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Make Space: A Minimalist's Guide to the Good and the Extraordinary

3.26  ·  Rating details ·  384 ratings  ·  76 reviews
We simply have too much stuff in our lives. Burdened by our heavy consumerist culture to continually own and consume without purpose, we lose ourselves to debt, dissatisfaction, and despair. If having more, doing more, and being more does not allow us to live abundantly, what can?

Minimalism can make all the difference. A minimalist life removes non-essentials and clutter—w
Hardcover, 200 pages
Published August 15th 2017 by Skyhorse (first published 2017)
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It's hard to argue with the philosophy behind this book. To remove the unnecessary elements in your life and in simplifying, you begin to appreciate the things that you have. I think it sounds great in theory, and probably is truly wonderful in practice. I'm simply not inspired by this book.

Let me begin by explaining what my goal was in selecting this book. I am not a minimalist and I do not aspire to become one. I find joy in the random, the spontaneous, and the unexpected. I have never found
Isabel Losada
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
There was a lot that I disagreed with profoundly in this little book. Most importantly this author believes that minimalism isn't anti-consumerist. For her it isn't. But for me one of the great joys of minimalism is that it is absolutely and utterly anti-consumerist. Helping a friend de-clutter clothes recently I said to her, 'You don't need to buy any more clothes for the next ten years - if not for the rest of your life.' We all have too much of everything. This for me - is one of the great jo ...more
I went into this reading with considerable scepticism. Hadn't I already read enough books about minimalism and decluttering. Could the author tell me anything I didn't already know?

Yet I downloaded the audio book version as I had nothing to lose. Didn't cost me any money as it was a library loan. Furthermore, I guessed (correctly, it turned out) that this was the kind of audio book I could have playing in the background while cooking, washing up, ironing etc, so it didn't even cut into my limite
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Unfortunately, this book wasn't quite satisfying. It was definitely chaotic. For example, I'm fairly sure that three different statistics for clothes worn / clothes owned ratio were given on three different occasions in the book. But it also jumped from subject to subject, from material possessions to emotional well-being back to material possessions, name-checking Marie Kondo, Swedish lagom, Japanese notion of t
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
*Note: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I had a hard time seeing this book as practical advice. The first few chapters focus in on more about decluttering and organizing than living minimally. I mean, the concept of practicing minimalism is there and the steps toward achieving a minimalistic lifestyle were communicated effectively, I just felt like I personally do not live minimally, yet am a (sometimes pretentiously) organized person and these are concepts I
Mar 30, 2018 rated it did not like it
Couldn’t get past the authors wealthy privilege.
Nov 20, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I persevered with this book way past the point where it had really begun to irritate me, in the hope that it’d contain some actual wisdom, but then I decided that it was neither something useful or beautiful and so it needed to be thrown out.

It starts as a rehash of Marie Kondo’s decluttering method, and how we should only keep items that ‘spark joy’. So no new insights there. But living minimally is more than just having fewer possessions and it does go on to explore the philosophy of decompli
Sep 08, 2019 rated it liked it
I loved the first half of this book. Unlike some other books on minamalism, it doesn’t have a “smug” feel about it. In fact if you are new to learning about minamilsm I would highly recommend the first half of the book, because it really lays it out nicely for you.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t think minamilsim is the right way to describe this movement, in my opinion describing it as intent or intentionlism seems much more appropriate. So if you want some inspiration to get
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this little book. The author writes beautifully, sharing her thoughts, ideas, and approach to life through minimalism. There is much to take away from this book as I am learning about minimalism and how to embrace it in my own life.
Lyn Richards
Wow what a great motivating book to get started on minimalism. I really enjoyed the simplicity. I think the book was made even more enjoyable because as I was listening to this audio book I was decluttering my craft room. A great read and very easy to consume.
Trina (aNovelReader)
I must confess I am a part-time minimalist and this was the first book I have read on minimalism. I try to keep a clutter-free home and be mindful of my purchases but I want to fully embrace the minimalist concept. Since this book is described as a beginner's handbook, I figured this was the perfect place to start. If you are tired of being bogged down by material and emotional clutter and are ready to simplify your life then this book is for you.

I think the author does a great job of explaining
Lucie Paris
Jul 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Minimalism is something that I try to live by and so, I like to read about new ways of improving my knowledge. Always interesting to learn how to declutter my life, mind and body differently.

Regina Wong is appealing in her way of explaining the basics and make decluttering seem easy and for your own good. She is giving tip, as well as interesting exemples. Like the clothes, we will buy on sale thinking we are making economy, when in reality, we didn't need the article. 

The grab and run emergency
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018
Too much repetition from Spark joy and Marie Kondo's book. She adds little and it seems like pablum -- she just copied notes and typed on. There is a strong Buddhist message here that I could have done without

snip...Lotta of words, but exactly what are we talking about? This is a big problem throughout the book. Lots of snippets she adds too little to, or expands.

Expanding the envelope. This is a method shared by Leo Babauta of the blog Zen Habits. By widening the envelope of our perspective, fr
Nov 13, 2017 rated it did not like it
I like the premise of this book, but could not get past the unorganized writing and ramblings. The author touches on many parts of being a minimalist and doesn't really do justice to any of them. Perhaps the next edition can focus on one element and offer more constructive arguments for that type of lifestyle. ...more
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is basically Marie Kondo if she was also an ultra-high earner who is convinced that it was minimalism and not her massive paycheck that allowed her to become free of debt so soon after deciding living debt-free was important. Her advice smacks of someone out of touch was the reality of lower-income levels.
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
This is a short read with both practical and inspirational tips on living a minimalist lifestyle. Much of the focus is on making the necessary mindset shifts to live more intentionally, to have just enough of just the right things (and relationships and activities, etc.) to maximize happiness.

