Put a Spring in Your Step and Get Cleaning!

Hooray! It’s spring! The ice is melting, I don’t have to go out wrapped in a coat that’s like a duvet, and my Chihuahua/Mexican hairless dog can remove himself from the blanket he has been hiding under since November.

For many of us, spring is all about cleaning and organizing. If you’re a naturally tidy person, this is a great time to revisit what works for you. For messy people like me, this is the time of year where we try to do better.

Since I’m not really a big tidier, I find listening to audiobooks while I’m doing household chores very inspiring. So here are a few of our favorite titles to get you motivated –  whether you’re a Marie Kondo clone, or someone who will probably end up on a TV special about extreme hoarding. Check out the titles below, and take a look at our Spring Cleaning booklist for more motivation!

1. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, narrated by Emily Woo Zeller

Yes, I know I’ve blogged about this one before, but really, can you write a spring cleaning blog in 2019 without mentioning the biggest cleaning phenomenon of the year?

The KonMari method is revolutionizing how we tidy and clean our homes, by using the technique of cleaning by category, not by room. By looking at what “sparks joy” in your life, and then deciding what you really need, you can start to remove excess stuff, clear your clutter and enjoy a nice, calm, clean home.

Publisher’s Summary

Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list).

With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international bestseller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.

Read more and sample the audio →

2. Decluttering at the Speed of Life: Winning Your Never-Ending Battle with Stuff by Dana K. White, narrated by Dana K. White

What I most love about Dana White is the fact that she is a former messy person/borderline hoarder. There’s something lovely about listening to her tell you that she’s been where you are, and hearing what has helped her to get rid of all her stuff. She talks about “Decluttering Paralysis,” which is that feeling when you just don’t know where to begin with the volume of stuff, and also “Decluttering Momentum” which is when you start to really see the effects of the cleaning, and then the whole process starts moving.

There’s no judgement in this book, which I find helps to really inspire you to break through all that mess, and also to get away from that feeling of “But I might need this old hair clip one day!” type of thinking.

Publisher’s Summary

You don’t have to live overwhelmed by stuff—you can get rid of clutter for good!
While the world seems to be in love with the idea of tiny houses and minimalism, real women with real families who are constantly growing and changing simply can’t purge it all and start from nothing. Yet a home with too much stuff is a home that is difficult to maintain, so where do we begin? Add in paralyzing emotional attachments and constant life challenges, and it can feel almost impossible to make real decluttering progress.
In Decluttering at the Speed of Life, decluttering expert and author Dana White identifies the mind-sets and emotional challenges that make it difficult to declutter. Then, in her signature humorous approach, she provides workable solutions to break through these struggles and get clutter out—for good!
But more than simply offering strategies, Dana dives deep into how to implement them, no matter the reader’s clutter level or emotional resistance to decluttering. She helps identify procrasticlutter—the stuff that will get done eventually so it doesn’t seem urgent—as well as how to make progress when there’s no time to declutter.

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3. The Home Edit: A Guide to Organizing and Realizing Your House Goals by Joanna Teplin, Clea Shearer, narrated by Tara Sands, Clea Shearer, Joanna Teplin

Things are probably going well for you if some of your biggest fans are Reese Witherspoon, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Mindy Kaling. As is shown by their very popular Instagram account, Joanna Teplin and Clea Shearer run a very successful home organization business, and this listen reflects their unique spin on organizing. Their motto is that any space can look good – even your junk drawer!

This is a great listen for when you’ve already KonMari-ed your house, and you’re ready to get organizing and positioning your joyful belongings.

Publisher Summary

There’s decorating, and then there’s organizing. From the Instagram-sensation home experts (with a serious fan club that includes Reese Witherspoon, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Mindy Kaling), here is an accessible, room-by-room guide to establishing new order in your home.

Believe this: every single space in your house has the potential to function efficiently and look great. The mishmash of summer and winter clothes in the closet? Yep. Even the dreaded junk drawer? Consider it done. And the best news: it’s not hard to do—in fact, it’s a lot of fun.

From the home organizers who made their orderly eye candy the method that everyone swears by comes Joanna and Clea’s signature approach to decluttering. The Home Edit walks you through paring down your belongings in every room, arranging them in a stunning and easy-to-find way (hello, labels!), and maintaining the system so you don’t need another do-over in six months. When you’re done, you’ll not only know exactly where to find things, but you’ll also love the way it looks.

