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Miss Minimalist: Inspiration to Downsize, Declutter, and Simplify

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,330 Ratings  ·  118 Reviews
Would you like to live a beautiful life with less stuff?

This delightful collection of articles by Francine Jay, author of “The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide,” provides great inspiration to pare down your possessions. Jay breezes from practical topics, like “What’s in a Minimalist Kitchen” and “How Many Shoes are Enough,” to more philosophical musings, like what th
Kindle Edition, 133 pages
Published (first published May 25th 2011)
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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie KondōYou Can Buy Happiness (and It's Cheap) by Tammy StrobelWalden by Henry David ThoreauThe Power Of Less by Leo BabautaThe Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide by Francine Jay
Simple Living & Minimalism
11th out of 52 books — 33 voters
Miss Minimalist by Francine JayLa magia del orden by Marie KondōThe Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide by Francine JayInto the Wild by Jon KrakauerA Guide to the Good Life by William B. Irvine
Minimalismo y vida sencilla
1st out of 11 books — 3 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,272)
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Leah Hess
Jan 22, 2012 Leah Hess rated it it was ok
I was pretty excited to dive into this short (98-page) inspirational novel comprised of essays. I've read a few books before on the subject of simplifying your life or decluttering your home. Usually they at least charge my batteries for a few weeks, enough to get a couple of projects done. Was I inspired by Miss Minimalist? Not so much. I found the book to be terribly self-absorbed and illogical. I respond best to the author's analysis of why we, as a society, clutter the way we do. Instead, I ...more
T. Browning
Mar 19, 2014 T. Browning rated it liked it
This one really suffered for being a bunch of blog posts thrown together, a lot of ideas got developed separately or inadequately. But she knew that when she was putting the book together. That is why this one is super cheap and her actual book is more expensive, I suppose. So that didn't bring this book down to a 3 by itself.

What brought it down is her failure to recognize at all that her minimalist lifestyle depends in large part in her super-priveleged place in society. This is a very common
Sep 22, 2011 Gina rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
Within about 45 minutes of starting this book I was knee-deep in the contents of my closet, decluttering. Because that's how I roll. Strike while the iron is hot. My problem is the follow-through, which is why the dregs are still all over my bedroom floor, but I'm getting there. The whole finishing thing is the reason the closet was overflowing in the first place. I had so many supplies for craft projects that never got finished (or even started in some cases). So I packed up a big box, put it u ...more
Feb 07, 2015 Maddy rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction, self-help
How to be a minimalist: a guide for middle-class/privileged people.

Maybe a tiny bit woo-woo in tone in some parts for me, but good message and intentions. A bit of orientalism going on with the borrowings from Japanese and Chinese (and Greek) philosophy. Ooh you just traveled for 10 days in Asia! Cherry blossoms! Japanese tea ceremony! That must have been transcendent. She must really love that kokeshi doll, since she mentions it a couple of times.

Seriously though, I liked the chapter about how
Mar 22, 2013 Heather rated it it was amazing
Of all the minimalist books out there, this is the best. Yes, I know there are lots of bloggers assembling their "best of" blog collections and publishing them as books -- but Francine's is only 99 cents, and the "Dear John" letter to her stuff is worth that in and of itself. You can read all the stuff in this on her blog for free, but it's excellent to have at your fingertips when you need some encouragement or a kick in the pants. She doesn't come off as pretentious (unlike other bloggers), bu ...more
Apr 03, 2013 Rachel rated it did not like it
Shelves: ocd
I agree with the other reviewer who stated that the author was a bit self-righteous and condescending. As someone who longs for less clutter myself I thought this book would be about just that. Other than a purfunctory tip or two such as her pare down one item per day to be rid of 365 items at the end of the year, this book was more about her evangelizing on how she doesn't own a couch, a tv, any dishes or photos. I was already in shear eye- rolling mode while reading when I reached her chapter ...more
Boenjegginz of Glasgow Town
Ma vie doit tenir dans 20m², pas le choix dans les grandes villes. Alors tous les 36 du mois, je lis un bouquin ou un blog tenu par un minimaliste autoproclamé en espérant trouver de l'inspiration pour ménage de printemps/été/automne/hiver (oué, 4 fois dans l'année). Il y'a toujours un petit quelque chose à retenir, ok. Mais que ce soit Babauta, Loreau ou ici Francine Jay, j'ai l'impression que ces gens ne vivent pas sur la même planète que moi. D'une, pour des minimalistes, ils semblent tous ob ...more
Mar 25, 2013 Launi rated it it was amazing
I absolutely LOVED this book!!! In fact, it inspired me to tear my house apart and begin the decluttering process. I always wondered why I struggled so much to keep my house clean and why it has always overwhelmed me so much. After reading this book, now I know why: I have TMS (too much stuff)!! I'm not saying I'm going to become as "minimal" as the author has, but I have definitely found a tremendous amount of inspiration from this book. Favorite excerpts:

"Minimalist living eliminates the distr
Jill Hedrick
Great tips!

