A Simplified Life: Tactical Tools for Intentional Living Info

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Clear the Clutter Once
and for All

Do you long to simplify the demands
on your time, energy, and resources? Have complicated responsibilities,
overwhelming to-do lists, and endless clutter left you feeling
overwhelmed?

Busy wife, mom, entrepreneur, and
bestselling author Emily Ley knows how you feel. With
a growing
family, increased work demands, and more, she understands the struggle
it is to keep the plates spinning.

In A Simplified Life,
you’ll find Emily’s strategies, systems, and methods for
permanently clearing the clutter, organizing your priorities, and living
intentionally in 10 key areas—from your home and meal planning,
to style and finances, parenting, faith life, and more. Emily
will show you how to truly make the most of your days with realistic,
achievable, and tactical tools.

Walk alongside Emily through each
page of the book, working through her simple strategies toward your
own
goals as you simplify and make space for what matters
most.


Average Ratings and Reviews
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4.52

3907 Ratings

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Reviews for A Simplified Life: Tactical Tools for Intentional Living:

3

Jan 07, 2018

I ordered this book after enjoying the authors interview on Jen Hatmakers Podcast. She seemed more relatable in the Podcast than this book. I thought I might want to underline or write in it (there are pages to make lists), but nothing moved me enough to lift a pen. When the book was over, I said to myself, Thats it? The ideas are more article-worthy than book-worthy. The chapter on decluttering feels like a vague blurb compared to Marie Kondos book. The authors kids are still quite young, so I ordered this book after enjoying the author’s interview on Jen Hatmaker’s Podcast. She seemed more relatable in the Podcast than this book. I thought I might want to underline or write in it (there are pages to make lists), but nothing moved me enough to lift a pen. When the book was over, I said to myself, “That’s it?” The ideas are more article-worthy than book-worthy. The chapter on decluttering feels like a vague blurb compared to Marie Kondo’s book. The author’s kids are still quite young, so she doesn’t address the chaos that comes with having older kids or a greater age-range of kids in many activities, which is a real challenge to families who long for a simplified life. There are many photos in the book that leave the impression of a very clean, orderly, well-decorated home. Women who are really struggling to stay afloat with the demands of home and parenting may not find the comfort or advice they seek in this book. ...more
2

Jan 04, 2018

I really wanted to love this book, but it just fell flat for me. There wasn't anything new here. Rather than taking her own perspective on simplifying or going deeper into the conversation, Emily Ley rehashed what's already been written about hundreds of times in other books and blogs. This might be a good starting point for someone who has literally never entertained the thought of simplifying their life, or for someone who's never read a simplicity/minimalism blog before. Overall, it just felt I really wanted to love this book, but it just fell flat for me. There wasn't anything new here. Rather than taking her own perspective on simplifying or going deeper into the conversation, Emily Ley rehashed what's already been written about hundreds of times in other books and blogs. This might be a good starting point for someone who has literally never entertained the thought of simplifying their life, or for someone who's never read a simplicity/minimalism blog before. Overall, it just felt like a book that was written because she had a platform and publishers knew there was a buying audience, not a book that NEEDED to be written. As a side note, the narrator in the audiobook also came across as condescending. ...more
2

Dec 28, 2017

I really wanted to like this book, but was so disappointed after reading it for a couple reasons:

1) It's basic. If my life was a disastrous mess and I was on the verge of being a hoarder, then yes, this has some ideals to shift my thinking. But as a working mom who has it mostly together, this was just a waste. The only "tip" I got and used was to put my kids' socks in a different spot (by their shoes). And I agree with other reviews - she never addresses how to deal with a traditional job. I I really wanted to like this book, but was so disappointed after reading it for a couple reasons:

1) It's basic. If my life was a disastrous mess and I was on the verge of being a hoarder, then yes, this has some ideals to shift my thinking. But as a working mom who has it mostly together, this was just a waste. The only "tip" I got and used was to put my kids' socks in a different spot (by their shoes). And I agree with other reviews - she never addresses how to deal with a traditional job. I cannot just "step back" from my work hours to make my life more whole.

