5 Books to Declutter Your Life and Mind
Sometimes you don’t realise how far you’ve come until you look back – deep, huh? And you’re probably not ready for that kind of intellectual genius first thing on Monday, but as it is a Monday, and not to mention a Monday in January, you probably do want to feel organised and ready to take on the week and maybe even 2019. Did I get that right? (I know – psychic.)
In 2017, I discovered I love self-help books – like, really love self help book. And when I say self-help, I mean helpful self development books. None of this ‘lose weight now by starving yourself and being miserable’ garbage. No, the books filled with realistic tips, tricks and how-to’s that I could apply to my own life/habits/wardrobe. And I realised, that there are 5 books that genuinely changed my life long term. For over 12 months I’ve put into practise lessons from the books below. I now fold my underwear (sounds weird but it makes me so deliriously happy), never miss paying a bill (I use to A LOT), I write every day and I use my best things. Wondering what the heck I’m on about? Get in line. Also, keep reading.
These are books that I read in 2017 that ACTUALLY helped me change in 2018 – meaning, I know they work. You won’t just read these books, put it on your bookshelf then donate it to charity in 10 years time. No, I’m talking real Oprah-style life-changing.
BUT you have to be ready to improve, so only proceed if you’re serious about being the best you.
1. Get your sh*t together By Sarah Knight
The title is a dead-giveaway on what the book is about and it’s true – this book really does help you get your sh*t together. No false sales promises here (I can vouch for her).
I am not naturally organised – lots of people think I am, but honestly it couldn’t be further from the truth. (That’s what I’m always running late – I have no sense of time. I honestly start washing my hair when I need to leave in 5 minutes.) The only reason people thing I am is because of this book. This book was the kick in the butt I needed because I realised I don’t want to be the annoying friend who forgets to pay people back, or is late to just about everything, but most importantly, I want more time to do the things I want to do.
I love everything Knight says in this book and there’s tips I still use over 12 months later! (That’s how I know it works.) My favourite being the 'must-do list', valuing your time, outsourcing and writing sh*t down. Honestly, it’s chocker block full of good tips.
If you’re not sure about this book (which you should be) but if you’re not, watch her Ted Talk about her other book. She swears, you’ll laugh and she’ll empower you to focus on doing what you love. And don’t you think 2019 should be the year you focus on doing what you love? I do.
2. The life-changing magic of tidying up By Marie Kondo
This book is the reason I fold my underwear.
You’ve likely heard about it. It was everywhere at one point and I think it’s having a second-coming as a result of the Netflix show. The reason it’s so popular is because it is on point! Fleeker than a killer set of eyebrows.
Marie Kondo is the cutest little Japanese lady you’ve ever read or seen and she’s the woman behind 'does it spark joy?' She's wonderful, a bit unusual, and very effective. I will admit as I Kondo'd my house I got little stuck on the 'does it spark joy?' a couple of times, so I have a second question: ‘would I buy this today?’ (If I wouldn’t, it’s gone.) But it's the same principle as joy, and it works. I threw out eight bags of clothes and helluva a lot of other crap after reading this book, and ever since reading it, I’ve maintained a much more joyous home. (I regularly do throw outs, don’t keep things that make me feel crap and it’s been over 18 months since I started folding my underwear.)
If your home doesn’t make you happy, you spend way too much time putting stuff away, or feel overwhelmed with clutter and crap – read this book.
P.S. I realise Sarah Knight's first book is a parody of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up but it doesn't mean you can't love them both!
3. Lessons from Madame Chic By Jennifer L Scott
This is an odd book for me to include as it’s not a cult hit like some of the others, but some of the things I read in this book changed the way I live.
It’s written by an American who lived in Paris and fell in love with the French way of life. This book is her 'how-to' live a passionate life, based on the lessons she learnt. It’s very American but Scott makes some key points that have stuck with me. The most important being ‘use your best things everyday’ ‒ I actually do that now, and where I buy my food (I now buy all my fruit and vegetables from the farmers market).
There are some parts you can gloss over, such as the skincare chapter – if you’re interested in this blog, then I imagine not looking after your skin isn’t an issue for you – but most of this books makes one think “I should do that!”
I did – and I’m still living by it.
4. Big Magic By Elizabeth Gilbert
Honestly, this book changed my friggin’ life. It inspired me to start this very blog and stop living in fear.
I just love the way Elizabeth Gilbert writes, and I love the way she thinks. I had never read anything she had written before reading this, but after this, I went out and bought her books. (Yes, I now love Eat, Pray, Love like the basic I am.)
Big Magic is a truly empowering book for anyone creative. It dispels so many myths, inspires you to take action and changes the way you think about your creativity.
My words can’t do it justice. But if you want to live a creative life – whatever that creativity is – and you feel held back, read this. Seriously, do it NOW.
5. The 4-hour work week By Tim Ferriss
You will definitely have a love/hate relationship with Tim Ferriss – because to be honest, sometimes he can just be a bit of an arrogant ass. (Sorry Tim, if you’re reading this. I feel like you can take it though.) However, he does make some really good points and I LOVE his new concept of the work week. It always made no sense to me that businesses truly believe that everyone in the world is most productive and efficient between the set and rigid hours of 9-5, NO sense. Dolly Parton got it – what a way to make a livin’!
This book will inspire you, and give you practical advice and tips for creating your ideal work life. Tim literally spells it out for you. I feel like I don’t need to say anymore, so I won’t. Except: try it. OK, now I’m done.
Originally published on 28th December 2017, as ‘Must-try: 5 Books to Declutter Your Life and Mind in 2018.