I read this book because my husband and I are planning to downsize to a smaller home, do some RVing and learn to live with less to prepare for retirement. I picked up many great ideas for decluttering and living a simpler lifestyle. I did think the book was very repetitive so I ended up grazing over things that had already been said. It was also like an infomercial for the authors book, which I won't be getting since I need to declutter my kindle to make room for all the mps and movie
Megan Turcot
Jan 11, 2016 Megan Turcot rated it it was ok
I read this book thinking it would be a good primer for her other book, but it actually made me not want to read it at all. Which is unfortunate because I think her other book on minimalism has better reviews.

The mini-articles/chapters don't have a lot of substance to them and read like they are blog posts. The first half of the book had some good tips and tricks and some interesting points, but after her using the phrase "wax philosophical" several times the eye rolling began. By the time I got
Nov 21, 2011 Amanda rated it liked it
I can take a lot away from this book. (But not everything. I'm not going to try living with just one bowl to eat from.) However, the greater message she brings is worth considering--how much stuff do we really need? Is it making us truly happier? What does this teach our kids? I don't think I can meet the ideal she presents, but I've been thinking more about what comes into my home after reading this. Worthwhile, especially with the gift-giving season so near.
Mar 13, 2015 Amie rated it it was ok
Really didn't care for it. While she is a minimalist, obviously, I think she kind of took her style of minimalism and turned it into the minimalist brand, without even acknowledging the times when she doesn't want to down size. She mentions that she own six pair of shoes, on of them being a pair of boots. She says they play an important part in her wardrobe, so she keeps them. What she means is "I could do with out them, but I like them a lot." There's nothing wrong, or even anti-minimalist, abo ...more
Aug 22, 2014 Jon rated it really liked it
Shelves: minimalism
This book will cause you to reassess what you term: "The American Dream". Could it be that the more stuff in our lives, the more our stuff owns us? The more money, energy, and stress that is generated because of our stuff? How much time do we spend taking care of our stuff versus actually living and enjoying life?

I originally read this book before going to Italy in September 2012. At the time, it was a "Wow, I should really start doing this someday" type of book. After returning from Italy 2 we
Dec 19, 2014 Leslie rated it it was ok
A few good points but way too extreme for me. I don't like clutter and i don't buy things I will never use, ok lets say I am making a conscious effort to purchase things wisely. This book could have been shorter, the information was repeated throughout. I did take away a few good ideas that I will use for years to come.
May 31, 2014 Mandy rated it really liked it
As long as you go in with an open mind and realize that her opinion is the "almighty one" (i.e. every single thing she says isn't going to be for everyone), then it's a great read for those who want to downsize and declutter / want someone to give them "tough love" when it comes to their stuff. She's a bit of an minimalist on steroids though with her minimizing on goal-setting, chemicals in beauty and cleaning products, and how every little thing has to be good for the planet BUT she has some va ...more
Jun 02, 2014 Simon rated it it was ok
She has some good ideas, but easily could of done it in a quarter of the pages. She is not such a minimalist in terms of writing. Also, her idea of not planning a vacation is lame and wastes money and time.
Laura Hughes
Aug 10, 2015 Laura Hughes rated it liked it
Shelves: simplicity
A best-of-the-blog book. Overall, I enjoyed this, although it's pretty light reading, since none of the entries get in much depth. Much of the decluttering info is nothing new (Marie Kondo covers it more comprehensively), but Francine Jay mixes in philosophical concepts that resonate me, including general life-simplification and anti-commercialism. The manifesto on "consumer disobedience" had me cheering. That said, I definitely see what readers mean when they chafe against the author's descript ...more
Sep 17, 2015 Ana rated it really liked it
En los últimos meses he estado leyendo bastante sobre el miminalismo, fundamentalmente en blogs. Quería dar un paso más y leer un libro que me sirviera un poco de inspiración.

Miss Minimalist es una colección de artículos breves en torno a diferentes aspectos del miminalismo. No me atrevería a asegurarlo, pero diría que es una recopilación de posts publicados en un blog.

