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Simplify Your Life: 100 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy the Things That Really Matter

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  1,343 Ratings  ·  136 Reviews
Simplify Your Life: 100 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy the Things That Really Matter
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 1st 1994 by Hachette Books (first published December 12th 1951)
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Oct 29, 2009 Sherilee rated it really liked it
She has 100 practical suggestions to simplify your hectic lifestyle. Her thinking clarifies my thinking on why some people are sooo busy! Because they make their lives busy. I've seen people who make their lives more complicated, dramatic, going from one crises to the next. It makes me wonder if some people actually enjoy running around like a headless chicken!

She explores each aspect of our lives and makes suggestions on how to get rid of the fluff, to give you more time to do the things you re
Jan 10, 2015 Inês rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ouvi falar neste livro há alguns anos, numa reportagem sobre pessoas que tinham abdicado da maior parte dos seus bens para viver uma vida mais simples e mais desprendida. Quis saber de que se tratava, numa sociedade puramente consumista e que se alimenta das aparências, a verdade é que dou muitas vezes por mim a olhar em volta e a pensar que nada disto faz sentido. Temos de mais, complicamos de mais, somos felizes de menos.
Este livro foi escrito nos anos 90 por isso está muito datado, faz-lhe fa
Jul 28, 2008 Manzoid rated it it was ok
The book reads like a collection of household tips, e.g., "Hints from Heloise".
Truly simplifying your life takes a lot more thought and effort than the tips in this book would imply. We live in a society that strongly encourages us to consume and/or strive for status. Real life simplification usually means painfully recognizing and kicking away many ego crutches, summoning up the discipline to let go of a lot in order to focus on what really matters.

To her credit, the author has a significantly
May 22, 2012 Alice rated it did not like it

I felt the ideas in this book were a little "out there". I'm all about simplifying but ideas like "get rid of your lawn" or "get rid of your phone" aren't really that practical. I also felt the the author was an old curmudgeon who got rid of all her stuff and never did anything fun, or spent any money in order to have a "simple" life. It just wasn't selling it for me.
I guess I was expecting more. I read about this book on Zen Habits, which I love. But given the amount of awesome advice out there readily available I just wasn't at all impressed by this. Step 1 is "reduce the clutter in your life." How you ask? By just getting rid of the clutter! Perfect. How had I not thought of that before? This might have been a good read when it was published (in 1994) but now I don't really see its relevance to me. Speaking of the publication date, it is also tremendously ...more
Jun 10, 2012 Fatcatwatch rated it it was amazing
This is The go to book for simplicity written for the twitter generation (as opposed to Walden for people that have time), it will cause you question the rush in your life if you have not already done so and it will make you realise that "the value of anything is how much time you are willing to exchange for it"..... It is full of honest evaluations and suggestions like; sell the boat, get a smaller place, reduce the clutter in your life.... if we all valued the principals in this book the world ...more
Amy Rodman
Sep 11, 2015 Amy Rodman rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
Just finished "Simplify Your Life: 100 Ways to Slow Down & Enjoy the Things That Really Matter" by Elaine St. James. It was a quick read and kept me engaged. I particularly enjoyed the sections devoted to "Lifestyle" and "Work", as there were several new suggestions I plan on implementing in my own life. The only section I really disliked was the section on finance. Nothing new or original was recommended, and I disagreed with the author's recommendation on how to simplify your portfolio by ...more
Susan O'Bryant
Feb 25, 2011 Susan O'Bryant rated it it was amazing
Shelves: how-to
I thought this book was chock-full of great ideas and tips to not only to help simplify a hectic life, but also to learn to enjoy life more and make more time for yourself and your family. I wrote down 25 things that I plan to start doing immediately and I'm already excited about the changes I know will happen. Plus, it was consoling and confirming to read #98: Stop Making the Bed (which I found funny that it was in the "hard-core simplicity" section).

Reading this book will give you a new sense
Carrie Marcotte
I got this years ago when I was doing something similar for a New Year's resolution. I found it so easy to follow and so logical, that I have since then encorporated a lot of the recommendations into my everyday life. It's written in simple one or two page chapters and you can do the chapters as you see fit in your life. It starts off simply, in your own house, such as 'reduce the clutter,' 'cutting down the grocery shopping' and gets to 'get rid of your lawn.' It moves into life-style, finances ...more
Feb 16, 2012 Karen rated it liked it
100 tips for simplifying your life. This book was a little hit or miss for me, though there are plenty of really good tips as well. Part of it's problem is that's it's fairly dated (1994). I can't say I really learned anything new from its pages - I'm already either doing a lot of these things or am in the process of simplifying to that end. Basically, get rid of the clutter, ditch the back-ups, simplify your wardrobe, eliminate the excess activities, move to a smaller home, shop less. I think I ...more
Oct 14, 2015 Breena rated it it was amazing
Love these ideas. I think every one needs to stream line and simplify to save time for the things that matter most. I like the house hold ideas and especially the laundry ones. We are implementing these now!

Best idea yet -take a vacation at home. Try it!
Nov 28, 2009 Mary rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Mary by: spotted it in a book store
Don't we all wish we could simplify our lives? This woman did it and so can I. I'm positive. I just have to read this book a few more times. It's always in a prominent position on my shelf and its presence reiminds me of its good suggestions, many of which I adhere to.
Sep 25, 2010 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well I already do a lot of the things she suggests changing but I agree with a lot of her ideas and will probably read more by this author even though it was published in the early 90's.
Silvia Reis
Simple but straightforward book that has some nice ideas on how to simplify one's lives. Some advice are well-know, others not so much! It's worth a reading.
Laura Grant
Jul 16, 2007 Laura Grant rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general
A home and life self-help book with personality and hilarious suggestions like "don't waste time on a lawn, plant ground cover."
♥ Aphrodite
May 17, 2014 ♥ Aphrodite rated it it was amazing
I haven't read all 100 but once in a while I go through it to get more ideas. The ones I've read and applied so far have been helpful.

