Elaine St. James has come a long way since her days as a real estate investor. One day she realized her life was too busy and complicated. By cutting back on work and eliminating physical and mental clutter, she was able to focus on what mattered most in her life.
St. James compiled her practices into a book titled Simplify Your Life. Her little hints have become a national movement of personal simplification. Simplify Your Life is a beginner's manual, with suggestions covering all aspects of one's life. The follow-up book, Inner Simplicity focuses on mental house cleaning. St. James's third volume expands on the previous ones, giving readers suggestions for maintaining their lifestyle changes.
Living the Simple Life: A Guide to Scaling Down and Enjoying More is composed of 100 little suggestions divided into thirteen sections. The titles of these chapters give readers an idea of the different ways our lives can be simplified.
One: The Simple Life
Two: Getting Started
Three: The Things That Really Matter
Four: Some Things to Think About
Five: Getting Rid of Our Stuff
Six: Changing Our Consumer Habits
Seven: Learning to Say No
Eight: Some Inner Stuff
Nine: Personal and Household Routines
Ten: Lifestyle Issues
Eleven: Simple Parenting
Twelve: Simple Wardrobe Ideas for Women
Thirteen: Simple Wardrobe Ideas for Men
Living the Simple Life features feedback from readers of the author's previous works. My favorite comes from David, a 42 year-old teacher who now can fit all his possessions into eight boxes. He works as a private rich-kid tutor two hours a day, four days a week. In all his free time he does volunteer work with underprivileged kids. Cool.
This volume is more laid back than its predecessor. St. James focuses more on living with simplicity rather than the task of creating a simple life. The earlier books will get you started, this one will keep you going.
Many of the suggestions covered in Simplify Your Life are also mentioned here, only in more depth. There are plenty of recommendations and different angles that the author does not repeat herself in the various installments.
I've criticized St. James earlier, because her advice seems to come from a higher financial bracket. Some of her suggestions just aren't feasible to a middle-class family. Living the Simple Life is written on level ground with information regular folks can apply to their lives.
The final portion of this book contains several suggested readings on the topic of simplification. Unfortunately, the mid-1990's copyright date means related web site addresses aren't included. However, it's quite easy to find any online information related to the subject.
Not only is Living the Simple Life an ideal asset to your personal library, it also makes an easy and helpful gift. Pair it up with any of the book in Elaine St. James series for a revolutionary and refreshing life change.