USA TODAY BESTSELLER • A popular minimalist blogger and author of The More of Less shows you how to methodically turn your home into a place of peace, contentment, and purposeful living.
One of today's most influential minimalist advocates takes us on a decluttering tour of our own houses and apartments, showing us how to decide what to get rid of and what to keep. He both offers practical guidelines for simplifying our lifestyle at home and addresses underlying issues that contribute to over-accumulation in the first place. The purpose is not just to create a more inviting living space. It's also to turn our life's HQ—our home—into a launching pad for a more fulfilling and productive life in the world.
Joshua Becker is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today best-selling author of The Minimalist Home, The More of Less, Clutterfree with Kids and Simplify.
He is the Founder and Editor of Becoming Minimalist, a website dedicated to intentional living visited by over 2 million readers every month with a social media following of over 2 million.
His blog was named by SUCCESS Magazine as one of the top ten personal development websites on the Internet and his writing has been featured in publications all around the world.
He is also the co-creator of Simplify Media, the parent company of Simplify Magazine and Simple Money Magazine.
Joshua and his young family were introduced to minimalism twelve years ago during a short conversation with their neighbor. Since then, Joshua’s story and writing have inspired millions around the world to find more life by owning fewer possessions. Today, based on his thoughtful and intentional approach to minimalism, he is one of the leading voices in the modern simplicity movement.
He is also the Founder of The Hope Effect, a nonprofit organization changing how the world cares for orphans. Currently, he lives in Peoria, AZ with his wife and two teenage kids.
His online course, Uncluttered, has helped over 45,000 people declutter their homes and live a more intentional life because of it.
His app, Clutterfree, is the only app to create a personalized, room-by-room decluttering to-do list for an individual’s unique home.
And his YouTube channel has over 100,000 subscribers.
My personal rating for this book (as far as how much I "enjoyed" it) would be a 3, but I am giving it a 4 star rating as I believe the book and its message has a lot to offer to anyone new to minimalism and the minimalism philosophy.
I have been on the minimalist "journey" (geez, I sound like such a cliche, but whatever) for over a year now and I went at it pretty much the same way I go at most things...which is to say HARD.
I have never been a hoarder (except when it comes to book hoarding, obviously), and I was always that person who maintained a clean house, and who regularly went through clothes and other household items for donation...but I still always felt like my environment was cluttered and thus stifling mentally and emotionally.
After discovering minimalism and various minimalism blogs (including the author's) I felt inspired and completely overhauled my home, my belongings, and the way I spend, save, and donate my money.
As a result, I have already done all the work outlined in this book and I felt like it had nothing new to offer me; HOWEVER, I went into this book knowing that might be the case; and that does not mean I don't think this book has a ton to offer other people who are in a different place in their journey.
Having this book a year or so ago would have been a game changer for me and would have easily garnered 5 stars. Basically, in my opinion, the enjoyment and/or usefulness you get from this book will coincide with where you yourself are in life in relation to your "stuff" and how you feel about it.
If you are a long term minimalist, you might enjoy this book as a refresher, although it might not have much (if anything) new to offer you.
But, if you walk into your house and feel instantly heavy...you feel overwhelmed by the piles of miscellaneous mail and junk in your living room the minute you cross the threshold of your front door...you feel like you have NOTHING to wear despite having a closet filled so fully you need a winch to push clothes aside to see what you have...you can never find anything you need because you have too much crap in your junk drawer(s)...you have to turn sideways to get out of your car after you park in your garage (if you can even FIT your car in your garage)...then this book is for you.
Now OBVIOUSLY, as I write this, I acknowledge that I am writing this from a position of privilege. I recognize it is a luxury to be fortunate enough to be in a position to consider "too much stuff" a problem and the riddance of that stuff an accomplishment. And I am not trying to pretend otherwise.
All that said, I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone interested in minimalism or to those just looking for some help/motivation with doing some spring cleaning.
I received an e-copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Short version: don’t do this to yourself, folks. Just don’t. There are better books about minimalism (and/or decluttering) out there.
Long version: the thing is, I actually usually like books about minimalism and about downsizing your life, particularly the ones that offer practical solutions with regard to decluttering one’s life. They can be very soothing. They show the reader that change is possible, that others have been there before and that there is no shame in having clutter in your home now, because you can get better.
This book isn’t like that.
