I seem to be on a continual quest to simplify my life, so I don't know how I missed this one. In the mid-90's, Elaine St. James left behind her hectic life as a realtor and wrote several books about simplifying. Although she has some good ideas to develop in my own simplification mission, I really don't see how she and her husband actually live the way she describes. Yes, it's great to declutter. I preach this all the time. Yes, it's a wonderful idea not to watch so much television. My children have certainly heard that from me until they're sick of it. But Ms. St. James seems to expect that we can all just say I'm spending less time at the office or my family won't mind if we have guacamole and corn chips every Sunday ( that's what she and her husband eat -- every Sunday -- and that's all). She also has quite a few words to say about simple parenting, such as curtailing your children's extracurricular activities and setting buying limits for toys and candy. That's all dandy, except she doesn't have children. It's one thing to come up with all these fine rules; it's another to live the rules in the trenches.
She does have some good ideas: don't let e-mail get out of control, use automatic payments to stay on top of bills, when yo buy something new, get rid of something old. But the average American just can't live the way she does. Of course, she's made so much money fromt her books she doesn't have to live like the rest of us. Oh well, I think I'll simplify my bookcase and give this one to the thrift store.