11 Best Books on Minimalism and Simple Living (Updated 2020)

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Oftentimes we find ourselves with a lot of stuff but still feel the urge to buy more. Having too many things can be overwhelming and suffocating. In this article, we’ll share with you 11 of the best books on minimalism. This includes books on simple living, decluttering and organizing, books on digital minimalism, and more. 

The more stuff you collect, the lonelier you will feel. Before the age of consumerism, people were easily content with their lives. Now, people are harder to please. Most of them complain about not having enough space. Nevertheless, the stuff in the storage is not taken out again.

Even though people own a lot of things, life gets more and more complicated. For instance, you might have a lot of kitchen tools, but you might have not used these more than once.  That is because you tend to follow a habit. This includes using a certain item. 

You can look for motivation in adopting a simple life by reading these books. You will realize that a big part of your energy is taken away by your clutter.

11 Best Books About Minimalism

1. The Joy of Less

Writer: Francine Jay

What the Book is About:

This book is a laid-back and fun guide to living a minimalistic life. It consists of four parts. In Part 1, Jay shares an inspirational talk about the happiness people can get from living simply. In Part 2, she shares 10 organized methods on how to remove clutter in your house. 

Part 3 is more on the specifics. It explains how to tackle each part of your house. In Part 4, you will learn how to make your schedule simpler and how you can maximize your closet space. By doing this, you can have more time and help the environment at the same time.

What We Like About This Book:

We all agree that the book is a must-have, whether you are starting or are already a minimalist. The book is great for people who want to be organized. Aside from inspiring people, Jay helps people create lasting minimalist practices. The way she presented the parts of the book is relatable, streamlined, refreshing, and will resonate with most people. Making this an excellent book on minimalism.

The room-by-room organization on Part 3 is easy. We also enjoyed reading and feeling inspired by her personal experiences of being a minimalist. The book helps you realize that you can fully appreciate life by removing distractions. It is no surprise that her stories about minimalism have gotten the attention of the media.

We Recommend this Book For:

People who have wanted to start living a simple life and need help with decluttering their home.

Review:

I enjoyed all the minimalist and life teachings I learned from this book. I realized that many of my material things have taken over my home. This book made me see that I have the power over these. -Tiffany


2. Zero Waste Home

Writer: Bea Johnson

What the Book is About:

Another great book on minimalism, Bea Johnson tells her story of how she was able to create a system that helped her family achieve and maintain a zero-waste lifestyle. She mentions that this kind of lifestyle has brought about a lot of pleasant surprises. Besides saving 40% of their yearly spending, they now have more time for each other and are emotionally and physically healthier.  

In the book, you will read different pieces of advice, insights, and secrets from Johnson’s personal experience. She presents over a hundred easy zero-waste methods on living sustainably. Even though you are busy, you can have time to prepare school lunch for kids without using plastic, o have time decluttering your email inbox.

What We Like About This Book:

Bea Johnson works with her husband and 2 sons to inspire readers to greatly reduce producing waste. It is a practical, relatable, and stylish guide for families to have a brighter future through zero waste. 

She shares knowledge on how to make the earth a better place for humanity in years to come. Therefore, this book provides encouragement in achieving zero-waste goals.

We Recommend This Book For:

People who want a book that focuses on reducing waste.

Review: 

Wanting to produce less waste and wanting fewer things is not all about saving money. It is more about showing love for ourselves. The book teaches readers not only to save the earth but also to save themselves. -BlondeRunner


3. Slow

Writer: Brooke McAlary

What the Book is About:

McAlary opted to slow down after she was diagnosed with post-natal depression. She did this by being more open to significant experiences and getting rid of unnecessary things in life. As a result, she understood the advantages of having less.

This book is not only about McAlary’s downfall and rising, but it also gives helpful advice and wonderful perspectives about the benefits and difficulties of living a slow life. 

It is an inspirational book that helps you focus on things that matter most. The book could help readers slowly find meaning, happiness, and peace in their fast-paced lives.

What We Like About This Book:

We like this book’s reachable, warm, and open approach to slow living. It shows inspiring quotes, useful advice, and helpful artworks. On her website, you can find a digital retreat, podcast, and newsletter to gain more insights.

We Recommend This Book For:

People who feel motivated to begin a slow-paced life.

Review: 

After I finished the book, I got loads of ideas on how to begin a more purposeful life by living slowly. -TheQuiltTherapist


4. Mindful Simplicity

Writer: Yolanda Acree

What the Book is About:

Mindful Simplicity is a step-by-step guide that is easy to understand. It gives helpful tips, everyday inspiration, and practical advice on decluttering. As a result, readers can use their energy and time on people and things that matter. Starting a new path is easier with this book.

What We Like About This Book:

Black Minimalists, an organization particularly for Black people who are willing to live a simpler life, is founded by Acree. Because this book is a guide, it makes simple living easier and more accessible. 