I mean, I agree with the basic tenets of what Becker writes. Having less stuff makes it easier to clean up, means fewer things to concern oneself with, means that looking for things is less complicated because you know where everything is, etc. Having more does not equal being happier. Capitalism, as a system, incourages one to buy as much possible and places value on what one possesses; and then, people tend to hold onto things they no longer need because they might be useful, but they rarely turn out to be. And so on. This is perfectly reasonable.
But the book doesn’t stop at that. And it doesn’t stop at painstakingly going over every single room in the house to basically tell you to throw away (donate, recycle, whatever) what you don’t need and declutter, declutter, declutter. If the book consisted only of that, it would be rather boring and very repetitive (so many empty words!), but not quite so annoying.
Unfortunately, the author peppers his text with much judgment and condescension.
The first instance where I actually stopped reading and looked sideways at the book was this:
“I have a friend with a bookcase in her living room. The last time I visited her, I noticed the following on its four shelves: thirty-six books, eleven figurines, twenty-four photos, two souvenir coffee mugs, ten snow globes (and it wasn’t even winter), various flower arrangment in vases, and a small sampling of candles. Yes, I actually wrote down the inventory… when she wasn’t noticing. As I looked at her bookcase, I asked myself, Which of these things mean the most to her? What is it that she values most? I couldn’t tell by looking at her bookcase—it was too crowded with things that were unimportant.”
I feel so sorry for that woman and her bookcase. How could she not organize it more thoughtfully for her “friend’s” benefit.
“I was at the house belonging to an acquaintance, Mick, one Friday afternoon. It was a larger-than-average house, with palm trees and a pool in the backyard. Although it was undeniably beautiful, it seemed a little excessive to me. Of course I didn’t say anything about that because it wasn’t really any of my business.” Well, thank you for considerately including this detail in the book, then.
“Our bathrooms and laundry room might not seem important, but since we use them so frequently, letting them stay cluttered would mean embracing aggravation and inefficiency every day.” This may not necessarily be so judgmental, but… what? Not important? How? What?
Well, perhaps because: “I don’t know if it’s more about vanity or marketing, but increasingly both men and women worldwide are buying products with the intention of making themselves look better.” 1) How dare they? 2) But also—we do know that people have been trying to improve their appearance since forever, basically? It’s not a new phenomenon. 3) In conclusion, how dare they. (This is followed by considering how many beauty products women have / use.)
Then, this nugget of wisdom when it comes to using electronic devices: “I’m told some people use their computer to play games.” Obviously they are not minimalists. Minimalists do not have such trivial pursuits.
And so on, and so on. Don’t own stuff, don’t own mismatched stuff, don’t put it in a large (although beautiful) house, because Mr. Becker will be there to judge you.
Then there are some examples of truly horrible pieces of advice. My “favourite” is probably the following bit:
“The problem with most under-the-bed spaces is that they quickly become places for hoarding more and more unnecessary things. Our closets are full, our drawers are full… and the next available space is under the bed. So that space quickly collects countless items, seemingly never to be seen again by human eyes. … I use the space under my bed for storing useful items that I do not want to leave out in the open. Under my side of the bed, I store the books I am currently reading. This keeps them within arm’s reach but does not leave clutter on a nightstand. (Actually there is no nightstand there. I removed the one from my side of the bed …) I also keep some business files under the bed. My wife keeps a few boxes of keepsakes under her side as well. We live in a house with no basement or attic, so using that space under the bed has been helpful to us.”
Okay, how does that make sense? There is a point to having a nightstand, and that is precisely to collect things you use while in bed. I could maybe understand keeping one book or a magazine under the bed over night (because maybe there is a glass of water on the nightstand and we were too sleepy to navigate around it), but any longer? Nope. Business files? Boxes of keepsakes? Are you kidding? How does one clean under the bed, then? (I take the fragment above to mean they just lie on the floor.) This is exactly what pieces of furniture such as file cabinets were invented for.
There is also this: “You can make changes in your lawn, trees, and shrubs so that your yard will be simpler to take care of and create the experience you want. … Could you reduce the area of grass that you have to mow, replacing the turf with hardscape such as gravel?” Please don’t. Please keep the grass. Possibly some shrubs. Do this for your planet.
Then there is a chapter dedicated to the idea that one should buy a small house rather than a large one, because—well, you know, minimalism, and big spaces call for more clutter, I guess.