I liked how Ms. Wong explained the concept of minimalism, and I liked some of the quotes she included. Many of her practical tips were things I had already read about before, but the minimalist budget was n
Claudia Blanton
When I received a copy of Make Space by Regina Wong, I was very excited. Considering the subject matter, I was hoping that the minimalism would not only apply to the content but also to the structure of Make Space, leaving out all that was not necessary, and bringing me a clear and concise volume on the subject of minimalism.

Instead, I received a book that offered no technique on the subject, but rather turned out to be a disguised (and not well researched) self-help book, trying to cover anythi
Claudia Blanton
When I received a copy of Make Space by Regina Wong, I was very excited. Considering the subject matter, I was hoping that the minimalism would not only apply to the content but also to the structure of Make Space, leaving out all that was not necessary, and bringing me a clear and concise volume on the subject of minimalism.

Instead, I received a book that offered no technique on the subject, but rather turned out to be a disguised (and not well researched) self-help book, trying to cover anythi
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The short-take: If you’re entirely unfamiliar with the concepts of minimalism, mindfulness, and intentional living, then this book may be an acceptable jumping-off point. Otherwise, skip it.

I’m an aspiring minimalist, and bought this book in hopes that it would bring some form of inspiration. I’ve previously read numerous books and blog posts on minimalism and various related topics. I regret having purchased this book.

While I agree with most of the ideas presented (from a subject matter perspec
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book! Maybe I found this book at just the right time, but it really spoke to me. Chapter 1 is called “The Heart of Minimalism”, and it really is the heart of the book. The author discusses why living with fewer *things* can be rewarding and freeing and can leave a person with more time for spending on things he or she likes doing. I appreciated that each reader was encouraged to find her own right amount of stuff, right way to live minimally.

Chapter 3, “The Art of Decluttering”, is very us
Kathy Peterman
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I had the good fortune to meet Regina Wong when she came to Portland a couple of years back. We both helped start minimalism groups in our city. It was my pleasure to read her book Make Space: A Minimalist Guide to the Good and the Extraordinary. Wong encourages those who have tried a life of more and not found happiness to explore a life with less. She is clear it is not about deprivation, but more about being mindful and intentional in what takes up our time, money and space. She shares her ow ...more
Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Looking to see if there are any hints for minimalist living or an extraordinary life that I have missed, I checked this book out from my library. What sets it apart from some other books in this genre are the author's clear love of books (so I can keep what I want to and work to buy more if that is my "good life"), focus beyond physical space to mental and emotional spaces, and the activities in each chapter or so to help one think about and implement steps toward a more desired life. There is t ...more
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: for-the-home
I started reading this book thinking it would be about minimalism for the home, but most of the book is actually about a mental declutter. Less multitasking, less to do lists, those kind of things. She talks about decluttering your possessions for a bit, revering to the Konmari method (just keep what sparks joy), and the rest of the book continues with self development. But if you have read many selfhelp books, you won't find anything new.

It did motivate me to simplify my life but minimalism is
Apr 04, 2021 rated it did not like it
The author is a blogger and this feels like yet another book that would’ve been way better had it stayed a blog post. It was very repetitive and lacked substance; it was heavy on the platitudes and light on actual how-tos. I also don’t find the majority of her advice very helpful for the average person. For instance, her chapter on being debt-free is just “pay off your debts.” How did she do that? Well she had a job that put her in the top 10% of one of the richest cities in the world...that’s h ...more
Jun 20, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is highly researched and discusses much more than minimalism. I think people who know nothing about minimalism, time blocking, or life improvement hacks will really enjoy this book because it is a great introduction to those themes and much more. I however am very familiar with the topic of minimalism and life hacking so I found some of the knowledge espoused by the author to be repetitive and not novel. There was nothing innovative to the approaches. Overall, I enjoyed the book and th ...more
Jul 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Right, I very nearly gave this book five stars, because it is really good. It offers a thorough and holistic approach to minimalism, rather than focusing purely on physical decluttering. However, there are just a couple of points that made me drop a star:

- The author uses the word "irregardless". TWICE. She then went on to use the word "regardless" later in the book. Okay, I know this is petty, but I cringed so hard it nearly made me throw out the whole book.
- She slips in a little bit of the La
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I agree to this book so much, that most of us have been programmed to think that in order to be happier and to make the most out of our life, we need to have more money, more possessions, more gadgets, more friends, bigger house and cars, bigger job titles... But greater wealth, material consumption, and choices have not made us any happier compare to our grandparents' time, when people owned and owed less.

This book is teaching about minimalism, so we can learn to simplify and to live with less.
Jan 17, 2018 rated it liked it
I like listening to audio books or podcasts on decluttering or cleaning as I declutter as I usually find them quite motivating to the task at hand. This book certainly was sufficient in its motivating element but I was distracted by how much of the ideology was borrowed either from Marie Kondo or the minimalists. Whilst I guess with the whole idea of minimalism is limited to some degree there was just some very obvious borrowing of ideas here. Where this book differed was in going into more dept ...more
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite the potential for new agey type writing, I picked this up at the library because minimalism is something I want to explore and put into practice. And I ended up really enjoying this book and plan on buying a copy. You might not agree with everything but I think it offers a well thought out and practical push back against consumerism and the rat race; the never ending accumulation of stuff. Wong instead offers for finding meaning and joy by focus on what you need or can use in a prductive ...more
Jul 17, 2017 rated it liked it
I quite enjoyed this book and if you haven't read many books in this area then you will enjoy it alot.
I like the way it encourages you to break down your major goals into smaller steps to achieve them.
It's also quite well laid out into topics and they are well written about and the author has obviously done her homework.
The only thing is that it's a well documented topic these days and there isn't too much in this book that is new if you have already read many books like it but otherwise a good
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