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Less is More: Von der Freude des Weglassens

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Wer kennt das nicht? Im Laufe der Zeit sammelt sich unnützes Zeug in der Wohnung an und bald hat man vor lauter Staubfängern und nutzlosem Plunder kaum mehr Platz für sich selbst. Francine Jay geht dem Phänomen intelligent auf den Grund und erkundet unser zutiefst menschliches Sammelverhalten. Sie zeigt, wie wir uns von unnötigem Ballast befreien können und macht mit praktischen Anregungen und einer überzeugenden Konsumkritik Lust aufs Loslassen.

320 pages, Kindle Edition

First published June 25, 2010

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About the author

Francine Jay

9 books199 followers
Francine Jay pioneered the minimalist living movement with her blog, MissMinimalist.com, 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 minimalist philosophy to her new life as a homeowner and mother.

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5 stars
3,249 (27%)
4 stars
4,202 (35%)
3 stars
3,204 (26%)
2 stars
952 (7%)
1 star
309 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,163 reviews
Profile Image for Val ⚓️ Shameless Handmaiden ⚓️.
1,809 reviews28.5k followers
September 29, 2017
4 Stars

This was a solid book on Minimalism, a lifestyle I am becoming more and more in line with. The premise of only owning and keeping things that I need, use, or bring me joy seriously appeals to me. I have always hated clutter.

That said, I am not striving to be a strict or pure minimalist by any means. Rather, I see myself as merely what has been dubbed as a rational minimalist, meaning my goal is not to be a one pair of shoes owning, figurine-less psychopath with only two glass mason jars and a capsule wardrobe. Nothing against those people - kudos to them - but that’s just not my goal.

My goal is to clear the blatantly superfluous and eradicate my needless spending. I mean, homie already “pared down” her book collection to, like, a thousand. Meaning I got rid of 25 books! Sounds minimalist to me. Okay... so not gonna lie. I’m not minimalizing my books. They bring me mad fucking joy.

I did manage to cull the herd in other ways, though. Who knew I had 75 pairs of shoes, 50 pens and an embarrassing amount of purses and makeup. Going through things and minimalizing the unwanted, unused, and unneeded felt SO good.

Anyway, while I did find some of this book to be a bit...preachy - and borderline deceitful in regard to unwanted gifts - I also really appreciated the overlying message of simplicity, environmental awareness, and the idea of living more mindfully.
Profile Image for Nayra.Hassan.
1,260 reviews5,206 followers
November 3, 2022
اذا ادخلت شيء لبيتك يجب ان تُخرج مقابله شيء اخر من المنزل فوراً!ا
ابقي قابلني لو نجحت لاسبوع واحد😂
كتاب يقدس المينمالية و يشجعك علي البساطة و الفراغ لكن بعنف وتكرار

وكان الكاتبة متخيلة اعتراضتنا العاطفية فتقول
تخيلي أن هناك حريقًا، أو فيضانًا،"
أو كارثة ما تسببت في تدمير خزانة ملابسكِ
" او البيت كله
ما هو الغرض ما لايمكنك تخيل حياتك بدونه؟

يصير التخلص من الفوضى أسهل بكثير؛ حين تفكر في أنه عملية تقرر فيها ما ستحتفظ به، وليس ما ستتخلص منه

من نصائح الكتاب *

البدء من الصفر.‬‬‬‬
- التخلص من الأشياء أو الاحتفاظ بها أو نقلها.‬‬‬‬
- سبب لكل شيء.‬‬‬‬
- كل شيء في مكانه.‬‬‬‬
- إخلاء كل الأسطح.‬‬‬‬
- الوحدات التخزينية.‬‬‬‬
- الحدود.‬‬‬‬
- إذا دخل شيء، خرج شيء آخر.‬‬‬
- الاختزال.‬‬‬‬
- الصيانة اليومية
مشترياتنا تؤثر على الآخرين كذلك
أشیاء أقل = حریة أكبر

طبعا لا داعي للنصائح الخاصة بالكتب مطلقاً؛ لانها ستغضبنا أجمعين
كن سخيًّا! فالشيء الذي ظل موجودًا في منزلك دون أن يُستخدَم أو أن يكون محبوبًا ربما يجلب قدرًا كبيرًا من المتعة لشخص آخر‬ ‬‬

