This is my Book Review of “Organized Simplicity” by Tsh Oxenreider —
My “One Word” for 2016 is “Re-Focus”. In order to do this, I have been trying to be more intentional about how I spend my time. To help me in this endeavor, I read “Organized Simplicity”. The subtitle is “The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living”.
Can’t we all use some help getting rid of our clutter? I found out about this book when I read the author’s more recent book, “Notes from a Blue Bike”, which is also about intentional living. I wrote a book review on it earlier this year (which you can link to here if you want to read it).
“Organized Simplicity” is just what it says! It is a simple book about a simple way to get more organized at home and get rid of clutter to boot. I loved it! I wasn’t planning to review it, but I am so tickled with it, and found it to be so helpful, that here I am, reviewing it.
Tsh starts out helping us understand what intentional living is, and helping us to decide what we want our home life and our home to be. In other words, she helps us to define what we want for our home life. Many of us don’t stop and think about it, but in order to live intentionally, we need to think about it, and define it. We all will come up with a different definition, because we have different lifestyles, different goals, and different size families, from a single person to a family with 3 or more kids.
Next Tsh lays out the organizational packet. First are the important tools of time and money, and how we want to spend them. Then she lays out the organizational lists we need. Tsh is very good at bringing organization down to some simple lists. For example, there is the “Daily Docket” which lists the schedule for each day. There is the “Cleaning Checklist”, the “Grocery List”, a “Monthly Calendar”, “Monthly Budget”, and more. When you put everything in its appropriate list, it seems much more manageable, and not so overwhelming! You may not need all of her lists, if you don’t have any kids you won’t need the “Babysitter’s Guide”, but for people with kids it is very important. Just use the lists that work for you.
Now, before you say that this sounds like the woman is doing all the work, let me say “No”! Some of these lists will be divided up however you want to do that. If there is a spouse and/or kids, then they will be given assignments from these lists too. These lists are just to get it all organized, and each of us who wants to live intentionally, we have volunteered for that job evidently. If you don’t do it, nobody else will, unless you can hire a professional organizer to do it for you.
Once you have all the lists, then Tsh lays out “Ten days to a simpler, more organized home”. Doesn’t that sound nice? To get there it takes a bit of work, but 10 days isn’t too bad. So in ten days, you take each room one day at a time, and you clean, throw out, organize, and put things in their right places. Luckily Tsh has a list for each room, so we know what to do. Each room is covered, and if you don’t have any kids, you are lucky, because you just saved yourself two days! Yep it takes 2 days to tackle the kids’ rooms.
At the back of the book are blank lists and schedules that you can copy for your own use. Tsh also shows each one filled out, so you have an example to work from. If you like making your own cleaners, Tsh has the recipes in the back of the book, including furniture polish, toilet cleaner and even cleaning your body recipes like facial cleanser. I prefer to buy my cleaning products, so I have not tried her recipes. You can look through them and see if you want to make any of them or not. It’s your choice.
At the end of the 10 days, you have a clean, organized, clutter-free home, and a schedule for each month and each day!
Your daily schedule can be written each day, or do it ahead of time each week. The lists you made, like your cleaning checklist, will be added into your daily schedule at the appropriate times. So by following your monthly calendar and daily schedule, everything that needs to get done — gets done.
I love the simplicity of this book. Tsh makes this all seem easy. I am still working on my lists, and then I will start my 10 days of work. I know I can handle 10 days. If I get wore out, I can take a break for 1 or 2 days, and then finish up. Who knows, it may take me a month to find 10 days to work on this, but I will be able to count them off! Oh, and since I don’t have any kids, I have 2 days I can skip, so I only have 8 left! You better read this book, and catch up with me!
To read a sample from the book, or to buy it, go to the book page at Amazon.com