Monthly Archives: February 2012

Live on purpose.

Recently, I read an inspiring book, Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living.

Author Tsh Oxenreider had me at “clutter-free.” She makes SO many good points, practical and wise, about making a reality of the old advice, “don’t let your possessions own you.”

But it’s so much more than that. She teaches to be intentional. To make life simpler, better, for you and your family.

Now I’m not a hoarder, or a big shopper…really I’m not! Ahem.

But one of my favorite possessions (we are allowed a few, right?), is a label maker. And I crave organization. Why do my spices need another label, you ask?  

Because I’m lazy. No pesky lifting and searching for that tarragon. (When’s the last time that spice was used?) One of Tsh’s most inspiring bits of advice. Labeling simplifies. Forces me to answer the question: where does this belong; is it useful?


Let me back up. Following Tsh’s advise when cleaning clutter, I’m scrutinizing everything with, “Is it beautiful?” or “Is it useful?”

To put intention to action, I started with a china cabinet. Mostly inherited items, all beautiful, but rarely used. Off to eBay, garage sales, to someone who may find more value in items that have been dust gathering, forgotten.

Consider this beautiful pitcher, never used by my mother-in-law, or by us. Still in the box. 

These heirlooms are easy to part with since they don’t hold much sentiment beyond the shared monograms. Okay, I might hold on to the lovely silver bowl inscribed with an “N.” (Until I have to polish it a few times.)

Next I’ll move to a cabinet or closet that may be more difficult to work through. But I’m inspired to let go when necessary.

Beyond physical items, Tsh describes the value of evaluating activities for their value. Relationships. Even work situations. Time for a new job? Are your friendships meaningful, honest, or detrimental? Is your spiritual life worthy?

As you know, I’m all about fresh starts. (Shameless plug for my book.)

Maybe it’s time for you to begin again in some of these areas.

Thanks to my friend, BethAnne, at Thrifty Living, for alerting me to Organized Simplicity and many other great thoughts on intentional living in her blog.

In closing, here’s one of my favorite Tsh quotes:

“Put a stake in the ground as an ebenezer of remembrance that today, you are choosing to say no to unrealistic cultural expectations, and yes to the best life for your family.” (Kindle, location 1436)

Now I need to find out what tarragon’s useful for. Pretty sure it’s not beautiful.