Saturday, March 5, 2011

Book Review Saturday (Edition 8)

If I had to sum up this particular book in one word, I would call it fantastic!! Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider is simply the best book out there (imho) on organizing and creating a beautiful home!

Tsh's book is divided into two parts. In part one, she discusses the psychology of stuff and simple living. One of the things she highly recommends is that if you're going to go the simple living route that you need to create a family purpose statement. She asks you to answer twenty questions with your spouse and your children. Then you look for the trends in your answers. For us the trends were our faith, creativity, spending time together, hospitality. Tsh, also stresses there is no right or wrong way to write your statement. It can be as short as one word or as long as several sentences. She gives examples of several real life family's purpose statements.We concluded that her family's purpose statement and ours line up almost exactly. (I'll post it soon).

Part two, puts into practice what was learned in part one -- keeping in mind your family's purpose statement. The chapters are more or less divided into days wherein you focus on your decluttering and cleaning. Tsh stresses that you be realistic. Some rooms could be more than a one or two day job depending on their size and the last time (if ever) you've been through it and decluttered it.

The final bonus of this book is the four appendices in the back. Tsh gives simple recipes for cleaning products using items you likely already have in your home. Some of these recipes are for your body and others are for your home. There are also reproducible  templates for creating your home notebook (this is also well discussed in her book) as well as keeping inventory of clothing, food etc. Finally, there is a chapter on the pros and cons of various simple living choices with the answer of what works best for Tsh and her family.

Tsh also stresses that every family is different, so what simplicity means to one family may not be the same for another family. For example, there are families that given their location can easily live with only one vehicle, but for others, living with one vehicle would make things virtually impossible.

There are two final things I greatly appreciated about Organized Simplicity. One is the thought provoking quotes at the beginning of each chapter, as well as scattered throughout the book. The second is that the book is spiral hardbound. That means it can lay open for reference, and you will not damage your binding. This is an excellent feature for a book that you know you will be continually using for reference!

If you are seriously wondering why your life feels like a giant hamster wheel, I highly suggest reading Organized Simplicity.

Happy reading!


  1. Thanks for the review. I'm going to get myself a copy!

  2. Wow, Deborah! Do you think it's too late for me????
    I'm feeling inspired by you!

  3. I got this out from the library back when I was so sick and never got around to reading. I was just looking for this on my library's website a couple of days ago, but couldn't remember the title! I will definitely have to get it again. :)


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