Are you interested in the idea of minimalism? It has become a popular new way of life, and for good reason. Let’s check out my picks for the top 10 books on minimalism.
1. Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life
by Joshua Fields Milburn & Ryan Nicodemus
Minimalism is the thing that gets us past the things that clutter our lives so we can make room for life’s most important things – which actually aren’t things at all.
At age 30, best friends Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus walked away from their six-figure corporate careers, jettisoned most of their material possessions, and started focusing on what’s truly important. In their debut book, Joshua and Ryan, authors of the popular website TheMinimalists.com, explore their troubled pasts and descent into depression. Though they had achieved the American Dream, they worked ridiculous hours, wastefully spent money, and lived paycheck to paycheck. Instead of discovering their passions, they pacified themselves with ephemeral indulgences, which only led to more debt, depression, and discontent.
After a pair of life-changing events, Joshua and Ryan discovered minimalism, allowing them to eliminate their excess material things so they could focus on life’s most important things: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution.
2. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up)
by Marie Kondo
Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?
Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list).
With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international bestseller will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.
Kondo’s category by category approach is what make her book one of my my top 10 books on Minimalism.
3. Less: A Visual Guide to Minimalism
by Rachel Aust
Declutter and reorganize! Living with less contributes to a greater sense of fulfillment, contentment, and a more meaningful life. The minimalist lifestyle–focusing on scaling back your possessions and simplifying your life to just the essentials–helps you to achieve peace and purpose. Indulgences and excess often lead to discontentment and depression, but adopt minimal living, and you’ll find that less is more:
- More time because you don’t waste it caring for and organizing stuff
- More space because you don’t fill it with objects of marginal value
- More money because you don’t spend it on unnecessary things
- More clarity because your mind isn’t bogged down by the clutter around you
- More joy because your energy is spent on experiences and connections
Using decision trees, flow charts, icons, and other graphics, Less shows how minimalism can be applied to any area of life–including home, wardrobe, decor, cooking, cleaning, finances, and time. Rachel Aust shows you that minimalism can be adapted to suit your own goals to help you achieve the joy of less!
4. Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism
by Fumio Sasaki
Fumio Sasaki is not an enlightened minimalism expert or organizing guru like Marie Kondo―he’s just a regular guy who was stressed out and constantly comparing himself to others, until one day he decided to change his life by saying goodbye to everything he didn’t absolutely need. The effects were remarkable: Sasaki gained true freedom, new focus, and a real sense of gratitude for everything around him. In Goodbye, Things Sasaki modestly shares his personal minimalist experience, offering specific tips on the minimizing process and revealing how the new minimalist movement can not only transform your space but truly enrich your life. The benefits of a minimalist life can be realized by anyone, and Sasaki’s humble vision of true happiness will open your eyes to minimalism’s potential.
Sasaki’s approach is what make his book one of my my top 10 books on Minimalism.
5. The Minimalist Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life
by Joshua Becker
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 overaccumulation 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.
Becker’s approach is what make his book one of my my top 10 books on Minimalism.
6. The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify
by Francine Jay
Having less stuff is the key to happiness: Do you ever feel overwhelmed, instead of overjoyed, by all your possessions? Do you secretly wish a gale force wind would blow the clutter from your home? If so, it’s time to simplify your life! The Joy of Less is a fun, lighthearted guide to minimalist living:
- Part one provides an inspirational pep talk on the joys and rewards of paring down.
- Part two presents the Streamline method: 10 easy steps to rid your house of clutter.
- Part three goes room by room, outlining specific ways to tackle each one.
- Part four helps you get your family on board and live more lightly and gracefully on the Earth.
Ready to sweep away the clutter? Just listen to this book, and you’ll be on your way to a simpler, more streamlined, and more serene life.
Francine has helped hundreds of thousands of people declutter their homes and simplify their lives with her best-selling book, The Joy of Less.
7. Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World
by Cal Newport
“Newport is making a bid to be the Marie Kondo of technology: someone with an actual plan for helping you realize the digital pursuits that do, and don’t, bring value to your life.” (Ezra Klein, Vox)
Minimalism is the art of knowing how much is just enough. Digital minimalism applies this idea to our personal technology. It’s the key to living a focused life in an increasingly noisy world.
In this timely and enlightening book, the best-selling author of Deep Work introduces a philosophy for technology use that has already improved countless lives.
