Minimalist Book Reviews: Incredible Reads To Guide Your Minimalist Life

minimalist book reviews

Reading minimalist books can reach deeper than simply selling your possessions. It can lead to a shift of the mind — a habit of intentionally analyzing the noise that you allow in and out of your life.

It’s easy to look to the classic Instagram aesthetic for what minimalism is: crisp white walls, wooden baby toys, glass tables, empty living rooms, hanging plants, and the likes. But minimalism is not about a uniform aesthetic or particular visual look. Applying minimalism to each area of your life means understanding the why behind the actions.

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

I found minimalism at a time when I was looking for a way to reorient my life toward what I care about most. I am definitely a bookworm myself. I try to regularly read books about things that will help me grow new habits.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

I hope this minimalist book list inspires you to discover what aspects of minimalism fit into your growth-minded life.

Minimalist Books About Decluttering

minimalism books about decluttering

First up, we’ll cover books about the process of decluttering your belongings to gain order and control over your own life. Sorting through clutter was the first thing I did when I began my journey toward a simple life.

Whether you’re looking for tips or a deeper understanding of the minimalist view, this list has you covered.

The LIfe Changing Magic of Tidying Up

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

by Marie Kondo

You can’t really talk about the minimalist movement without mentioning Marie Kondo. The phrase “Marie Kondoing” your life has gained attention since the premiere of her television show, Tidying Up.

Marie’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up explains the famous Kon Mari Method for decluttering and minimizing what you own. She also includes a wealth of philosophical insights and practical tips for going through your belongings and parsing through what truly adds value to your life.


Goodbye Things

Goodbye, Things:

The New Japanese Minimalism

by Fumio Sasaki

Getting rid of so many items at once can feel huge. Follow Fumio as he devotes an entire year of his life to getting rid of things and talking about what that process feels like. As he undergoes this revolutionary journey for himself, he provides valuable steps, tips, tactics, and wisdom for going through the minimizing process in your own home.


Decluttering At The Speed Of Life

Decluttering At The Speed Of Life

by Dana K. White

I know firsthand that life can quickly become noisy, chaotic, and overwhelming. This read delves deeper than the mere process of minimization — it’s about what that process can do for you.

Dana elaborates on the reasons why decluttering can often feel difficult. She writes about the ways our emotions get in the way of creating a clutter-free life for ourselves, and ways to combat these mental roadblocks. Dana uses humor and relatability to work through obstacles and help the reader declutter their living environment.


The Minimalist Way

The Minimalist Way:

Strategies To Declutter Your Life And Make Room For Joy

by Erica Layne

The Minimalist Way is chock-full of practical strategies for decluttering your life. Erica teaches readers to apply the minimalist philosophy to each aspect of their life and emphasizes the fact that tidiness goes beyond your physical belongings. It’s a helpful read to discover the ways that decluttering can apply to how you think about your home, career, relationships, family, and money.


The Minimalist Home

The Minimalist Home:

A Room By Room Guide To A Decluttered, Refocused Life

by Joshua Becker

I met Joshua in my hometown of Charlotte when he came to promote this book. We got to talking about decluttering your space and life to make room for what’s most important. Joshua emphasizes that the concept behind minimization is not merely to create space in your house or to get rid of your stuff, it’s to turn the place you inhabit most frequently — your home — into an epicenter for a higher quality of life.

Minimalist Books To Keep Your Home Organized

Minimalist Books To Keep Your Home Organized

Not only is getting rid of your stuff a great tactic for feeling freer and more in control, but it also plays a huge part in the journey towards peace of mind. When I first started to downsize, looking at the piles of mess in my apartment without any organization strategies felt overwhelming. These books will help you sort what you need into organized, aesthetically pleasing categories to help your sanity.

Real Life Organizing

Real Life Organizing:

Clean and Clutter-Free in 15 Minutes a Day

by Cassandra Aarssen

Organizing doesn’t have to take years. Cassandra breaks down the process of organization into easy, manageable, 15-minute chunks. This quick read will take you through Cassandra’s tips, tricks, and secrets to a clean and highly organized household.


What’s A Disorganized Person to Do

What’s A Disorganized Person to Do?

by Stacey Platt

Stacey defines organization by comparing it to its opposite. She walks the average person through the common problems of disorganization, like how to keep from misplacing your wallet and keys, how to pack for vacations effectively and stress free, or how to most effectively sort and organize your refrigerator.

