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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

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  364 ratings  ·  71 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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Mar 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
*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
Feb 19, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Ericka Clouther
This is a combination of home organizing advice and financial advice which I love. I did Konmari in 2015 and it led me to organize my financial situation (and to Dave Ramsey books to do so). So I've thought for a while that these two issues are definitely tied together. Peter Walsh is very experienced in helping clients organize their lives and you can tell from the insights he provides in this book.
Jun 24, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011-books
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
Feb 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
"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
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
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
Jan 29, 2011 rated it it was ok
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 :-)
Feb 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: how-to, _my-copy
The Good:
* His focus on getting you to have a vision for the kind of house, room or life you want
* Good advice on getting started and keeping up momentum
* Good advice on the importance of getting your partner and family on-board and suggesting ways you might do that
* Excellent emphasis on the connection between clutter and financial issues

The Bad:
* Not really anything bad to report but I have a vague feeling that the kind of person who would most benefit from Peter Walsh's advice is unlikely to
I had high hopes for this book, but just couldn't get into it. The title is very misleading- I thought it was about organizing but it focused mostly on financial matters. I really don't need financial advice from an organization expert. I also don't expect my financial planner to organize my closets. The author should stick to his area of expertise. I did like the suggestion to pick a theme each month and work on a specific area or project.

I registered a book at!
Feb 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2011
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'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.
Apr 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Very good, motivating and helpful. A bit wordy at times. The best one of his I read so far.
Oct 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: life-hacks
I wanted to like this book, but didn't. I even pushed through the fairly consistent feel-good encouraging prose till the end in the hope I was being hasty in my early judgement.

I stumbled across it while searching for books on a completely different topic, and, having recognised the author from somewhere, I decided to take it home. It ambitiously tries to cover a large amount of territory which, when done well, can result in a really interesting book. Clutter, the book says, comes in many forms,
James Pritchert
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who is consumed with clutter
This is my book that takes a serious look at clutter of which I have my fair share. The book certainly sets a standard that I will not ever be able to follow. On the other hand there are lots of great ideas for me to start working on immediately. Already, I am viewing my precious piles of junk in an entirely new light. The author certainly knows how to motivate and get one on the move to lightening up one's load of personal clutter. I like the constant theme of taking baby steps or eating the el ...more
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: didn-t-finish
This goes on my "didn't finish" shelf. Years ago, the author had a television show where he helped people organize their things and I thought he was fantastic, but I just couldn't get into this book at all and slipped from "reading" to "skimming" almost immediately. For starters, this book is more about budgeting than organizing, but I was mainly put off by every paragraph being a pep-talk about why I should want to follow his advice, rather than actual helpful advice.
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: discard-studies
This book is incredibly reassuring for those who worry about stuff, clutter, and lack of money. My only criticism is that it seemed to cover so much. With no clear focus, it seemed to drag. However, the author (as always) manages to incorporate the psychology of mess into solution-focused strategies to become more organized.
Sue Trippas
Jan 25, 2018 rated it liked it
This is the perfect book to read at the start of the year. This book stimulated me to not only have a massive clean out but also to make a couple of permanent changes to reduce stress on a daily basis. The key message was that people and relationships matter more than tangible items (stuff).
The book includes quiz type questions which highlight the key messages for you.
Hazel Bright
Jan 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
A good example of why I no longer generally bother with British writers. "What is the vision you have for the life you want?" is still a uselessly banal and general question, even if the one who asks it asks with a British accent.
Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I think he had some good points worth thinking about. Still too much filler to be a five star book. But I'm glad I read it.
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
Just got bored with it.
May 31, 2015 rated it liked it
Less debt, fewer things, and thinner bodies = happiness. At least that is the premise of this book. I don't disagree, with Peter Walsh, but I really think there is more to it than that. The subtitle of this book is "Love what you have, have what you need and be happier with less." Good advice. Perhaps I should give this book more than three stars because it did compel me action - I am now cleaning out and de-cluttering my closet, however, my husband and I have been debt free for years and even w ...more
Lenore Webb
Nov 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Katherine Tirado-Ryen
The fault is mine that I presumed this book would offer more substantial advice on organizing and decluttering and less focus on how poor finances and overspending directly correlates to a cluttered home (and thus how to remedy the latter). As someone who balances all accounts to the penny and considers Papa John's pizza a splurge, the financial advice wasn't targeted to me. However, I was able to glean some terrific lifelong strategies: only keep something that truly enhances your life, ask you ...more
Jan 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
This book is mainly about getting your financial life in order. The underlying premise, with which I agree, is that you need to set goals and figure out how to achieve them instead of just meandering through life hoping for a visit from the retirement fairy.

My observation is that people who read this type of book are those who already have their financial lives in pretty good order and are just looking for tips at doing an even better job. This book isn't going to be particularly helpful for tha
Jun 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: self-help-books
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
Oct 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Motivating, life changing, purposeful and progressive, Peter Walsh gets it when it comes to implementing the "less is more" life. This book is timeless advice for moving forward.

Have you ever wondered how to begin a major project but were overwhelmed by too much stuff in that place? Or have you ever moved and been caught up in the chaos of it instead of knowing exactly what you want to keep and what you need to let go of?

If so, dive in to this good read for staying on track. You will feel its e
Feb 08, 2012 rated it liked it
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.
May 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
Jul 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: self-improvement
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.
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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