تستطيع العيش مُستخدمًا خُمس مقتنياتك الحالية دون أن تلحظ أي فارق

تعتمد الضروريات الشخصية على طيف عريض من العوامل؛ مثل العمر، والنوع، والمهنة، والهوايات، والمناخ، والثقافة، والعائلات، والأقران

فكثیر من ھذه الأشیاء
ـ والوعود الخاویة التي تقدمھا ـ یستنزف ببطء المال من جیوبنا، والسحر من علاقاتنا، والمتعةمن حياتنا
حين نقلل استهلاكنا كي ننقذ العالم، ستظل منازلنا نظيفة، وهادئة، وخالية من الفوضى

إن شراء الأشياء المصنوعة محليًّا له منافع اقتصادية وبيئية وأخلاقية. أولًا، يزيد هذا الأمر احتمالية أن تكون هذه المنتجات قد صُنعَت في ظل ظروف عمل إنسانية،

وأن نقلل في ذات الوقت من بصمات استهلاكنا الشخصية إلى الحد الأدنى: وذلك عن طريق شراء الأشياء المصنوعة محليًّا، والأشياء المستعملة، وشراء قدر أقل من الأشياء.‬‬‬‬
من الممكن أن تعمل الأشیاء عمل المرساة فھي قد تثبتنا في أماكننا، وتمنعنا من الاستكشاف

كل ما نحتاجھ ھو أن نتوقف ونسأل أنفسنا: «لماذا؟» قبل أن نشتري
شیئًا ما

يشبه كتاب عبودية الكراكيب و لكنه يعتمد عنصر الصدمة العنيفة ففكرني اكتر برواية فتاة الامس بمهندسها المهووس بالفراغ الابيض؛ بنصائح مثل

اجمع كل ما تملكه في اكوام امامك
هل يصح ان تمتلك وحدك من الأغراض ما يملأ ست شاحنات مثلا؟
عموما مع نهاية كل عزم باافرغ المنزل من بعض كراكييه و كنت محتاجة. دفعة و كان الكتاب صيحة عنيفة جدا في اذني و كاد يقنعني بالتخلص مني انا شخصياً

Profile Image for JanB .
1,127 reviews2,292 followers
November 22, 2018
There's nothing groundbreaking here, just a good reminder. My husband and I are purging and decluttering as we prepare to downsize.

There are a lot of good tips but nothing I haven't read before. But reading these types of books increases my resolve and helps my mindset stay positive. My favorite tip: as you purge, put everything that is in the "maybe" pile (the things you aren't quite ready to give up) in a box, tape it closed and put it in storage. If in one year you haven't opened the box, donate it without opening it. Great idea.

Also, another great idea: completely empty out any closet, drawer, storage space before attempting to purge.

The author writes in a conversational tone and has fun with the idea of living with less to lighten our stress and increase our joy. It shouldn't be an onerous task, but a joyful one.
Profile Image for Cayenne.
670 reviews20 followers
January 21, 2011
This was a great reminder of a lot of things I already knew, but it also helped me gain a new philosophy about owning things. It renewed my motivation to organize and reduce, but it also helped me take it to a new level, such as helping me feel less guilty about getting rid of things I might "need someday" or increasing the value of empty space. She mentioned several times the freedom one felt in college when possessions were few and focus was more on doing rather than on owning. Yet, she encourages us to value and enjoy our (limited) treasures by putting them on display; to take joy in our hobbies; to make more space for our friends and family both in our lives and in our homes--you can't play a board game on a cluttered table. I am resolved to think much more carefully about purchasing new things and to buy in smaller amounts; to travel with less luggage; to be more generous; to tread more lightly in life. I highly recommend this book, especially in our consumer-oriented world.
Profile Image for Darek.
14 reviews15 followers
July 31, 2017
300-pages long, exhaustingly repetitive book on how to simplify things. Oh, irony.
Profile Image for Todd N.
336 reviews234 followers
July 15, 2013

I really wanted to buy this book in physical form, despite the barbaric nature of not reading on a Kindle, because I figured it would be the kind of book that I would loan or give away to someone else. But after several months of trying to find it, even braving the dread Self Help section, I gave up and downloaded it.

This is a very good and practical book for anyone who wants to declutter or streamline their life. And who doesn't? Conveniently, the first letter of each step actually spells out the word STREAMLINE. What could be simpler?

