I first read Organized Simplicity, by Tsh Oxenreider, several years ago around the time my third child was born. Things had become a bit crazy in our home in the preceding years, and I was on a mission to make life easier for our family. A regular reader of Tsh’s blog (Simple Mom at the time, now Art of Simple); I enjoyed her down to earth, having a conversation way of writing. I enjoy organizing and reading about it and getting ideas is a big part of the process for me. This is why I first picked up her book, however Organized Simplicity proved to be so much more than a get organized book.
Included in Organized Simplicity, Tsh lays out a ten day plan to organizing every room in your home, ideas for creating a family purpose statement, templates for recording your weekly or daily to do lists, and recipes for non-toxic cleansers and toiletries. (These comments are taken directly from the book jacket.)
Tsh walks her reader through understanding why living more simply can be so appealing and provides steps to help you look at the big picture and get an understanding of what is important to you. Then armed with this information, you are able to move into de-cluttering and organizing – keeping in mind what is important to you and the purpose you have established for you and your family.
She looks at several areas of life, and how they should be de-cluttered and organized, just as much as your physical home. Honestly, this first part of the book is what I thoroughly read. I skimmed the remainder, but have not gone through the de-cluttering/organizing process she lays out. (The idea for an organizing challenge is brewing.) Though, I had been working on de-cluttering our life and home for a couple of years, this book provided concepts that have helped our family be more organized, simplified, and purposeful.
For me, the sections on developing our family’s purpose statement were most revolutionary. I am no stranger to purpose and mission statements, but the idea of doing one for our family as a whole was so different to me. After reading this, I approached my husband about drafting a purpose statement for our family. The process was not quick. We took several weeks, multiple conversations, and much prayer to come up with what we felt reflected where we wanted to be as a family. Our purpose statement has been a great reference point for us, and I think even more importantly, it planted the mindset of looking at our family as a unit. We are more than just individuals who live in the same home. Over the last couple years, our family identity has begun to be more solidified, and we are working to be intentional about the fact that as a family we are a team that works together.
Regardless of whether you want to get more organized or just would like to have a better grasp on what is important to you and your family, this book is a wonderful guide and resource. I highly recommend it!