Make Room: Take Control of Your Space, Time, Energy, and Money to Live on Purpose

Jennifer Ford Berry. Baker, $16.99 trade paper (160p) ISBN 978-1-5409-0215-3

The 29 Minute Mom podcaster Berry (Purpose Over Possessions) lays out a Christian approach to physical and metaphysical decluttering in this superficial volume. Pulling from scripture, she outlines “how to strip away what is less important (a.k.a. clutter) in order to make room for” spiritual fulfillment. The author contends that “there is a direct connection between outer order and inner calm,” and urges readers to collect wisdom, memories, and “ways to do God’s work” in lieu of physical possessions. To clean up “space clutter,” Berry recommends focusing on one small area at a time and getting rid of what one doesn’t use, then finding a “specific space” to keep each belonging that remains. Clearing “mental clutter”—such as worries, fear, and negative self-talk—requires figuring out what’s important in one’s life and making time for those activities, though the author provides little guidance on how to do so. Her suggestion that readers discover their “God-given purpose” by looking inward and studying the Bible also lacks in specifics. Berry brings a cheerful disposition, but readers may find themselves at a loss on how to implement the facile advice (“If you don’t like the way your thoughts or your actions make you feel, choose differently”). This comes up short. (July)
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