The Best Books About Minimalism

Books About Minimalism

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!

The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life

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.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

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.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

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!

Clutterfree with Kids: Change your thinking. Discover new habits. Free your home.

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.

Everything That Remains: A Memoir by The Minimalists

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.

Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste

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.

You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap): How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too

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.

 

What are your favourite books about minimalism?

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How to Waste Less

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I know that being “busy” has suddenly become a dirty word of sorts, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I’m often busy and always looking for ways to simplify and ease my life. Groceries that are healthy, local, organic, and get delivered right to my door, even when I’m not there? That’s SPUD for you, and I’m a huge fan of their Vancouver-based grocery delivery service already.

For 2016, SPUD is urging people to join the #LetsNotWaste movement and save time, save money, eat better and waste less.

Did you know?

  • You will spend 5 years of your life waiting in line ups…
  • Canadians waste $31,000,000,000 of food each year…
  • One in four food purchases end up in the garbage…
  • Canadians spend upwards of 80 hours per week in traffic…

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SPUD (which stands for Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery) started the #LetsNotWaste campaign to gain awareness of food waste, encourage people to save money by eating healthy and spending more time on things that matter. The average time to shop at SPUD online is 12 minutes – that’s perfection. Delivery is free (with minimum order amount for your area), and it’s a great way to flex your budget and stick to your weekly meal plans.

New to SPUD? Luckily, SPUD is offering new customers 50% off of their first order! And anyone who shares how they plan to #LetsNotWaste via social media gets a chance to win free groceries for a year! Check out the #LetsNotWaste website for more info!

How do you save time on a weekly basis? Do you use grocery delivery services?

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Remove All Distractions

remove-all-distractions

 

It can be difficult to tune out the world around me, and focus on what I’m really doing. Whether I’m coordinating events, managing my shop, planning social media, or even simply replying to emails, things don’t always get done if I get distracted. My mind easily trails off and I find myself absorbed in the next task and forget to finish what I was doing…

I’m a believer in multi-tasking (I’ve written about the subject here), however there are times when a duty or obligation needs your full attention. I’m also a believer in minimalism, in aesthetics and in life practice. The theory of minimalism can be applied to all things: how you dress yourself, your approach to food, the spaces you create, and even how you work.

The excess, the “stuff”, the waste, the unnecessary is all removed. It might seem odd to apply this principle to your daily life and work processes, but it simplifies things and creates freedom for you to get it all done.

After the holiday break, I came back to a desk covered in ‘stuff’. Bills, invoices, paper work, and business cards created mountains around me – I went through the piles methodically, sorting things out, placing them in their proper piles or files, then creating a checklist and prioritizing my ‘things to do’….

But I couldn’t have done any of those things if I hadn’t removed all the distractions first.

  • Turn your phone off. Or place it on “airplane” mode. Put it in a drawer or a bag so you can’t be bothered with any notifications from any app. Do not place on “silent” only to hear incessant vibrations.
  • If you have to work on your computer and don’t need the internet, say if you’re a writer or have accounting work to do – turn off your wifi.
  • If you have to work online, close down any unnecessary program that may possibly distract you (mail programs, hoot suite, twitter, etc), as well as any browser windows that have nothing to do with your task at hand. Better yet, hide your bookmarks/favourites bar so you can’t be distracted.
  • No food, just lots of water. (If you’re hungry, take a break.) Eating while working leads to dirty fingers, spills, reaching for napkins, etc – which are all technically distractions. Make your meal an event unto itself, be French or Italian and be present for your meal, instead of stuffing it down your throat while working.
  • Music… this is a tricky one. Sometimes I work well without music, sometimes I need to listen to it to help me focus. Just be sure to not get distracted by creating playlists or changing it up all the time.

How do you remove distractions from your life?

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Minimalist Inspiration

Minimalist Inspiration

Minimalism inspires me. It gives me a sense of peace. When my surroundings are cluttered, so is my mind. Minimalism is a lifestyle. It’s an approach that can be applied to many elements of life.  Here are some of my favourite minimalist inspirations.

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
This book flips the usual minimalism approach on its’ head by simply asking if an object brings you joy – and if not, why are you keeping it? What purpose does it serve? The simplicity in this method makes it so simple to rid yourself of the excess.

Miss Minimalist & The Joy of Less by Francine Jay
One of the first websites I discovered about the minimalist lifestyle, I adore the weekly reader profiles and learning about minimalism through different perspectives. Francine Jay also wrote a wonderful guide book to minimalism, which I believe to be required reading.

Zero Waste Home: The Blog & The Book by Bea Johnson
A zero waste lifestyle is very comparable to a minimalist lifestyle, and eco-friendly to boot. Bea Johnson is a chic, French woman living in California with her husband & two children, who lives simply, reuses, recycles, and attempts to limit what ends up in a landfill.

