organized simplicity (part 1 of several)

EDIT (9:32am): GIDDY ALERT. Just popped over to Simple Mom and saw a photo I recognize (because I took it on my phone!). Super fun!

I bought a book last week on Amazon for $10.19. I rarely buy books. Why, you ask? Because you don’t like books? Or because you’re cheaper than cheap?

If you know me at all.

I have much to say about this book. MUCH. I read it in one day, then I immediately set out to put what I learned in action.


It’s called Organized Simplicity by a delightful gal named Tsh Oxenreider. And no, that’s not a typo. Her name is Tsh. And someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m assuming it’s pronounced Tish. I don’t know Tsh personally and have only read her blog a couple times here and there, but she’s friends with some people I know and LOVE (this gal in particular), and after reading her book, I officially like her very, very much.

I have a lot to say about this book. A lot a lot A LOT. And while it is merely a hair past 8pm as I type this, I am flat-out exhausted from putting it all into practice this weekend (with the help of my amazing girlies). So I will just post and post about it until I get it all out of my system.

I have other things in my system too. Haiti. Japan. Cambodia. And I’m afraid to say that whatever was clogging my proverbial drain has become unstuck and, like it or not, the words are about to flow.


Why I Love This Book In Two Short Sentences: You make a family purpose statement and then run all your junk/clutter/stuff/schedule, etc. through the filter of your family’s purpose. If it’s not helping you fulfill your purpose, say bye-bye.

Who’s excited??

Now tell me:

1. Have you read the book? What did you think?

2. Have you heard about the book? What have you heard?

3. Have you bought the book? What are you waiting for?

42 thoughts on “organized simplicity (part 1 of several)

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  7. Nina

    I haven’t read this book and haven’t really heard about it (though I seem to remember seeing the name “Tsh” mentioned on a blog somewhere … kinda hard to forget!).

    I had resolved not to buy any more self-help books and have cut back on book buying (it was a problem!), but I’ll see if I can find it through our local library. Sounds like a great book!

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  9. katie neer

    can’t wait to hear more!!! this sounds like a great book. i checked out already. great fun! i have been slowly paring back our belongings for the last 4 years (since starting the dave ramsey total money makeover…) at the time i realized that we could sell stuff for $ to pay off debt and that was a lot easier than working more. and after doing that i realized that less is really more. when you have fewer belongings it is so much easier to keep your house clean, etc. it really is freeing. also, dave went on a mission trip to costa rica and realized the same thing. less is sometimes so much more!

  10. Richard Westley

    Marla! I need you in my life personally and we’ve got to work this into Sanctuary some kind of way…like simplify weekend or something…teach us how to do this…walk this…simplify.

    keep pressing,

    1. Marla Taviano

      Oh my word. You’re killing me. I would LOVE that. I also need to share what a blessing your message was to me yesterday. BLESS YOU for listening to God, then opening your mouth and letting him speak.

  11. jess

    did gabe help you w/ the purpose statement? matt is kinda….well…… 😛

    i doint know why i didn’t put 2 & 2 together and guess for a minute that that picture was yours. i didn’t think she had kids w/ those names (but i, too, have only popped over there occasionally, so i just though i might be wrong about her kids!) that’s COOL. And sweet letters from your girls.

    I requested the book from our library a few weeks ago and devoured it. It’s all great…but what stood out the most for me is that you don’t need STUFF to remind you of MEMORIES. The memories are in your head even without the momentos. That’s pretty cool.

    i’ve been loosely following her decluttering blogs the past few weeks. I even got matt to clean out his closet! woo! 🙂

      1. jess

        and i love YOU! 🙂

        and i’m relieved that gabe didn’t help you. the husband excietement/involvement part kinda had me stalling. we have the same ideas…but actually writing them in words will make matt look at me like i’m wacko.

        ps. i just printed May 2006 of my old blog (i’m trying to do a month a day until i’m done b/c i’m scared i’ll lose it!), and i got all nostalgic. weren’t those the days? at one point, you mentioned 5 year old LIVI!!!! tear.

  12. Rachelle

    been using parts of this strategy for a long time and I love it! I haven’t read the book, just visited the blog.
    I like the idea of having a family purpose statement.

    Bring on more posts! I think decluttering may be a secret passion of mine!


  13. Stephanie your sister

    Ooh! I’m getting giddy just reading your tiny little post about this. Please share more! Or maybe I’ll just buy the book.

    Just the phrase “organized simplicity” sends exciting shivers down my spine.

    1. Marla Taviano

      Well, I wouldn’t say Gabe is ON board. He’s just not OFF board. 🙂 Unlike your sweet, sentimental husband, Gabe doesn’t have a lot of memories he’s holding on to. However, he DOES have a lot of gadgets, boxes, magazines, cords, etc.

      My general approach is to slowly (one thing at a time) and gently (when he’s in a good mood) ask him if he thinks we really need this (whatever this is). Of all the mess in our house, a very small percentage of it is his. He uses his computer and his camera. Not a whole lot of tools and supplies.

      I say do you and the boys first and maybe Brian will like what he sees.

  14. Kaye

    I sure need this one, but REALLY need to act on it! You have inspired me to buy it!
    Thanks so much for what you will share. REALLY looking forward to it.
    Happy Spring to all of you!
    Matthew 21:22

  15. Bethany

    I ordered the book on Saturday after I read your Facebook comments. I should be getting it tomorrow. I’m excited!

    Are you going to share your family purpose statement with us?

  16. Elizabeth

    You sound so excited-I can’t wait to hear more!

    I bought the book and read it back in February when we were stranded at home during the snow storms. Here’s my take: A lot of what she writes about comes naturally to me (I’m totally a firstborn, Type-A organized structured person). But the way she explains it is SO encouraging and motivating and she gives so many new ideas. I finished it with an entirely new perspective on why we should have a family purpose statement and how liberating that can be. I underlined a lot and put some quotes on notecards (to me, that means it’s a really good quote). I’ve referenced back to the book a few times as we’ve continued to par down in order to sell our house. It’s so nice to have less stuff! And now I know why!

    I bought it at the same time I bought and started reading Joanne’s book Living Simply. Great combination!

  17. Sharon

    Saw your Tweet about Tsh’s blog over the weekend and checked it out. Cannot wait to get started!!! I, too, don’t buy books very often. Here’s to hoping that my library gets it soon!

  18. Wendy

    Wow, by the looks of the laundry greeting me when I returned home, this book is just what I need.

    Got my traffic flyers while I was gone…so excited about this mission.
    ~ Wendy

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