What To Read To Refresh Your Life This Spring

by Kerri Jarema

It's that time again: spring cleaning and all of the helpful how-to books that go with it. Whether you intend to tidy up or not there are just certain times of the year that seem more suited to the task, and spring is definitely one of them. Who wants the sun streaming through your window to land on a gigantic dust bunny in the corner, or to highlight the fact that you haven't put away that pile of soiled workout clothes in a month? It can be easy to hide a packed full wardrobe and stacks of papers in the gray of winter, but when you're looking for that dress you haven't worn since August or the bike helmet you'll now be needing, you'll soon realize that a clean up is long overdue. But where to begin? And is cleaning really enough to start the season off on the right foot?

There are thousands of books dedicated solely to getting organized, from the cultural phenomenon of the Marie Kondō method to feng shui bibles. But real spring refreshing isn't only about brushing away the dirt. What about people who just want to change up their wardrobes? Or those who want to renew their diet and exercise routine or practice more self-care? How about people who want get rid of the general clutter or redecorate a small apartment on a similarly small budget? Well, there are books out there that cover every single aspect of a spring revitalization, and many of them don't require a massive overhaul of your lifestyle. Instead these books will help you shake off the winter blues one step at a time, in every area of your life.


'The Curated Closet: A Simple System for Discovering Your Personal Style and Building Your Dream Wardrobe' by Anuschka Rees

If you feel like you have nothing to wear even though your closet is bursting at the seams, this book is for you. Billed as an inspirational road map for discovering and cultivating a strong sense of personal style and building the ideal wardrobe for your lifestyle, The Curated Closet will definitely help you clean up your clothing. Style and minimalism blogger Anuschka Rees presents a strategic, prescriptive approach to identifying, refining, and expressing personal style and building the ideal wardrobe to match it, with style and shopping strategies that women can use every day. Including beautiful full-color fashion photography, infographics, and activities, this is a useful guide covering everything women need to know to fully realize their individual style and create their perfect functional and beautiful wardrobe.

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2 'Domino: The Book of Decorating: A Room-by-Room Guide to Creating a Home That Makes You Happy' by Deborah Needleman, Sara Ruffin Costello and Dara Caponigro

If you're looking for some tips and tricks to make any room in your home or apartment more you, this book promises to crack the code to creating a beautiful home. Bringing together inspiring rooms, how-to advice and insiders' secrets from today's premier taste-makers in an indispensable style manual, the Domino editors take readers room by room, tapping the best ideas from the magazine and culling insights from their own experiences. With an eye to making design accessible and exciting, this book demystifies the decorating process and provides the tools for making spaces that are personal, functional and pretty.

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'Eat Smart: What to Eat in a Day — Every Day' by Niomi Smart

Already a hit in her native UK, Smart's book focuses on natural food, using everyday ingredients that will work wonders on your well-being. Best of all, every one of her recipes are simple to make and can fit into your daily life. Covering breakfasts, lunches, dinners, desserts, snacks, baked goods and drinks, she offers a really easy way to eat delicious, healthy food at every mealtime. Recipes include a Tropical Smoothie Bowl, Mauritian Curry with Coconut and Coriander Rice, Beetroot Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Salted Caramel Ice Cream. Because the recipes are meant to fit seamlessly into your lifestyle and mirror foods you already love, this book is a great way to add some newer, healthier options into your current every day eats without taking on a massive diet overhaul.

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'Simple Matters: Living with Less and Ending Up with More' by Erin Boyle

If you're looking to declutter, organize and simplify your life (especially if you live in a small apartment) this book will be your ultimate guide. Erin Boyle shares practical guidance and personal insights on small-space living and conscious consumption. At once pragmatic and philosophical, this book is a nod to the growing consensus that living simply and purposefully is more sustainable not only for the environment, but for our own happiness and well-being, too. Filled with personal essays, projects, and helpful advice on how to be inventive and resourceful in a tight space, Simple Matters shows that living simply is about making do with less and ending up with more: more free time, more time with loved ones, more savings, and more things of beauty. And who can really argue with that?

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'The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well' by Meik Wiking

Hygge (which loosely translated means "coziness") is the latest self-care craze, and if your spring goals include taking care of yourself and creating a comforting and relaxing home environment, you're going to want to check it out. According to Meik Wiking, CEO of The Happiness Research Institute, you know hygge when you feel it: from sharing comfort food with your closest friends to a crisp blue morning with just the right light. This book focuses on how to live the hygge lifestyle, from picking the right lighting and planning a dinner party through to creating an emergency hygge kit and even how to dress. This is a fun book to dip in and out of when you're in need of a little something cozy, and even if you don't intend to fully adopt the Scandinavian way of life, these are great techniques to employ on those special self-care evenings.

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'The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life One Night At A Time' by Arianna Huffington

Need more sleep? This spring, Arianna Huffington's new book just might be able to motivate you to get some much needed shut-eye. In The Sleep Revolution, Huffington shows how our cultural dismissal of sleep as time wasted compromises our health and our decision-making and undermines our work lives and our personal lives. She explores all the latest science on what exactly is going on while we sleep and dream, takes on the dangerous sleeping pill industry, and explores all the ways our addiction to technology disrupts our sleep. She also offers a range of recommendations and tips from leading scientists on how we can get better and more restorative sleep, and harness its incredible power.

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'Every Body Yoga: Let Go of Fear, Get On the Mat, Love Your Body' by Jessamyn Stanley

If you're looking to get more active this spring, and shake up the old notion of depriving yourself for the "bikini body" then you need Jessamyn Stanley's book in your life. Yoga teacher Stanley became a viral hit on Instagram when she shared her poses with a body-positive spin, shaking up people's perceptions of just who can exercise and how. Now she brings her emotionally uplifting approach to yoga in a book that will help every reader weave it seamlessly into his or her life. It’s a book of inspiration for beginners of all shapes and sizes; and for readers already doing yoga, looking to refresh their practice or find new ways to stay motivated. With easy-to-follow directions to 50 basic yoga poses and 10 sequences to practice at home, this book will not only help you shake off the physical stagnation of winter, it also challenges the larger issues of body acceptance and the meaning of beauty, reminding you that exercise is not about how you look but how you feel.

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'52 Lists For Happiness: Weekly Journaling And Inspiration For Positivity, Balance And Joy' by Moorea Seal

If you're in need of a way to focus on the positive after a long hard day of resistance (or after finishing another great book on activism) then this gorgeous journal is exactly what you need on your shelf. The 52 Lists Project is an undated journal of weekly lists that will help nurture self-expression and self-development. Each seasonal section includes list prompts, with plenty of space to write your own lists, and challenges to help you take action and make your dreams a reality. With perfectly timed prompts that meet you where you are throughout the different seasons, this journal will open up new avenues of self-knowledge and help you celebrate, enjoy, and take ownership of your life. This is the perfect antidote to everything happening out there, helping you keep your strength and perseverance for the fight ahead.

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'Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions' by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

We all need to refresh our takes on feminism every once in a while. Nothing could be better suited to reinvigorating and re-shaping our thoughts on equality than Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's new work. A few years ago, Ngozi Adichie received a letter from a childhood friend, asking her how to raise her baby girl as a feminist. Dear Ijeawele is Adichie's letter of response. In it she gives fifteen invaluable suggestions for how to empower a daughter to become a strong, independent woman. Dear Ijeawele goes right to the heart of sexual politics in the twenty-first century and will help to re-empower you to fight for the rights of women everywhere.

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