“Simple Matters – Living with Less and Ending Up with More” by Erin Boyle was a book I had been wanting to read for quite a while. I follow Erin’s blog and love her style of writing and the simplicity by which she lives. So I bought my sisters copies of the book and we decided to each give our take on it (although I don’t think they’ve written something up about it yet). Whether we liked it or not. Whether we agree with all, some, or none of her philosophies. I’m gonna break it down into short little notes about the few chapters in the book.
1) Decluttering. I was all about this chapter. I love to decluttering and purge. But I am also doing this constantly because I haven’t mastered “gatekeeping”; the screening of what stuff comes into your home. So for me, it’s a vicious cycle. This would probably be easier on the budget if I took the time to sell the items that are sellable and to use that money for purchases down the road.
2) Simplifying. Here Erin talks more, among other things, of her choices to be more environmentally concious of the items she uses. While I give her a thumbs up for having that dedication, I personally don’t have that as a high priority in my household. I do try, however, to be more aware of what chemicals are in stuff, and to buy items with less chemical makeup to them.
3) Organizing. Oh how I wish I was a more organized person. I always accumulate more baskets to hide away eye sores than dealing with it and finding a purposeful spot for them. Erin does have some great simple tip here for that.
4) Decorating. Erin’s decorating style is very clean and fresh. A simple rustic minimalism. I feel like she needs to visit my house to impact some of her organizing and decorating skills on me.
5) Bath and Beauty. One of the troublesome areas she mentions here is the bathroom cabinet. I cringe at the thought of anyone seeing the chaotic mess I have in ours. It needs some hardcore purging and organizational love. She does give a recepie here for a homemade sugar scrub that I’m intrigued to try.
6) Getting dressed. Growing a minimalist wardrobe. How simple and easy would it be to open your closet and only find a handful of carefully selected and purchased garments so versatile that you could wear them with almost anything else in your closet. In a perfect world maybe that’s how it is, but sadly my closet is packed with clothes that only go with certain things or clothes I “might wear one day”. Erin give some tips towards working on your wardrobe and making it work for you.
7) Cooking and entertaining. Meal planning is such a calming activity for me. To open a cookbook and see delicious recepies I’d want to try. But when it comes to actually cooking the meal, talk about stressful. I do not enjoy cooking at all. It makes me a hot, worried mess. Erin gives great pointers on how to prep during the week so that dinner times aren’t so stressful.
8) Cleaning. Oh dear, another area I need help on. I do like his through this book Erin talk on how to consider the beauty and usefulness of what you use. She also gives some DIY cleaning products that aren’t so filled with nasty chemicals and her list of cleaning essentials.
9) Thriving. Here in the last chapter of the book, Erin reminds us not to worry so much about the little stuff that we forget to relax, take time for ourselves, and just be in the now.
All in all I really enjoyed this book. Most of her topics I agree wth full heartedly, although I am not as dutiful as her in following through. You should check out my sisters’ blogs to see if they wrote their take on it.