Two quotes (which are isolated in the text so that you could easily tweet them, by the way): “Buy the house you need, not the house you can afford.” “At the same time our houses are getting bigger, our families are getting more broken. Coincidence?” (Wow. Profound. ::eyeroll::)
You know… I do get the thought process behind this concept. I do. Larger does not have to equal better. Living in a smaller space may be more comfortable (it’s easier to clean it up, for example). And in the later part of this chapter, where Becker talks about considering downsizing one’s house in response to changes in life (children moving out of the house, getting older and less mobile), it’s all quite reasonable. But at the same time, who are those people who just go around buying huge expensive houses? Because in my generation, in order to buy a house, most of us have to go get a huge bank loan. Who is this book even addressed to? How wealthy do you have to be to afford Becker’s kind of minimalism? (As a side note, maybe I don’t get the big house thing, because I’m very much not American, and most of us over here don’t live in houses, but in apartments?)
Towards the end, Becker explains that minimalism has made it possible for his life to be more open to his family, to thoughtful and mindful experiences, and to Jesus. I’m sure there’s nothing Jesus would appreciate more than judging people on the contents of their bookcases, folks.
In conclusion: not a good book. Not a kind book. A lot of what Becker says has already been said more simply and elegantly in many Internet articles. And there are a good few books on decluttering that give better, more specific tips than “get rid of what is not necessary” and are not so hollier-than-thou while doing so.
My husband and I are not minimalists in the strictest sense of the word, but we are neat freaks and neither of us are packrats. I actually find organizing closets and drawers fun. There’s a place for everything. No clutter. I didn’t necessarily NEED this book, but even if your home isn’t a cluttered mess, it’s very helpful for motivation to keep it that way.
We are empty nesters and recently moved to a new city and state. Prior to moving we spent a year clearing out stuff, auctioned the rest, and started over in our new home. There's pleasure in having (mostly) only what we need and/or love. Less stuff, more time for people and the things we enjoy instead of taking care of our stuff. The late, great George Carlin had a hysterical comedy routine on stuff: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Numg_...
But, still, there were the wire shelves in our basement storage with very neatly organized bins of ‘stuff' we weren't ready to part with when we moved. There were duplicates in our kitchen or gadgets and appliances we never use. Too many clothes in my closet for my fantasy self that is 10# lighter or younger and has a life where I need to power dress. There’s paper that I swear breeds and accumulates at night while I sleep. Keeping stuff out of our home is an ongoing process that never ends.
The minimalist esthetic of an all white, pristine space is not for me and the Marie Kondo method is a bit too woo-woo and extreme, but I do love a clean, organized home without too much stuff. Also, as much as I love organizing, one take away was that what is often needed isn’t more organization, it’s a different mindset and motivation for getting rid of the stuff you thought needed to be organized.
I popped in my AirPods as I worked and the thought processes encouraged in this book (as well as select You Tube videos) helped me keep the end goal in mind and prevented me from keeping stuff “just in case” or keeping what we viewed as sentimental items that no longer served us well. It feels good to start off 2021 with a clean slate. Now if I can just convince my husband to part with the packed away wedding china we haven't used in well over a decade 😉
Wow, this book helped me with a momentous move. My husband and I are newly empty-nested after decades of kids and a mother-in-law on board in a much larger house than our new 2 bedroom condo. It's not easy to scale back. That means you have to throw away things you thought you would always have. But, as Joshua Becker so effectively points out, they are just things! He made me realize that we should use things and treasure people. Not the other way around! A simple, yet revolutionary thought process.
Becker has a helpful step-by-step approach to achieving the minimalist home of your dreams. He goes room by room and you better believe I used his method for cleaning out my house. We couldn't be happier in our new urban, industrial loft. It is easy to clean and entertain friends. A real breath of fresh air in the city.
Becker gave me the courage to throw out/recycle up anything that wasn't earning its space in our newly small home. Oh, yes, it is hard. Your grown daughter's kindergarten coloring books? out. To be truthful, I did take a lot of pics of anything I threw away. And one day, I will edit those digital pics-haha.😊
Many thanks to NetGalley, Waterbrook and Multnomah, and Joshua Becker for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are 100% my own and independent of receiving an advanced copy.
