I'm not sure how to rate this book, since I'm still in the midst of following its advice. I will say it's one of the most inspirational get-your-shit-I'm not sure how to rate this book, since I'm still in the midst of following its advice. I will say it's one of the most inspirational get-your-shit-in-order books I've ever read, and I really like the central idea, which is that only you know which things bring you joy and which don't. So there is no magic formula for how much to keep and how much to throw away, because it's based on your personal values and your intuition.
A few reviews have mentioned that the book is sort of "woo-woo," as the author keeps saying things like "your things want to be loved" and "when you throw something out or give it away, first thank it for fulfilling its purpose in your life." This approach makes a lot of sense to me, though, not because our things have feelings themselves, but because we attach so much emotion to our things. Something you own can make you feel guilty, or hopeful, or nostalgic, or regretful, or ashamed, and all these emotions and more arise when we try to organize our stuff.
Organizing your stuff is facing yourself: Who am I and what do I value? This old box of stuff from a hobby I used to love, am I hanging on to it because I really want to use it again someday, or because I feel like I should? These clothes I never wear, why do I own them? Which of my things are really valuable to me, and which are weighing me down? It's a scary thing to really look at yourself, which is one reason I find organizing so difficult. But this book is like a personal coach cheering you on through the process. The author gives some simple advice for how and in what order you should evaluate your things, and then steps back and lets you do the work of choosing which to keep and which to get rid of.
I'm still working on finding my intuition about what I want to keep, and it's slow going, but at the beginning of the book she says her clients take an average of half a year to really get the tidying done. I originally checked the book out from the library, but when I finished it and returned it, I immediately went out and bought a copy, because I know I'm going to need to reread and refer to it as I continue to organize. I highly recommend this book for anyone who has ever really wanted to get organized but thought it hopeless.
(One caveat: This book advises throwing certain things away (or giving them away) with the advice that if you want that thing again, you can always re-buy it. That's not great advice for people who have no money, so I don't think this book is for people who truly can't afford to get rid of something that they might need later. By no means is it a book only for rich people, though, which is refreshing in any book about improving your home. Because of its focus on paring down your possessions rather than acquiring anything new, it's a lot more achievable than the advice in many such books.)
We'll see how things are in six months, but so far, for me, this book has lived up to the title's promise....more
When I was at my lowest point with depression and anxiety, I stumbled across this book in the self-help section at my library. It's mostly a personalWhen I was at my lowest point with depression and anxiety, I stumbled across this book in the self-help section at my library. It's mostly a personal narrative of the author's own struggles, and that helped me immensely at the time, because it reminded me that I'm not alone and that other people have survived the same thing I was going through. It's not the #1 book I'd hand to someone with depression and anxiety (that might be The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness or Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy), but it's a comfort on long dark nights when you're losing hope, and that kind of comfort is invaluable....more
I have mixed feelings on this book. I wanted to love it, but mostly I just kept wishing it was written by Captain Awkward. (Sidenote: WHY HASN'T CAPTAI have mixed feelings on this book. I wanted to love it, but mostly I just kept wishing it was written by Captain Awkward. (Sidenote: WHY HASN'T CAPTAIN AWKWARD WRITTEN A BOOK YET.) I've learned more about being an adult from that blog than from anything in this book.
I was actually enjoying this book a lot until I got to "Step 276: Keep an eye on weight gain." *insert scratching record noise* Wait, what? I thought I was reading a chill book and now it's going to fat-shame me? Especially after I LOVED "Step 103: Curb your instinct to comment on other people's bodies aloud." How about you curb YOUR instinct to tell me what to do with my body, book. News flash: There are fat adults. There are fat adults who are very good at being adults. Being fat is not a character flaw. Tell me to eat real food, tell me to exercise if you must, but don't tell me not to be fat.
Also, since when are prenatal vitamins "critically necessary" for women even if you're not going to get pregnant anytime soon? I don't consider shiny hair and strong nails to be "critically necessary," but they're the only justifications provided for that particular bit of advice.
That said, this book did contain some actual useful advice, especially in the practical arenas of cooking, cleaning, moving house, etc. It's when the book gets into more personal arenas that I start to disagree with it. A lot of that stuff is much more subjective, and the advice in those areas isn't going to work for everyone, yet the author acts like it will. Still, maybe it's helpful for those ten years younger than I am who are just beginning to figure this stuff out, and I'm just coming at it from my own perspective about what works and doesn't work for my personal adult life.
I did like a lot of the humor in this book. Choice quote: "Dryers are like the American presidency. Clothing goes in looking youthful and vigorous, and emerges slumped and gray-haired."
This book isn't exactly a quick read, but it does a great job of explaining the way in which negative thinking patterns make (and keep) people depressThis book isn't exactly a quick read, but it does a great job of explaining the way in which negative thinking patterns make (and keep) people depressed, and how to overcome them. Do you ever find yourself feeling bad about feeling bad? This book explains that such an approach just creates more suffering, and it's better to accept the first bad feeling without piling more bad feelings on top of it.
For the record, I do believe in medication and therapy (and use both), but I also find mindfulness invaluable. I don't think the two fields are incompatible. There's a limit to what you can learn about mindfulness from a book--I recommend seeing if your local mindfulness center has a beginner course available--but if you're going to, this book is a good place to start.
The "eight-week program" the book mentions isn't outlined until the very last chapter, so if you're just looking to jump into the practical side of mindfulness, skip to that chapter. It tells you which chapters in the book are related to each week of the program, so you can go back and read those at the appropriate times.
Study after study has shown that people who meditate regularly are healthier than those who don't, on both a physical and mental level. Don't discount it....more