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Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living

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3.77  ·  Rating details ·  4,383 ratings  ·  349 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, an

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Hardcover, 256 pages
Published November 21st 2010 by Betterway Home (first published October 1st 2010)
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3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,383 ratings  ·  349 reviews


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Mscout
Jan 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: how-to
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
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sage
Jan 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
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karenbee
I think if someone really, really loves simplemom.net, 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
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Cathy
Apr 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Jen
Oct 21, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Rebecca Henderson
Jan 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Deena
Jan 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
I did it! What a sense of accomplishment! I just finished reading a book primarily about getting your life (simplifying) and home (spring cleaning/organizing) in order! I was plugging along nicely on the read until it hit me...The author actually has an expectation that I APPLY what I was reading! Ya know? Is it too much to ask to JUST be left content READING about improving without actually having to bother with the whole APPLICATION business? ;) Mm Hmm. It's one of "those" books.

Truth be told
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Meredith
Jan 15, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
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Kathryn
Apr 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Jessica Howard
Mar 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011, misc-nonfiction
I may be biased because I love her blog, but I thought this book was full of helpful, practical ways to simplify your life and possessions. I like the idea of creating a family purpose statement, and then the step-by-step breakdown of how to go through your excess possessions.
Kaytee Cobb
I thought this was a short, succint way of looking at your home from a minimalist perspective and paring things down to what really matters. I realize this book is older, but I feel like Tsh would also find some parts of it to be a bit dated at this point? Like the home management binder... I know Tsh usually uses a BuJo now, so I'd love to get her take on what she has migrated over and how much she still keeps in a binder-type setup. Not to say that the basic tenets are not totally timeless! Of ...more
Chelsey McNeil
Part 1 is about living simply in the real world. Some of the chapters in this sections are worth reading the book for, as they guide you through creating a family purpose statement and thinking about reasonable priorities for your stage of life. There aren't a lot of new ideas here, but she gathers things all to one place from other reading you may have done (i.e. fly lady, dave ramsey)

Part 2 takes you through the house to declutter, clean, and organize. There's not a lot of new thinking here, a
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Kathleen Basi
Jul 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
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Suzanne
Feb 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
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Stephanie
Jan 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
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
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Leslie
Jun 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Amy
Jan 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Rosa
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who struggles with knowing where to start with organizing your home
Recommended to Rosa by: my sister
Shelves: finished-in-2017
This is a good basic organizing book. The first half of the book deals primarily with ingraining the idea of living simply and defining a purpose for your home. In the second half of the book, the author clearly lays out the steps you should take to clean, purge, and organize each room in your house. Since it's set up as a 10-day system, this half of the book seems somewhat repetitive if read all at once. If you have trouble with organizing, purging, and cleaning, this would be most helpful. How ...more
Mulligatawney Thursdays
Jan 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Karyn
Nov 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
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Amanda
Apr 29, 2011 rated it liked it
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
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Sarah
May 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Dana
May 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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Katie
Oct 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Krystal
Jan 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
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! :
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Robin Marie
Jan 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Tara
Dec 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011, non-fiction
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.
Logan 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."
Relyn
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone feeling overwhelmed
Recommended to Relyn by: lots of bloggers
I do love Tsh's work. This book was helpful and thought-provoking. If you are feeling stressed, over-whelmed, and exhausted, read this book. If your house is a mess and your life is cluttered, read this book. If you are too busy, read this book. Well, what are you waiting for? Read this book! ;O)
Kat Drennan-Scace
Feb 03, 2014 rated it liked it

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.
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Tsh Oxenreider is the author of At Home in the WorldNotes from a Blue Bike, and Organized Simplicity, and is the founder of the community blog The Art of Simple. She’s the top-ranked podcaster of Simple, and her writing has been featured in the Washington Post, CNN, Real Simple magazine, and more. A graduate of the University of Texas, where she studied English and anthropology, Tsh currently li ...more
“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.” 8 likes
“A home that nourishes life embraces the little moments and appreciates the rhythmic seasons of life, including the time necessary to cook real food from scratch...It doesn't have to take too much time, however, with efficient menu planning and wisely planned trips to the grocery store and farmers' market.
The payoffs are astronomical - better health, good stewardship of our environment, and setting a good example for our children are just a few of the benefits. It also fosters an appreciation of the ebbs and flows of seasons because you'll be using fresh ingredients that are more readily available (and of higher quality) when they are in season. If you feel too busy to cook from scratch, then I argue that you're too busy, period. Reevaluate your priorities and commitments. If you want to live a healthy, long life and to pass the same luxury on to your children, then you MUST take the time to cook real food”
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