I love reading Zen Habits by Leo Babauta. So when I heard he had a book coming out called Power of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential…in Business and in Life, I pre-ordered it. Then promptly forgot I did.

As I ordered some books at the beginning of the year I remembered Leo had this book coming out, so I ordered it along with the other books.

So my two the Power of Less books arrived within one day of each other.

First I got mad at myself – but quickly turned it around to, "What can I do about this?".

I thought my readers would really be helped by this book. The main principles are what I talk frequently about – identify the essential and eliminate the rest. Simplifying, focusing and setting limits are a big part of this book.

So I will be sending this book to one of my readers. All you need to do is post in the comments about one or more of the following:

  • a simplifying question
  • something about simpler living you want to know more about
  • an organizing/simplifying problem or frustration you would like an answer to.

These answers will also help me write more about what you want to hear. Then next Tuesday I will randomly pick a name.


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  • Deanna Leip

    I do several crafts and need to organize them in a way that I know what I have. So I don’t buy what I have again.

  • Diana

    Hi Beth!

    I would absolutely love to win that book, and I also happen to have a simplifying question for you, too.

    I am in the process of trying to get rid of some of my clutter/stuff/belongings to help clean out my apt. My problem is that I tend to hoard things b/c I’m worried that although I may not using something today, I may need it later. Also, I tend to overbuy stuff I like so it’s hard to downsize b/c it can be stuff I really like, have used within the last year, etc, which makes it hard for me to get rid of some of it b/c usually, I just get rid of stuff when it’s broken or I haven’t used it within the last year, etc. Do you have any tips on sorting belongings and/or rules on getting rid of things you actually like and use if you just have too much of it?


    Diana πŸ™‚

  • Nancy

    I would love to hear your experience with keeping it simple when you’re divesting yourself of stuff. In other words, the act of giving away can get complicated: How can one streamline that process? For a while I was a Freecycle member, but it got to be almost a burden–tons of emails, sorting through requests, trying to connect with people. But is giving one big pickup to Goodwill getting the best mileage for what I have to give others? A garage sale has its benefits, but is just one more thing to do. I’d love to read your thoughts.

  • Ilse Svensson-de Jong

    Dear Beth,

    I am grateful for your inspiration, thank you. My question is the following: how do you declutter when you have a husband and a baby?

    Wish you all the best,

    Ilse Svensson-de Jong, Sweden

  • Heather

    Can you discuss organization of pantries? We keep ours kind of organized, but I wonder if there are some secrets I don’t know of which would provide the perfect system for us.

  • Jennifer

    I would like to know how to manage my children’s “stuff.” They’re ages 10 and 12 right now, and already, I have boxes and boxes of their drawings, writing, report cards, school papers, et cetera.

  • niki

    Great giveaway..thanks!

    My question is this: How do you decide which pieces of memorabilia to save and which to toss? I am very sentimental and tend to hang on to lots of old things, particularly belongings from relatives.


  • Debbie

    You may have already addressed this issue. Here’s my question: What papers, receipts bills etc should I keep?
    As i prepare for taxes what should I hold onto and for how long?
    Is there a simple way to organize all these papers?
    Oops That’s three questions!
    Thanks for the inspiration. i really like the declutter calendar.

  • Quatrefoil

    I’m desperate to know how to organise the things required for my craft activities and my study in a tiny apartment with no storage space. I really need a sewing room and a study, but I only have a bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom. I don’t really want to get rid of my creative stuff, but it’s taking over my life! Help!

  • Jonathan

    I’ve been on a kick on reading books about lifestyle design. It sounds like this one would be a good addition to what I’ve read in the past two weeks of being off from work.

    Currently, I’m house-sitting for the winter months. Just before house-sitting, I have been living in an apartment that was furnished. So, I never had a whole of stuff to take along with me as I move here to there.

    I’d like to learn more about what simpler living has to offer for me. I’m finding that materialism and possibly a 9 to 5 job isn’t for me.

    Perhaps my question is this: what aspects of my life do I keep simple and what part of life can I just simply ignore for a greater simplicity in life?

    I think it’s terrific that you turn your negative emotion to something positive in a “pay-it-forward” manner. It’s something I’ve been trying to do more and more as a teacher, hoping that at least one of my students will realize the value of this perspective on life.

  • Heidi

    I’m planning on leaving the country for a year, and I’m wondering how to determine which stuff to sell (maybe to buy again if I return), which stuff to store (and where), and how to do this while still using some of the stuff before moving…

  • Veronika Ekstrand

    I wonder how to be sure to meet people when I`m working from home? I donΒ΄t want to sit alone all day long:).

