What the book is about:
Minimalist Joshua Becker has finally done it and written a book to help others along in their minimalism journey. He’s been speaking and writing, but now the book has arrived.
Inside, he spends a lot of time talking about the benefits of minimalism and then goes one step further and methodically walks the reader through a minimizing process that makes sense and builds confidence to tackle harder and harder spaces.
What I liked:
I was a really big fan of his methodical progress through minimizing a house – it was logical and broken down to manageable steps. He never says “clean out the kitchen” but instead, always starts with “remove stuff that doesn’t actually belong” and then moves into sub-spaces of whatever area he’s focusing on, whether drawers, counters, shelves, and even decorations. More than once, going through that section reminded me of spaces I’d forgotten to look in.
What I didn’t like:
This is totally a personal preference thing, but I didn’t care for the style of testimonials and the number of them placed throughout the book. I understand that he’s trying to reach a wide audience – both those who haven’t bought into minimalism and those who have, so he necessarily must spend time talking about the varied benefits. It did start to feel repetitive (again, because I didn’t need the extra push – I was really excited to minimize), but for those who aren’t sure, I’d bet that both the testimonials and the repetition would be helpful. His message did stay consistent the entire time, so that’s good – he always stayed in the same lane.
Overall thoughts and opinions:
For anyone who doesn’t want to be managed by their stuff or who feels like they spend more time organizing their stuff than actually doing something with it, this is a great book to find a place to start AND it walks all the way to the finish.
He acknowledges that every space he talks about may not be in people’s houses and there may even be more spaces that he doesn’t address, so in that, he gives the reader flexibility to tackle what spaces they have where they believe they fit best.
My family already doesn’t buy too much stuff and we just went through last year getting rid of things, but this book and its method unearthed more stuff that we could get rid of that I’d never thought about before. I even asked my husband “where did all this stuff go in the first place?”
So, while I thought our house was doing pretty well in the clutter department, we definitely got rid of far more things than I even thought was possible. As I went along, it was easier and easier to be completely ruthless about what we tossed out because the spaces that HAD been completed were actually really nice to be in! So, every time I walked into my decluttered bedroom and smiled, it was easier to pull even more things out and to toss things that I felt like I needed to hold onto because they’d been gifted to me.
Skeptics might be thinking that he’s going to tell you to toss even the things that you love, and I’m just going to go ahead and say that’s not true. If it brings you joy, if you like it, there’s no reason to get rid of it! He does encourage you to really think about the things you’re keeping and why you’re keeping them and makes the onerous suggestion to HANDLE everything (which is excellent, by the way – if I hadn’t handled some things, I probably would have just kept them). His approach is a rational one, where he encourages us to loose the emotional bonds for just a moment before deciding what to get rid of and what to keep.
I really enjoyed this book and I was actually able to read through it and declutter my house in about a week and a half (which may not be a typical result – I’d bet most places will take longer, but like I said, we were already on the train and had already gotten rid of quite a bit of stuff after watching a documentary) and that was going through every space on my own. It helped that I had a thrift store drive fundraiser deadline to keep me on track, but the process was totally worth the effort and worth my living room looking like we were moving.
If you’re looking to downsize your stuff, I heartily recommend this book and give it 5 stars.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.