Joshua Becker has been in the “minimal” business for about 10 years. He has a website where you can get lots of tips and advice, including a newsletter sent to your inbox every so often. He has written other books but this one is sort of the culmination of his life’s work. He has been on TV, speaks all over and I have been following him for the past couple of years. In today’s world of massive consumerism, we can all use a dose of paring down and keeping things simple. We all have too much stuff. We are promoted, advertised, propagandized into thinking that it’s all stuff we need, what we have isn’t the right stuff and that the more stuff we have the happier we will be. This has been going on for years, I mean George Carlin had a bit about “Stuff” in the early 80’s. So I was excited to read what Becker had to say on what he promotes as a step by step, comprehensive room-by-room guide to decluttering your home and your life.
Ugh - what an awful read. First I felt like his tone was so condescending. I couldn’t take it. Obviously I have a lot of stuff - that’s why I’m reading this book. He would repeat himself, ad nauseam, throughout the whole book. There wasn’t any comprehensive guide - again, he would repeat the same thing over and over for each room, literally the same steps - for each room! Why bother going through each room, listing all of the possible things you might have accumulated, telling me “get rid of what you don’t use or don’t need”. Obviously I knew that much! I don’t need a book for that. I was hoping for some insight, maybe some ideas that I hadn’t thought of to help declutter, some instructions. There was no real guidance other than “don’t do it” for lasting change. Then, don’t tell me how my life is going to change, I will become richer, have a fabulous job, help the poor, have more time, blah blah blah, just because you told me to get rid of some stuff. I didn’t buy any of it. I have decluttered before and none of those things have happened to me. The “real life” examples were ridiculous, laughable. Look, I believe in keeping a home without a lot of junk. Nobody needs piles of clothes, lots of knick knacks, and yes, you should keep those things that mean something to you. You shouldn’t get sucked into marketing ideas of having the latest, greatest and best thing out there, which will go out of date and then you need something new. I also happen to live with a (mild case) hoarder, who believes every rock, piece of junk, paper, etc. is extremely important and sentimental and will not throw out anything. So according to Becker, those are the things to keep. Not helpful. But without something new or real to add to the discussion, don’t fill up a book with one idea. My advice is don’t add one more book to your bookshelf with this one.
Nah. Boring imitation of Marie Kondo's philosophy but without her charm and excitement, but with drive-by Jesus stories. I'm not amused with evangelicals hiding their message/tone. You want to organize your home or wash your face while using biblical stories, fine, just mention it in the subtitle so I can stay away from it.
"The goal of minimalism is not just to own less stuff. The goal is to unburden our lives so we can accomplish more." This is a quote by Joshua Becker in The Minimalist Home. Minimalism in your home and life simplifies every aspect of living. The author offers room-by-room examples to streamline possessions and furniture. Objects that are not necessary can be relocated, sold, donated or recycled. This book is not for hoarders: minimalism could apply to most of our homes. Joshua Becker guides through the process to make life simpler and allow more time to do things that really matter. The Minimalist Home is well-explained and provides easy-to-follow suggestions on how to proceed. This is definitely an example of less is more. A useful tool. Thank you to Waterbrook & Multnomah and NetGalley for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I received this book from Netgally in exchange for an honest review!
Have never heard of the author, I thought it would ve refreshing. But sadly was not. It was a very repetitive, and I found his writing style a bit messy. He kept saying things like "in the next chapter". "We'll talk more in the coming pages" etc.. which really bother me. He talks about how to declutter your house room by room, and its mixed. With his experience and real life testimonies,he also added some data about the average American.. so it's pretty much the same book as most of the subject. This book would benefit from having some charts and images to help the reader visualising his home office, or his house and the kids rooms, etc. I think this book is better suited for people who are a bit curious on the subject. The structure of the text is also a bit strange, at 83% we read the acknowledgements, at 85% the notes from the chapters, at 93% there are more testimonies, which could've been better suited in the main body of the book. At about 80% he starts defining what minimalism is a little more detail, which could've been better at the introduction. So I find quite ironic that the book is very messy cluttered with words that are not necessary.
For such a popular book, I found it about average in the world of home 'decluttering' books. It may have gone into a bit more detail about where to clean and how to eliminate "stuff" than some other books. It also did not lecture about what to keep and what to get rid of. It kept referring back to a couple of questions to ask yourself if you had any hesitation between keeping or discarding.
I believe that the average American probably does not live in a home that limits their mobility or impedes their social life. There are much larger causes that burden people than an extra picture on their wall, coat in their closet, or nicknack on their table. Putting hoarders aside I believe that most people feel more health, more wealth and more loved surrounded by those things that bring back good memories and resinate happiness in their life.
