Monday, January 27, 2014

My year of less is more: Book suggestion - Clutterfree with kids


"Our lives are, by definition, made up of finite resources.  Each of us has a limited amount of minutes, dollars and units of energy with which to live our lives.  Every passing day presents an opportunity to trade our lives for something else.  Unfortunately most of our lives are unintentionally traded down and lived in exchange for returns of limited temporal value.  We never set out to purposefully trade our lives for things of limited value, but in a culture surrounded by similar pursuits, our lives conform too easily" (Clutterfree with Kids, page 33).  

During my reading and thinking over the past few months that have led to 'My year of Less is More', I've been following Joshua Becker's blog, 'Becoming Minimalist'.  As part of his blog, he collects links to articles related to decluttering.  But not just decluttering possessions, but on living more simply.  I've found this reading enormously interesting and inspiring.

I've had the pleasure of reading an advance copy of his latest book over the past few weeks.

Becker's basic philosophy is that it is easier to live life with less.  He was inspired to start on his journey to living with less when he realised that he had a spent a whole Saturday rearranging and tidying his garage full of stuff when his young son was desperate to spend the day doing something with his dad.  He was confronted by the realisation that looking after all his stuff was actually getting in the way of doing what was actually important to him.  He and his wife then went on to get rid of 80% of their possessions.

Joshua has two kids, so when he speaks about getting rid of 80% of his possessions you wonder how that is possible with all the paraphernalia and toys and general junk that kids generate.  This book is his answer to all those questions.  He breaks the book up into sections like dealing with 'Toys', 'Artwork', 'Clothing' and these are enormously helpful and practical especially if you don't know how/where to start with this kind of decluttering.

Unsurprisingly it was his short chapter on 'Scheduling' that stood out for me the most.  I had already started to think hard about this issue, but this chapter helped pull a lot of my thinking together on it.

If you're interested in thinking with me about this kind of stuff, get the book - it's inspiring and helpful.  Only $3.99 for a Kindle edition - special deal for the next few weeks.

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