Each step is explained in a plain and unrelentingly cheery way. Then the steps are painstakingly applied to each major room in a house. This gets a bit redundant, but it has the advantage of making it possible to flip to a particular room and get everything you need to do in one section without flipping around.

The part I like best is that you have to remove everything from a room to really declutter. I couldn't agree more. We recently moved everything from our basement to our garage to have some work done and it was amazing to see all the crap we had. We wound up making a bunch of donations and/or trips to the dump.

At times the book gets a little goofy, like when it suggests donating extra paper clips. If you are running across town to donate paper clips you may need to streamline your head a little bit or ask your doctor about OCD medication.

The cheeriness grated at times, but that's just a personal thing with me. I can't read phrases like "Now we're having a blast sorting our highlighters by color!" without feeling physical pain.

Profile Image for María.
144 reviews3,062 followers
May 7, 2020
Estoy empezando a leer libros sobre minimalismo, y este es de los primeros así que no tengo mucho para comparar. Solo sé que es un libro cuidado (se agradece) y que cuenta con consejos útiles. Lástima el olor a sexismo que quizás hace años pasaba por alto. Hoy ya no lo admito. Siempre hay alguna persona que se queja de este baremo pero es lo que hay. Si huele, lo digo.
Profile Image for Suzanne.
303 reviews16 followers
June 3, 2013
Full disclosure: I'm not an aspiring minimalist. I read this to get inspired to reorganize some areas of our home.

The basic strategies for reducing the amount of stuff you have are solid, but overall, I found the philosophy too aggressive and the author's tone annoying and overly chirpy. (So many exclamation points!) It's very self-helpy, too. Minimalism = happiness. Less stuff = more joy. I know it feels great to rid yourself of clutter, but something about her presentation felt shallow to me, like the minimalist title you bestow upon yourself is the emphasis. Maintaining minimalism is your happiness over all else.

For example, she mentions that if you have a friend that gives you a lot of handmade items as gifts, you should "express your gratitude, but don't overdo the enthusiasm, or you'll likely end up with more "art" in the future!" Yes, putting your minimalist philosophy over friendship. That sounds like a sure way to happiness.