  • Cammi

    I would love some suggestions on how to organize my entry way. It is a drop zone for everything! My whole family tends to leave things lay in this area as they enter. It is also our laundry room. It is the first area you see when you walk into our home and puts me in a grumpy mood every time I see it. I don’t like that the first thing I see or visitors see is our messiest room of the house! I feel like this is the area in our home that requires the most attention to keep clean. Any ideas on how to keep this area tidy and to get my family on board to help keep it up?

  • Dixie

    My biggest frustration is that we have moved two households of stuff in to one… My husband and I married 5-years ago… both of us in our 50’s, and both with homes of our own. I sold my home and moved into his… It has been a slow process getting his house to reflect my tastes rather than that of his first wife (he was widowed 2 yrs before I met him), and making the changes without hurting anyones feelings. We still have 2-out buildings full of mostly my stuff… Help! Do I just need to hire a professional? I don’t know if I’ll ever get through all this stuff, and if I haven’t used in in 5-years… do I really need it….? Any suggestions? thanks!

  • Corrine

    I am on a quest to symplify my life. So I
    Declutter!! clothing, furniture,STUFF .
    It comes back, slowly but surely.
    I have started a veg patch ,not bad results but time consuming.
    I want to use less water,
    less fuel (gas),
    less power .
    I want to bake and make food at home more.
    I want to refashion clothing and reuse what I already have. Requires skill. I am learning.
    I want to walk more, for health and enviroment.
    I want to reduce debt.
    I would like to improve my life skills and those of my children.
    My question is; How can I make all this happen, without turning myself inside out?

  • nicole 86

    I would like to learn how to speak gently to myself. This my only resolution and I wish i could stick to it. Help would be much welcomed.

  • Glenn

    Have been decluttering lately. Donated clothes and other items to the Rescue Mission. It supports homeless individuals. We are trying to simplify. I’m donating some books to the local library and offering others through Bookcrossing.com. How do you overcome the barrage of advertising that you need this gadget, etc. for your life to be complete?

  • Marcia, Organising Queen

    Hi Beth

    I can’t wait to hear what you think of the book.

    Here’s my question for you: what is your TOP tip that you use in your everyday life that has helped to simplify your life most effectively?


  • Victoria

    I recently became aware that my three main goals (declutter home/office/life), get out of debt, and finding a dream job) have all been accomplished after years of hard work and determination. Now what? How do I maintain what I have and keep it fresh and enjoyable? Do I continue to set mindful goals and for what purpose? I am content and enjoying my life. Having reached nirvana (by some arbitrary criteria), I still ask, “What next?” Typical of the human condition, eh?

  • Mara

    I have learned so much from you and thank you for your willingness to share. My question has to do with decluttering/organizing while having a limiting health concern.

    I have fibromyalgia and arthritis, so I’m often tired beyond what I can bear, sometimes not even being able to do much more than get up to go to the restroom. There’s also a lot of pain associated with both conditions. I find it hard to physically DO the work I know I need to do.

    How do you clean and declutter when it’s physically hard?

    Thanks again.

  • Rete

    I’d like to learn more about pruning down collections so that they can be displayed properly instead of being shoved in a closet or box somewhere as well as sorting through kids papers that come home from school, various art projects, etc.

  • Jennifer

    I would like to know how you keep from being overwhelmed by a to-do list. If I put everything on it, I am just stuck from the sheer volume of stuff I need to do!

  • Beth

    I don’t know if this question can be answered really, but how do you get past the emotional tie of “stuff”? I didn’t have much as a kid and I think sometimes getting rid of the things I have is harder because I feel more vulnerable not surrounded by “stuff” and this is “stuff” I use. For example, maybe I have 25 sweaters and I wear them all some, but I know that I could live happily with much less. But I rationalize because I wear them all some and feel scared to let go and have less.

  • Tia

    I have been inspired and have started with the Declutter Calendar (but must admit I really love the days that don’t apply to me…wahoo a day off!) I want to do even more to simplify my life.

    Here is my question regarding living minimally. Any tips for relating this concept to children? I have an 8-year-old, and I feel so bad that I am always telling her “No, you have enough STUFF.” I could use some advice with helping her understand and not feel like she is missing out on all the things her friends have.

  • Barbara

    I enjoy your blog and his also! My question…How do I continue to keep my purse organized as I am a mom with children who often need an extra bandaid etc. How can I keep it organized and a reasonable amount of things I may need for the children when out and about? Thanks so much for your relaxing outlook!

  • Cathleen

    I’m getting better at decluttering my own possessions, but I still have a lot of trouble dealing with the kids’ things – not only toys, but clothes, artwork, and even cards and mail they receive.

  • mary

    I am so bogged down with stuff. I need help deciding what to keep and what to purge. I have 14 boxes of photos and things from my parents house and am having a hard time deciding how to get rid of things and what things are important to keep.

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