They say never to judge a book by its cover. But I did. I saw the title of Cristin Frank’s new book, “Living Simple, Free & Happy” and jumped at the chance to be a part of the virtual book tour.
The title of the book piqued my curiosity. I was both intrigued and cautious. What would I find on the pages underneath that book cover? Was the author going to suggest I never step foot in another nail salon? Would she ask me not to spend anymore money at my favorite stores? I didn’t know, but I was intrigued; curious enough to take a precursory peek inside the book. The very first paragraph read,
How well are you using your talents? Pause. Now ask yourself how well you’re using your time. Stretch it a little further and ask how well you are using the space in your home.
It was as if those words were scribed on a piece of loose leaf notebook paper, and folded up into an oragami envelope that made its way down the row of desks as it was passed to me. As I read the probing questions that filled the first page of the book, I knew I had found a new friend; a friend with whom I have much in common.
Cristin went on to say,
My goal in this book is not to teach you how to live your life just like I live mine.
I found comfort in that pronouncement and dove head first into Cristin’s world:
A world that resonates with the journey that I’ve been on the last year and a half. This book will grace my bookshelf for years to come so that I can revisit the nuggets of wisdom, be challenged, and inspired to stay the course.
I asked Cristin how she came into this lifestyle. She answered,
“I’ve always been resourceful, but it really hit when my husband and I bought our house. We were in our 20’s and, what seemed like overnight, we were in debt with a mortgage, student loans and a car payment. We simply said, “No more!” So in order to furnish our house we got really thrifty and creative. The results were life altering. That sounds dramatic, but it’s how I was able to quit my day job, pay off our house in less than 7 years, and get a book deal.”
I wondered where those who are considering reducing clutter should start. Cristin suggested,
“There are two kinds of clutter: the stuff that crowds your space and stuff that messes up your space. If you feel crowded, start with evaluating the areas where you’d like more open space. Then make choices on getting rid of some things. Letting go is not natural, so it’s best to take the effort to think of someone who may appreciate what you have or sell it. That way it stays out of a landfill and you come away with gratitude or cash. Win – win”!
If your clutter is more of an unmanaged mess, start with creating organizational systems. This can be as simple as designating a specific place for what is hanging out in places like countertops, stairways and junk drawers.”
I know from personal experience the reward that comes from clearing clutter. So, I was curious what rewards Cristin has experienced from years of living a DIY lifestyle. She shared,
“ The biggest benefit of a DIY lifestyle is becoming self-sufficient. Being able to make simple repairs, cook a healthy meal and entertain yourself saves money and reduces stress because you don’t have to always rely on other people. Overall, your accomplishments provide a great sense of pride and satisfaction that’s actually sustainable.”
I know this to be true not only from my own DIY efforts, but from growing up with a DIY dad. Even today, I’m proud of the things he fixed, built and created.
Cristin refers to herself as well as others that follow this lifestyle as a Reduction Rebel. I wanted to know what exaclty is a Reduction Rebel. She explained,
“So much of people’s consumption comes from peer pressure and media that we no longer think practically. A Reduction Rebel is able to filter outside influences. They use their common sense, talents and resources to reduce waste and consumption (purchases and entertainment). This reduction lifestyle fosters more purposeful living and the ability to make decisions based on your own values and not the bad habits of others.”
Just last night, after reading “Living Simple, Free & Happy”, my husband and I found a couple of ways to cut consumption and save money. And, after our insurance totalled my husband’s truck just last week, we decided to stick with one car for now. I’m looking forward to biking or walking for nearby errands. In fact, I’m about to walk to the store now to pick up a few groceries.
Thank you so much Cristin for the privilege of being a stop on your virtual book tour. Congratulations on the new book! It is very inspiring, and I highly recommend it.
The book is available now on Amazon and will also be sold in stores such as Barnes and Noble and Target. To learn more about Cristin’s projects that were featured here today, just click on the photos. You can also visit Cristin at her blog, www.eveofredcution.com.
See you in class,