I don't know. I could pick nits all day, but this just wasn't for me, I suspect.
Profile Image for Kate.
103 reviews3 followers
August 9, 2013
For being a book about minimalist living, this book seemed to have a lot of redundancy. The concept of simple living just lands a little flat when stripped of the connection to stewardship of God's world and resources. Jay had some good ideas, but most of what she shared was common sense. I also felt that many of her approaches were strictly selfish in nature. For example, she suggests only having enough dinnerware for the number of people living in the home, which leaves no room for valuing hospitality. She also suggests taking a photo of a gift in use to send to the giver in order to make them feel good, and tossing the gift in the donate box right away. I don't appreciate the deceitful approach at all. Why go through the trouble of being sneaky when a simple explanation to friends and family about living a simpler life could suffice? I would not recommend this book.
Profile Image for Ana.
628 reviews83 followers
April 27, 2017
Apesar de já ter lido uma série de livros sobre minimalismo e temas a ele normalmente associados (como organização), gostei muito de ler este Menos é Mais. Peguei nele na altura certa, pois nos últimos anos, os meus ânimos minimalistas têm andado um pouco adormecidos, e isso tem-se reflectido de forma negativa a vários níveis.
Gostei da forma como o livro está organizado, com uma introdução ao tema, seguida de dicas práticas aplicáveis aos vários espaços da casa, depois lidando com os diferentes tipos de objectos, os restantes membros da família, e, por fim, fazendo um enquadramento mais geral do minimalismo como movimento contra-corrente do consumismo generalizado a que se assiste hoje e das implicações mais vastas que pode ter.
Gostei particularmente de algumas passagens, como aquela que usa as viagens para ilustrar a liberdade que se consegue ao transportar menos bagagem:
“Pense em como seria chato carregar duas ou três malas pesadíssimas durante as férias. Faz séculos que você está ansioso para essa viagem e, quando desembarca do avião, mal pode esperar para explorar as paisagens. Não tão rápido — antes você precisa esperar (e esperar e esperar) que as malas apareçam na esteira de bagagem. Depois, precisa arrastá-las pelo aeroporto. É provável que você siga direto para o ponto de táxi, porque manobrá-las no metrô seria quase impossível. E nem pense em tentar pegar lugar no city tour que está começando — você tem de ir primeiro ao hotel e se livrar desse fardo gigantesco. Quando você finalmente chega lá, desmaia de cansaço.
O minimalismo, por outro lado, o deixa ágil. Imagine viajar apenas com uma mochila leve (...) Você chega ao destino, desce do avião e passa pela maré de gente esperando pela bagagem. Depois entra no metrô, pega um ônibus ou anda em direção ao hotel. No caminho, experimenta todas as visões, sons e aromas de uma cidade estrangeira, com o tempo e a energia para saborear tudo. Você tem a liberdade e a flexibilidade de um pássaro para se movimentar por aí — pode levar a mochila a museus e a pontos turísticos e guardá-la num armário quando for preciso. Diferente do primeiro cenário, você começa com tudo e passa a tarde vendo as paisagens em vez de arrastar suas coisas de um lado para o outro. Chega ao hotel energizado por sua experiência e pronto para outra.
Quando não estamos mais acorrentados às nossas coisas, podemos saborear a vida, nos relacionar com outras pessoas e ser participativos em nossa comunidade. Ficamos abertos a experiências e mais capazes de reconhecer e aproveitar as oportunidades. Quanto menos bagagem carregamos (tanto física como mentalmente), mais podemos viver!”
E entre muitas outras passagens interessantes está também esta:
“Quando nos identificamos com marcas e nos expressamos através das coisas materiais, perdemos a noção de quem somos. Usamos bens de consumo para projetar determinada imagem de nós mesmos, comprando basicamente uma máscara para exibir para o mundo. Além disso, estamos tão ocupados cuidando das nossas coisas — correndo de um lado para o outro, comprando isso e aquilo — que encontramos pouco tempo para parar e explorar o que realmente nos anima.
Quando viramos minimalistas, nos despimos de todo o excesso para revelar nosso verdadeiro eu. Temos tempo para contemplar quem somos, o que achamos importante e o que nos faz realmente felizes. Saímos do casulo e abrimos as asas como poetas, filósofos, artistas, ativistas, mães, pais, companheiros, amigos. O mais importante é que nos redefinimos pelo que fazemos, pelo modo como pensamos e por quem amamos, e não pelo que compramos.”
Claro que agora que as lojas põem à nossa disposição frutas da América ou África do Sul durante todo o ano, roupas da Índia e ferramentas da China ao preço da chuva, não é fácil resistir e optar por produtos locais, explicar aos miúdos porque é que não compramos aqueles morangos tão apetitosos que apareceram no supermercado em Dezembro, ou comprar as cadeiras ao artesão local pelo dobro do preço das do Ikea… Mas concordo com a autora, quando ela diz que vale a pena tentar.
Profile Image for LiLi.
68 reviews
February 14, 2018
Decluttering is great, and I like listening to these things while I'm decluttering or cleaning; but this lady is just a little too pie-in-the-sky and woo-woo for me.
Profile Image for Lorna.
156 reviews68 followers
September 5, 2015
After reading and enjoying Marie Kondo's 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up' and Tolstoy's writings on living simply and consciously, I was inspired to get rid of most of my possessions and only keep things I truly need. This book has inspired me to continue on a minimalist path and I have seen an incredible change in my life - particularly in having so much more time to spend seeing family, working on my painting and getting out in nature.
I was particularly blown away by Francine Jay's final thoughts on how the simple decluttering of one's possessions can free ourselves but also our fellow humans and the Earth's resources.
Profile Image for Sara.
157 reviews
November 11, 2012
I read this book at the suggestion of a friend whose opinion I value. We are both interested in adopting more of a minimalist life style as part of our general commitment to environmental values. Like him, I seek to live more lightly on the earth these days.

Unfortunately, this book has its ups and downs. It certainly is a guide to decluttering and organizing, I'll give it that. What it isn't is a guide to truly reducing one's footprint and learning how to minimize one's impact through truly environmentally sound principles.

Ms. Jay introduces her scheme for reducing the possessions each of us already has. The rules are pretty basic--I already knew enough to get rid of something when I bring a new one home, for example. I'm the first to admit that stuff has cloned itself in the basement and attic, and every room in my house should be gone through in search of items I no longer want, need or use. And I'll give Ms. Jay credit--she has motivated me to do just that. I'm starting with the "fat" clothes and the books I know I'll never read.

