I first discovered Emily Ley when I purchased one of her planners for 2019. The planner was simple but had everything needed. It even had little tips every month to declutter or simplify my life. I then discovered she had a website with lots of free printables and a blog that talked about all sorts of organizing and simplifying. When her third book released last November, I pre-ordered it and also purchased her second book too. A Simplified Life and When Less Becomes More are two books that I highly recommend if you feel like life is busier than it should be. You know that feeling that you’re running around like a chicken with your head cut off but have no time to do anything about it? These are the books for you.
Emily is like a big sister who’s already struggled through the chaos and found a way out. Her writing style is detailed in that you can picture exactly what she wants you to picture with her beautiful words, yet it also is like a gentle hug. There is no judgement. No “this is the only way.” And it brings so much comfort to know you are not alone in thinking there must be more to this madness of life. After struggling with fatigue and the short term disability from surgeries, I have come to appreciate the simple things so much more. Emily builds on this in each book in different but easy ways to adapt to your own lifestyle and season in life.
A Simplified Life
I decided to read her books in the order she wrote them (except I haven’t read her first book yet). So I started with this one. It was a relatively quick read which is also useful when you are overwhelmed and short on time. I read it in order but it could be skipped around by topic. Each chapter is interactive with questions to answer and lists of things to try. There are even a few recipes throughout. Topics include decluttering, meal planning, simplifying schedules, finances, hospitality, technology, self-care, motherhood, and faith.
This book is the perfect read if you’ve been drowning and don’t know where to start. It also is great to read in the process of simplifying because it helps remind you how far you’ve come. And it also serves as a reminder to keep things simple.
When Less Becomes More
While reading this, I kept feeling that I would end up liking A Simplified Life more but that is not the case. The first book starts with little ways to simplify and calm all areas of your life. This book reminds you how to enjoy it. As well as being interactive and including recipes, Emily also shares stories from friends in different life seasons. Further reminding us that we are not alone.
Possibly my favorite quote in the whole book because it hit so close to home:
“All the kale and exercise and screen-free time in the world is wonderful. Books about hustle and fresh starts and getting after your goals can take you far. But when you’re at your lowest, down in the valley, there’s only one way out: to lay it all at the foot of Someone so much bigger than you. We can hustle and strive and try all we want. But without the missing piece… the central piece… the piece that ties the rest of it together with unwavering truth, we’ll all fall short.”
Both books paint a picture and give hope to what life can be after chronic chaos. Emily brings you back to what matters most to you and where to go from there. Her Southern up-bringing and the traditions shine through and will make you wish you were Southern yourself. Let me know if you read either one and what you think!