Thursday, December 16, 2010

Book Review: Unstuff

I hardly know where to begin on this one.  You know me...I'm more of a fiction kind of gal.  But the premise of this book intrigued me, so I signed up to review it.

Unstuff comes from a journey the authors took that involved living for three months out of a motor home.  Lots of people do that, but Hayley and Michael DiMarco did it out of the need to evaluate their priorities regarding stuff.  They first unstuffed their house by decluttering, then drove across the country for three months visiting homeless shelters with nothing more than they could fit in their motor home.  They came to realize that having stuff isn't a bad thing, unless that stuff becomes an object of worship.  In Unstuff they evaluate material stuff, as well as the good stuff of church activities and relationships, which can all easily turn into idols.

This book was so challenging that I plan to collect my thoughts about it and blog about it quite a bit more.  The book provides an extensive list of stuff you don't even think of as stuff and shines a light on ways that it may get in the way of what really matters.  Sometimes you don't even know something is a stumbling block unless someone points it out to you.  That's what this book did for me.  It was eye-opening and encouraging, and the only thing I felt it lacked was a clear plan to help you unstuff.  But I suppose knowing what you need to get rid of is a great starting place.  Getting rid of it is probably something you have to figure out on your own.

As an American, you should read this book.  You'll probably end up quite uncomfortable with some of the things in your life that you didn't even know were getting in the way.  But reading it and taking action will be like taking a long, hot shower after a day of yard work. 

Read. This. Book.

Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a free copy of Unstuff as a part of their blogger book review program.

1 comment:

  1. You've motivated me to order this book for my Kindle (though I am afraid that my Kindle might be one of the things that they advocate purging). I'm interested to see if I need the encouragement to unstuff...I prefer a lack of clutter...but I'm willing to be surprised about what it will highlight for me (a weakness for electronics and all their accoutrements, perhaps?). I do think traveling is a great way to strip your awareness of stuff down to essentials. After doing my year of fieldwork in 5 locations, I realized how little I really need for comfortable living. That doesn't mean other things would make me more comfortable, but It's a good starting place. The lesson I took from the minimalist living out of a suitcase was a full appreciation for all the luxuries of stationary living. I was pleased with the heightened appreciation, and as long as it doesn't tip over into over-accumulation, I suspect I might be in a good place regarding stuff for a while. Thanks for the recommendation!