How is your domestic church doing? When we built our home, I wanted it to be big enough for as many kids as we wanted. Which also means I can fill 2200 square feet of space. Plus a garage. And all that space & the things in it, need to be cleaned & organized.
While I crave simplicity, I also like to have the right tool, so my clutter ebbs & flows as we discover what works (or doesn’t work) for our family. I’ve also discovered that I am either lazy or extra efficient–I don’t like to work to hard to make something work.
I heard about Abby Sasscer’s book Simplifying Your Domestic Church: A Spiritual Journal to Help Declutter, Organize, and Systemize the Home, published by Seton Press and asked to review a copy. I’ve read dozens of organizing and decluttering books and this one is the best one for my Catholic life.
She begins with a word picture of the sanctuary of the church. Clean, orderly, beautiful but not full of stuff. Peaceful & quiet. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our domestic churches were as beautiful and orderly as our church? In Simplifying Your Domestic Church, Abby Sasscer begins with 15+ meditations/questions from Scripture and saints regarding simplicity and detatchment. Once you have some guidance from God on how to proceed, you are guided through 7 chapters concerning every aspect of manhunt your home. Each chapter contains a small, concise set of practical ideas followed by points to consider and a weeks worth of meditations.
Simplifying Your Domestic Church does a fabulous job of guiding you through simplicity and detatchment. I love her tips and reminders to offer it up for a cause, because honestly, stuff can be comforting. Your stuff can get in the way of developing trust in God to provide for you, though, and so there is a balance between good stewardship and being wasteful.
Abby Sasscer walks you through ways to manage all aspects of your home, including:
- Organizing your living space
- Paper organization
- Time management
- Meal planning
- And creating avital documents file
Obviously, none of these sections are “new” but she has some great tips I have never heard before. Plus, nearly every section includes printable forms, both in the book and online. I found at least 2-3 new tips per chapter to help make my home run a bit smoother. As an example, tip 9 in chapter 3 was to centralize toys and have kids “shop the closet” once a week. We finally did this and LOVE it! She has some awesome forms and I love some of the meal planning forms. One in particular, I had seen in several places but none as refined as her menu form for favorite meals. There were a few places where, as a techie, I was a bit put off that no digital options were even mentioned–especially in the paper and money sections. I also was surprised that no mention was made of trying to sell items purged.
Overall, though, Simplifying Your Domestic Church is a fabulous homemaking resource for Catholic families. Not only does she cover all aspects of home management (including homeschooling) but she makes getting each section into order a spiritual exercise.
If you have been considering a decluttering or purging project as part of your Lenten sacrifice, I recommend Simplifying Your Domestic Church as a fabulous tool for the job. Not only will you make a spiritual exercise of all your home cleaning & organizing efforts, but she also includes a 90-day decluttering calendar in the printable form packet. When I went through it, I found that I could get a large chunk of it completed during Lent. You can find Abbey’s book, Simplifying Your Domestic Church: A Spiritual Journal to Help Declutter, Organize, and Systemize the Home at Seton Press.
Do you try to clean & Declutter your home during Lent?