So, in my opinion, do your everyday house cleaning, clean a little deeper twice a year, discard "stuff" as you see that you no longer need it and in your leisure time read something that fulfills you.
قرأتُ أكثر من كتاب في فنّ "التخفف" وبالتالي هذا الكتاب لم يضف لي شيئاً كبيراً، لكن وللأمانة أحبّ الكتب المرتبة التي تمشي على سنن واحد. يبدأ المؤلف حديثه عن أهمية "التخفف" وكيف أنه وراءه فلسفة وحكمة، ومن ثم ينتقل في كل فصل من فصول الكتاب بشرح آلية التخفف والفلسفة منه وكيف تبدأ عملياً. يبدأ بغرفة الجلوس، ثم غرفة النوم، ثم الحمامات، ثم المطبخ، ثم المكتب، ثم الكراج (مافي حدي منا عنده كراج بس أوكي). ويخبرك بالتفصيل ماذا تفعل بالأشياء التي تفيض عن حاجتك: 1- تبيعها 2- تتبرع بها 3- تدورها (إعادة تدوير)
والأمر ينسحب أيضاً على الأجهزة الإلكترونية ومحتوياتها.
بعد قراءتي لكتاب (سحر الترتيب لكوندو 1-2) لم أعد بحاجة لقراءة أي شيء في هذا المجال.
3 stars for those who have already downsized and don't need advice, but 4.5 for those who have a house full of stuff and need inspiration.
I've read so many books on minimizing belongings and housing that this seemed like a rehash of what been published only with more theory and philosophizing and a smidge of a spiritual bend. I felt the author sometimes got a little "judgey" when observing others' households but there were a few insights I thought were valid. For example, as one who goes to a lot of estate sales as entertainment, I'm always astounded at how much "stuff" people have collected which seems to have absolutely no value to anyone but them. This perplexed me until I read this from Becker: "In psychological theory, the "endowment effect" [original text was italicized] is our tendency to consider an object more important than it really is simply because we own it. ... It's OURS!"
If you need a good nudge to get you on the "tidying up" bandwagon, give this a try as he also has practical advice. For more titles on this topic, check out my blog - https://robinsbooks.blog/2019/03/02/s...
Thanks to the publisher for the advance digital copy.
THE MINIMALIST HOME by Joshua Becker, considered one of the movement’s gurus, provides a simple room-by-room approach to clearing your home of excess clutter and living more happily with less. I was struck by his assertion — one I’ve found true in my own life — that by making literal space in your home, you make “space” in your life for untapped dreams to come forth. He describes the benefits that he derived in his own life ... less financial outlay when you own fewer things, more time for what matters, better example for his kids of being satisfied with less. All of that rang true, hence my 5-star review.
Thanks to WaterBrook & Multnomah and NetGalley for the ARC. Opinions are mine.
A CHRISTIAN guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life. This title would have been more appropriate. And would have been honest enough to make me think before deciding if I wanted to read it or not. Yes, I want to declutter my house, but no I don't want to make it a religious act, and no I don't want to become a declutter integrist, judging the life of others depending on how declutter their life is. If you can describe your lifestyle as typically christian, you'll certainly love this book. If you're less into it, expect to roll your eyes a few times, especially in the last chapters.
I am a minimalist and read a lot of books like this and this guy clearly does too because there’s nothing original in here except for the frequent and irrelevant references to Jesus Christ.
The “Becker Method” (laughed aloud when he first said that) is the “Konmari Method” except it’s shallow, vague, disorganized, arrogant, and relies on shame and condescension rather than empowerment and joy.
I would recommend this book for passive aggressive dads looking for stocking stuffers to piss off mom.
I appreciated a few of the random helpful hints, but they were hard to find amongst all the judgmental stories. The one about a family going to stay with other family and the kids noticing the clutter, saying, "I'm glad we don't live like this anymore." How rude! They were guests in someone else's home--family at that! I'll bet the other family will think twice before inviting them back again.
Borrowed from the library, because if you're spending money on a physical copy of a book on minimalism, what are you even doing?
Very brief read, completed in a day. I also donated or tossed about 35 things while reading it, even committing so much as to drive to the Goodwill and arrange a time to bring clothes to a high school's donation drive.
