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Lightly: How to Live a Simple, Serene, and Stress-free Life

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  429 ratings  ·  71 reviews
Life is weighing us down. Each day we add more possessions, more commitments, more worries, more stress to our lives. Striving for fulfillment, our closets become overstuffed, our calendars overscheduled, and our spirits overwhelmed. Instead of feeling happy, we just feel heavy.

Lightly offers help. Whether you want to strip down your life to a backpack or free up some space in/> offers
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published February 26th 2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Average rating 3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  429 ratings  ·  71 reviews

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C.J. Maughan
Apr 12, 2019 rated it did not like it
In the off-brand style of Marie Kondo comes "Lightly." There's no real organization to this book as the author explains early on. She imagines the book as something you throw in your (one! You only need one!) purse and pick up occasionally. But the book isn't really laid out like that and to be frank, its really not that interesting enough that I'd ever think about taking it with me.

The author seems insistent on her readers taking up as little of space as possible even going as far to suggest "
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
At this point, writing a completely unique book about minimalism, decluttering, and living lightly seems like an impossible task.

Yes, Lightly is some what referential, but that is to be expected. What is unexpected is the philosophical depth of this book. Francine Jay manages to use religious and philosophical texts to demonstrate that living lightly is a practical, spiritual, and intellectual pursuit.

Jay is not preachy or judgemental. The book is deep, but also "light" and acce
Allison Sauntry
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’d never qualify as a minimalist — I like things like shoes and purses too much — but I love reading about minimalism and find Francine Jay’s work very inspiring. Although I still like my “things,” reading books about minimalism has made me think more about buying with intention and not just buying for the sake of buying.
Hillary Rose
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For a complete review, check out my Young Adult book blog:

As the subtitle implies, this book gives you tips on “how to live a simple, serene, & stress-free life” (oxford comma added because oxford commas are awesome). Jay addresses the heaviness of life that we all live with, and suggests a lighter way to go through life.

lighten your stuff
Eliminating the excess so that you can curate your
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
If you like self help books make this one your next read.

Applicable, modern and fitting to almost every age and life stage, it makes a great gift as well.

I don't want to give too much away, just read it yourself.

Highly recommended!
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stunning and So Good

Practical, philosophical, and practically perfect. This is, perhaps, one of the most important books I have read. A manual full of information so you can choose your own path.
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written, tiny book on living simply. Inspiring and calming and just as wonderful as her first book, The Joy of Less, and her blog.
Sara Rauch
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A gem of a book! Beautiful design, wonderfully written, and so inspiring.
Sarah Elizabeth
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A great quick read. This was the first book I’ve read surrounding minimalism. I found it to be a great intro to the concepts. I will likely revisit it and check out her other book, the Joy if Less.
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A simple but beautiful need for when you need to be reminded of what truly matters.
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed Francine Jay's previous book, the Joy of Less, which is sort of a bible to minimalism. This book touches on many of the same themes. She covers decluttering and letting go of stuff, as well as lightening one's schedule, obligations, unplugging, buying less, letting go of ego, being kind, etc. Lots of her ideas are very simple yet sensible. I find all of her writing to be inspiring.
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. Lightly will be a new mantra for me when life feels heavy. One of my favorite quick reads.
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book is excellent. It is not just about home, although that is important. It's about inside and all around you. I really appreciated and enjoyed reading and I will pick it up AMD read relevant chapters as time goes on.
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
Keep only those items that make your life easier or happier.

Eliminate anything that doesn't fit you or flatter you.

The best way to deal with sentimental things is to never let them settle in.

These objects are nice but not necessary to remember the special people, places and times of your life. Its the memories, not the mementos, that are magical.

Baking soda deodorizes, polishes and removes stains. add water to make a gently abrasive scouring powder that clean
Jun 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Fun if you find the concept useful. One-sided too though. For example the concept of “only buy things you truly need”, capsule wardrobe, etc totally ignores for a whole lot of people shopping is basically short-term self rewards. While saving up money to go on a vacation is great and going to museums in your own city is always fun, someone who only has one day to socialize will still need rewards for motivation. And some find that in shopping.

And the idea of a minimalist house is also too “will
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book specially since I am moving abroad soon! i’ve found myself strongly attached to my belongings. The memories and letting go has been harder then expected. So this came at a perfect time.

The layout of the book is nicely organized and it let’s you focus on the parts that are relevant to you. It had very practical advise. It a perfect read if you are looking to declutter both physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It’s a very casual read so it doesn’t feel like a to-do list m
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Encapsulates much of my own philosophy on life, so she's basically preaching to the converted here, but I found it uplifting and inspiring anyway.
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
It was an okay book - nothing mind-blowing if you've read books on minimalism before. If it's the first book on minimalism that you want to read, it's definitely a good choice. Jay gives you a lot of actionable advice, which is always good.
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
I mostly just read this because the design is gorgeous
Oct 24, 2019 rated it did not like it
Total waste of time. There are better books on this topic. Try goodbye things.
Amanda Hunsberger
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Nothing new, but I do enjoy a good minimalist read. I especially like Jay's thoughts on intangible ways to live lightly in areas such as schedules, emotions, reactions, stillness, thoughts, commitments, etc.
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lightly, a simple and sweet mantra to help you live more freely with less possessions and burdens, thus leading to a better life. I like how short, simple yet useful each chapter is in helping you to declutter in various aspects of life, including processions, relationships, and living mindfully. A great book to read again at different times of life. Suitable for all who want to pursuit a better and lighter life.
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A truly lovely and illuminating book to guide the reader to living lightly. Worth your while.
Mar 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Pretty standard self-help/minimalism book. It didn't speak to me personally but wasn't off-putting either. It was well written and laid out. While not concise it had good summaries/action plans at the end of each section. I'd say it's worth a read to see if it clicks.
Juleen Brantingham
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Much more than a decluttering book. Worth reading again, often.
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’m on my 2nd purge challenge, from The Minimalist. This book helped to re-motivate me.
It blew my mind to hear that we use 20% of our stuff, 80% of the time. Curating is identifying that magical 20%. Boom.
Lisa Shultz
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: clutter
This is the second book from Francine Jay. I liked her first one slightly better. This book is "light" and easy to read. It is divided into four sections: stuff, step, stress and spirit. The step section is on environmental impact, which I liked having included. I have read lots of books on this subject matter and always enjoy the nudge they give me to do a bit more decluttering.
Robyn Obermeyer
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
A quick read for me but useful to continue on with less things. I like the idea of the box and always waning away stuff like the moon!
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this and appreciated the message. More on it here!
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is a gentle introduction to the art and practice of minimalism for every atea of life. Highly recommended.
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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