Digital minimalists are all around us. They’re the calm, happy people who can hold long conversations without furtive glances at their phones. They can get lost in a good book, a woodworking project, or a leisurely morning run. They can have fun with friends and family without the obsessive urge to document the experience. They stay informed about the news of the day, but don’t feel overwhelmed by it. They don’t experience “fear of missing out” because they already know which activities provide them meaning and satisfaction.
Now, Newport gives us a name for this quiet movement and makes a persuasive case for its urgency in our tech-saturated world. Common sense tips, like turning off notifications, or occasional rituals, like observing a digital sabbath, don’t go far enough in helping us take back control of our technological lives, and attempts to unplug completely are complicated by the demands of family, friends, and work. What we need instead is a thoughtful method to decide what tools to use, for what purposes, and under what conditions.
Drawing on a diverse array of real-life examples, from Amish farmers to harried parents to Silicon Valley programmers, Newport identifies the common practices of digital minimalists and the ideas that underpin them. He shows how digital minimalists are rethinking their relationship to social media, rediscovering the pleasures of the offline world, and reconnecting with their inner selves through regular periods of solitude. He then shares strategies for integrating these practices into your life, starting with a 30-day “digital declutter” process that has already helped thousands feel less overwhelmed and more in control.
Technology is intrinsically neither good nor bad. The key is using it to support your goals and values, rather than letting it use you. This book shows the way.
Newport’s digital approach is what make his book one of my my top 10 books on Minimalism.
8. Minimalista: Your Step-by-Step Guide to a Better Home, Wardrobe, and Life
by Shira Gill
As a professional home organizer with clients ranging from students to multi-millionaires, Shira Gill observed that clutter is a universal stress trigger. Over the years she created a signature decluttering and organization process that promotes sustainability, achieves lasting results, and can be applied to anyone, regardless of their space or lifestyle. Rather than imposing strict rules and limitations, Shira redefines minimalism as having the perfect amount of everything—for you—based on your personal values and the limitations of your space.
Now, in Minimalista, Shira shares her complete toolkit for the first time, built around five key steps: Clarify, Edit, Organize, Elevate, and Maintain. Once you learn the methodology you’ll dive into the hands-on work, choose-your-own-adventure style: knock out a room, or even a single drawer; style a bookshelf; donate a sweater. Shira teaches that the most important thing you can do is start, and that small victories, achieved one at a time, will snowball into massive transformation. Broken into small, bite-sized chunks, Minimalista makes it clear that if the process is fun and easy to follow, anyone can learn the principles of editing and organization.
9. Minimalism: How to Become a Minimalist
by Bekka Thomas
Chaotic, overstressed and disorganized. Sound like YOUR life? Fortunately, there is a solution to the alarming clutter that has invaded your space. It’s called minimalism and it will leave you feeling lighter, happier and in total control by releasing you from the bondage of “stuff.” This guide helps you free your home from disarray by first freeing your mind of its passion to accumulate the non-essentials! I’ll show you how to start small, taking baby steps toward ridding your home of the “things” that are preventing you from living your best life.
10. The Minimalist Way: Minimalism Strategies to Declutter Your Life and Make Room for Joy
by Erica Layne
Discover how to apply the minimalist mindset to every aspect of your life by changing the way you think about your home, career, relationships, family, and money. The Minimalist Way will help you take it one step at a time with simple exercises and activities. Ease into minimalism at your own pace and learn how to let go.
Filled with practical philosophy and easy-to-use strategies for removing unnecessary distractions and stress, this is the essential guidebook for anyone looking to clear out their physical, mental, and emotional clutter.
The Minimalist Way includes:
- Minimalist Philosophy – outlines the principles of minimalism and shows you how to define the practice to fit your life.
- The Minimalist Lifestyle – teaches you how to apply minimalism to your spending, food, clothing, family, leisure time, work, and more.
- Real Solutions – that help you spend time and energy wisely, including checklists, activities, and troubleshooting tips.
Live simpler. Live better. Live minimalism.
So there you have my top 10 books on Minimalism. Find out how to get a free audio book like the ones I list here by checking out audible.
Disclosure: The post contains affiliate links. Should you choose to buy anything through my links, I may be compensated at no additional cost to you.
Looking to declutter your home? Check out my Year Long Thorough Declutter Series here.