2) The font - did anyone else notice this? IT'S HUGE! If you put this book in a smaller font, it would likely be a pamphlet...between the font and the photos. It felt misleading to me - to get this thick book that was supposed to be full of knowledge, yet each chapter was merely a few paragraphs in a large font with 8 full-page photos or quotes included. I felt like it was Emily's family photo album more so than a book. ...more
5

Dec 25, 2017

Emily Ley is known for her creation, the Simplified Planner, and now has come out with this useful resource for simplifying your life to what matters. She shares practical strategies, systems, and tips for clearing clutter, organizing, and prioritizing what matters mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. The book is divided in ten key areas to implement her tactical tools for simplifying life, including: your home, style, meals, schedule, finances, hospitality, technology, self care, Emily Ley is known for her creation, the Simplified Planner, and now has come out with this useful resource for simplifying your life to what matters. She shares practical strategies, systems, and tips for clearing clutter, organizing, and prioritizing what matters —mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. The book is divided in ten key areas to implement her tactical tools for simplifying life, including: your home, style, meals, schedule, finances, hospitality, technology, self care, motherhood, and faith. I underlined a lot and added quite a few ideas to my own 2018 goals while reading this books, so it was definitely inspiring and useful to read in the last days of the year. ...more
4

Jan 16, 2019

This was a quick read - nothing groundbreaking but just a good solid reminder that was the perfect way to start a new year.
1

Dec 25, 2017

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Glorified blog posts.

Chapter 1: Simplified Space - get rid of stuff you dont love or use daily
Chapter 2: Simplified Style - get rid of clothes you dont love. Buy quality over quantity. Define your signature style. Chapter 3: Simplified meals - write out what meals your family loves, plan to cook them.
Chapter 4: Simplified schedule - say no to things
Chapter 5: Simplified finances - create a system and stick to it. Week out financial planners.
Chapter 6: Simplified hospitality - create memories Glorified blog posts.

Chapter 1: Simplified Space - get rid of stuff you don’t love or use daily
Chapter 2: Simplified Style - get rid of clothes you don’t love. Buy quality over quantity. Define your signature style. Chapter 3: Simplified meals - write out what meals your family loves, plan to cook them.
Chapter 4: Simplified schedule - say no to things
Chapter 5: Simplified finances - create a system and stick to it. Week out financial planners.
Chapter 6: Simplified hospitality - create memories with friends more than worrying about the proper setup. Create a welcoming space for overnight guests.
Chapter 7: Simplified Technology - get rid of apps you don’t use, get off technology and be with your family and friends.
Chapter 8: Simplified Self - take care of yourself and don’t feel guilty about it.
Chapter 9: Simplified Motherhood - set up routines for children, embrace their uniqueness and savor everything.
Chapter 10: Simplified faith - pray and set aside for devotions.

Want to know how to actually do any of these things? Read elsewhere. ...more
3

Dec 09, 2017

There were parts of this book I really liked and I like its overall message of simplicity, but it fell a bit flat for me. I thought it would have more tactical tips like what Emily has shared on Instagram, so I was disappointed that it didn't. I also did not like all of the religious references. That was a big turnoff for me. As someone without kids, I couldn't relate to a lot of it. I wanted to like this book more, but it was just okay.
2

Jan 31, 2019

I may be burnt out on reading about minimalism and intentional living because this held zero tips/insights for me. Theres also some Sneaky Jesus in here, which I didnt mind, but is not my thing. I may be burnt out on reading about minimalism and intentional living because this held zero tips/insights for me. There’s also some Sneaky Jesus in here, which I didn’t mind, but is not my thing. ...more
4

Dec 08, 2017

Im all about simplifying and organizing, so this book was one after my OCD heart. Its full of tips about simplifying ten different areas of your life to help create time and space to focus on what matters most to you. Even though Ive done a lot of decluttering this year, this book absolutely makes me want to walk my house with a handful of trash bags and just get rid of everything.

If youre interested in reading more about Emilys story, definitely pick up Grace, Not Perfection instead of this I’m all about simplifying and organizing, so this book was one after my OCD heart. It’s full of tips about simplifying ten different areas of your life to help create time and space to focus on what matters most to you. Even though I’ve done a lot of decluttering this year, this book absolutely makes me want to walk my house with a handful of trash bags and just get rid of everything.

If you’re interested in reading more about Emily’s story, definitely pick up Grace, Not Perfection instead of this book. (Though I’ll say GNP isn’t nearly as autobiographical as I would have hoped.) This book obviously has gorgeous pictures of her home and family and little tidbits about their life, but it’s more of a step-by-step guide to simplifying than a book about her life or how she got where she is now. ...more
3

Dec 31, 2017

Emily Leys tips work if youre a middle class white woman (or so it felt to me the entire time I was reading). The organization of the chapters is helpful: simplified faith, simplified meal planning, and simplified mothering, to name a few. The reflective questions in each paragraph are helpful, too.

