Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Book Review: Simple Matters

I found the always entertaining blog, Reading My Tea Leaves through A Cup of Jo, when she interviewed Erin Boyle about living in 240 sq feet. I loved her dry humor with a dash of sass and not so subtle feminist overtones and gulped nearly the entirety of her series Life in a Tiny Apartment series in about four days, despite the fact that I live in just under a 1500 square foot house and kept trying to convince my husband to purge our entire house.

Her writing draws you in, pours you a cup of tea and invites to kick off your shoes and pull up a blanket on the couch, which is why I was thrilled to find out she was writing a book. Simple Matters: Living with Less and Ending Up with More could be filed away in the vein of a lot of decluttering/slow living books which are popping up everywhere these days.

And yet.

At less than 200 pages, this volume is concise with only nine chapters with the message "The things you love are the things you'll keep. Reconsider everything else." The author touches upon decluttering, DIY healthy cleaning supplies, the best items to put on a wedding registry and why fast fashion has destroyed thrift stores.

The reason decluttering, slow living and conscious choices are the buzzwords lately is because something has to change. I know I was the not the only one who felt it during and after the Great Recession. A lot of people wanted a change. We were well stocked, but restless. Boyle notes this throughout the book, stating, "When our lives are crowded with endless supplies of stuff, we lose the ability to get excited about something new."

Even the book's layout gave the reader space to breathe and pause, with tons of white space and the simplest photographs. We so often forget that simple step; stop, pause and breathe. With that in mind, I leave you with this quote:

"More than an aesthetic or economic choice, living simply requires conscious acts.
By consuming less, purchasing more thoughtfully, and sending fewer things to the landfill, we
can free up time and space for the things that really matter. By making useful art out of any
square footage, we can improve the tenor of our days. No matter who or where you are,
you can make your life matter, simply."

(Photo credit: Amazon)

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