And then she takes a turn into rigidity. OK, what's wrong with having a stack of books on the coffee table that are in the process of being read? What's wrong with leaving the mail on the counter to be sorted through and disposed of after the cats are fed? Ms. Jay is more than a tad obsessive about clutter, and not in a good way. I imagine her house is so picked up and neat that it doesn't even resemble a place where real people live.

I debated about 2 or 3 stars. In the end, I opted for 3, simply because she has motivated me to cancel magazine subscriptions, get rid of old appliances, and clean out drawers where all manner of junk was hiding.
Profile Image for Carrie.
52 reviews
January 12, 2014
This book would have been better if I had not done other reading on minimalism and decluttering prior to reading it. It contained a lot of common sense reminders and was very repetitive with the description of the "streamline" approach in every chapter. I found that the farther I got into the book the more I was just skimming it for any new ideas it might have contained. The best part was the beginning of the book and the introduction to the minimalist mindset...After that the rest was something I felt burdened to get through.
Profile Image for Linsey.
10 reviews3 followers
March 21, 2016
I found this book far too prescriptive, with the author assuming that her own path toward minimalism is the only way to do it - and assuming that her readers would share her priorities for deciding what to keep and what to let go of. For instance, telling you to only buy or keep simple classic clothes, assuming that you have no particular interest in fashion and disregarding the joy people may find in those impractical items that just make you smile when you wear them. And advising you to have as many multipurpose items as possible, ignoring the fact that often things that do many jobs do all of them poorly compared with dedicated tools.

The moment where this went way to far is when she actually suggests that you select your hobbies based on which ones require the least equipment - as though going for a run vs. playing hockey is just a matter of burning calories and it makes no difference which one you do. This outraged me since the whole purpose of her book is to help you live a more joyful life, which means you should select hobbies that you enjoy the most. I found so much of the advice in here to be misguided and overly rule-focused. If I followed all her advice I think I would spend the rest of my life obsessing over how to keep minimizing the house instead of getting it over with and enjoying the results.

I suspect that I would not have been nearly so critical of this book if I had not recently finished The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which is a treasure of a book that miraculously (for me) is so far living up to its title. Do yourself a huge favor and read the Life Changing Magic instead of this book.

Profile Image for Anna.
512 reviews68 followers
September 10, 2016
i needed a bit of a motivation to start cleaning again so in a way this book served its purpose but other than that... why was it so obviously directed at straight women in relationships? why was it so filled with gender stereotypes? why was it written as if the readers needed every little thing explained? honestly, we've all cleaned before, we're not that ignorant.
Profile Image for Cassandra Kay Silva.
704 reviews278 followers
April 11, 2019
I am already a minimalist. But the tone of this book was a bit much. Furthermore, I hate waste and the idea of just getting rid of things that could be used first seems so terrible for the environment and financially. When I became a minimalist I got rid of everything slowly by using things. I think this is a good approach.
Profile Image for Skaistė.
512 reviews117 followers
October 24, 2017
Puiki knyga. Manau, kiekvienas turėtų ją perskaityti. Atradau šią knygą dėl to, kad pradėjau domėtis minimalizmu nuo tada, kai atsitiktinai pažiūrėjau dokumentinį filmą šia tema, po to pradėjau klausyti internetinę radijo laidą. Aš nebūčiau aš, jei neieškočiau prieinamos knygos apie tai, kuo susidomiu. O pradėjus ieškoti literatūros lietuvių kalba aptikau ir šią knygą. Iš tiesų ieškojau kitos, bet šią pavyko gauti greičiau iš bibliotekos. Ir džiaugiuosi, kad radau ir perskaičiau. Autorė teisingai įvardina knygos pradžioje, kad dažnai žmonės nutraukia skaitymą ir imasi tvarkytis. Ir man taip buvo. Paskaitai ir žiūri, kad jau nebe skaitai, o planuoji kaip ką sutvarkyti. Aišku, iki tokio minimalizmo, kad ir kaip žavėčiausi žmonėmis, kurie sugeba pasilikti tik tikrai naudingus ar tikrai jiems gražius daiktus, man dar toli toli toli. Bet mintys, idėjos ir patarimai rasti šioje knygoje paskatino pažvelgti kiek kitaip į turimus ir norimus įsigyti daiktus. O tai jau pradžia kelionės iš tokių namų, kuriuose begalės nenaudojamų daiktų, apie kurių tvarkymą baisu net pagalvoti, o atrinkti ir išmesti atrodo kankinantis, varginantis ir begalinis darbas, į tokius, kuriuose lengva, jauku ir kuriuose kiekvienas daiktas (ar bent didžioji dalis daiktų) yra naudingi ar gražūs. O kai tai sako žmogus, atėjęs iš kaupikų giminės ir paveldėjęs kaupikų bruožus (prisipažįstu, tai aš), tai jau šį tą reiškia apie knygos svarbą ir poveikį.
Profile Image for Rose.
1,857 reviews1,048 followers
February 5, 2017
Quick review for a somewhat quick read. I'd probably give this read 2.5 stars overall. I read this over the course of a few days in audiobook form, and I'll admit that I didn't care for it despite having some practically useful ideas. I decided to read this for exploring methods of minimalist living and retention, since that seems to be a pervading topic when it comes to productivity and organization. The text itself has useful ideas if you haven't read very many delcuttering/minimalism guides, but the narrative itself is cumbersome in its narration. Simple and key to remember ideas often get lost in explanations that go on much longer than necessary. I found it too superfluous in its communications. As the narrative went on, I honestly didn't like many of the suggestions the book gives to approach a minimalist lifestyle (a.k.a. "Participate in sports that require less stuff." Yes, this was an actual suggestion in this book among other methodologies.) It's interesting that a key idea of this narrative communicated learning to control your stuff, not allowing your stuff to control you and what you want to do, but yet ideas like that give the opposite impression.

