Top 9 Books on Minimalism You Need to Read

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Minimalism has become a hot topic for many people when it comes to their personal life philosophy. Minimalism started as an art form that relates to the desire of reducing the amount of clutter and personal belongings in a person’s life. Reducing these belongings is supposed to help bring people back to a more relaxed and natural state where they can feel less concerned about material things.

Minimalism is an interesting parallel to how many people live and makes it an interesting topic to learn about. Luckily there are a plethora of books to learn about minimalism and how to incorporate it into your life and here are the top 9 you should have on your bookshelf.

1. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Marie Kondo is a name you might be familiar with. She is best known for her Netflix series about tidying up and the joy of specific things rather than too much. Much of minimalism revolves around mindset and how your environment influences your life and why sometimes less is more. You can look for more recommendations when it comes to mindset books, as minimalism is just the tip of the iceberg. There are a lot of books on self-improvement that go far past tidying up and into personal philosophy.

2. The Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker

In a more similar vein, Becker’s book focuses more on decluttering the home rather than just keeping things that make you feel happy. His approach is more focused on the home as a place for mental blocks and why it is so important to reduce your belongings down to necessities, one of the major pillars of minimalism as a movement.

3. Essential Zen Habits by Leo Babauta

Part of the reason why this is such a popular book in regards to the minimalism movement is how it is written by a self-made mindset guru. Babauta describes himself as a fairly ordinary dad that took it upon himself to change his outlook on life, and his life in particular and how the mindset of minimalism can be achieved by anyone through self-determination and habit breaking and building.

4. The Joy of Less by Francine Jay

Another take on the organizational importance of minimalism, Jay’s interpretation of the art movement focuses on how to step-by-step organize each room of your house as well as a very friendly and encouraging tone to her writing which feels like inspiration on how to achieve a similar lifestyle to hers.

5. Waking Up by Sam Harris

Sam Harris’ book is a deeper dive into spirituality, religion, and the more nuanced aspects of how minimalism appeals to our deeper cognitive drives. This book focuses on how important it is to understand these natural mindsets in the modern age of constant connectivity and digital technology.

6. Essentialism by Greg McKeown

Essentialism is a very important book for the mainstream understanding of minimalism and has been used as a good resource for some of the top companies in the world. From Google to Apple, McKeown has spread the understanding of how less is more and can help declutter the mind by decluttering physical spaces, which means it could help you too.

7. Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism by Fumio Sasaki

Although Marie Kondo popularized minimalism to the masses in the West, she is certainly not the pioneer. Neither is Sasaki but his book is an earlier rendition of the same mindset goal of reducing the need for things and improving the desire for learning about the self. Japan has always been closely associated with the minimalist movement and this book teaches readers why.

8. Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson

One of the more extreme ends of minimalism that has become a bigger trend as of late is the idea of zero waste. The idea of zero waste is the notion that you want to reuse as much as you can, which contributes to home and lifestyle that is as minimal as possible, even down to reusing coffee filters. It is a lifestyle change not meant for the faint of heart but it is an interesting take. 

9. The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking

Last but not least, the Danish minimalist philosophy of hygge, which means fun, cozy, or content. Just as the Japanese are world-renowned for their design and mindset of minimalism, so are the Danish. In almost any photobook of interior design, you can see this inspiration of hygge and why it is so important to consider the Danish approach to minimalism in your home and life.

Minimalism is an interesting take on how our mindset has focused on more when less might be better for our mental health. These 9 books represent a unique approach to how minimalism works.

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