However, as I was reading, I couldnt help but think to myself, Some of these wont work for many women. Emily talks about investing in good high quality clothes and make-up or engaging in a weekly Emily Ley’s tips work if you’re a middle class white woman (or so it felt to me the entire time I was reading). The organization of the chapters is helpful: simplified faith, simplified meal planning, and simplified mothering, to name a few. The reflective questions in each paragraph are helpful, too.

However, as I was reading, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “Some of these won’t work for many women.” Emily talks about investing in good high quality clothes and make-up or engaging in a weekly self-care ritual that includes a ten dollar hair conditioning mask and $25 foot scrub. I know she isn’t prescribing this exact ritual, but the but way she so nonchalantly discusses it has the potential to alienate some of her audience for whom $35 is significant.

Overall helpful but not earth-shattering and written from a definite place of privilege. ...more
5

Dec 27, 2018

The same friend, who I spend hours gushing over my thoughts about 'Present over Perfect' (Shauna Niequist) with, happened to be reading this book at the time. We've since decided that the two books compliment one another so well and are perfect to read together. Ley's 'Simplified Life' is a practical handbook of how to achieve what Niequist describes in 'Present over Perfect'.

Ley provides practical advice about how to be intentional in the process of decluttering and simplifying your life. The The same friend, who I spend hours gushing over my thoughts about 'Present over Perfect' (Shauna Niequist) with, happened to be reading this book at the time. We've since decided that the two books compliment one another so well and are perfect to read together. Ley's 'Simplified Life' is a practical handbook of how to achieve what Niequist describes in 'Present over Perfect'.

Ley provides practical advice about how to be intentional in the process of decluttering and simplifying your life. The contents of this book span from simplifying everything from 'spaces' to 'schedules' and covers pretty much everything in between. I appreciated the lack of tokenism in Ley's advice. It was in no way generic or thoughtless. Instead, Ley shares practical 'how-tos' about how to manage and structure life in such a way that allows margin and space for what is most important. Couldn't recommend highly enough. ...more
3

Dec 13, 2017

I think I would have absolutely loved this in my 30s when raising two young children. This is nicely laid out in diary/workbook format. Ley looks at ordinary life habits that can be made more efficient and effective such as cooking, cleaning, wardrobe, number of commitments, finances, etc. It is good that she also includes self-care and faith. She does not go into much detail in really any of these areas; just offers them up as areas that could use some examination in order to prioritize and I think I would have absolutely loved this in my 30s when raising two young children. This is nicely laid out in diary/workbook format. Ley looks at ordinary life habits that can be made more efficient and effective such as cooking, cleaning, wardrobe, number of commitments, finances, etc. It is good that she also includes self-care and faith. She does not go into much detail in really any of these areas; just offers them up as areas that could use some examination in order to prioritize and release stress.

Being a bit more mature in years now, I think this is unfortunately a tad naive in scope. Ley herself seems educated and accomplished and clearly her husband has a good job since he travels a lot and they have a fabulous home. He seems to fit in with the tone she sets. She is home with some busy pre-school age children which is appropriate. It is just not the case, however, for many women.

Life has a way of including things like layoffs, mental illness, mild/acute addictions, affairs, and a hundred varieties of these types of difficulties. Indeed, they can be the biggest drivers of wanting to live simply and intentionally. ...more
4

Sep 05, 2018

This was a quick easy read that was full of practical info and helpful tips. There were so many specific small ideas to help promote change in your life and home. I recommend this to any person (probably more comfortably geared for women) that is wanting to feel less overwhelmed and more fulfilled.

I plan on easing myself into more intentional living using the advice given in this book!
2

Feb 07, 2018

The author is so sweet and kind, but I think theres a double standard in the book. She often says dont buy anything and it doesnt have to look perfect but all the photographs are depicting nothing but perfection.
There were a few good tips I was able to grab, but for the most part, Im already doing a lot of these things because theyre just common sense. The author is so sweet and kind, but I think there’s a double standard in the book. She often says “don’t buy anything” and “it doesn’t have to ‘look’ perfect” but all the photographs are depicting nothing but perfection.
There were a few good tips I was able to grab, but for the most part, I’m already doing a lot of these things because they’re just common sense. ...more
2

Jan 20, 2019

There are some good ideas sprinkled throughout this book for those who enjoy reading about organization and such (which I do). Her theology, however, is typical of "inspirational" women's books - watered down and self-focused. Loved the organizational chapters, was very disappointed with the latter chapters on self-care and faith.
2

