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Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living
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Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  2,354 ratings  ·  283 reviews
Remove the Mess, Add Meaning

Simplicity isn't about what you give up. It's about what you gain. When you remove the things that don't matter to you, you are free to focus on only the things that are meaningful to you. Imagine your home, your time, your finances, and your belongings all filling you with positive energy and helping you achieve your dreams. It can happen, and
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published November 21st 2010 by Betterway Home (first published October 1st 2010)
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I must admit, I have a habit of reading how-to books, particularly the organizing and simplicity type. Sounded like a match made in heaven, right? Unfortunately, I was really disappointed in this one. While there was a fair amount of useful information, Oxenreider spent so much of the book explaining how she wasn't talking down to you, that it just came across as condescending. Very much along the "me think thou doth protest too much" line.

All of the suggestions are doable (especially if, as th
Eh. 1.5 stars.

For every hundred suggestions, maybe five of them were useful. The rest were either common sense or unworkable for my situation. The ten-day plan is fundamentally ableist in that it requires more physical exertion in a day than many even mildly disabled people can accomplish in two weeks running. Also annoying is the use of the rhetorical "we" in the beginning of the book, in which she preaches a sermon on what all is wrong with the world today. I found myself wondering what plane
I think if someone really, really loves, they'll love Organized Simplicity. If, like me, they take what they can use from Simple Mom and ignore the rest, then this book will probably just be okay -- especially since most of the useful info in the book is already covered in the author's blog.

Much of the first half of this book is devoted to explaining why we should buy into simplified/intentional living, and while there are some good points, this section as a whole feels a little ju
This book is divided into two sections. In the first section, Tsh defines what living simply in the real world looks like. Her definition of living simply is to "live holistically with your life's purpose." She talks about creating a purpose statement for your family and how every family's purpose statement will look different. What is important to one family may not be important to another. With that in mind, we are to reevaluate how we spend our time and money. Once we do that, we will realize ...more
the first few chapters read great, and got me excited. by the end of the chapters on simplicity and why to simplify and how she has organized her whole life made me feel completely inadequate. lol. i was bored with the overall tone of the book. a bit judgmental really. i believe in the simplicity movement, in being organized, in doing less, but it is a journey for each of us to find, maybe preachy is the word i am looking for in the tone. i read the first half in an afternoon, and the second hal ...more
This book was not what I expected. I was looking for practical ideas to de-clutter and suggestions on things to keep and things to pass on. This read more like a memoir on having garage sales, moving overseas, and keeping ridiculously long lists for one's family. Do I really need to make a list of my daily "chores" such as wipe down counters, wash the dishes, replace the toilet paper? Not a good use of my time.

There were a few good pages in the, "Money is a Tool" chapter, but that was all. I def
Updated: Fantastic. I can't wait to get started. The book is beautifully organized, well-written, attractive and, well, tidy. As someone who is always on the brink of being really well-organized I feel a renewed commitment to that life. I see myself referring back to this book often and I'm looking forward to the upcoming family meeting in which we discuss our family mission statement. No. Really. Read the book. You'll see.

Quarter finished review: I was flying through this book until I realized
Rebecca Henderson
I agree with about 90% of what the author says. I've been streamlining my life and home for the past three years or so, and it's made a huge difference on my happiness and ability to have time for the things I truly love in life. It's also enabled me to invest more time in my writing career, since I'm able now to live off less money: simpler life = fewer bills = less time required to earn money for bills = more time to write (or run or hike or travel to see family and friends).

One of the things
2.5 stars

1. The author keeps assuming her ideas are "too out there," which is funny because I felt her ideas weren't even remotely radical. At best this is a guidebook for tidying, not drastically reducing, which as she points out in the very beginning is what most Americans need.
2. JUSTIFYING. I finally pinpointed what felt wonky about this book and it’s that the author is telling us how to get organized and find simplicity, but her reasoning is based on justifying how she does thing
The author's approach to Organized Simplicity is all about intentional living. Her approach to do this with all members of the family as equal participants is essential for it to truly work and last. Being retired and just the two of us at home our home is organized and runs well. I have always gravited towards organizing techniques and ideas as well has appreciating every day and all that we have. This book is excellant.
Laura Hughes
The overall problem with this book is a tendency to get lost in the weeds of unimportant details and unnecessary complexity, which is ironic for a book about simplicity. Representative example: chapter 6, which has as its epigraph the Thoreau quote about "Simplify, simplify," is called "Creating Your Home Management Notebook."
Kathleen Basi
I expected this book to be a skim-through. I was wrong. This is a great book to get you started living intentionally--in other words, figure out what's most important to you and arrange your home to support that goal (or goals). Her basic premise is to declutter, to simplify by getting rid of stuff you just don't need, and then think through what's left.

