Book Recommendation: Minimalism

Over the years I have read a lot of books about organizing; some have been amazing, some were boring and some were how-to instruction manuals which were helpful but dry. What I’ve come to realize is that the process of getting organized is so much greater than “containing our things”.  It’s really much more about lifestyle choices and that’s why I loved the book so much!  Creating a balanced life is hard work, but the rewards are truly lifelong.  It’s a great summer read. In fact, I already gave my copy away because summer is almost here and I want my house to be totally clutter free so I can be outside as much as possible!

Here is the book description:

At age 30, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus left their six-figure corporate careers, jettisoned most of their material possessions, and started focusing on life’s most important aspects. And they never looked back.


This book’s foreword and first chapter examine Joshua and Ryan’s backgrounds, their troubled pasts, and their eventual spiral into depression. These chapters discuss why the authors didn’t feel fulfilled by their careers and why they turned to society’s idea of living: working ridiculous hours, wastefully spending money, living paycheck to paycheck. Instead of finding their passions, they pacified themselves with ephemeral indulgences, inducing a cocaine-like high that didn’t last far past the checkout line.


And then, after a set of life-changing events, they discovered minimalism, which allowed Joshua and Ryan to eliminate life’s excess and focus on the essential things in life.


The subsequent chapters explore their journey into a lifestyle known as minimalism and discusse why these two successful businessmen eschewed their excess stuff in favor of focusing on life’s the more important aspects: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution.


The authors discuss how minimalism allowed them to focus on each area, citing personal examples of how they changed everything in their lives over a two year span, during which time they left their corporate jobs, got out of debt, changed their diets, started exercising regularly, strengthened their core relationships, established exciting new relationships, began pursuing their passions, contributed to more people, and found ways to be content and happy with their lives.


The final chapter, Confluence of Meaning, binds together these five dimensions and asks the reader important questions about his or her life. 

Looking for a place to start? Check out the article Organizing is Turning You Into a Hoarder” recently written by Millburn and Nicodemus for the Refinery29 website.  It’s a great article with 10 spring/summer tips to help you pare down your belongings and live a happier, lighter, more meaningful life. It’s never to late to start!

Check out their website and buy the book on Amazon. It’s also available for download as an ebook and audiobook.