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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Living With Less
on December 24, 2011
I find Francine Jay's "The Joy of Less" to be an indispensable tool for anyone thinking of seriously downsizing the stuff in their lives. It provides articulate discussion of various definitions of what has traditionally become known as stuff, rationalizes reasons for getting rid of it, and offers plans for removing unwanted possessions. The process of acquiring a simpler lifestyle that is less encumbered is not an easy one. As Jay points out, it starts with developing a mindset that recognizes the need for significant change. Her acrostic `STREAMLINE' offers a number of practical criteria for making it happen. For example, one thing goes out for everything that comes in. Also, we must be ready to identify the real function of what we own. An inventory of this score will eliminate the articles that gather dust and have mere sentimental value. To really get down to the nitty-gritties of chucking out, Jay takes her readers through a room-by-room survey of what a workable plan might look like. In the end, the rewards for clearing the proverbial stable are immense: the freeing up of space, money and time. As one who has recently, with the help and direction of my wife, downsized in preparation for a move into a smaller living space, all of what Jay says here makes sense. There are numerous ways to get rid of things that threaten to choke off our very existences, and Jay's book is a good place to start.