By going through the mishaps of disorganized people with helpful solutions, Stacey gives you practical strategies to organize your life and your stuff and bring less stress into your daily experience.


The Complete Book of Home Organization

The Complete Book of Home Organization

by Toni Hammersley

Toni’s book on organization is kind of like the bible of organization strategies. It’s basically a humongous list of tips and tricks to organize your home in the most effective way possible, with step-by-step instructions, visual illustrations, and checklists to help you out along the way. With over 200 tips and tricks, you’ll be a professional organizer in no time.

Books About Minimalist Clothing

Books About Minimalist Clothing

Managing your closet like a minimalist is one of the first things people think of when they start looking into the movement. Closet decluttering, personal uniforms, and capsule wardrobes are simple but effective ways to begin your journey as a minimalist.

Project 333

Project 333:

Proves Less Really Is So Much More

by Courtney Carver

Project 333 is a famous minimalist fashion challenge made famous by Courtney. The challenge invites participants to wear 33 items only for 3 months. In this process you are encouraged to keep track of what you wear, how you use it, and how many pieces make you feel good. Courtney’s skills can help you design a minimalist wardrobe that works with your lifestyle.


The Capsule Wardrobe

The Capsule Wardrobe:

1,000 Outfits from 30 Pieces

by Wendy Mak

Wendy is a pro when it comes to capsule wardrobes. She will enlighten you with hundreds of diverse and creatively styled looks from a wardrobe of merely 30 pieces. Capsule wardrobes make life easier by reducing the clutter in your closet. Wendy can help you maximize your decluttered wardrobe to get the most out of each piece.


The Concious Closet

The Conscious Closet:

The Revolutionary Guide to Looking Good While Doing Good

by Elizabeth L. Cline

This book focuses on the destructive industry of fast fashion and ways you can minimize your closet in order to serve the environment. The Conscious Closet presents you with tools to declutter your wardrobe, keep up with fashion trends without hurting the earth, live with less, and buy clothing from ethical brands.

Intentional Living and Mindfulness Books

Intentional Living and Mindfulness Books

Living intentionally is all about giving thought to your habits, your decisions, and what you let in and out of your life. The trend towards mindfulness has really gained a strong foothold in the last few years, as people have collectively begun to analyze each element of their life and crave quality in their daily experience.

These reads give strategies and advice for cutting the excess noise out of your life and focusing on what’s truly valuable to you.

Digital Minimalism

Digital Minimalism:

Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World

by Cal Newport

This read focuses in on a huge culprit that distracts us from being present in our lives: media exposure. Throughout, Cal applies the idea of minimalism directly to the amount of digital media we consume.

Cal explains why this push towards rest and quiet in an era saturated with digital demands is vital and gives the reader strategies to unplug and stay present in the real world.


Soulful Simplicity

Soulful Simplicity:

How Living With Less Can Lead To So Much More

by Courtney Carver

Soulful Simplicity is about the purpose behind a minimalist life. Courtney explains that the goals of mindfulness and minimalist ideals is to create space, time, and love in our lives by eliminating the excess. She encourages and teaches the reader to evaluate their lives deeply, define what’s really valuable to them, and settle into a simpler life.


The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry

The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry

by John Mark Comer

This one is a pretty strong social critique that is worth engaging with for anyone who likes what minimalism preaches. John’s testimony of spiritual enlightenment has begun to combat hustle culture relentlessly and encourages others to do the same.


The Charge

The Charge:

Activating The 10 Human Drives That Make You Feel Alive

by Brendon Burchard

Brendon explores what it truly means to live an intentional life and identifies ten core “charges” that drive the human spirit: control, competence, congruence, caring, connection, change, challenge, creativity, contribution, and consciousness. If you are looking to discover how to create an intentional life that satisfies these core desires as opposed to living your life on auto pilot, this is your book.


Wherever You Go There You Are

Wherever You Go, There You Are:

Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life

by Jon Kabat-Zinn

This one is about the power of being present in your own life. Jon explores the connection between the brain and the body in terms of true mindfulness. A weird truth of life is that you are where you are, wherever your physical body sits, you are in that moment.

You may as well learn to be fully present. Jon provides intentional thinking and breathing strategies to direct your full physical and emotional attention on each moment.

