When we’re young, we focus on all the things we want. We think about the space we’d like to one day have, and what we want to fill it with. Beautiful furniture, toys, clothes—lots of stuff. But as we get older (and maybe have to move apartments a couple times), it dawns on us that when it comes to living and home décor, less really is more.
In fact, minimalism and living by the art of less isn’t something one just does. It takes time, discipline, and a hell of a lot of contemplation. Luckily, there are a lot of books that can help you out as you pare down. Here are the 8 books on minimalism to help you get started.
The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own
Exploring the concept of finding more in having less is what The More of Less is all about, and author Joshua Becker does an excellent job. Aside from explaining how all the stuff you own is actually an anchor keeping you from your dreams, Becker goes into detail about how you can make your own plan to “declutter” your world. Minimalism isn’t just about a clean house; it’s about a full life. $12
Everything That Remains: A Memoir By The Minimalists
Let us be clear: Everything That Remains isn’t a step-by-step guide to living a more minimalist life. Instead, it’s a story that explains why living with less is the right way to live. Joshua Fields Millburn tells the incredible and real story of how losing his mother and marriage in one month completely changed his perspective on life forever. He sold his possessions, gave up his well-paying job, and started stepping through life with purpose—and hasn’t looked back since. If you’re looking for the motivation to start doing things differently, let this be your guide. $8
The Art of Discarding: How to Get Rid of Clutter and Find Joy
Are you starting to see a trend here? All that stuff you’re coveting isn’t making you happy; it’s filling a void, and not in a good way. In The Art of Discarding, Nagisa Tatsumi offers practical advice and how-to instruction on getting tidy, staying tidy, and finding the meaning of joy in a world of consumerism. Tatsumi urges us to take a more reflective approach to our entire “buy more stuff” mentality and consumer culture. $13
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
This is the book that launched a million clean houses, as it became a sort of smash hit upon publication. Marie Kondō is a renowned Japanese cleaning consultant and in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, she offers a step-by-step guide to getting rid of all the stuff holding us back. But more than that, Kondō guarantees that if you organize your space right the first time, you’ll never have to do it again. If you want a no-nonsense approach without any of the spiritual mumbo jumbo, give this one a go. $10
Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism
We can’t recommend this selection enough. It’s not a custom-tailored list from a renowned expert, but rather, one man’s personal account of how in deciding to give less fucks by way of minimalism, his world completely changed. In fact, we’d bet Fumio Sasaki’s story sounds familiar: A man tired of constantly having to compare himself and what he has to others decides to give it all up, and his life is forever changed because of it. Aside from sharing his own anecdotal experiences, Sasaki offers advice on letting go and living better. $15
Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide To Simplifying Your Life By Reducing Your Waste
Minimalism isn’t just about you. One of the [many] byproducts of living with less is consuming less, and thus, creating less waste. That’s the focus of Bea Johnson’s Zero Waste Home. Johnson discusses how she and her family of four figured out how to produce just one liter of waste per year, but also how her journey to reduce their carbon footprint helped them live simpler, easier, and more fulfilling lives. Spend less, improve your quality of life, and move on for the better. $10
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
When people think of minimalism, the first thought that likely comes to mind is that it’s about having less physical stuff. It’s about taking all the stuff in your home that you can do without and getting rid of it to make room for more fulfilling, more purposeful other stuff. In actuality, minimalism refers to every aspect of your life; not just what’s going on outside, but what’s happening inside, too. Essentialism is a book that explores the idea of prioritizing the space in our psyches and determining what’s worth keeping and what’s worth discarding. Think of it like this: Your heart and mind have a finite amount of space. Learning what to fill that space with is what Essentialism is all about. $14
Minimalism vs. Consumerism: Finding the Right Balance to Take Your Life Back!
So much of our dedication toward living minimally comes after we realize that our entire way of life has been founded and influenced by what seems like an innate desire to consume. It’s frightening, really. Minimalism vs. Consumerism author Seth Caraway makes the case that minimalism shouldn’t be viewed as a diet from the things we want to have, but rather as a way of finding happiness and fulfillment from the things that actually matter. He points out that minimalism isn’t about sacrifice, but about letting go. It’s about restructuring our brains to find more happiness and gratitude in non-material goods and gestures. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about, no? $9