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2.0 out of 5 starsHeartfelt, but not enough of a sense of audience
Reviewed in the United States on February 25, 2018
I've been reading and listening to books on simplicity and minimalism lately, and this is one of the less helpful books I've come across. I had heard about Courtney Carver's inspiring story, on the Minimalism documentary and through Joshua Becker's book The More of Less, and I've read her blog. She's also from my region of the country, and has a family, so when I found out that she had a book, I knew I wanted to read or listen to it. In the end, I listened to it, but it was a ponderous listen. There wasn't enough narrative to keep me interested, and I was surprised at what was there (a story about getting a dog) and what wasn't (a fully developed narrative about how her diagnosis with MS resulted in her decision to live life differently). In addition, the advice was so persistent (so much use of the imperative!) that I was turned off, even though I found the advice itself in line with my values. Overall, the Carver of the book comes across as weirdly navel gazing, even though her blog does not. As others have said, I think that the blog is better than the book. Overall, I think that there are more engaging and far more inspiring books on Minmalism out there, such as Fumio Sasaki's Goodbye Things, and Joshua Becker's The More of Less.
5.0 out of 5 starsSoulful Simplicity has helped me better understand the emotional burden of my physical clutter
Reviewed in the United States on January 8, 2018
As a mother of three children who is emotionally attached to way too many things, this book helped me realize that my home has become a storage space. Not a living space. Soulful Simplicity has helped me better understand the emotional burden of my physical clutter, and how it has contributed to my mental clutter. The helpful action steps listed at the end of each section have helped me with the following: - understand how simplifying my life will benefit me; - create new measures of success; - let go of the guilt attached to items in my piles of clutter; - learn how to better protect my time for things/people that truly matter to me; - identify my biggest personal contributor to clutter (I can't get rid of this "just in case"...); - identify why I have such a hard time working on reducing my clutter (decision fatigue!); and - understand manageable strategies for how to simplify your life in a sustainable manner. I highly recommend this book for those who recognize the need to simplify and simply need gentle nudges in the right direction.
Purchased this book as a gift to myself after hearing about it on a blog. OMG, excellent book! Easy to read, very well written and sheesh, this woman is so spot on! Super scary how she GETS ME and KNOWS my feelings and thoughts (cuz she has had all of them too!). For all of you out there who over-extend yourselves at everything in your lives, who give too much (til it hurts!) you must buy this book and finally try and help yourself to realize that it is OK to take care of YOU! There really are EASY tools you can take, even just in baby steps, and succeed at being happier and healthier in EVERY part of your life. Im really TRYING to learn how to take care of ME, after spending all of my 55 years taking care of EVERYONE else FIRST and leaving myself to the very LAST. Which, as you may know, NEVER HAPPENS. No time left after spending it all on a demanding job (or two jobs! Or, three! That’s me!), on keeping a house/yards up, keeping a spouse fulfilled and happy, keeping a boss impressed by your work, keeping a child thriving and healthy, taking care of aging parents and friends who are “needy” with needing help in how to make sense of their lives. Anyway, this is an excellent book. This woman is fantastic in a VERY down to earth way. I’d LOVE to attend one of her speaking engagements. Fingers crossed that happens!
This was a very interesting, thought-provoking, and challenging book. The author uses her own experience (a diagnosis of MS and the changes that required of her life) to explain the benefits of adopting a simpler life, less beholden to belongings and societal expectations of "success" and a "good life." She explains the way she simplified her life -- eliminating debt, downsizing her home, getting rid of many of her belongings, changing her approach to what was important -- and how this allowed her to experience life more deeply and more fully and to be a better mother, wife, and friend. What I particularly liked about the book was that the author was open about her struggles, acknowledging that some of the changes were particularly difficult and that it took her years to figure things out (and that this process was still ongoing). She explains the actions she took and makes suggestions for how readers can go about making certain changes in their lives, but she does not claim that her methods are the only way or the "right" way for everyone. I hope to implement many of her suggestions in my own life.
This may be one of the few "how to simplify your life" books that is not all about cluttering and tidying up. In sharing her own journey to a simple lifestyle, Courtney Carver encourages the reader to consider the "why's" behind a desire for simplicity more than the "how's," and suggests that this journey will be and should different for everyone. She does gives tips and guidelines for pairing down, but not as checklists that, if rigorously followed, will lead to a perfectly organized home and schedule. Rather the suggestions are presented as a series of options to try on and discard or adopt as appropriate. You decide what you want/need less of and discover along the way how that specific less can become more for you and yours. While most books on simplifying do mention effects it might have on the people one lives with (usually in the form of "clutter your stuff and your spouse/partner/kids/roommates will jump on the simplicity bandwagon), Carver focuses on the relationships themselves and how a journey toward a simpler way of life can positively affect them. I can think of no better reason to get started.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 5, 2018
I have been very interested in minimalism for a number of years and have read a lot of Courtney Carvers blogs and others on the same subject , these people have a lot courage to write about a subject which many would laugh at . I urge people to read Courtney's book along with her blogs it will open your eyes .
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 25, 2018
I loved this book and the openness of Courtney’s journey and story. Courtney shares her soul in her journey to Soulful Simplicity which is appreciated throughout. Inspirational true story with lots of take always.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 22, 2018
I feel if you pick up a few good tips or if the book motivates you, it's worth the money. This does both, and then some. Only problem, I was so enthusiastic about the book loaned it out, actually want to re read chapters.