Another excellent books on minimalism, you can learn how to eliminate excess things in your life and organize it. This is possible because of the positive tips. This book can help you systematize the many aspects of your life from work to money. 

We Recommend This Book For:

People who want to apply mindfulness-focused methods.

Review:

I find Yolanda Acree’s book the ultimate guide to simplicity. It can make you realize the impact of your actions and decisions to make your life better. She concentrates on the idea of elimination. She explains how to deal with being too consumed mentally and physically. If you want to live a purposeful life, this is a must-read. -Christine


5. Simple Matters 

Writer: Erin Boyle

What the Book is About:

Living in New York City with her husband and 2 kids, Erin Boyle maintains her blog about a simple, sustainable, and slow-paced life. In her book, Erin Boyle shares about her personal ideas and guidance in simplifying, organizing, and decluttering. Her insights are focused on being more conscious and living in a small space. 

Readers can also get project ideas as well as advice and essays on being resourceful even when you have limited space. The book presents the idea of simple living so you can spend more time with loved ones. Also, it makes readers save more money and appreciate beauty. 

What We Like About This Book:

In the book, we like how she explained consciousness in consumption in a philosophical and sound manner. 

The book is inspiring because it makes simple living incredibly easy. You can see for yourself the beauty and meaning of life. What makes the book even better is its streamlined writing, amazing photographs, and inspiring stories. It can help you achieve happiness amidst all the hassles of life.

We Recommend This Book For:

People who want to adopt a simple life in a city.

Review:

One of my favorite books on minimalism. I felt the book talking directly to me about leading a minimalist life. The pictures and writing did not only help me make my home better but also gave me and my family more happiness and peace. I highly recommended this book to achieve peacefulness in a bustling world. -Emily


6. Minimalist Parenting

Writer: Christine Koh, Asha Dornfest

What the Book is About:

This book was one of our favorite books on minimalism. Koh and Dornfest show readers how to blend family values into minimalism. In the book, readers can identify the knowledge, tips, and actions needed to practice living simply based on these values. 

The book begins by illustrating minimalism through the authors’ insights. Then, it teaches parents useful methods of time organization, home decluttering, structured mealtimes, and facilitation recreational time. Readers can be inspired by the authors’ stories on how they lead a simple life.

What We Like About This Book:

We love that this book celebrates a minimalist life within a family. The authors help readers deal with distractions, mismanaged schedules, and being too controlling as parents. 

Families can better concentrate on their priorities and values by developing multitasking skills and habits and making plans. With the authors’ personal experiences and methods, you can realize how important self-love and having organized routines is.

We Recommend This Book for:

Parents who have been wanting to apply minimalism in their household.

Review:

If you are a parent who feels overwhelmed with the mess, routine, or overall homelife, this book is for you. It is my ultimate guide in making my family more peaceful but fun. – ebell


7. Digital Minimalism in Everyday Life

Writers: James W. Williams, Amy White

What the Book Is About:

Books on minimalism aren’t just about materials. It can be applied to your digital space too. In this book, Williams and White provide solutions for digital decluttering. One example of this is gadgets taking too much of your energy, concentration, and time. They also tackle what to do in certain situations like when your smartphone has too many unused apps, your computer has too many icons on the desktop, your office is disorganized, and many more. 

The book helps you deal with apps, gadgets, and technology. You can understand tools, ideas, and techniques on digital minimalism in a simple manner. Even on digital minimalism, less is more.

The authors explain digital detox. In this kind of detoxification, you will learn how to disconnect from technology and the internet. This can help realize you have control over technology and reboot your mind. 

The tips are given by professionals and experts, so you can prevent the adverse effects of too much dependability on technology. You can protect not only yourself but your children as well.

What We Like About This Book:

This is one of the best books on minimalism that you can apply to your everyday life. The given methods and advice do not require readers to be digital experts. You can start by applying what you learn as soon as possible. It will help you overcome problems on being too dependent on technology. 

The book also gives a better understanding as to why digital technology is tempting and the signs of digital addiction. Besides, it includes the procedures on how to organize a computer, phone, emails, and internet utilization in an easy-to-follow means. As a result, there is increased productivity because of fewer distractions.

We Recommend This Book For:

People who feel they have a problem using their smartphones such as not getting enough sleep. It also comes handy for those who find it difficult to accomplish work tasks or personal responsibilities. 

Review:

One of the notable takeaways I have from this book is that you do not need to stop and give up everything. It is more about organizing what you have rather than getting rid of a lot of digital clutter. I find the tips and strategies clear and easy to follow. 

The details on what needs to be done are well-covered and rounded. Aside from personal experiences from the authors, I learned a lot from expert advice. -Stephanie


8. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Writer: Marie Kondo

What the Book Is About:

One of the most popular books on minimalism and decluttering ever published, Marie Kondo, a famous Japanese cleaning consultant, levels up tidying to a whole new level. The book promises that you never have to tidy up again if you know how to organize and make your home simple. 