I recommend this book to anyone.
Jan 26, 2011 Chrystal rated it it was amazing
I loved most of the suggestions. I can't quite bring myself to live some of them but I already live by many of them. This book helps me to keep my focus on what "things" are really important.
A little outdated, but otherwise many useful ideas and tips.
Marianne Brodman
Nov 16, 2016 Marianne Brodman rated it liked it
A quick read. She uses the "80s mentality" of "more, more, more" & "Keeping up w/ the Jones" to rail against for just about everything. People will be able to get a couple of things out of it, although she thinks a chosen few will implement ALL her extremist tips that seem to justify lying to people & making up excuses bc you don't HAVE to see them & are entitled to sitting around & just doing nothing. If you're okay abandoning PEOPLE & don't mind looking & eating like th ...more
Diana Nagy
Nov 29, 2016 Diana Nagy rated it liked it
Some of it was pretty good but since I'm a pretty well read individual it's nothing I haven't heard of before. Much of it is about her and her family or her friends and whet they've done to simplify their lives. Likely some good advice for you if you've never read a book on simplifying your life.
Marci Stone
Dec 26, 2016 Marci Stone rated it it was amazing
This is a well read copy of a book that I've had for a long time and even though I forgot I had it, it speaks volumes to me at this point in my life. I have a blog about simplifying life and just this year I think I've read a similar book (perhaps even by the same author). Getting rid of stuff, getting a smaller house, stopping junk mail, getting rid of your lawn, don't buy clothes that are dry cleaned, buying a used car instead of new, packing your own lunch, learn to laugh, learn, review your ...more
Sep 30, 2016 Necla added it
Applicaple and realistic!
Kim Tong Lim
Feb 13, 2013 Kim Tong Lim rated it it was amazing
The book has an impact on me and I have practised some of the ideas and it has simplified my life.

Top on the list of 100 ways is: Reduce clutter in your life

Start by going through your wardrobes and then move on to your bookshelves, drawers, around the house and do the same at your office.

The rule is simple, if you have not used or referred to the items you have kept for a year and more, then they are not worth keeping. These items can be disposed. If you have items that you think is of use to
Dec 31, 2013 Heather rated it liked it
She had a big job, big clients, and probably big hair. It was the big 80s, and she was the most 80s-est person evar. But then the decade turned, and Elaine St. James rethought everything. In 1994 she wrote this modest book about simplification. During the first few chapters I was sort of rolling my eyes at how very clearly a reaction to the 80s this book was. This woman clearly had a more complicated life (and more money at her disposal) than I ever have had—but then I found out this book was th ...more
Apr 29, 2009 Jackie rated it it was ok
I requested this book by accident, while searching for another book on the topic of simplicity. It wasn't quite what I was looking for, which made me tempted to give it a poor review. But I can't really blame the book for my own expectation. So, in all objectiveness, setting aside starting out on the wrong foot: I give it 2 stars.

There are different definitions of living simply and each person has to figure out what that means to them. For the most part, St James sticks with a stress reduction m
Nov 22, 2014 Ebony rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-help
I have no idea where the book came from but I (re)discovered it at exactly the right time. Simply Your Life is painfully dated. Her admonition to get rid of your phone (#97) is downright laughable. The book was written before the smartphone became the remote control for our lives, and yet she’s 100% right. How much simpler would my life be without a smartphone? Less convenient, certainly but simpler, for sure. And how much of our conveniences are really complicating factors in our lives? That is ...more
Sasha Boersma
Dec 13, 2014 Sasha Boersma rated it it was amazing
Shelves: simplicity
A simple book about simplifying your life! What I especially enjoy is how unabashedly the "do what you need to do for you" tone comes across. So much in life right now is about meeting the expectations of others, while this is about doing what YOU need. That said, the tips are not written as "you must" and instead are a collection of simple, easily executable ideas that you can adjust to suit your life. For me, it was reaffirming to read so many of the things I try to do day-to-day contained in ...more
Tom Romig
Jul 12, 2013 Tom Romig rated it did not like it
Skip this one, not only because it's nearly 20 years old but because even when published it wasn't worth it. Sure, there are some good ideas here, but they're mostly obvious--move to a smaller house, get out of debt, that sort of thing.

There's also the question of who this is intended for. The author says at one point that, "once you start won't need the cleaning lady...the cook...the chauffeur...a fashion consultant...a book keeper...a shopping service...the gardener" and so
Feb 26, 2015 ReadWriteSnap rated it really liked it
I like the book because I found out that my life is fairly simple. There are things suggested in the book that we are habitually doing and there are certain habits that needs improvement. It is just good to know our family have a simplified life and we just need minor improvements to make it more fulfilling and healthy.

The author's intention was to share what she learned and applied in her aim to simplification. These were the tips and tricks she learned along the way for her own satisfaction.

While a large portion of Simplify Your Life: 100 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy the Things That Really Matter seems to apply to people who have money to spare, there are a few ideas that the average Joe could use.

One way I was able to simplify my life while reading this is by doing what I loath and skipping parts that didn't really apply to me. Like getting rid of your gardener, your cook, your personal shopper. There are a lot of ways people like me already live the simple life. Then there were a
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