A Simplified Life Book Review
Hey guess what guys!? I have a whole week of school off! I am not sure if it’s because they weren’t sure if I was going to pass this last course and wanted to wait until my grade came in before I started another course…but any ways! Now I finally have some time to another book review! Below are some of my thoughts. I hope I don’t come across as picking it apart but just sharing my very honest thoughts of the this book- A Simplified Life by Emily Ley. Enjoy!
Insert French Sponge-bob voice here- A month an a half later…
A Simplified Life by Emily Ley was pretty amazing minimalist book and a great transition from reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Emily gives a really practical approach to a minimalist life with family and includes a lot (I mean ALOT) of helpful checklists to encourage actionable steps towards your goals. Not every one is a checklist person but I really feel like they help to focus what needs to be done and helps create action! checklist pic
Okay, so I automatically felt that one of the book’s goals was to encourage the reader to have a clear outline of what they want from their home. This was a totally YAAASSSS from me since I had previously had already written a Mission Statement for my home and really love the idea of expecting a lot from our homes. And honesly, whatever we expect is completely reasonable! This is the space where we spend so much of our time and where we refuel and nuture and nourish our families. And our little “manifestos” of our home, if you will, should reflect just that. Do you want a place of peace and comfort, a space that have fun and create, or a place that fosters growth and encouragement? Or maybe all of the above? Creating a clear outline of what you want from your home is a really good idea. I promise. And will be a major take away from reading A Simplified Life.
The Semi-Minimalist Manifesto for my home (from previous blog post): I want to come home to a clean and orderly house. But I want it to look fun and inviting. I wanted everything to be simple and accessible so that everyone in the home, including my husband and children, know where everything goes so that items didn’t build up as they unload their belongings from the day. I want to love being in my kitchen again and feel relaxed enough to let the kids start helping with cooking or my projects. I want to use the living room as a place where the whole family can relax and gather. And this includes friends and family when they come over. I want my husband to feel like he can relax and be comfortable and I want my children to have the freedom to be creative and themselves. And I really want to have my own creative space where I can unwind and keep clean; because cleanup isn’t overwhelming but a practice of loving my space and keeping it happy. I also want my home to smell good with candles and food and the feelings of sweet calm, joy, and peace.
I really also like her approach to minimalism and she explains perfectly why I shamelessly call myself the Semi-Minimalist. (pg. 15). Emily states that she is not after being a minimalist but after a lifestyle of, “simplicity, ease, and a clutter-free life,” and that minimalism is defined as, “a style or technique characterized by extreme sparseness and simplicity.” If that doesn’t define my entire approach that I have been talking about for about 5 years now then I don’t know what is! Obsessing over having as little as possible is an exhausting and overwhelming game. But create a simple life for the purposes of creating a home where my family will flourish? Well, that is something that I can live with.
Honestly, throughout the entire book there was so many good little truth nuggets or just thoughts that I really would just stop and meditate on. That is partially why it takes me so long to read books like these! Each thought or new habit I don’t want to quick digest but I really want to mull over and think about it, or make time to move forward with a new habit before adding more habits. I honestly would probably recommend a book like this taking alot longer than a month to competely read through if you want to try some new habits outlined in the book OR you could take some stick notes while you are reading and jot down some thoughts and bookmark habits you want to try so you can go back and implement them one by one. But I would encourage you all to take your time when reading books that cultivate new habits and teach new information!
Don’t live in the just in case. That day may never come. Put your energy into the present. This was another echo from the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up that I really enjoyed revisiting. (parallel of marie kondo book). If this isn’t another reminder that I really needed than I don’t know what is. Our culture is constantly competing for our attention being i the future. What we are going to buy or what we are going to need. When our minds our WHOLLY focused on the present we are focused on taking care of what we have and that maybe what we have, for now, is enough.
Another lesson that I learned, again, more recently is getting used to open and “empty” spaces. We often feel the need to see a space and fill it just because we don’t like leaving it empty. Emily has an interesting perspective on empty spaces that I really feel is worth sharing. While, I value empty spaces because often spaces are filled with things that we don’t need Emily’s approach is to also leave space open in your home for items that are “special and meaningful” and further’s your own family manifesto.
I had a couple things in the book that I felt a bit meh about but the value of reading this book far outweighed those feelings. Additionally, I really get that this a holistic type of book and that the author really wanted to leave no stone unturned. Like anything I recommend I probably don’t agree with everything but the value in it is still worth sharing. She had some great tips in their and some I was happy to weigh her opinion and just decide it wasn’t really for me. Just keep in mind that any minimalism book you read isn’t going to be perfect. Just take it them a grain of salt.
I hope this review was helpful to you all and encourage you all to read more books on Minimalism! These books help to personally encourage me in my individual journey to Semi-Minimalism!
Ta-ta for now!