I would take this guide with a grain of salt, and it may be better just to use this for what is useful to the person reading it and to supplement other guides on organization and minimalist living. The figuring out what to keep sections were good, but its overarching useful mantras are taken over by redundancy and counter-intuitive suggestions.

Overall score: 2.5/5 stars.
Profile Image for Darla.
205 reviews15 followers
February 19, 2012
just from the opening, I'm getting a whole lot of inspiration to start moving out "stuff"...starting with (gasp, dare I say it) passels of books. More & more is available in electronic form. Why do I hold on to so many? Answers will vary.

~ OK, I'm about half way through & I rather feel like I'm stuck in the corner of a party listening to a chatter box rattle off everything she knows about minimizing without taking a breath! Obviously, minimizing word usage is not on her list of to-dos. Perhaps as Mrs. Jay has been tossing books, she's been saving up words.

~ Great ideas are scattered like wildflowers amongst an overabundance of knee-high weeds. I shall persevere (and skim, skim, skim...; at least, Jay inspired me to unload an entire shopping basket full of books (largely modern fiction, and including my 3 hardback Twilight books)at half-Price Books today!

~ I'm all done and nothing in my assessment has changed. Bits of wisdom are to be found, but the preponderance of verbiage had me skimming more than reading. Jay's chapters, which target every room in the house, began to read like a shampoo bottle label: Later, rinse, repeat (again, and again, and again).

Read it, I would say, despite her inability to stop chattering. The ideas, once you get to them, are truly good; the thoughts on minimizing, despite the Earth-love-eco-babble I have come to sigh & eye-roll at these days, are worth considering, if only from a Stewardship model. But, when you're done with Mrs. Jay, move on to Joshua Becker. Her ebooks are cheaper; his are simpler, more streamlined, and work the extra couple of bucks.

Profile Image for Mina.
984 reviews117 followers
October 8, 2018
One could be blind and still unlikely to completely avoid all the marketing geared to make us think that it is wrong to not want more, probably the influence of a culture with a long history of people always having less than they need.

For those already of a pragmatic bent, this can be one of the pillars of their philosophy. For those strongly attached to their stuff, it has the required arguments, but lacks persuasive power. If you get this book, consider the fit. Few will ever concede anything against their will. This "how to" book was written to concur and organize, rather than convince.

Its STREAMLINE structure:

S - Start over
T - Trash, Treasure, or Transfer
R - Reason for each item
E - Everything in its place
A - All surfaces clear
M - Modules
L - Limits
I - If one comes in, one goes out
N - Narrow it down
E - Everyday maintenance

One idea I especially appreciated was the way to figure out what was really necessary, by putting every 'maybe' in a box in the attic, with a date on it, six months or one year in the future. If by that date, one didn't need to retrieve anything from the box, then those were clutter.

