Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Books I Love: Organized Simplicity


A few weeks ago I finished reading Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living by Tsh Oxenreider. I am a fan of her blog Simple Mom and when I found out she had written a book, I had to read it.

My favorite idea from the book is the family purpose statement. It is a short statement focusing on your families values and goals. Once your family has established this; it will help you with decision making, life planning, budgeting and more.

 This idea was like a lightbulb going off for me. The business world talks a lot about "mission statements". Growing up I went to a school that had a mission statement. The schools mission was framed on the walls, on paperwork sent home to parents and repeated over and over by the principle. At the time, I didn't really get why the administrators were so attached to this mission statement but now I have a better understanding. When your making decisions that effect the education of thousands of kids then it's good to have one goal, one idea to focus on. You can ask yourself, "if we do things this way, will we be in line with the mission statement we've established." Having this mission statement gives you something to focus on, something to refer back to and keep you on the right path.

Tsh Oxenrider's idea of having a family purpose statement is similar to the mission statement from my school age days. She explains simple steps to create a family purpose statement specific to your own family. I absolutely love this idea. There are so many decisions in life, both big and small and without guidance these decisions could have your family going in a million directions at once. But if you had a small phrase to refer back to; something you and your family have decided is your purpose, wouldn't that make decisions making so much easier? It would be much simpler to sort through which activities you want to participate in, how you should be spending your money, and how much time you're willing to commit to a project if you had a family purpose statement to refer to whenever these situations arose.

Aside from the family purpose statement, Tsh Oxenrider has a wonderful plan for getting your house together too. "Ten Days to a Simpler, More Organized Home" is a section of the book that is full of ideas to sort through your living space room by room. The idea of having a home filled with only possessions I cherish, instead of cluttered with stuff seems like the ideal house. I haven't actually made time to do the ten day clean up (especially with Christmas around the corner) but I definitely want to incorporate many of the ideas little by little until there is time to do a big deep clean like her book outlines. Spring cleaning, anyone?

I read this book through the library, and when I was finished it was due right away so I had to return it. I enjoyed it so much I actually checked it out of the library again because I want to take time to write a family purpose statement with my husband and the book for guidance. Actually, this book might need to be purchased for my own personal library so I can refer back to it whenever I feel the need for a little more organized simplicity in my life.

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