She gives a detailed guide on how to identify things that bring joy and those that do not. It is an international bestseller that can help you clean up your mess and realize the magic of a clean home. 

With the application of Tokyo’s most recent lifestyle, you will be inspired, calm, and motivated. Marie’s website also includes useful tips for getting started with origami and how to fold furoshiki.

What We Like About This Book:

Aside from being dubbed as the most organized woman across the globe, Marie Kondo is also considered one of the 100 most influential people by Time Magazine in 2015. This Japanese cleaning consultant shares the KonMari way on how to organize, declutter, and simplify homes. 

We love that she gives the readers the chance to understand the things that are truly valuable from those that are not. Then, the things that do not make the cut are gotten rid of. Her insights and strategies are lasting solutions to have optimism, introspection, and mindfulness.

We Recommend This Book For:

People on the search for a worthwhile book about organizing homes

Review:

I commend Kondo for writing this great self-help book on minimalism. I understood that clutter is often a result of unhappiness. Therefore, tidying up is therapeutic not only for me but also for my family and our home. The main strength of the book is how simple it is. -Laura


9. Essential

Writers: Joshua Fields Millburn, Ryan Nicodemus

What the Book Is About:

The authors, more commonly known to their readers as The Minimalists, talk about having living more by having less. We love that the approach for this theme is satire and humorous. The minimalist lifestyle steps are practical and insightful. They talk about seeking freedom from consumerism.

This book is a collection of 29 favorite essays of The Minimalists about having less clutter and a more purposeful life. There is also a special foreword from these authors. They also wrote 2 extra essays exclusive for the book entitled Dealing with Overwhelm and Focus on What’s Important. The essays are arranged into 7 related themes.

What We Like About This Book:

From the book, we realized that we can deliberately and consciously make sound decisions. Living intentionally, this book is great for those who want a simple life, organization, better relationships and health, and more finances.

We Recommend This Book For:

People who want background knowledge about minimalism.

Review:

It does not matter if you are a novice or expert in minimalism because this book has essays that provide great insights. It reflects The Minimalists’ experiences well, but it considers how the readers can apply these insights and use it to improve their life. -Kurt


10. Waking Up

Writer: Sam Harris

What the Book Is About:

Harris divides this book into a memoir and an exploration of the foundation of spirituality. The book is unique because it harmonizes meditative wisdom and science. Since Harris is a philosopher, scientist, and a known skeptic, he was able to combine these thoughts and write about them.

What We Like About This Book:

We find the elements of this book truly special. Harris blends meditation, psychology, and neuroscience. He encourages the readers to seek the truth from various notable spiritual leaders such as Lao Tzu, Jesus, Rumi, and the Buddha. 

Since there is no religion involved, he begins a topic on how people further understand themselves and how the world is shaping the way they live.

We Recommend This Book For:

People who are looking for a read about living in the present and being more mindful.

Review:

The book is clear and straightforward about spirituality and everything about it. It guides readers on where to get life nourishment from. To people who know how important spirituality is, they will realize more. To those who do not, they will find themselves reflecting after reading this book. -deepmoon


11. The Year of Less

Writer: Cait Flanders

What the Book Is About:

This book on minimalism is a documentary of Flanders’ life for 12 months. In those 12 months, she only purchased necessities such as toiletries, food, and gas. Aside from that, she documented how she challenged herself further by consuming less in other things. 

She cleaned her place and decluttered 70% of her possessions. Instead of throwing things away, she studied how to repair them. She also learned about living zero waste. Moreover, she did not watch TV at all. In every challenge, she knew that living less means a more fulfilling life. 

Her documentary is also mixed with insights and advice that are not included in her previous blog. The book will make you question the things you hold valuable in your life. As a result, you could also have a happier life.

What We Like About This Book:

When Flanders was in her late 20’s, she was also a victim of consumerism. She even had a $30,000 debt. This is what triggered her to document her minimalist life for 12 months. By doing this, she better understood herself and the reasons for her addictions. The book is more of a memoir than a guide, but you will see content about her journey and moments.

We Recommend This Book for:

People who want a confession memoir.

Review:

I had a great time reading this book. What amazed me is that Cait is not an expert or a therapist. She is a normal individual with addictions and difficulties just like the rest of us. I felt close to her while reading her story. At the end of the book, I asked myself, “Why shouldn’t I?” -Ben


Conclusion

I  hope that this list of books on minimalism and simple living can help you become a minimalist.  With an open mind, these books will help you appreciate the Minimalism lifestyle and transform your busy and cluttered life into a simple one. 

If you want to discover more books on minimalism, mindfulness, personal growth, and more check out our other books here.

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