Minimalist Philosophy Books About The Movement

Minimalist Philosophy Books About The Movement
The core idea of minimalism — living with less to improve the overall quality of your life — is not a new idea. The core philosophies behind minimalism come from various schools of thought that have been around forever, like stoicism and essentialism.

These philosophies serve as the core inspiration for the modern minimalist movement and are still talked about today. This list touches on minimalism as a way of life, the ways these philosophies inspire the current practices of minimalism, and the mental reasoning behind the movement.

Essentialism

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

by Greg McKeown

Essentialism is a systemic habit and philosophy that encourages eliminating all the things in your life that are not absolutely essential. Greg introduces the reader to the specifics of the essentialist movement, what it means to live on necessity, and invites you to make these changes in your own life.

A lot of people in the minimalist community love this book. When I read it on my own, I personally found it to have a lot of filler stories and words, which felt ironic for a book about essentialism. I wasn’t a huge fan, but many recommend this one so I chose to include it on the list to let you form your own opinion.


The Paradox Of Choice

The Paradox Of Choice: Why More Is Less

by Barry Schwartz

Decision fatigue is a major issue that minimalist philosophy is working towards removing from people’s lives. In The Paradox Of Choice, Barry delves into the psychology behind why having increased choices can reduce the quality of your experiences and increase stress in your life. He walks the reader through several ways to reduce the sheer magnitude of decisions in our daily lives to get closer to peace.


The Book of Hygge

The Book of Hygge:

The Danish Art of Contentment, Comfort, and Connection

by Louisa Thomsen Brits

The Book of Hygge addresses the importance of pursuing comfort. Hygge is a Danish and Norwegian word for a mood of coziness and comfortability, reflecting feelings of wellness and contentment. One beautiful aspect of minimalist philosophy is the pursuit of comfort and enjoyment in your daily existence. This manual teaches us to notice little things to appreciate, find pleasure in everything, and integrate comfort, warmth, and enjoyment into our lives.


The Stoic Minimalist

The Stoic Minimalist

by Jacob Martin

Minimalism was born out of stoicism. Stoicism is a Hellenistic school of thought born out of Athens, Greece. The philosophy is centered on not allowing pleasure and pain to run your life. Both stoicism and minimalism are two sides of the same coin, removing excess from your mind and your life, leaving space and energy for things of deeper value. This book about the minimalist movement teaches strategies for integrating both philosophies into your life and touches on the ways they are interconnected.

Books On Eco Minimalism

Books on Eco Minimalism

When people first think about minimalism, they usually think about organizing their physical belongings to create a less cluttered physical space and a chaotic life. But minimalism isn’t just about how your stuff affects you, it’s about the way your stuff affects the world around you.

Eco minimalism focuses on rewiring the way you view consumption and reducing your ecological footprint. It’s minimalism with a purpose much bigger than you.

Stuffocation

Stuffocation:

We’ve Had Enough of Stuff and Need Experience More Than Ever

by Dr. James Wallman

This book on purging your clutter has grown increasingly popular in the last few years, so much so that mentioning the word “Stuffocation” amongst experienced minimalists will likely be understood. James writes about the way we view what we own, claiming that society’s obsession with consumerism has grown out of hand. He also lays out that the way back to peace is get rid of the clutter that’s suffocating us and focus on experiences.


Sustainable Minimalism

Sustainable Minimalism

by Stephanie Marie Seferian

This lifestyle encourages minimalists to live in an entirely sustainable manner that does not create waste for landfills. In my own life, I’m not at 100% zero waste yet, but I’ve cut back significantly in the last few years and have learned a lot doing so.

Sustainable Minimalism
addresses the societal propaganda that makes it difficult to adopt a zero-waste life, simple ways to integrate the habits into your life without creating lofty goals, and a blueprint toward overall sustainability as a household.


The Zero Waste Solution

The Zero Waste Solution

by Paul Connett

This book is primarily focused on why the zero-waste movement matters. Paul uses his platform as a scientist and activist to write about many meaningful zero-waste initiatives around the world.

He shares the stories of activists, planners, and entrepreneurs that have helped to reimagine the ways their communities handle waste. This is a solid read on sustainable living for those who want to make change in their own neighborhoods and local municipalities.