Jan 31, 2018

Beautiful pictures. But essentially, what it boils down to is: get rid of nearly all of your stuff. Have only furniture in white or grey. Have huge rooms in your house with hardly any furniture. Dress cute and carry a cup of tea for your "self-care". Plan your meals. Get rid of more stuff. Have a budget. Have only a few clothes that you love. Not anything new here--but her format is beautiful...and does make you want to get rid of EVERYTHING!
2

Apr 06, 2018

If you are new to the concept of simplification, this would be a good start. The book briefly glosses over 10 areas in which you can be more intentional and therefore make life less crazy. There were a few questions that were posed at the beginning and at the end that really made me think: "What do I wish my home communicated to my family?" and "What virtues do you wish to instill in your children?" There were also a couple personal examples she gave in regards to parenting that were insightful, If you are new to the concept of simplification, this would be a good start. The book briefly glosses over 10 areas in which you can be more intentional and therefore make life less crazy. There were a few questions that were posed at the beginning and at the end that really made me think: "What do I wish my home communicated to my family?" and "What virtues do you wish to instill in your children?" There were also a couple personal examples she gave in regards to parenting that were insightful, but the rest of the book was just not for me. I was definitely expecting more out of this book. Also, I hated the pictures. It's really hard to read about finding contentment, not letting social media control define you, grace over perfection, etc etc, when every single photo is of perfectly polished humans, life, decor, toddlers, and ridiculous amounts of shelving. Simplification does not create perfection... it give you the opportunity to be present. Present in your yoga pants, in your messy bun, in the tantrums, in your non-ikea/target/hobbylobby picture perfect home. I will say, I was inspired to declutter my house again, but that's not saying much because I do this 3-4 times a year... ...more
5

Jan 21, 2018

I LOVED this book. The writing style, the photos, the message, the motivation I gleaned from it and the decluttering and overall simplifying that happened in my heart and in my home after reading it. It's going to be a book I reread at least every 6 months to remind me of what really matters.
4

Jan 01, 2018

Good advice shared in a non-woo woo way. It actually inspired me to tackle some closets and cabinets and get rid of some clutter.
2

Apr 19, 2018

I heard so many good things about this book from bloggers and on podcast that I was expecting so much more. Really there was no new information in this book. I might even classify this book as an adulting book- how to. This book tries to give tips in so many areas that there is no depth to it. This might be a good book for learning how to simplify your life if it is overly chaotic and you didn't learn some of these skill in high school/college. But really you can find all this information on the I heard so many good things about this book from bloggers and on podcast that I was expecting so much more. Really there was no new information in this book. I might even classify this book as an adulting book- how to. This book tries to give tips in so many areas that there is no depth to it. This might be a good book for learning how to simplify your life if it is overly chaotic and you didn't learn some of these skill in high school/college. But really you can find all this information on the internet for free. ...more
3

Jan 12, 2018

I have read a number of books on organizing my life. This one is certainly the most beautiful I've seen. The stunning photographs add a sense of warmth to what can be a very difficult process.

Ley helps us simplify ten areas of life. In each area, she has us take an inventory, set up accountability and gives resources, and helps us create successful routines. The goal is for all of these to work together to create the life we truly desire. Part of the process is discovering our gifts and creating I have read a number of books on organizing my life. This one is certainly the most beautiful I've seen. The stunning photographs add a sense of warmth to what can be a very difficult process.

Ley helps us simplify ten areas of life. In each area, she has us take an inventory, set up accountability and gives resources, and helps us create successful routines. The goal is for all of these to work together to create the life we truly desire. Part of the process is discovering our gifts and creating routines that resonate with them and our personality style.

I really like that she insists we spend no money on this process. Part of her strategy is that we become content with what we have. I like her philosophy behind the suggested actions. She starts with decluttering, for example, but with a view to making the home restful and a place of connection. Next comes cleaning out the closet, but with a view to dressing the way we like and that makes us comfortable. She goes on to encourage us to create meaningful meal times, work on schedules and finances. I like that in her section on technology, she suggests turning off notifications. Yes, they are so very distracting.

Perhaps my favorite strategy is the “brain dump.” Ley suggests writing thoughts in a journal. Dumping all those thoughts onto paper makes space in the mind for rest, providing the gift of brain space. I really like that idea.

I recommend this book to women who are looking for a gentle and thoughtful book on simplifying life. You'll find lots of questions and writing space to work out your own plan around the many suggestions and strategies Ley provides..

