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Discardia: More Life, Less Stuff by Dinah…

Discardia: More Life, Less Stuff

by Dinah Sanders

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Discardia is basically the intersection of two books I am extremely fond of - Simplify Your Life by Elaine St. James and Getting things Done by David Allen, written in extremely accessible, intelligent prose, and aimed at modern middle-class people with white-collar jobs. (Not that there's not a lot in it that would work for, say, stay-at-home moms, but it's worth acknowledging that there are some class and technical-skill assumptions here.)

Sanders appears to hang out on the same parts of the internet that I do, and I find that charming as hell. (She quotes both my boss and two of my customers at different points.) And the advice, from decluttering to goal-setting, is sensible, achievable, and well-presented. The "holiday" framework (Discardia is a quarterly event, as presented in the book) works fine as a rhetorical device, and is clearly offered as a take-it-or-leave-it idea.

I'd definitely recommend it to folks who like personal-organization books, and people who need some decluttering or general life-goal-setting encouragement. ( )
  JeremyPreacher | Mar 30, 2013 |
I'll start this by saying I don't generally read self help books/life instruction manuals, etc. There isn't usually much by ways of entertainment or relaxation to be found in them, and I tend to read for pleasure rather than under the guise of grand self improvement. But a manual for cutting out the junk/baggage in my life seemed interesting, as I've been steadily working on that for the last few years (Books don't count against me in my ideal minimalistic world. I should point out that they are actually what I own the most of, but I enjoy them...) So I took on Discardia to read, to see if there were handy tips/hints (there are. And all is addressed with a sense of humour, which helps to alleviate the whole notion of reading a self help type book.)

The book is presented as a series of symptoms with the appropriate treatment/cure or problem/solution, and had plenty of examples of ways to implement new habits, and break old ones. For a self help type book, it was a pretty fun read, and had some very useful advice in clearing out emotional baggage and promoting healthier ideas on handling a variety of stress inducements.

My only complaint is that the book felt long. It isn't that it was overly wordy or dragged it's feet; it just felt long. (I feel like the Emperor in Amadeus "too many notes.") This could be attributed to how I read the book (in 2 sittings) because it goes over similar ideas/ solutions repeatedly (repetition being key to retaining information and creating a new healthy habit.) Overall, though, this is an excellent book for anyone looking for ideas on how to lighten their life's load of baggage, both accumulated physical items, and mental baggage that goes with it.

Overall rating: 4 stars
Review copy supplied through LibraryThing's Member Giveaway Program. ( )
  DoskoiPanda | Dec 21, 2011 |
Sometimes all you need is a swift kick in the ...

Discardia is the holiday that is set up to provide it to you. The book is divided into four sections with a series of small steps to get you moving in the right direction. Overwhelmed by all your stuff? Take a 45 minute walk around a room and put things away, or decide what to discard , or put things up in a “I’ll decide later” box. Can’t manage to get around to doing the really important stuff? Make a list and prioritize. For the most part, the suggestions are helpful in breaking tasks down to manageable segments. Also the author mostly manages to avoid preachy or self-righteous proclamations on how things should be done (the segment on weight loss and control could take metabolic rates into account instead of the rather simplistic discussion, but that is one step out of many). If one task seems too daunting, there are others that will help.

Perhaps my only complaint is that the book seems to assume that people exist in a vacuum: when deciding what to get rid of, I want to trash or give away my wedding gown because it takes up too much space, while my husband thinks we should hold on to it forever. A discussion on how to avoid conflict over stuff would be helpful for anyone who is married and/or has kids.

I would recommend this book with one warning: it is set up to help you simplify and streamline your life to allow for more productivity, time to complete what you really want in life, and as the author says, “awesomess” – so do not read the whole thing in one or two sittings. I read it before bed over a couple of weeks, and still felt rather overwhelmed at the end. If you buy it to improve your life (instead of getting it to review), take it slow and it will really help break down the large projects into manageable steps. Overall, I think it can be very helpful. ( )
  KelliSFlor | Nov 26, 2011 |
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Book description
Let go of everything that doesn't make your life awesome!

With three key principles and numerous practical tips, Discardia—a new holiday—helps you solve specific issues, carve away the nonsense of physical objects, habits, or emotional baggage, and uncover what brings you joy.

Dinah Sanders, productivity and happiness coach, draws on many years of experience to provide a flexible, iterative method for cutting out distractions and focusing on more fulfilling activities. Join others around the world who use Discardia's inspirational—but not sappy—approach, and put your energy where it counts: toward living the less stressful life of your dreams!

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