Note: said advice should not include screwdrivers and first-aid kits, in said order.

The book is full of practical advice. However, while the anecdotes are interesting, she repeats herself somewhat once she starts addressing each room in the house separately. There are still many specialized tips and no condescending 'willpower' advice.

Another point, I discriminate on writing style - especially in nonfiction. If you can make my life easier, that's up to two stars out of five - here, 1.2 - Kudos! It’s decently organised, if somewhat fluffy prose.
Profile Image for Alina.
101 reviews625 followers
January 27, 2019
I enjoyed the sections on the benefits and general WHY of minimalism the most, less so the sections with practical tips, going through each area of the house and how to declutter/organize them. I found those a bit repetitive. I really like that the author makes clear that minimalism means something different for everybody: it's less about owning only a certain amount of items, and more about just owning what you need. Overall a nice and short motivational kick in the butt to start clearing out your stuff and create more space.
Profile Image for Matt.
815 reviews
November 29, 2019
Another of my walk-the-dog audiobook. must admit I only was able to listen to 4 of 8 disks. I can only listen to so many versions of toss, donate or keep in regards to possessions. The author is very passionate about decluttering and makes a very strong case to do so. If only she could convince my wife! I got the message after 2 disks but was hoping for a few more pearls. That didn't happen so I abandoned the book.

I listened to enough of this book to get the main idea of decluttering and garnered motivation from the author to do so.
Profile Image for Nikita (thebookelf_).
200 reviews70 followers
January 3, 2021
I felt like I’ve read this before. Nothing new but does a good job in reinforcing the idea that sustainable and a minimalistic lifestyle is a good way forward. Also, has practical guides to help you declutter your space from kitchen to your work space.

Loved the importance of highlighting “reduce over recycle.”
Profile Image for Ira Booklover.
596 reviews36 followers
June 11, 2019
Waktu pertama kali melihat buku ini lalu lalang di feed media sosial saya, saya putuskan untuk "menutup mata". Sebetulnya saya penasaran sekali kepingin membacanya, tapi pengeluaran saya di bulan itu untuk belanja buku sudah melebih target.

Tetapi, ketika saya dan suami mengisi rumah kecil baru kami dengan barang-barang kami dari rumah orang tua dulu, well, rumah minimalis itu langsung terasa sesak. Tempat tidur kami tampak terlalu besar ketika diletakkan di kamar tidur. Saya sering terantuk barang-barang besar seperti mesin cuci dan kulkas karena mereka harus berbagi tempat di ruangan yang kecil.

Saya langsung menggebu-gebu kepingin membaca buku ini. Sampai sempat ingin beli versi ebook-nya saja supaya bisa lebih cepat. Tapi saya urungkan karena saya tidak terlalu suka membaca ebook.

Jadilah saya akhirnya memesan buku ini secara online dan harus gigit jari menunggu proses pengirimannya yang cukup lama.

Dan yes, langsung saya baca begitu buku ini mendarat dengan selamat di pangkuan saya, hahaha.

Dan komentar pertama saya ketika membaca buku ini adalah, luar biasa. Penulis sangat lihat menyampaikan ide minimalisnya sehingga saya hampir selalu manggut-manggut setuju. Bukunya juga enak dibaca. Saya jadi terpecah antara dua keinginan, untuk terus lanjut membaca atau langsung mempraktekkan saran-saran yang disampaikan penulis untuk membuat rumah saya lebih rapi.

Sayangnya, saya belum bisa merapikan rumah kecil kami karena barang-barang yang ada di rumah itu semuanya masuk ke dalam kategori "simpan" kalau menurut buku ini. Hanya saja rumahnya memang hanya terdiri dari 3 ruangan. Kamar tidur, kamar mandi, dan ruang serbaguna. Rumah itu memang perlu penambahan ruang baru yang saat ini masih dalam proses.

Tapi setidaknya, saya bisa merapikan kamar saya di rumah ortu. Meja rias saya langsung bersih dari barang-barang yang tidak perlu. Benar seperti kata buku ini, efek dari cara hidup minimalis langsung terasa dan membuat hati saya senang.