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review. ...more
5

Dec 06, 2017

Simplify. I LOVE everything about this book!! I have read many books that claim to have all the answers and fall very short. This book on the other hand is very well written, has useful and practical guidelines and covers a variety of topics. Many of the things explained in the book I already do, I am very good about dealing with clutter and keeping organized. BUT even to those people like me who are already organized, Emily has some great advice. My favorite chapters are the ones about style, Simplify. I LOVE everything about this book!! I have read many books that claim to have all the answers and fall very short. This book on the other hand is very well written, has useful and practical guidelines and covers a variety of topics. Many of the things explained in the book I already do, I am very good about dealing with clutter and keeping organized. BUT even to those people like me who are already organized, Emily has some great advice. My favorite chapters are the ones about style, hospitality, technology, and meals. Truly this book is awesome! It has great reminders on how to keep things simple with cleaning up your home. Meal times don't have to be so stressful and getting dressed (what do I wear?!) should not be a complicated process. There are some great areas for the reader to write in the book and apply it to your own life. No one's life is perfect and the author says that in the beginning. Anyone can do things to simplify their life and if that is something you are looking for you need to read this book.


FIVE STARS!!


"I received this book from BookLook Bloggers for free. All opinions are my own." ...more
5

Dec 01, 2017


"A Simplified Life" by Emily Ley is a gorgeous, practical tool to help you give your home peace, life and tranquility. This lovely hardcover is a coffee style book with the exception that you can write in it as you go along. It a planner where you are able to schedule and simplify areas of your life.

Emily walks the reader through 10 areas in simplifying: Self-care, Faith, Motherhood, finances, hospitality, technology, schedules, meal planning, personal style and space at home. In every single
"A Simplified Life" by Emily Ley is a gorgeous, practical tool to help you give your home peace, life and tranquility. This lovely hardcover is a coffee style book with the exception that you can write in it as you go along. It a planner where you are able to schedule and simplify areas of your life.

Emily walks the reader through 10 areas in simplifying: Self-care, Faith, Motherhood, finances, hospitality, technology, schedules, meal planning, personal style and space at home. In every single area, Ley works through the distractions, decluttering and re-organizing your routine to help you stay on top of making things run more efficient and smoothly.

I love this book, especially for the de-cluttering of space at home. Emily has these great tips and solutions, but she also helps you create a vision for each space. The journal prompts are super helpful and I can't help but feel inspired by the pictures. This is a lovely book for a gift and could be used for so many gift ideas! I highly recommend this tools for intentional living.

I give this book 5/5 stars. A favorable review was not required. ...more
5

Jan 31, 2018

Everything about this book is perfect for simplifying your life and getting a handle on the new year. From the polished cover, font, and photos throughout the book down to the content of the actual narrative. This is the perfect read for someone ready to simplify their life to more fully enjoy what you've been given. I am taking her words and tools to heart and am excited to be finally purging my life (especially my closet) of all the items that will not assist me in living "intentionally." It Everything about this book is perfect for simplifying your life and getting a handle on the new year. From the polished cover, font, and photos throughout the book down to the content of the actual narrative. This is the perfect read for someone ready to simplify their life to more fully enjoy what you've been given. I am taking her words and tools to heart and am excited to be finally purging my life (especially my closet) of all the items that will not assist me in living "intentionally." It isn't just about the "stuff" in your life, its about all aspects of your life. From meal planning to parenting, scheduling and finances.

I've read books with similar themes (ones that encourage you talk to your inanimate wardrobe as a tactic for tidying up...) but the overall work effort that it required on a daily basis, I found overwhelming and impractical. This is simplified. The process is intentional, the reasoning is simple...implementing a few tools will help simplify your life, and allow you to more fully enjoy the items you own and the 24 hours a day you are blessed with. ...more
3

Oct 25, 2019

Another life simplification tome. Best attribute of this book is its short length. It covers a wide variety of topics, from technology to kids, but is able to provide some useful suggestions. Ive read most of the advice in other books (such as just buying one set of socks for each kid to ease sorting), but there were a few new nuggets here. A minor weakness is that while most of the advice works for anyone, there are a number aimed specifically at mothers that are mixed in along the way. This is Another life simplification tome. Best attribute of this book is its short length. It covers a wide variety of topics, from technology to kids, but is able to provide some useful suggestions. I’ve read most of the advice in other books (such as just buying one set of socks for each kid to ease sorting), but there were a few new nuggets here. A minor weakness is that while most of the advice works for anyone, there are a number aimed specifically at mothers that are mixed in along the way. This is also a Christian take on simplification, so you get a few mentions of scripture, but not an overwhelming amount. Overall, it was OK for me, a male reader who has listened to a lot of similar audiobooks. I could see this being a very good book for those who are just starting to read life simplification books. ...more

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