Walden

Walden

by Henry David Thoreau

Outside of my own tiny house in Charlotte, there is a small pond that looks exactly like Walden Pond. I like to read and reflect by that pond sometimes, and channel Thoreau. A classic you may have seen on a syllabus or two, the musings at Walden Pond align deeply with eco minimalist philosophy. This book might be classic literature, but people also categorize it as a minimalist manifesto due to the ways Walden claims that humans do not need very much to be happy.

The book criticizes those that cling to wealth and possessions for fulfillment and pushes an agenda for simplicity in all elements of one’s life.


Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

by Annie Dillard

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard hones in on themes of minimalism and essentialism. Annie observes interactions in the natural world at the creek by her childhood home. As she does this, she makes claims about what it means to truly see and be truly present where you are. She asks questions about the animal kingdom and is inquisitive about what we can glean from their simple, basic forms of interaction.

The book criticizes those that cling to wealth and possessions for fulfillment and pushes an agenda for simplicity in all elements of one’s life.

Minimalist Books About Money

Minimalist Books About Money

Financial freedom is a core aim of the minimalist lifestyle. A huge element of your relationship with consumerism relates to the way you spend and manage your money. In the last few years, I’ve done a lot of rethinking when it comes to my finances.

These helpful books will encourage you to rethink the way you spend, save, and interact with your finances to set you up for financial freedom and peace of mind when it comes to money.

Your Money or Your Life

Your Money or Your Life:

Transforming Your Relationship with Money

by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez

The FIRE movement toward early retirement has become recently popularized and was specifically inspired by this book. Your Money or Your Life presents readers with nine simple steps to reframe your thought processes when it comes to spending and applying financial wisdom to your budget and bank account.


The Minimalist Budget

The Minimalist Budget:

A Guide On How To Save Money, Spend Less And Live More

by Simeon Lindstrom

The Minimalist Budget is all about managing your money through the minimalist lens. A vital thing to note when learning to budget like a minimalist is that the thought line isn’t about deprivation or restriction. It’s the opposite.

Simeon gives advice about budgeting, expressing ways that discipline does not restrict, it frees. He also expands the definition of budgeting to address the fact that your emotional, behavioral, social, and even spiritual capital are things that can be budgeted, and tips to manage all kinds of capital in the day to day.


The Power of Passive Income

The Power of Passive Income:

Make Your Money Work for You

by Nightingale-Conant

This financially minimalist book is centered on the idea of not making your source of income your life’s focus and on making your money work for you instead of working for your money. If you are looking to escape the nine-to-five rat race and continue to earn a steady stream of cash while living a life you value and look forward to each day, this is the book for you.

Minimalist Books About Raising A Family

Minimalist Books About Raising A Family

Is it hard to fully adopt minimalist habits while raising kids? It can be, but these books will help to provide you with specific strategies to help your children and family get on board with a minimalistic lifestyle.

Clutterfree with Kids

Clutterfree with Kids

by Joshua Becker

My friend Joshua’s book on going minimalist while raising kids stands out as one of his best. Joshua writes about ways that keeping the house clean, organized, and debt free is easier as a single adult than it is as a family with children. As a dad himself, he understands the challenges that raising minimalist kids can bring and provides tools for integrating minimalism into your family’s household.


Minimalism For Families

Minimalism For Families:

Minimalist Living Strategies to Simplify Your Home and Life

by Zoe Kim

Zoe also understands that minimalism isn’t an easy feat when raising kids, but she does believe this lifestyle is worth it. Minimalism for Families shows you the real costs of the things you own and the toll that living with excess can take on a family unit. Zoe gives practical tips and advice for cutting non-essential items out of your family’s life and habits to create a peaceful and uplifting home.


The Minimalist Mom

The Minimalist Mom:

How to Simply Parent Your Baby

by Rachel Jonat

Minimalism with kids is easiest when you start them young. Rachel’s all-inclusive guide provides strategies for brand-new mothers to enjoy living with less. By learning how to clear the things you don’t need for your newborn like expensive cribs or rockers, an entirely new set of clothes, tons of nursery furniture, or shiny new toys, it will be easier and simpler to create a life of quality and peace with your little one.

Overall, minimalism is about filling your life with depth, value, and quality experiences. For many people, it involves learning about and developing new habits like:

The books on this minimalist book list should help you make these changes in your own life and walk you through everything you need to know to make room for the things that matter most.

Your Turn!

  • What are your favorite tiny house books?
  • What books have helped you change your mindset?

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