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Hello and welcome to Landeelu.com! If you are feeling overwhelmed by all of your belongings and know something needs to change but you’re not quite sure where to start, you are in the right place! I started down the path of decluttering and trying to live a more minimalist and intentional life a few months ago and it has completely changed how I look at everything!
I now realize that I was mindlessly consuming, making purchases and storing things without even thinking twice about it. That led me to feelings of overwhelm, frustration and oftentimes despair. That is certainly no way to live. Something had to change.
As a way to motivate myself, one day I decided to use one of my book credits on Audible to download a book about decluttering. Why not have a little cheerleader in my ear as I was pulling things out of closets and sorting, right? The book I chose to download (without knowing anything about anything) was The Joy of Less by Francine Jay. I. Was. Hooked. This book was a great mix of practical tips (which I definitely needed), inspiration and entertaining writing. Not only did it cheer me on as I decluttered, but it began my journey to a new way of thinking about my possessions, their “value” and their true cost in my life.
After listening to that first book, my desire to learn more and more about decluttering and minimalism was insatiable. I listened to audio book after audio book. Some were amazing and others were so-so. Today I’ve put together a list of my favorite decluttering/minimalism books for you. I’ve also enjoyed a couple of different podcasts that I will share as well as a couple of other resources.
If you want to get the stuff in your life under control, dive in! Changing your mindset will go a long way in your decluttering journey as well as helping it to “stick” so you don’t go back to your own ways. Sound too good to be true? Put it to the test!
As I mentioned, The Joy of Less by Francine Jay was the first book I listened to. I love her writing style. Very fun but straight forward. She does a great job of laying out some of the benefits that come with minimizing your possessions. She also shares how she handles her own things and give great, practical tips on decluttering and staying that way. I am so glad she was my first glimpse into minimalism because it kept me motivated and wanting more!
The More of Less by Joshua Becker is, by far, my favorite decluttering/minimalism book. If you can only read one, I would highly recommend this one. He gives great tips on the actual decluttering process as well but then goes beyond the decluttering. He paints a beautiful picture of what life could be after getting rid of all of the excess stuff that is holding you back. He describes a new life of freedom and generosity. I had tears in my eyes toward the end because I was so inspired. Yes! That is the life I want! Rather than constantly wanting more, more, more I want to help others, be generous with my time and be free to live a meaningful life. Joshua Becker describes how minimalism can get me there. My favorite quote from the book is “There is more joy to be found owning less than can be found pursuing more.” Brilliant.
Of course, one cannot discuss decluttering without touching on Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. She has taken the world by storm with her “all in” approach. She believes that, if done right, decluttering only needs to take place once. Her mindset about the things in our homes is also fascinating. Things should “spark joy” and things need to rest. Things should be thanked for a job well done and then returned to their homes. It is a delightful read and one that will definitely change how you think about your things.
I enjoyed The Hoarder in You by Dr. Robin Zasio as she gets a little bit more into the question of why people tend to keep things and have a hard time letting go. She is one of the therapists on the TV show “Hoarders” and her belief is that we are all on the hoarder scale somewhere. Some just have one junk drawer that is out of control and others have 30,000 lbs. of garbage piled up in every room in the house. This book give great insight into human nature on this matter that was fascinating. It definitely made me think about where I was on that scale and why I keep the things I do.
The Art of Discarding by Nagisa Tatsumi is mentioned in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up as the book that gave Marie Kondo her inspiration to develop her own decluttering technique. I love the Amazon synopsis of the book.
“Practical and inspiring, The Art of Discarding (the book that originally inspired a young Marie Kondo to start cleaning up her closets) offers hands-on advice and easy-to-follow guidelines to help readers learn how to finally let go of stuff that is holding them back–as well as sage advice on acquiring less in the first place. Author Nagisa Tatsumi urges us to reflect on our attitude to possessing things and to have the courage and conviction to get rid of all the stuff we really don’t need, offering advice on how to tackle the things that pile up at home and take back control. By learning the art of discarding you will gain space, free yourself from “accumulation syndrome,” and find new joy and purpose in your clutter-free life.”
It’s a great read (I actually listened to it) and I plan on reading/listening to it again!
I love The Minimalists. Ryan and Josh are so wise in their purpose of inspiring others to live a meaningful life. They absolutely go beyond the idea of just getting rid of stuff and dig deeper into how that can then free you from the consumer mentality that we have all bought into. I haven’t gotten a chance to read this book of theirs yet (Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life) but I plan to. What I have really enjoyed is their podcasts. They discuss all kinds of topics and how they relate to minimalism and I have learned so much. They really have it figured out. And the best part about podcasts? Free!
Decluttering: Change your Mindset
According to him, in his book Goodbye, Things, Fumio Sasaki is just a regular guy who has discovered the benefits of living a minimalist lifestyle. But according to me, this guy is hardcore! I had already read 10 other minimalist books before I got to this one and he blew my mind. It is fascinating to hear how he lives and truly inspiring. It’s not so much a “how to” book as much it is an intriguing glimpse into what it looks like to live with only the essentials. He also chronicles his journey into minimalism that I think many can relate to as well. Definitely worth the read!
The opposite end of the decluttering spectrum from Fumio Sasaki is Melissa Michaels. Hers is a soft approach into looking at your things with fresh eyes and doing some editing here and there. In Make Room for What You Love Melissa walks you through figuring out what you and your family’s needs are and then gently encourages you to let go of the rest. She helps you to see your home as a sanctuary that should be stress-free rather than the cause of your stress. Like I said, it is a gentle approach to de-owning, which is exactly what some people need, as opposed to the one & done KonMari method.
I’m half way through Joshua Becker’s first book Clutterfree With Kids and I am enjoying it very much. It is all about how to maintain a clutter-free home with a family. Finally! A lot of the time the “minimalist gurus” are single people who have complete control over their homes. If you have a spouse or any children then you know how hard it is to declutter and keep it that way! Joshua lays out some great techniques for families to stay clutter-free as well as some inspiration to how that will help your family as well.
Websites to check out:
So those are my recommendations! I have been decluttering for a few months now and I can’t believe the change in my home already. I can feel a shift and my family can as well (feng shui anyone?). I hope to write about this new path I am on more in the future as I learn and discover the benefits of being more deliberate in my choices.
I’d love to hear any experiences you’ve had with minimalism and decluttering! Or if you have any more suggestions for resources we can look to for inspiration and instruction. Leave a comment below!
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