Por ese motivo, la impresión que me he llevado es que algunos de esos artículos eran muy interesantes, y otros tal vez redundan
arlene h engel
Mar 27, 2014 arlene h engel rated it it was amazing

I was a teacher before retiring. I told myself the house would be cleaner and neater. Once I retired. Well that didn't happen. After a number of months there was no progress. I saw the book Miss Minimalist: Inspection to Downsize,, Declutter, and simplify. Guess what I am doing it and it feels great! It's easier to manage my things and my life. I highly recommend this book to people who have no room in their homes and lives.
Sep 06, 2014 Hannah rated it liked it
I believe this is a collection of blog posts, so this book is pretty easy to read. A nice intro to some of the ideas of minimalism, although a bit repetitive. It did occur to me that permaculture and minimalism are the same idea in different contexts. Basically, the idea that everything in its place; nothing goes in that doesn't fill more than one function.
Jun 15, 2014 Mandy rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would and in another life I think I could easily become a minimalist. I feel that many of the core values of minimalism are similar to some Christian values...clearing space in our homes and hearts for a more peaceful life. I plan on using some of the authors ideas in my own home and especially plan on starting to say "no" to a cluttered schedule more.
Abigail Greig
Sep 13, 2015 Abigail Greig rated it really liked it
A bit extreme, but a great book

I personally don't think I could live quite as minimally as the author, but I really enjoyed reading this book. Well written, and inspiring. I've been in a rut on the decluttering front, but this book got me off the couch and back to purging.
Oct 06, 2014 Dorrie rated it it was amazing
As someone who struggles with clutter, I found this book helpful and motivational. I have no desires to be completely minimalist but I would like to get rid of the things I no longer use or enjoy. If you are feeling overwhelmed by your possessions I would definitely recommend this book.
Sep 25, 2014 Domic rated it really liked it
Ich bin über den Blog der Autorin gestolpert, da geht's um Simplify, Ausmisten und Krams - und ihre beliebtesten Blogposts hat sie in diesem Buch zusammengefasst. Flott geschrieben, gut zu lesen und nicht übermässig missionierend. Den ein oder anderen Tipp werde ich mal ausprobieren.
Tabitha Gallman
Sep 24, 2014 Tabitha Gallman rated it really liked it
A well-written book about general De-cluttering in my everyday life and home. Although a little extreme for the current vision I have for my family/lifestyle; I do feel like I took away a lot of good advice for weeding out a lot of unnecessary stuff.
Telma Frege
Jan 24, 2015 Telma Frege rated it really liked it
Although the way it's written is more like a collection of blog posts, which may disappoint some people who expect a more "formal book", I enjoyed this book. It inspired me to stay on course and keep decluttering. I also found helpful tips that I'm starting to apply today.
Aug 08, 2015 Rhonda rated it it was amazing
Minimalist life style

A real life guide to living the minimalists life to,pare down your possessions limit the clutter shut the tv off .enjoy life in a simplified manner.
Jan 01, 2015 Dani rated it liked it
Shelves: minimalism
Overall, repeats some good minimalist strategies, but I agree with other reviewers who critique this book as being near-sighted to ideas of privilege that come from being *able* to be a minimalist.
Mar 27, 2016 Julia rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
This was mostly a collection of blog articles about minimalism. From a book I'd expect a better structure and less repetition.
I already knew a bit about minimalism, so there was not much new in it for me.
Dawn Knox
Dec 24, 2014 Dawn Knox rated it it was amazing
Well written and inspirational

Organized way to get rid of clutter. I need to start now! This review requires too many words perhaps Amazon should read the book!
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comment about book 1 2 Apr 29, 2015 03:19AM  
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  • You Can Buy Happiness (and It's Cheap): How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too
  • The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life
  • Organize Now!: A Week-By-Week Guide to Simplify Your Space and Your Life!
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  • Houseworks: Cut the Clutter, Speed Your Cleaning, and Calm the Chaos
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  • One Bite at a Time: 52 Projects for Making Life Simpler
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Francine Jay pioneered the minimalist living movement with her blog,, and her book, The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life. In 2009, she and her husband sold their house, and all their possessions, and moved overseas with one suitcase each. After three years as a world-traveling digital nomad, she’s now applying her minimal ...more
More about Francine Jay...

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“My goal is no longer to get more done, but rather to have less to do.” 55 likes
“The only wealth which you will keep forever is the wealth you have given away.” –Marcus Aurelius, 121–180 AD” 2 likes
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