The Home Edit is a masterclass filled with detailed tips, from placing plastic dishware in a drawer where little hands can reach to categorizing pantry items by color (there’s nothing like a little ROYGBIV to soothe the soul). Above all, it’s like having your best friends at your side to help you turn the chaos into calm.

Read more and sample the audio →

4. The CHAOS Cure: Clean Your House and Calm Your Soul in 15 Minutes by Marla Cilley, narrated by Marla Cilley

My dad is INCREDIBLY tidy. When I was a kid he wondered whether I would ever grow out of being messy. I’ve improved with age (I think), and have even developed one of my dad’s main cleaning quirks  – which is obsessively vacuuming just before anyone comes to the house, and then apologizing for how messy the (recently cleaned) house is. My (and my dad’s) all time nightmare is when someone comes over unannounced, and I can’t do my obsessive clean around.

This is why I was so excited about the CHAOS Cure – the fact that CHAOS stands for “Can’t have anyone over syndrome”.  If you’re the kind of person who lets dishes build up in the sink, or you have a laundry mountain sitting in your living room, then this is the book for you. But never fear! Marla Calley aka the Fly Lady has the cure for you! With a ton of tips and small ways you can start decluttering, this is the perfect book for those of you who struggle with organization.

Publisher Summary

With the help of New York Times bestselling author and housekeeping guru Marla Cilley, you’ll cure your household CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome) by changing your messy home into a soothing sanctuary

Are you suffering from CHAOS, otherwise known as Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome? If your house is a jumble of dirty dishes, piles of paper, and never-ending laundry, you are probably afflicted. But don’t give up hope, because now there’s an antidote: The CHAOS Cure. 

In her eagerly anticipated new book, Marla Cilley–aka ‘The FlyLady’ to the hundreds of thousands who visit her website for daily domestic inspiration–reaches into our homes to help make housecleaning more meaningful and life less messy. With a little bit of armchair therapy and plenty of practical, tactical tips–such as ‘On the Fly!’ quick fixes and genius uses for sticky notes–she’ll help us get our houses in shipshape order before we can break a sweat. Along the way, the FlyLady teaches us to embrace household maintenance as an act of self-care, and to enjoy the soothing satisfaction of an orderly habitat.

Before you know it, you’ll be on the fast-track to living CHAOS-free, surrounded by sparkling serenity

Read more and sample the audio →

5. The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter by Margareta Magnusson, narrated by Juliet Stevenson

In Sweden, there is a specific type of cleaning called “döstädning”, which translates to “death cleaning” in English. The idea of death cleaning is that it’s a sweeping cleansing of unnecessary belongings that should be done sooner rather than later – because otherwise someone else will have to do it after you die. Bleak, but true.

Juliet Stevenson‘s ethereal narration adds to the peaceful vibe of this book, and makes it an uplifting listen, rather than a depressing one.

Publisher Summary

A charming, practical, and unsentimental approach to putting a home in order while reflecting on the tiny joys that make up a long life.

In Sweden there is a kind of decluttering called döstädning, dö meaning “death” and städning meaning “cleaning.” This surprising and invigorating process of clearing out unnecessary belongings can be undertaken at any age or life stage but should be done sooner than later, before others have to do it for you. In The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, artist Margareta Magnusson, with Scandinavian humor and wisdom, instructs readers to embrace minimalism. Her radical and joyous method for putting things in order helps families broach sensitive conversations, and makes the process uplifting rather than overwhelming.

Margareta suggests which possessions you can easily get rid of (unworn clothes, unwanted presents, more plates than you’d ever use) and which you might want to keep (photographs, love letters, a few of your children’s art projects). Digging into her late husband’s tool shed, and her own secret drawer of vices, Margareta introduces an element of fun to a potentially daunting task. Along the way listeners get a glimpse into her life in Sweden, and also become more comfortable with the idea of letting go.

Read more and sample the audio →

New to Audiobooks.com? Get a free audiobook when you sign up for our one month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobook!

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February’s Top 10 Audiobooks.com Member Downloads

Listen to last month’s roundup of the top fiction and non-fiction titles downloaded by Audiobooks.com members.

Fiction

1. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, narrated by Cassandra Campbell

For years, rumors of the ‘Marsh Girl’ have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life—until the unthinkable happens.

Read more and sample the audio →

2. The Reckoning by John Grisham, narrated by Michael Beck

October 1946, Clanton, Mississippi

Pete Banning was Clanton, Mississippi’s favorite son—a decorated World War II hero, the patriarch of a prominent family, a farmer, father, neighbor, and a faithful member of the Methodist church. Then one cool October morning he rose early, drove into town, and committed a shocking crime.  Pete’s only statement about it—to the sheriff, to his lawyers, to the judge, to the jury, and to his family—was: ‘I have nothing to say.’ He was not afraid of death and was willing to take his motive to the grave.