Zen Habits
Leo Babauta is a self-help guru with a minimalist approach at his core. Every post is more inspiring than the last – from ‘How Not To Hurry’ to ‘The Zen of Doing’, and even ‘The Ultimate Guide to Get Lean’. Read his most popular posts here.

Nourishing Minimalism
A more gentle approach to minimalism, this blog focuses on real food and simple living. Rachel is a mom to 6 and encourages a minimalist approach in all aspects of life, from your closet to your kitchen.

The Minimalists
Joshua & Ryan have become superstars in the minimalist world. Having authored many books, going on tour, and speaking at TedX, they started their journey into minimalism with a 21-day journey. Read about it here.

Minimalist Baker
Taking the simplified approach to cooking by sharing recipes that take less than 10 ingredients, use one bowl, and take 30 minutes or less to make. The beautiful photography makes me salivate…

Little Eco Footprints
Tricia writes this blog about living better with less, which for her means living close to nature and helping her children discover the beauty of simplicity. Playing in the dirt is mandatory.

20 Liter Life
A backpack that can contain up to 20 litres of stuff is all that Vince & Franklin each need to live comfortably. A blog about travel, productivity, and enjoying life without accumulating all the baggage that goes with it.

Project 333
Taking a sensible minimalist approach to your wardrobe. Courtney challenges you to wear 33 items or less for 3 months. Could you do it?

Rowdy Kitten & You Can Buy Happiness (And It’s Cheap)
Tammy Strobel, writer and photographer, decided to drastically change her life, sell her stuff, and live in a tiny home on wheels. Her story inspires many, and proves that there is no one right way to live a life to equal happiness.

Does minimalism inspire you? I think everyone could benefit from a little bit of simplicity, whether that means saying ‘No’ to unnecessary demands and saying ‘Yes’ to yourself, cleaning off your bedside table, or eating a whole foods diet. What are your favourite minimalist sources?

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Minimal Design Inspiration & The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist

Minimal Home Design

Spring is officially here! The sun is shining just a bit brighter and the air is getting warmer – spring is the perfect time to freshen up the house after a looong, grey winter! The pictures above are perfect inspiration for a minimal aesthetic in a beautiful home – do you know how to get a minimal design in your house? Constant cleaning.

Minimal Home Design Spring Cleaning

Minimal Kitchen Spring Cleaning

Minimal Bathroom Spring Cleaning

Minimal Bedroom Design Spring Cleaning

Minimal Closet Organization Spring Cleaning

Minimal Office Design Spring Cleaning

I am forever tidying up, organizing, dusting, putting things away in their proper places, and purging as much as I can to maintain a minimal house. But if you saw my desk right now – you would laugh! Minimal? Hardly! (…but let’s move on..!)

Also Check out the Minimalist’s Guide to Spring Cleaning

Minimalists Guide to Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning is just one of those unavoidable things, but I look forward to it. It seems like a daunting task to get through your list, but doing it a little at a time, with a team of handy helpers (if possible!), makes the job go quickly and might add some fun to it! For those extra tough jobs, I like to use OxiClean™ products to keep my house sparkling clean!

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 The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist

  • Make Doormats Welcoming – They’re the front line against tracking in dirt, so keep them clean enough to function efficiently. If they’re extremely soiled, soak them in warm water mixed with a scoop of OxiClean™ Versatile Stain Remover for six hours then wash as directed – even the toughest stains get washed away! Remember to always follow manufacturers care instructions.
  • Organizing Closets – Organizing your closet is the first step to organizing the rest of your home. Donate unused clothes and accessories, and declutter!
  • For the clothes that you do keep, ensure they are crisp for the new season ahead by laundering with OxiClean™ Liquid Laundry Detergent. It attacks dirt and tough stains left by Old Man Winter, and will leave them smelling spring fresh.
  • Make your Dishes Shine – With the arrival of the new season comes the arrival of home dinner parties! Ensure your dish and glass wares are guest ready by using OxiClean™ Extreme Power Crystals™ Dishwasher Detergent Paks to tackle tough stains and stuck-on-foods. The best part? No more pre-washing or re-washing necessary so you’ll have time to relax after the party.
  • Carpet Cleaning – Fabrics that have absorbed a winter’s worth of dirt will need a deep clean to get them ready for another year of wear. Shampooing your carpets is a good start, but for tougher stains, use OxiClean™ Versatile Stain Remover – simply mix a little bit of the stain remover with warm water as per the instructions on the label and blot with a clean towel until the stain disappears. Always rinse thoroughly with clean water.
  • Patio Season – While it may still be cold, you can start thinking of the warmer weather and spruce up of your patio. Remove any large debris such as sticks, branches, and leaves by hand. Next use the sprayer setting on your garden hose to wash away as much of the winter dirt and grime as possible.
  • Tackle stains left on outdoor furniture upholstery with OxiClean™ Versatile Stain Remover – it’s chlorine free and colour safe so you can use it on gutters and unfinished decks, too!

Do you have any spring cleaning tips or tricks? How do you make the job fun?

Minimal Home Design

(Images via One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six)

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