychological aspects of managing finances and your home. Common sense to people who more or less have their finances together and the book focuses a lot of getting kids involved (not applicable to me). Personally, I prefer a more structured, less touchy-feely way of deal...more
Katy C
Feb 08, 2014 Katy C rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
I skimmed through some parts that didn't apply. I really liked some of the suggestions for lightening up the clutter.

Barb
I guess I was expecting something else from this book. I have read a good bit of this kind of stuff from other books. Peter has a lot about finances in this one. Not really what I was looking for.

I think I was looking for something more along the lines of helping me change the way I think about my stuff to be able to get rid of it. It has some of that in here, but not what I was looking for. I can't explain it, so will leave it at that.

Peter Walsh knows his stuff so this is a good book, just n...more
Jason
I enjoyed it because I like Peter, but I think his other book about cleaning literally was better. I'm going to read his next two now to better understand where this one exists.

Interesting things from this book include to make sure your kids are part of financial planning, as well as how aggressively he goes after people and their excuses. I like this part. I also like his discussion of becoming a citizen of the USA and that nowhere was "responsibility" a part of that. What a great omission.
Mitzi Moore
I was looking for a book offering organizational tips. Walsh, as Oprah's organizational guru, has written several. I read this one, but it was more about financial discipline than organizing your life. I learned that, as a cheapskate who hates to spend money (and a person whose religion stresses anti-materialism), this book was not really for me. What I really need is lessons on getting rid of clutter and managing my household. A few of the chapters were useful in this regard.
Angie
I have read a lot of these types of books. This book was unique because it is set up as a work book to help the reader really explore the underlying questions as to why they are in chaos in their home or in their finances. It's much deeper than just here's some tips to clean out closet. The biggest a-ha was his advice to change your question from "what do you want FOR the living room?" to "what do you want FROM the living room?" and you can apply that in a lot of ways.
Lora Mays
Walsh has created a unique approach to money management, one that appears to be the most manageable and easy to keep up with. Perhaps its because, unlike other financial advice, Walsh doesn’t want you to stop living in order to get ahead — instead, he wants you to experience life more but in a less expensive way. A double-dip recession wouldn’t be as scary if you had a solid financial plan based on this book.

Read my full review at www.crazybookreviews.com.
Jennie
Lucky enough to live in the western world, most of us are faced with too much stuff in our homes. Following along the lines of feng shui, Peter suggests that cleaning up our homes will also help us to clean up other areas of our lives.

Part how-to and quiz/activity book, you can arrive at your own conclusions based on your personal situation. My favourite was the are you proactive or reactive?

Good stuff to think about. Baby steps.
Marcela
If you are like most people in the US, buying things we really don't need, then this book is perfect for you. Peter Walsh message is that monetary wealth does not measure well-being. He targets your finance, family, and space and what you need to do in order to live a happy life. He cites examples to help the reader better understand his message. I enjoyed reading it, and I decided to follow his advice so I started by decluttering my home.
Judi
Just finished this library find. Rat bastard make sense. I hate you so much I have two more of your books on hold at the library! And three boxes of my crap with price tags at Goodwill.

Seriously, a great eye opening read.

I look forward to reading more on the actual process of physically cleaning. and what should go/stay.
Kris
I'm a big Walsh fan, because he is genuinely trying to help people--not selling products, but caring about what will lighten their loads (physically, mentally, psychologically). Lots is common sense, but also great reminders about how to organize & clear out stuff throughout the year. Recommended!
Deb Geiger
This book's message fits perfectly with my perspective at this point in my life right now: when we realize that more "stuff" does NOT ensure our happiness (and may, in fact, prevent it!), we can focus on making life-simplifying changes that focus on what is really important to us!
Wendy
I think this would have been a great book for me to have read 20 years or maybe even 10 years ago to get me set on the right track and way of thinking about money. At this point, I've pretty much embraced everything he has to say and am either doing it already or working towards it.
Kristy
This was more focused on finances and less on physical clutter, but he had some useful tips. I've already cleaned out my closet and chest of drawers! I'll probably read a couple more of Peter Walsh's books on decluttering a home as I found him to be pretty inspiring.
Heidi
I'd give this book 2.5 stars. I found the suggestions here to be too similar to Walsh's It's All Too Much. Good suggestions for "lightening up" to help find happiness and make life more manageable for those who haven't read or heard Walsh.
Sara
Helps the reader develop a good game plan to live a more minimalist type lifestyle - cut through the clutter emotionally as well as with your possessions. Lots of quizzes and letters from other people going through relatable situations.
Mara
Reading in spurts, as I can handle processing all of the advice from decluttering your possessions to decluttering your financial situation and decluttering your mind. Sound advice for our economic times and all around.
C
I listened to the audiobook thanks to my local library. It was very up to date and addressed issues facing today's families. I especially enjoyed Peter's discussion of advertising--good material to retain and review.
Tif
Aug 16, 2013 Tif added it
Didn't really read it but realized after the foreword and 1st chapter it wasn't what I was looking for. I prefer Dave Ramsey for financial books. I think I'd probably like Peter Walsh's other books much better.
Michelle
I checked this one out at the library. It's more about finances than clutter. But clutter reflects your finances. I was inspired to sell some things on eBay so in a way the book was a good read. :)
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Born and raised in Australia, Peter moved to Los Angeles in 1994 to launch a corporation to help organizations improve employee’s job satisfaction and effectiveness. He considers himself to be part-contractor, part-therapist in his approach to helping individuals attain their goals.

When not wading through clutter and large-scale disorganization, Peter divides his time between his work in Los Angel...more
More about Peter Walsh...
It's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat? Enough Already!: Clearing Mental Clutter to Become the Best You How to Organize (Just About) Everything: More Than 500 Step-by-Step Instructions for Everything from Organizing Your Closets to Planning a Wedding to Creating a Flawless Filing System It's All Too Much, So Get It Together

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