In a major novel unlike anything he has written before, John Grisham takes us on an incredible journey, from the Jim Crow South to the jungles of the Philippines during World War II; from an insane asylum filled with secrets to the Clanton courtroom where Pete’s defense attorney tries desperately to save him.

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3. I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella, narrated by Fiona Hardingham

Fixie Farr has always lived by her father’s motto: “Family first.” And since her dad passed away, leaving his charming housewares store in the hands of his wife and children, Fixie spends all her time picking up the slack from her siblings instead of striking out on her own. The way Fixie sees it, if she doesn’t take care of her father’s legacy, who will?

It’s simply not in Fixie’s nature to say no to people. So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, she not only agrees—she ends up saving it from certain disaster. To thank Fixie for her quick thinking, the computer’s owner, Sebastian, an investment manager, scribbles an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card.

When Fixie’s childhood crush, Ryan, comes back into her life jobless and aimless, she’d love for Seb to give Ryan a job. No sooner has Seb agreed than the tables are turned once more and a new series of IOUs between Seb and Fixie—from small favors to life-changing moments—ensues. Soon Fixie, Ms. Fixit for everyone else, is torn between her family and the life she really wants. Does she have the courage to take a stand? Will she finally grab the life, and love, she really wants?

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4. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides, narrated by Jack HawkinsLouise Brealey

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations-a search for the truth that threatens to consume him…

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5. The Wedding Guest by Jonathan Kellerman, narrated by John Rubinstein

Summoned to a run-down former strip joint, LAPD Lieutenant Milo Sturgis and psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware find themselves crashing a wild Saints and Sinners–themed wedding reception. But they’re not the only uninvited guests.

A horrified bridesmaid has discovered the body of a young woman, dressed to impress in pricey haute couture and accessorized with a grisly red slash around her neck. What’s missing is any means of identification, or a single partygoer who recognizes the victim. The baffled bride is convinced the stranger snuck in to sabotage her big day—and the groom is sure it’s all a dreadful mistake. But Delaware and Sturgis have a hundred guests to question, and a sneaking suspicion that the motive for murder is personal. Now they must separate the sinners from the saints, the true from the false, and the secrets from those keeping them. The party’s over—and the hunt for whoever killed it is on.

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Non-Fiction

1. Becoming by Michelle Obama, narrated by Michelle Obama

An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States. Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms.

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2. The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump by Andrew G. McCabe, narrated by Andrew G. McCabe

On March 16, 2018, just twenty-six hours before his scheduled retirement from the organization he had served with distinction for more than two decades, Andrew G. McCabe was fired from his position as deputy director of the FBI. President Donald Trump celebrated on Twitter: ‘Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI – A great day for Democracy.’

In The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump, Andrew G. McCabe offers a dramatic and candid account of his career, and an impassioned defense of the FBI’s agents, and of the institution’s integrity and independence in protecting America and upholding our Constitution.

The Threat recounts in compelling detail the time between Donald Trump’s November 2016 election and McCabe’s firing, set against a page-turning narrative spanning two decades when the FBI’s mission shifted to a new goal: preventing terrorist attacks on Americans. But as McCabe shows, right now the greatest threat to the United States comes from within, as President Trump and his administration ignore the law, attack democratic institutions, degrade human rights, and undermine the U.S. Constitution that protects every citizen. 

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3. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari, narrated by Derek Perkins

One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?

Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.

Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become?

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4. Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Leif BabinJocko Willink, narrated by Jocko WillinkLeif Babin

Combat, the most intense and dynamic environment imaginable, teaches the toughest leadership lessons, with absolutely everything at stake. Jocko Willink and Leif Babin learned this reality first-hand on the most violent and dangerous battlefield in Iraq. As leaders of SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser, their mission was one many thought impossible: help U.S. forces secure Ramadi, a violent, insurgent-held city deemed “all but lost.” In gripping, firsthand accounts of heroism, tragic loss, and hard-won victories, they learned that leadership—at every level—is the most important factor in whether a team succeeds or fails.

Willink and Babin returned home from deployment and instituted SEAL leadership training to pass on their harsh lessons learned in combat to help forge the next generation of SEAL leaders. After leaving the SEAL Teams, they launched a company, Echelon Front, to teach those same leadership principles to leaders in businesses, companies, and organizations across the civilian sector. Since that time, they have trained countless leaders and worked with hundreds of companies in virtually every industry across the U.S. and internationally, teaching them how to develop their own high-performance teams and most effectively lead those teams to dominate their battlefields.

