My Favourite Simple Living Reads of 2011


How was/is your holiday going? We had a fantastic time in Edinburgh and visiting family near Glasgow. I drove a right hand drive car for the first time (and we survived), we visited the Edinburgh Zoo on Christmas day and I met up with some awesome ladies I met through this blog (at a beautiful tea shop Now we are back home and settling in for a quiet New Years and looking forward to 2012.

There were a lot of great blog posts, news items and books about living simply and with less this year. Far too many for me to list all of them here. So, in a minimalist fashion, I’m just including a handful of my favourites.

Poor People Can’t Afford Cheap Things I linked to this a few months back and just read it again. Gold. Reminded me of a comment from a high school friend that reads this blog. She decided to just keep her books on the floor (for months!) until she found the right book shelf. When I do buy things now I am a) willing to pay more for better quality and b) willing to wait longer to buy it.

It’s better to have something that successfully satisfies your needs for ten years than something that doesn’t work very well and needs repeated fixing for two.

the absolutely positively pain-free way to go simple (and stay chic) Rayna has moved her virtual home so I am scared this link may not work. Which would be a shame because the writing is so spot on about living a pared down life and living it well.

I’ve realized that we’ve got everyone fooled. They think we live like them, but we really don’t. I think that it just goes to show how easy it is to live well with less.

Lovely tips and thoughts on living well (and staying chic) with less. Rayna’s blog has taken a new turn and I’m enjoying the thoughts on the good life with an emphasis on quality over quantity. I would say it is my new guilty pleasure but there’s nothing to feel guilty about.

What to Do About Other People’s Stuff From Rachel Meeks at Small Notebook, great suggestions for how to deal with clutter/gifts/etc that aren’t yours. A lot of people ask similar questions here and really, there is no one answer. Family dynamics and situations are unique and unfortunately you have to make the hard decisions yourself. And as Rachel beautifully wrote:

And you move on, so that you don’t spend your precious energy worrying about stuff that is simply stuff. It’s only temporary, and the goal is not to have the most streamlined, organized place ever. The way you treat other people is how you will most be remembered.

One Bite at a Time: 52 Projects for Making Life Simpler by Tsh Oxenrider The first e-book from the fantastic Tsh, the woman behind This is a collection of projects, some that have been featured on her website before, to simplify your home and life. The projects on creating evening and morning routines have been very helpful to me (even if we are not quite there yet with implementing them every day). I’m looking forward to checking a few new projects off in 2012. If you’re thinking about purchasing this e-book there is a $1 off promotion going on until January 10th – so you can buy the book for $4 instead of $5 – great deal! Use the code HAPPYNEWYEAR.

What were your favourite reads about living a simple and minimalist life in 2011? I would love it if you linked to them in the comments.

Have a wonderful New Years and see you in 2012!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Like this post? Share it:
  • Welcome back, Rachel!
    I thought of you often while I was running around trying to get ready for Christmas in my usual procrastinating fashion. We had unexpected overnight guests the weekend before Christmas, so the clutter went into the garage, leaving my car outside. This also involved two 5 hour round trips to the airport, and a 5 hour round trip to a funeral, so that set me back 3 days. Then some last minute plumbing issues changed the location for my side of the family from our house to my brother’s house. To top it off, I received more Christmas decorations as presents, when I already have way too much.

    Besides your blog, one helpful book I read was The Joy of Less by Francine Jay. I have read a lot of books on simplifying and organizing, but after reading about minimalism, something clicked, and I can’t read those books any more. I just wish I had looked into it sooner.

    I’m glad you had a wonderful time. Happy New Year!

    • Francine’s book is great. I have read it myself and found it both logical and inspiring.

      Sorry your holidays were turned upside down. Hopefully New Years was a bit quieter.



  • Hi Rachel,
    I just started reading a book called The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard. There’s a very clever little video on YouTube which gives you an idea of what she’s researched about where all our “stuff” goes once it’s in the garbage. But there’s so much more, and it is absolutely related to simple living/minimalism.

  • Dear Rachel,

    Thank you for this very kind mention! I’m delighted that you like the new site, and you’ve broadened my horizons (as always) with the other mentions as well! How I wish I could have met up with you at Eteaket! Happy New Year!!!

    A very big hug,


    • I just started reading a book called ” 7, an experimental mutiny against excess” by Jen Hatmaker. She covers food, clothes, spending, media, possessions, waste, and stress, each for 30 days. It’s a very good read.
      A good novel I’ve read on materialism is “Quaker Summer” by Lisa Samson. The author and her family actually moved from the suburbs to the inner city to help the poor.

  • I really enjoyed this postby Corbett Barr guesting on Zen Habit’s. It’s not about simplicity as such but it was one of those posts that made me think about much of what I do. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed when embarking on something new that it creates inertia. This post helped me look at it in a different way.

Comments are closed.