-- a book review of 'Uncluttered' by Courtney Ellis --
Have you tried the KonMarie technique for tidying your home? There’s a reason for the current popularity and renown of Marie Kondo’s books and classes on 'the life-changing magic of tidying up'. Almost everyone you meet struggles with the same disarray and disorganisation at home and in the workplace. We have so much stuff, so much that society tells us we desperately need to live and function, so much that is pushed on us by advertising and social media.
But we’re suffocating in it. It’s controlling and overwhelming our lives.
And sure, tidying up your kitchen, your bedroom, your office, your garage, or your business, is helpful. But it’s only a part of our real problem.
Our lives need a complete overhaul, not just of our possessions and our homes. Our lives and the focus of our daily activities need cleaning up.
And Courtney Ellis’s book, 'Uncluttered', provides some helpful guidance. Courtney takes a different slant on the whole issue of tidying up.
She suggests that our deepest need is to declutter, slow down, simplify life so that you can find yourself and remember what it really means to be a child of God.
Important points to remember
Courtney reminds us that the secret of simplicity, and the focus of our entire lives, is to put God first. And in this, as in other areas throughout the book, Courtney explains how she accomplishes this with her family and how you can do it too.
‘When you really, truly love someone- or something- you find ways to put them first.’
Then she follows with practical ways to do just that. No. It’s not a holier-than-thou ‘you need to do this’ type of advice. With warmth and humour, she shows what she and her husband are trying to do, and why, and sometimes how she’s failed and had to start again.. wholly relatable for families with growing kids.
Marie Kondo suggests tackling categories rather than rooms as you work through tidying up your home. And in some ways, so does Courtney. She tackles those parts of our lives, our things, our stuff, our schedules, our finances that need clearing up and simplifying- less clothing, less new stuff, less technology, less schedule.
She then takes it further and identifies the things that we need more- more hospitality, more listening and speaking, more uncluttered kids, more generosity, more worship.
I particularly liked the 7 simple, easy maxims of faithfulness that the whole family works toward:
1. God first
2. We believe God’s heart of openness and joy.
3. We will seek to foster generosity.
4. In our home, Jesus will be given more airtime than any cartoon, mythical figure or pop icon.
5. Whenever possible, we will create rather than consume.
6. We will allow our kids to be bored.
7. Until our kids are in high school, screens will be saved for special occasions.
My personal takeaways
I spent most of my time as I read this book either chuckling (I can relate to so many of the humorous situations and scenarios) or writing down quotes. Here are a few:
‘If we are consistently over-busy and overburdened and over-scheduled all the time, we have made that choice.’
‘We are called to work hard and faithfully and well, but we are not called to sacrifice ourselves on the altar of productivity and activity.’
‘Generosity is learned, and we are on the front lines of instruction.’
Who would I recommend reading this book?
What can I say.. everyone. Everyone has been sold the idea that our family, our lives, our entire self-worth is caught up in the importance of things we have and the busyness of the things we do. Anyone who is considering tidying up their homes should take it a step further and tidy up their family schedules and the focus of their lives.
'Uncluttered' is a great read and filled with helpful ideas and suggestions. But it’s not intended as a formula; rather, it’s an encouragement for everyone to slow down long enough to see God in their lives and be reminded of His truth… so that we can become the kind of people that God created us to be. And it includes helpful ideas and suggestions for doing just that!
'The heart of an uncluttered life is the glory of the God who created us, loves us, sustains us, and calls us forth.'
Uncluttered -Free your space, free your schedule, free your soul
-by Courtney Ellis
Publisher: Rose Publishing (January 29, 2019)
RRP: $12.37 - $16.86
Format: Paperback, Kindle
I would like to thank Rose Pub for providing me with the opportunity to read, and review, this book. Thank you.
Disclosure: At Grandma's Place is committed to high standards of integrity and quality. I do not promote any brand I do not believe meets these standards, and I only promote brands I would purchase myself. If I don't love it, and don't think you'll love it, it won't appear on my blog.