I’m so thrilled to finally be publishing this post! I actually did an Instagram Live discussing A Simplified Life in-depth a couple of weeks ago, but I wanted to have my review live on my blog, too, so anyone can reference it at any time. Plus, the book is currently on sale for $12, so now is the perfect time to purchase this book and change your life (seriously).
(bamboo frame by framebridge)
Before I begin, I want to clarify that this post is not sponsored and I purchased the book myself. Emily Ley has no idea who I am, haha.
I’ve been following Emily Ley, creator of The Simplified Planner, for several years now. I saw an Instagram post over the weekend that her book was a best-seller on Amazon and I thought to myself “I didn’t even know she had a book” (thanks, Instagram algorithm).
Curious, I went to check it out. I read the synopsis and immediately added it to my cart and made the purchase, undoubtedly the best $10 I have spent in 2017. Here’s the thing: the information within the book isn’t some new miracle concept – but the way in which it is laid out, presented and motivational is why I think this book is a must-have for any woman, especially if she’s also a mother.
I read the entire book in just over a couple of hours. Once I started, I couldn’t put it down. As I turned the last page, I felt motivated, inspired and encouraged. I also felt a sense of…relief.
This book gives you the permission to “let go” of so many things in life…added stresses, clutter, routines that don’t work well for your family, etc. It doesn’t tell you how to “make your busy life and commitments work” or “how to balance it all” (because, let’s face it, we all know that term is BS anyway). It gives you the permission to DO LESS. Live more simply, own less things, be in less places each day. It leaves you feeling OK with downgrading how busy your life is – in fact, once you finish the book, you will clearly see that letting go means actually living more. It looks like Elsa really did have the right idea all along (Disney references, for the win!)
With each turn of the page, the book asks you to honestly evaluate the state of your life, home, parenting, finances, etc . There are also work sheets at the end of every chapter, which I plan to complete when I read it for the second time to really lay down my plans. The questions might seem simple, but they force you to actually sit and think about what you want and how you’ll achieve it. Each chapter also gives you a summary of action items – things you can literally do THAT DAY or week to make life simpler.
This book is NOT about moving to quaint farm somewhere and leading a simple life. It’s the opposite – Emily Ley encourages you to learn to live the way you want to in the space you’re already in. You don’t need a new home with more space to hold all of your belongings. You don’t need to make an impossibly long to-do list to finally feel at peace.
I don’t want to spoil the entire book for you – you truly need to read the entire book for yourself to feel the motivation to take steps to have a simpler life. But I really respect and admire the advice she gives and the simple steps we can all take to make life easier in a world that is busting at the seams with commitments and never-ending to-dos.
My favorite chapter was about the home and the most impactful take-away for me was that getting rid of visual clutter can make us so much happier and less stressed. You have to think of your home as a place where you go to feel safe, happy, loved, fulfilled and relaxed. You family’s home should be a place where you can feel comfortable and not something that just makes you feel stressed every time you walk into a cluttered room, open a chaotic junk drawer or jam another shirt into your over-stuffed closet.
Y’all. This SPOKE to me. I’m always on a mission to make our home functional and organized, but between having two young children, working full-time and running my blog with no help (other than Kevin’s amazing photography skills, haha), I have so few hours to devote to our home. This book made me realize that I needed to make our home a priority because the place where we sleep, eat, love and relax needs to be conducive to that.
Visual clutter creates chaos in the mind. It creates anxiety, stressful thoughts and makes your entire world feel unbalanced. Every time I opened my over-crammed “junk drawer” (why do we even have those?) I felt a sense of panic – almost like the drawer was a representation of how I just can’t get my shit together as a woman, mother…and person. Maybe that’s a little bit dramatic – but every time I walked into our master bedroom, I felt the same way. There was just STUFF everywhere. Projects that were unfinished, things that needed to be put away. The way I had things “organized” made no sense.
Emily Ley’s book will teach you how to make your home a space you can enjoy. Much like the Magical Art of Tidying Up, the mantra is “have less.” This chapter was my favorite because it was so easy to take action and there was instant gratification to it.
I spent two days tackling things like messy rooms, disorganized drawers, eliminating a ton of things from our closets, obliterating junk drawers, donating or throwing away things we have duplicates of or things we don’t use or need. It’s totally liberating to do these things – without guilt or regret. I never have a hard time giving things away because I know I will be happier with less clutter in my life, but I know this isn’t an easy task for some, especially if you grew up in a messier home or have an attachment to items that carry meaning for you. Emily addresses all of these things and I promise you will feel empowered to tackle your home and make it a place that has less, but feels like so much more.
I’m taking the entire week of Christmas off from work, and in that week, I plan to tackle a lot of our home-related items so that we start the new year with spaces that feel airy and calm — with everything having a place and functionality. I’m going to sell and donate a ton of clothing and home items and feel zero guilt. I’m going to clean our and de-clutter our playroom and the kid’s closets. I can’t wait!
Last weekend, I re-did our entire downstairs shoe and coat closet and documented the entire process on Instagram stories. I used these bins to transform a space that was once a jumble of junk, shoes, old bags and coats into an organized, functional space where every single item we actually use has a “home” and now I’m happy every time I walk into our home and see it all just as it was the day I cleaned it out.I hope this post is helpful for anyone considering purchasing A Simplified Life. From the easy-to-read format, worksheets at the end of each chapter and immediate/motivating action items, I think you’ll consider this book to be one of the best $10 you’ve ever spent, too.