Some reviewers have griped about how it doesn't give any ideas about how to organize what they already have. I submit that they missed the point
I downloaded this book when it came up as free on the Kindle app. I occasionally read Oxenreider's blog, so I expected that this book would be enjoyable.

Organized Simplicity is definitely written for families with lots of children and lots of stuff. We aren't really "stuff" people, and while I know we have some items that are worth donating or tossing most of her book was beyond anything we have. I did pick up a few good tips and tricks for storage and organization. Her tips on simplifying commi
Jul 31, 2011 Leslie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Leslie by: Megan
Shelves: home
This is a refreshing resource for anyone looking to manage their home efficiently with purpose. Tsh Oxenreider gently attacks all things clutter and beckons readers to embrace a simple, purpose-filled life at home. She provides tons of resources like her "Daily Docket" and a practical plan of action for living with intention and organizing your space no matter how big or small (i.e. "Ten Days to a Simpler, More Organized Home"). She admits that living simply will mean that your entire family may ...more

A somewhat useful book on organizing your stuff. It's geared more towards families so it was less useful for me, as a singleton, but it was the push I needed to declutter and organize my home. I liked that it broke down each room and reminded you to be mindful of its purpose. Overall, if you're looking to make changes, this is a good one to pick up.
I read a lot of home organization blogs and books, but I still found a few great passages in this book. Overall, it was very helpful. It's separated into two sections and while I am not committed to doing a ten day declutter project, I used some of her strategies this weekend to clean and organize a bedroom.

I was most interested in her philosophy for decluttering and living simply. It reminded me of the reasons I would like a cleaner home with less stuff. I took a lot of notes in the margins! :
I so appreciate this lady's philosophy on living the simple life. The first half of the book was a tidy compilation of thoughts she's blogged over the past few years. It was my favorite part of the book.
The second section takes one through each room in the house putting the principles into practice. I skimmed through this part--mostly because we've moved twice in the past year, and I feel quite happy about what we currently do and don't have in our house.
Toward the end of the book the author pre
Amy Carr
This is an excellent book for anyone trying to organize and simplify their life and home. The author is a stay-at-home mom with 3 children currently living in a foreign country. She makes a disclaimer at the beginning that she is not a "professional" organizer but has simply discovered some secrets and tricks that she thought were worth sharing. I loved the philosophy in the book, her simple steps for accomplishing the tasks presented, and the goal she articulates of making our life exactly what ...more
Mulligatawney Thursdays
As someone who was looking for practical advice, this book was a slow start. There is a rather long narrative (about 50% of the book) that explains the authors philosophy which will probably inspire some, but I was already of a mindset to downsize, and wanted to get down to business. Once the book gets to organizing, it is practical, straight forward, and easy to follow. However, I think a few people will be overwhelmed by the brisk pace of the organizational overhaul as it's presented. I'd say ...more
May 04, 2011 Amanda rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Julie Allen
I enjoyed this book. I think Oxenreider has some good ideas for home organization. One thing she says is that if people have less stuff, they gain so much more time. Time that can be used to make life more fulfilling.

Her approach has people take ten days to declutter, reorganize and clean their homes. I would love to do this - but Bryan would have to take the kids away for 10 days for it to happen!

I thought the section of each area of the home got a little repetitive and she didn't give any id
The book Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider is a good book. Strange first name for the author though. Did she simplify the vowels out of it? She has vowels in her last name though. Hmmm....

Anyway, she explains reasons why one should simplify and then gives tips and guidelines on how to simplify our lives. I like that she said "we should calculate every item's value by asking:... 1. Is this thing useful to me (us)? and 2. Is this thing beautiful to me (us)?.