What I like about this author's Facebook page, where I discovered this book, is that it feels so much less preachy and smug than many other minimalist pages or groups I've tried to get into. There's a realness, that not everyone only wants one towel or two plates, but that you probably have too much of everything and wouldn't it be nice if you could actually find the things that matter? The book makes and returns to one very good point that stuck with me - if your home has things you really care about, either because they're beautiful or sentimental, why would you want so much lesser stuff to detract from them? I have a hard time getting rid of theoretically useful items or things I have attachment to, and this really helped me think more critically about just how many things I seem to maintain the exact same level of attachment to, and is that really true?
The downside of this book for me is the interspersed Twitter-friendly insertions, complete with #minimalisthome, for you to "inspire others by putting it on social media." I don't like that the book I'm reading keeps asking me to advertise it every 5 pages, so that cheapened it for me. There's also this running theme that having less stuff will free me up to go heal the sick and travel the world, and there's very little detail about how that works. Theoretically, if I'm spending less money on new stuff, I could have more money to spend on other things, but there's some really big leaps without much explanation like this in every chapter. It's never clearly defined what "caring for your things" means, as if people typically reject time with others to dust knickknacks they don't like or could take that family vacation if only they didn't have to organize the closet. There's some magical thinking afoot, that if I just destash my life, everything will be perfect... Isn't that the very logic of "if I buy this, everything will be perfect?"
I thought The Minimalist Home was going to be about reducing clutter and organizing, which it is, but it's more. I was surprised at how much it got me thinking. Joshua Becker begins by having you think of your vision for your life - then think about your home and the purpose for each room. What do you envision doing there? Handle every item in the room and decide if it supports that purpose. If it doesn't, get rid of it. It's missional when you think of it that way.
I didn't actually go through the process as I read the book, but I did begin to clear out old piles in various places in my home. A particular thing I appreciated is that he never encourages the reader to launch into minimizing without considering the other members of the household.
It's not heavy-handed, but almost every chapter mentions our culture of materialism and consumerism. Minimalism involves both getting rid of excess as well as adopting new habits to keep it from creeping back into your life.
One good quote: "a minimalist home can be a home that's always primed to say, 'Welcome.'" I was provided an advance copy for my review #PRHpartner
So, my caveat is that I am not new to minimalism. If you are, perhaps this would make a great read for you, but I feel that I've read other books that were more enjoyable on this topic.
He really lost me on his anecdotal stories. For example, when minimalizing the kitchen he shares about a reader who minimized her kitchen and then came down one morning to find an apple on the counter and because she knew where the flour was now and knew where she kept the cinnamon spice (instead of feeling she had to go buy another spice jar) she went ahead and whipped up fresh scones in 15 minutes and this never would have happened before minimizing. But c'mon, who really has no idea where they keep flour, spices and basic ingredients in their kitchen?!?! Also, I know exactly where everything is, bake on an almost daily basis and am calling the bluff of scones coming together in 15 minutes and still having a clean kitchen.
Then when he attacked lawn decor as tacky, it descended into fun sucker zone for me, which is the real problem with the book. He tells you what should be minimized, where as Marie Kondo asks you to explore what brings you joy and only hold on to those items. My garden gnomes bring me joy gosh darnit and so I don't care if the neighbors think they are tacky! And I don't do crazy holiday decorations, but if my neighbors enjoy doing that all the better because my kids love it!
Really this book had nothing to offer me, except getting me to do my regular combing through and cleaning out.
I first heard about Joshua Becker while reading Cozy Minimalist Home. In it, Myquillin Smith talks about Becker’s first (very popular) book, The More of Less, and how it inspired her to look at her house and her possessions in a new, more minimalist, light. I’ve never read The More of Less, but when I saw that Becker was coming out with a new book, I jumped on the chance to read it.
The Minimalist Home is a helpful and motivational read, though it’s not perfect. The book is divided into twelve sections. The first two sections give an overview of minimalism, as well as advice on how to eliminate items from your house (have goals for your home’s spaces, start cleaning out the easy spaces first, involve the whole family, have fun with the process, etc.).
The next eight sections go room-by-room through a typical house, covering common problems and solutions in the living room, family room, master and other bedrooms, closets, bathrooms, the laundry area, kitchen, dining room, office, storage spaces, and the garage. Becker lists questions to ask yourself as you’re deciding what to keep, what to donate, and what to toss. He also gives helpful benchmarks for knowing when you’ve decluttered enough (e.g., Is my living room now a calming space? Are my kids sleeping better in their bedrooms? Do my clothes hang freely in the closet?) The last two sections give a plan for keeping the house clean and minimized (e.g., recognize triggers for over-buying, manage gift-giving, etc.)
