This is the last of the Books for 2020 giveaway series because after this, I’m all out of books. (Unless you’re reading this and you’re an author and you want your book featured and a copy given away! Email me!)
This giveaway is also part of the sub-feature of the Books for 2020 giveaway series I like to refer to as, I have really smart friends. Last month, I gave away a copy of Singles: Take Control of your own Financial Journey written by my good friend and blogger, Laura Oliver of A Frugal Chick.
Next on my list of really smart friends is Amanda Childress, author and blogger at Life Less Cluttered.
I am so excited that Amanda from Life Less Cluttered has offered to give away a copy of her book! Do you need this book to help you in 2020? Entry form is at the end of the post!
Amanda and I had a nice Q&A about her book, Life Less Cluttered. Life Less Cluttered is a Biblical Study for the Woman Overwhelmed with the Amount of Stuff in Her Home. Amanda regularly does this study with small groups at her church, but it can also be done on your own or with a group of gal pals! (Looking for a small group study for your church? Reach out to Amanda about getting copies of the book for your group! Right now, copies of Life Less Cluttered are only available by contacting Amanda directly.)
Q: What prompted you to write Life Less Cluttered?
A: I had got to a point to where I was having a lot of anxiety because the kids were young and we had so much stuff, just stuff in the house, and they were in the toddler years, so a lot of the stuff that we had was big, clunky things. I was basically tiptoeing around those things all the time and I realized that I wasn’t spending time on things I wanted to be priorities. I started looking into minimalism and it spiraled from there. Getting to Life Less Cluttered, comes after the whole process of decluttering for me. After I decluttered I felt so much more free. I felt like there was almost a spiritual freedom connected to it, that I didn’t expect. I felt empowered after I did it. And as a Christian believer, the way we perceive our stuff is and should be different. So that’s what where the idea came from.
Q: Since you’ve done the Life Less Cluttered study as a small group several times and have been through the process with lots of different people, what area do you find most people struggle with when it comes to decluttering?
A: Oh, that’s sentimentals. It’s always sentimentals. And that’s a whole range of things – sentimentals could be absolutely anything. I think our spiritual lives are connected to our things in a lot of ways. A lot of what we own speaks to who we are and the health of our spirit is dependent on who we are. It’s not bad to have sentimental things. But it’s when that thing that you’re holding on to is keeping you in a form of spiritual bondage – it’s not allowing you to walk in your purpose, it’s not allowing you to move forward. One week of the study is about being in bondage to your stuff and what is the real reason you’re holding on to it.
Q: What area of clutter do you most struggle with?
A: That’s kind of an unfair question. (laughs) I could really let myself get away with home decor stuff because I’m a creative, I love colorful things, I love to be artistic. I’m always in the middle of some kind of project. I could let myself get away with crafting, DIY supplies, extra tools and stuff. But I don’t mind busy, creative spaces as long as there is an order to it in my mind. But it’s the little knick-knacky things I’ve had to withhold myself from buying because I can go into Hobby Lobby and find things to fill every little space with, that over time just becomes one more thing that I don’t like as much as I thought I did when I first saw it. So I’ve had to train myself to skip those purchases and come back if I’m still thinking about it a week or two later.
Q: What is one thing everyone should throw away in 2020?
A: Well, I can’t say everyone, because not everyone has kids, but if I were speaking to moms in particular, I would say … their kids’ art. And that’s something that a lot of moms struggle with. But paper will add up so quickly in your home. And papers that your kids have touched are easy to become sentimentals and you can’t keep everything. And really, in 20 years, your kids aren’t going to want it. You really have to look and think, why am I keeping this?
So kids’ art and overall for anybody and everyone, I would say… plastic bottles. Plastic bottles, for us, was one of the easiest things to transition away from. We switched to filtered water and stainless steel bottles. When we drank bottled water, they’d get half drank, left sitting around, tossed in the floorboard of the car, and I was constantly cleaning up. It was extra trash I had to deal with. So, yeah, plastic bottles, it’ll be better for you and the planet.
Q: Anything else you want to share?
A: I guess, the biggest thing for me, when I decluttered, it reduced my anxiety drastically. But it also gave me this spiritual empowerment that I didn’t ever expect to have. But that can only happen when you are ready to actually go through the process. So I would never encourage someone to try and talk their family member into doing this. Or to argue with their mother because she keeps too much stuff, or make it a point of contention between a husband and a wife. You have to lead the example you want others to see. If you’re not ready to go through this process, you shouldn’t do it. Through prayer and really searching for the why, the time will come when you know is time to declutter. This book is for you, the reader, the person going through it. It should never be read with the intentions of changing someone else. It’s a personal journey. But at the same time, it comes easier with accountability in a group. That’s what I want for Life Less Cluttered – connected groups of Christian sisters talking about their stuff. I want people talking about how to make their homes be of service to who they are instead of them serving their things. Living among their things for what God has called them to do. Using the things they own as tools. Because in the end, it’s all stuff, and we can either use it to assist us or we can assist it.
And now for the giveaway!
U.S. Entries only. Giveaway ends 3/3/2020. One winner will be randomly selected from completed entries and contacted at the address used on the entry form. Winner has 48 hours to respond or prize is forfeited.