Book of the Week: The Year of Less

The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings and Discovered Life is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store by Cait Flanders

The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings and Discovered Life is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store by Cait Flanders

Reviewed by Elizabeth Tham, Port Moody Public Library

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Unless you’ve managed to avert your eyes from social media and Netflix for the last few months, you’ve probably heard of tidying sensation Marie Kondo and her KonMari method. Maybe you don’t quite get the whole “spark joy” movement.

Not to worry. If you lack enthusiasm for folding your underwear into tiny squares but are still interested in getting your house in order, there is a relatable alternative available.

In The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings and Discovered Life is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store, author — and former Tri-Cities resident — Cait Flanders shares her personal journey to tidy up not only her apartment, but her life (and even name-drops Port Moody Public Library along the way).

Over the course of a year, determined to make a permanent change for the better, Flanders examined the vices that negatively affected her health and bank account, and that translated into chronic overconsumption. She strove for 12 months of less: less shopping, less clutter and less misuse of her time, money and energy.

Things that Flanders realized she didn’t truly need or want, ranging from books that would never be read to alcohol that was better left unopened, were removed from her life.

She began to understand how relying on quick gratification was undermining her long-term enjoyment of life.

By learning to live without excess in a way that worked for her, Flanders gained happiness and a more positive mindset — all without having to learn how to re-fold her undergarments.

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