Efek minimalis ini juga saya terapkan di meja kantor saya. Hasilnya permukaan meja saya bersih dan bebas dari "benda-benda yang menimbulkan efek berantakan". Lucunya, meja saya akhirnya jadi sasaran rekan-rekan kerja saya untuk mengerjakan pekerjaan mereka. Mereka jadi senang membawa laptop mereka ke meja saya dan ikut nimbrung di sana barang sebentar.

Sayangnya, tidak ada satupun yang mengikuti jejak saya untuk membebaskan mejanya dari "benda-benda berantakan" itu. Rupanya saya kurang berbakat menjadi influencer, hahhah.

Kembali ke konsep minimalis. Salah satu konsep minimalis yang saya tangkap dari buku ini adalah "jangan mengisi suatu ruang melebihi kapasitas simpannya". Saya sebenarnya sudah lama menyadari ini, tapi tidak pernah tergerak untuk mempraktekkannya karena keterikatan saya terhadap barang-barang masih kuat.

Oleh karena itu, saran yang paling saya senangi dari buku ini adalah saran tentang bagaimana caranya melepaskan keterikatan kita dengan barang-barang tersebut.

Saya berharap suami saya mau membaca buku ini. Sayang orangnya terlalu sibuk dan tidak terlalu senang membaca, hohoho. Saya berharap buku ini juga bisa memberikan efek yang sama sehingga saya punya partner untuk "menjaga pintu" agar hanya barang-barang yang benar-benar kami perlukan saja yang bisa masuk ke rumah kami.

At last, saya masih merasa sayang untuk menyimpan buku ini kembali ke dalam rak buku. Penginnya selalu saya bawa kemana-mana untuk menjaga semangat minimalis saya agar terus berkobar, *apacoba*. Saya beri 5 dari 5 bintang untuk buku ini. Yes, it was amazing.
Profile Image for Liaken.
1,497 reviews
October 15, 2012
I really liked the opening chapters with the philosophy of minimalism. They gave a good foundation and got me ready to move into the book and get something new, I hoped. The STREAMLINE acronym chapters were good. I liked the concepts underlying the "system." Here's what STREAMLINE stands for:

Start Over (empty the drawer, cupboard, room, and start from scratch)
Trash, Treasure, or Transfer (separate the items, and determine what you truly treasure)
Reason for Each Item (why do you have it?)
Everything in its Place (make sure everything has a home that works with how often it will be used)
All Surfaces Clear (keep the flat surfaces clean)
Modules (keep things together that will be used together)
Limits (limit what you're willing to keep)
If one comes in, one goes out (when you get something new, let go of something old)
Narrow it Down (reduce what you need)
Everyday Maintenance (remain aware)

But then the chapters on each room, going through each of these STREAMLINE ideas ... well, they got really redundant. It felt like I reading a repeat. Sometimes I even felt like whole sentences had come over to reinsert themselves. It wasn't a good setup. Hilariously, it should have been more minimal to be effective.

The concluding chapters on lifestyle and cutting out activities and expectations were a really good way to finish the book, leaving me feeling inspired and ready for action.

My last thought ... the author is far too fond of the word "tchotchke." It should have been decluttered from the book. Less is more. :-)
Profile Image for Colleen Wainwright.
244 reviews50 followers
November 29, 2012
While I have a soft spot for Brooks Palmer's approach to clutterbusting and a preference for the confident, easy good humor of Peter Walsh's writing, I was bowled over by the sheer quantity of useful information in this book. The author has come up with a 10-step method for handling the knotty problem of reducing stressful clutter, with the clever acronym "STREAMLINE". After a quick setup section on why clutter is (probably) a problem for you, she spends one full section breaking down the steps, then another applying them, room by room. The final section on the minimalist "lifestyle", as another reviewer has noted, overreaches; for me, it also gets a bit preachy, which is probably my main fault with the book in general. The stiff, righteous tone that creeps in was a bit wearying. Were I facing my first major decluttering, it would likely turn me off of the idea. There are also some redundancies, which I initially found kind of ironic in a book about decluttering, but I'll wager that plenty of people will skip around to read the chapters they're most interested in, so I'll give it a pass. Overall, I'd say this is a great tactical book—heavy on the how-to, lighter on the hand-holding—and will appeal to the go-getter out there.
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