For the most part, I enjoyed reading Becker’s advice. Some positive aspects of this book:
*** He is insightful and even made some points about minimalism that I hadn’t thought of before. (I love when someone can tell me something I don��t already know, especially on a subject I am very familiar with.) *** I don’t have a craft room, but I like how he encourages hobby-enthusiasts to get rid of their “fantasy selves.” Donate the extra fishing poles, gym equipment, craft supplies, etc., to someone who will actually use them. “Be who you are, not who you wished to be.” *** I also appreciate that he talks about living a minimalist digital life, giving tips for tidying up the computer desktop, digital files, phone apps, etc. Not everyone talks about this, but it’s important.
I do have a couple small gripes with this book, though. Becker can be long-winded and repetitive, taking way too long to make a point that’s already understood. The book is also a little heavy on the self-promotion. I get that Becker wants to make his book tweetable and build a brand, but I grew tired of the #hashtagthis! suggestions and the repeated mention of his accomplishments (I REPEAT, I HAVE INTERNATIONAL CLIENTS!).
The biggest drawback for me, though, is how serious the book can be. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a quick read and I appreciate with the overall message. But Becker tends to use intense change as the motivation to minimize. He repeatedly gives examples of how people’s lives are transformed from minimizing. Look at this lady: she cleaned out her house! Then became a missionary to poor countries!! Then adopted an orphan from Guatemala!!! Now she’s fulfilled and happy!!!! I agree that minimalism has the power to transform, but I also think it’s okay to go into the process with lower expectations and smaller, more realistic goals. I’m not looking to adopt a refugee from Syria. I just need to be able to find my keys, you know?
Still, I enjoyed this book. It gives clear step-by-step advice that makes minimizing feel doable. I didn’t always love the seriousness of Becker’s anecdotes, but I did appreciate his message. This is an important and helpful guide to eliminating the excess in our lives so we can live more fully.
Thank you to Joshua Becker, WaterBrook, and Net Galley for the ARC!
I received a free copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
After having read quite a few books on minimalism, decluttering etc., I think I can safely say that this is by far my favourite one of the kind that I have read. It goes through the home room by room, provides you with helpful checklists to find out whether you have reached a status of being comfortable with the progress you made in said room, all without coming off as preachy or promoting 100% extreme minimalism where you essentially don't own anything. It is definitely geared mostly toward families and homeowners, but as a single, couple without children or someone who lives in a rented home/apartment, you can still benefit a lot from this book by just rethinking the ideas slightly. I also think it is helpful not only for beginners but also for more experienced people in the area as well. I have been decluttering my possessions for about 4 years already and I still thought that the ideas he had gave me food for thought for my own decluttering process.
Ehm... väčšina kníh, ktoré som o nejakom životnom štýle alebo life-changing vychytávke čítala, bola fajn. Tento autor ma prekvapil svojou sebavedomou drzosťou. Jeho kniha je vraj najlepšia a jediná, ktorú o minimalizme potrebujete. Iste, ak si chcete navodiť pocit viny, že váš dom vyzerá ako skladisko, nech sa páči. Autor za skladisko považuje čokoľvek, čo nie je pre neho samého dôležité. Priveľa opakujúcich sa slov o tom, že chlapík s rodinou má kuchynskú linku a police prázdne, aby sa mu ľahšie upratovalo. Odložila som po 5. kapitole.
Very encouraging book on how to simplify your life so you can enjoy your life even more! And he doesn’t resort to instructing you to talk to inanimate objects. That’s amazing in itself in this day and age.
Just, blah and preachy. Weirdly paternalistic - he bags on women who like fashion/the fashion industry and at the very end of the paragraph he's all "it's not just women, some guys like clothes too" and moves on. I also got tired of the whole "with all the money you save because you don't have useless junk in your house you can [fill in volunteering or mission trips or whatever]" spiel.
Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for providing me a free copy of the book. The fact that I got it for free does not influence my review in any way.
Almost 10% of the book was taken up by introductions and "why"s. I swear, I read some variation of the phrase "before we start" at least 5 times. Then I just skipped to the second chapter.... oh wait, nope, that one's also pretty much the same. So now we're a fifth into the book and haven't even started thinking about how to declutter, great.
When I got to the actual part where I was supposed to do something, most of the chapter was filled by "why"s yet again. I get it, each room should have a purpose etc., but you don't have to tell me that in every damn chapter. Get to the point already.