I have been inspired and am going
I really enjoyed this book. The 10 day plan of how to simplify your home was great. Even more than that, the parts before that were about WHY we should live simply. Beyond the obvious reasons, the author describes what it means to live intentionally and how the things we surround ourselves with in our homes can reflect our intentions. The encouragement to purge was subtle, but effective. I never felt like the author was beating me over the head with information overload, but I still felt compell ...more
Robin Marie
This was a great book. It is definitely geared towards a certain "type" of people, so if her lifestyle is contrary to yours the book will seem preachy. Lucky me, even though I dont have kids we seem to view many of the same things as significant.

This book is less about organizing and more about simplifying. However, it is a very organized approach to simplifying :)

I found it inspiring amd helpful, on both a soul level and a household level. I guess I had more brain clutter than I thought.

Read it
Skimmed through it. Meh.
Carye Bye
I read about Tsh in the local Oregonian, because she moved to Bend with her family. I enjoy the occasional de-clutter/simplfying your life books so got two of hers out of the local library. This one and her later book Notes from the Blue Bike.

This one disappointed me, but I'm glad I didn't give up on Tsh because her more personal memoirish book 'Blue Bike' was very enjoyable and give a full voice and talk about what it means to be make an intentional plan to live out of the box from the "America
Enjoyed the first half of the book (although some parts only added to my guilt of living with items beyond our needs). The second half is advice to decluttering one's home which, thanks to my mother, I was already taught. Still very motivating to grow through all our closets and get rid of things! I really liked her emphasis on making sure each place in our home has a purpose and we should make sure we are fulfilling that purpose by what is in that room and not cluttering it with the unnecessary ...more
I love the idea of simple living. Jeff and I have been so overwhelmed lately by stuff and by hustle and bustle. The idea of just finding our family's purpose and cutting out all the other stuff seems really appealing. I'm sure it isn't an easy process to get to simple living. And I don't dare believe I can organized my house entirely in 10 days without driving myself and all my family crazy. But, for me, it is a worthy goal to simplify in baby steps. Definitely after the holidays, though.
Amanda Himes
Here are my favorite tips from Organized Simplicity (2010) by Tsh Oxenreider:

"Unless you're free from the bondage of paying for your past, you can't responsibly live in the present and plan for the future."

Budget = "telling your money where to go" (she probably got this definition from Dave Ramsey)

Zero-based budget = income minus expense equals zero

"Being debt-free means you are free to save money"

Save a minimum of 3-6 mo. of "living expenses" not income (And 6 mo. is better)

No. 1 enemy of a
This book is very focused on changing your attitude toward how you live your life and maintain your home. It can get a bit heavy handed at times and clearly all the advice is not applicable to all people. But the author explicitly states "[w]e all have different goals and values. Your vision of a simple life will not be the same as mine." In the end, she is attempting to impart her core definition of simple living: "living holistically with your life's purpose." Does she succeed? That mostly dep ...more

Is it wrong that this book about de-cluttering now clutters my coffee table?

Seriously, it's an engaging read about the beauty and pragmatics of living a less cluttered life. I have it on my coffee table to remind me to practice some of the things it preaches.
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Tsh Oxenreider is the main blogger behind The Art of Simple, a blog dedicated to the art and science of living simpler. Tsh is the author of Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World, One Bite at a Time: 52 Bites for Making Life Simpler, and Organized Simplicity. Tsh also records a podcast with Homefries called The Art of Simple Podcast, which during one week ranke ...more
More about Tsh Oxenreider...
Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World One Bite at a Time: 52 Projects for Making Life Simpler A Summer of Stories: 10 Prompts for Writing Great Summertime Tales

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“It truly is ironic that we don’t have time to enjoy the gadgets and luxuries we can afford on a large income rewarded from long working hours. We spend much of our weekends catching up on laundry, running errands, and cleaning the neglected bathroom. It’s a chain-link downward spiral: We want stuff, so we work hard; our hard work allows us to buy stuff, but our hard work takes all of our energy, so we can’t enjoy our stuff as much as we would like.” 5 likes
“The items in our homes that we feel we absolutely “need” are downright extravagances within the global landscape.” 3 likes
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