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Westerly Sun Column

Simple living by Caroline Badowski, Reference Librarian


Moving house is a stressful and an exhausting event. After my fourth move within the past few years, I came to the realization that I had pared down my belongings to pretty much essential items. During the first move, I had a friend question whether I was a hoarder because of the twenty pillows I had stashed in my attic. The answer was…maybe? I tell myself that the answer is no, but it did result on some reflection on the importance of “stuff” that I had in my life.


If you need guidance or motivation, there are several books you can check out at the library. “L'art de la simplicité: how to live more with less” by Dominique Loreau takes you on a step-by-step journey to a clutter-free home, a calm mind and an energized body. Then there’s "Decluttering at the speed of life: winning your never-ending battle with stuff” by Dana White. White is a decluttering expert and identifies the mind-sets and emotional challenges that make it difficult to declutter. 


Meet the Frugalwoods: achieving financial independence through simple living” is the fascinating story of how Elizabeth and Nate Thames realized that the mainstream path wasn’t for them. Together they crafted a lifestyle of sustainable frugality, and reached financial independence at age thirty-two! Even if you are not willing to quit your job and start a whole new life, this books offers tips on how to better control your time and money.


Another way to approach simplifying your life is to cut down on the amount of trash you accumulate. Did you know that the average American generates about 4.4 pounds of trash per day? “Zero waste: simple life hacks to drastically reduce your trash” by Shia Su offers practical solutions to those wishing to go plastic-free, save some cash, reduce consumption, and generate less trash.


The most important thing to remember is that these changes do not have to happen overnight, it’s about making small changes and building on them. Come check out a few books at the library to help you get started at simplifying your life!