When I first discovered minimalism, it’s like my eyes had finally opened for the first time.
I know that sounds so cheesy, but a lightbulb went off over my head and for the first time in a long time, I felt like I could breathe again. The anxiety I had incurred over ‘stuff’ that I wanted, and thought that I needed, became a dark shadow over my life. These things I had purchased, items that brought me so much joy, made me feel nothing. My life was filled was a whole lot of nothing.
Meaningless items, an abundance of clothing and shoes, junk paperwork mixed in with the important things – my life wasn’t extreme enough to be an episode of Hoarders, but I still didn’t feel good about my life and how I was living it. I was buying storage boxes to help me organize my stuff – and then I read to STOP buying plastic containers to ‘organize’ and store your things, and instead, just get rid of the things you don’t need or even use! An AHA! moment if there ever was one.
Reduce the excess. Focus on the essentials. Too much stuff creates physical space and mental space in your head. The less you have, the more space you have. The more space you have, the clearer you can think. The more space I had and the less clutter I encountered – the better I felt.
Here are the books that really inspired me to start my minimalism journey, and motivate me to continue on this path. Enjoy!
Francine Jay is the blogger behind Miss Minimalist, and one of my first experiences with the idea of minimalism and how it could change my life. The Joy of Less recently got a makeover with a new 2016 edition of the book, it’s definitely a must-read for any aspiring minimalist! I learned so much from this book, and became very inspired by it to change my own life.
Marie Kondo’s book (which is one of the top selling minimalist books) really made me think about my possessions, and why I was holding on to them. The simple message of asking yourself whether an object brings you joy, really brings clarity to the purging process. It leaves you with everything you treasure and nothing more! I adore how she gives you permission to rid of presents. She allows you to let go of the guilt we feel when wanting to get rid of an item someone gave us. When a loved one gives you something, you shouldn’t feel obligated to keep it forever if it doesn’t spark joy in you. I love that.
This book is so much more than just reducing your possessions and decluttering your home, it discusses focus and productivity in your everyday life and at work. This book helps me focus my energies on what needs to get done, and helps me and my businesses grow in the right direction. It directs you to take control of your time, which is so important when you’re a serial multi-tasker like myself!
If there’s one thing this book helped me with, it’s the guilt associated with ‘getting rid of toys’. This book is more than just about reducing toy clutter – it’s about reducing the stress and chaos that goes into raising children, and it creates joy despite the lack of battery operated robots! When you realize that children don’t need toys to be happy, it all becomes much clearer. Whenever I declutter and remove excess toys, I find the children are much calmer in their space.
I really enjoy The Minimalists and love this book by Joshua Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. Both of their stories are inspiring and I find their experiments in minimalism, which are documented in this book, so interesting. They take unique approaches to decluttering their lives, and also pioneered the message that there’s no “one type of minimalism”. There’s no one answer to being a minimalist – it’s not about owning 20 items, or keeping your life in one backpack, or living in a zen-styled home – it’s about breaking through the comfort zone and being true to your self. Love them or hate them, they have really shone a bright light on minimalism these past few years.
Once you start reducing clutter and ridding the excess, you start to become hyper aware of all the waste created from the everyday items we thought we needed. So you sell, reuse, repurpose, donate, and try not to bring more junk into your home. Zero Waste Home is THE guide to all things eco-conscious. It’s partially a guide on minimalism, partially a how-to be a zero waste family and home. Bringing less items in your home, removing consumerism from your life, and taking care of the earth we have while we’re here.
This book is more of a memoir than a guidebook, Tami’s story is inspirational nonetheless. She sold all her possessions to move into a tiny home on wheels, and I really enjoyed reading about her triumphs and struggles throughout it all.