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5. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo, narrated by Emily Woo Zeller

Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results.

Read more and sample the audio 

New to Audiobooks.com? Get a free audiobook when you sign up for our one month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobook!

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January’s Top 10 Audiobooks.com Member Downloads

Listen to last month’s roundup of the top fiction and non-fiction titles downloaded by Audiobooks.com members.

Fiction

1. An Anonymous Girl by Greer HendricksSarah Pekkanen, narrated by Julia WhelanBarrie Kreinik

When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave. But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking…and what she’s hiding.

Read more and sample the audio →

2. Watching You by Lisa Jewell, narrated Gabrielle Glaister

Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighborhoods in Bristol, England; home to doctors and lawyers and old-money academics. It’s not the sort of place where people are brutally murdered in their own kitchens. But it is the sort of place where everyone has a secret. And everyone is watching you.

Read more and sample the audio →

3. The Boy by Tami Hoag, narrated by Hillary Huber

When Detective Nick Fourcade enters the home of Genevieve Gauthier, the bloody crime scene that awaits him is both the most brutal and the most confusing he’s ever seen. Genevieve’s seven-year-old son, KJ, has been murdered by an alleged intruder, yet Genevieve is alive and well, a witness inexplicably left behind to tell the tale. When another child goes missing, pressure mounts from the media and parents to catch the culprit. The spotlight falls heavily on the grieving mother who is both victim and accused. Could she have killed her own child to free herself of the burden of motherhood, or is the loss of her beloved boy pushing her to the edge of insanity? How far will the detectives have to go to uncover the dark truth of the boy?

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4. Liar Liar by James Patterson and Candice Fox, narrated by Federay Holmes

Detective Harriet Blue is a very good cop…gone very bad. In the space of a week, she has committed theft and fraud, resisted arrest, assaulted a police officer, and is considered a dangerous fugitive from the law. It’s all because of one man, Regan Banks. He viciously killed the only person in the world who matters to Harriet—and he plans to kill her next. As she recklessly speeds toward the dark side—and finally crosses it—Harriet won’t stop until Regan pays for the many lives he has taken.

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5. Verses for the Dead by Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston, narrated by Rene Auberjonois

A. X. L. Pendergast and his new colleague, junior agent Coldmoon, are assigned to investigate a rash of killings in Miami Beach, where a bloodthirsty psychopath is cutting out the hearts of his victims and leaving them with cryptic handwritten letters at local gravestones. The graves are unconnected save in one bizarre way: all belong to women who committed suicide.

But the seeming lack of connection between the old suicides and the new murders is soon the least of Pendergast’s worries. Because as he digs deeper, he realizes the brutal new crimes may be just the tip of the iceberg: a conspiracy of death that reaches back decades.

Read more and sample the audio →

Non-Fiction

1. Becoming by Michelle Obama, narrated by Michelle Obama

An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States. Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms.

Read more and sample the audio →

2. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo, narrated by Emily Woo Zeller

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. 

Read more and sample the audio 

3. Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou, narrated by Will Damron

In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup ‘unicorn’ promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes’s worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn’t work.

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4. It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered by Lysa Terkeurst, narrated by Lysa Terkeurst and Jolene Barto

Life often looks so very different than we hoped or expected. Some events may simply catch us off guard for a moment, but others shatter us completely. We feel disappointed and disillusioned, and we quietly start to wonder about the reality of God’s goodness.

Lysa TerKeurst understands this deeply. But she’s also discovered that our disappointments can be the divine appointments our souls need to radically encounter God. In It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way, Lysa invites us into her own journey of faith and, with grit, vulnerability, and honest humor.

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5. 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, narrated by Cait Flanders

After working her way out of nearly $30,000 of consumer debt, Cait Flanders challenged herself to consume less. She decluttered her apartment and got rid of 70 percent of her belongings; learned how to fix things rather than throw them away; researched the zero waste movement; and completed a television ban. At every stage, she learned that the less she consumed, the more fulfilled she felt. Blending Cait’s compelling story with inspiring insight and practical guidance, The Year of Less will leave you questioning what you’re holding on to in your own lifeand, quite possibly, lead you to find your own path of less.

Read more and sample the audio →

New to Audiobooks.com? Get a free audiobook when you sign up for our one month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobook!

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