Home Management: Tsh Oxenreider Believes Simplicity Makes the Difference
Home Management—The most effective blogs, I believe, are the ones that are the most open, the most heartfelt, but also the most constructive. Sometimes openness can get in the way of constructiveness. The good blogs are the ones where the author(s) are truly not afraid to laugh at themselves, but who also have the most tried-and-true advice to offer. And by "tried-and-true advice" I mean actual down-in-the-trenches, this-is-what-works instructions. The most effective bloggers are passionate, intentional, open, humble moms. Tsh Oxenreider, creator of SimpleMom.net and author of Organized Simplicity, is one such mom.
Tsh (pronounced "tish") describes her philosophy like this: "Personally, I've always craved a simple life. As our culture progresses towards more busyness, more options, and more opportunities to make money, my heart runs the other way. Sure I value working from home; I am a blogger and entrepreneur, after all. And I'm thankful for the choices of cereals down the grocery store aisle most of the time. But adding more choices often only adds more stress to our lives."
So simplicity is the name of the game for her blog and her book, but those media are not platforms for tirades against commercialism or greed, or posts extolling the virtues of austerity. They are instead beautiful portals into a world where organization is not "pie-in-the-sky" but possible, and that organization—of space and schedules, finances and family—is the means to the end of "a home full of people, content with their belongings, their relationships, and their available time." The blog posts of SimpleMom.net break down into these categories: DIY, Food and Drink, Green and Frugal, Intentional Living, Kids, Your Haven, Money Management, Organizing, Productivity, Relationships, Taking Care of Yourself, and Work From Home. And Organized Simplicity breaks down into chapters with day-by-day instructions on how to make a family purpose statement and declutter your house.
Says Tsh, "I want to park at the nitty-gritty of life—the intersection between good intentions and reality. I want to help [you, the home manager] find that peaceful place, where your pocketbook, your home, and your weekly routine reflect your family's convictions and values." To that I add, most of us know generally what our family's values are, but have yet to make a written plan or purpose statement with our families, much less implement it. The families that are most effective, most happy, are those in which the needs, desires, and personalities of each member are the fundamental, overt building blocks of their collective schedules and the starting point for the appearance of their house, not the other way around.
Whether Tsh's simple philosophy comes from years of traveling the world (she met her husband in Kosovo, the former Yugoslavia), or from a reaction to the angst of raising 3 young children, it is meaningful and effective. You can find Tsh at SimpleMom.net, on Twitter @SimpleMom, or on Facebook at SimpleMomBlog.
What steps do you take to simplify your life?