The Best Books on Minimalism (in 2023)
It’s a proven fact that the amount of stuff we have in our house can cause more stress and make us miserable. When we have fewer things to pick up and less cleaning to do, we have more time and energy to focus on essential matters, like family. Books on minimalism can teach you how to get rid of the items you don’t need while organizing your household to simplify and de-stress your life.
There are many aspects to practicing minimalism, so it’s essential to start with what you want to focus on the most. For example, some books provide general information about becoming a minimalist or focus on dealing with specific situations or living spaces. The good news is, you don’t have to go all-in and commit to something drastic-you can take baby steps until you’re ready for more significant changes.
What is the minimalist lifestyle, and why do people practice it?
Minimalism is the practice of getting rid of unneeded or unwanted things to create more space in your life. It’s not about living with nothing; it’s about making room for what matters most by letting go of anything that doesn’t.
These are the best books on minimalism, no matter what aspect you want to learn about. Keep reading to learn more about our favorites!
Why Read Books on Minimalism?
Minimalist philosophy is a great way to declutter and eliminate unnecessary things that aren’t adding value to your life. A minimalist lifestyle and it’s practical tips can have many benefits, including increased contentment, less shopping spending, improved productivity, and it can help you think more about what’s important in creating a simple life.
By reading these books on minimalism, you’ll learn things such as how to declutter and organize your home, simplify your wardrobe, feel less stressed, live a healthier lifestyle, travel lighter and cheaper by packing better, and much more.
The Best Books on Minimalist Living
If you’re interested in minimalism but overwhelmed by all of the choices available, it can be helpful to know where to begin when searching for what books will work best for your needs.
To find your favorite type of books on minimalism, start with what you want to learn about most. For example, find books that focus more on shopping habits if part of your struggle with stuff is spending too much money on clothes and needing fewer but better pieces to create a capsule wardrobe.
If you struggle with clutter piling up in your home and feel stressed out often, start with books on minimalism that focus on decluttering your home.
There are many well-known minimalist authors, including Marie Kondo, Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, and Joshua Becker. The most popular minimalism books are by these leading experts who’ve written several best-selling books related to living with less, simplifying your life, and living with more joy.
It can be helpful to see reviews from other readers to get a better sense of what you might like in an upcoming book on minimalism. Each book has its unique perspective, but most sell well because they offer real practical advice for finding contentment in everyday life through less while still enjoying the things you love.
Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus (aka The Minimalists) are best known for their books about minimalism, including “Everything That Remains” and “Minimalism.” Both of these memoirs share how they’ve simplified their lives to focus on what’s most essential, including their pursuit of meaningful work, experiences over possessions, and time spent with loved ones.
This book presents various essays related to minimalism through different lenses- including travel, food & health, professional development, and money- to give readers a better sense of what it means to make intentional decisions about possessions and how these choices affect the quality of your life.
James Wallman argues that by getting rid of unnecessary stuff in our lives, there’s more room for experiences. According to him, people are constantly buying new things out of dissatisfaction with their current possessions, even when the things they own aren’t providing much satisfaction or joy.
Having so much stuff leads to a “stuffocation” society where we accumulate too many material possessions without considering what we want to own or why we’re buying things. Wallman argues that this leads to a lack of fulfillment and makes us more anxious and unfulfilled.
Joshua Becker shows you how to pare down your belongings and simplify your life by focusing on experiences over things, as well as the value of sharing and donating.
He includes helpful advice for decluttering each room in your home, including the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living room, playroom, foyer, and closets. He also provides tips for creating a peaceful home life, including maintaining a clutter-free environment, developing habits that reduce stress, and maximizing your time spent in your home.
You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap): How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too
Tammy Strobel provides a step-by-step guide to radically simplify your life by taking small steps to eliminate unnecessary possessions and focusing more on experiences.
She shows you how she got rid of most of her clothes and shoes to books and knickknacks, which led to more self-discovery, time spent with loved ones, financial freedom, and more meaningful life.
Tammy also discusses the benefits of cutting back on monthly expenses, decreasing stress, and setting healthy financial boundaries with others. This book is ideal for people looking to challenge themselves to think about the most important in their lives, both personally and financially.
Elizabeth Willard Thames has lived frugally for most of her adult life and shares how she saved enough money to retire by age 33.
This book includes practical steps that anyone can take to decrease expenses in their daily lives, increase income, cut out wasteful spending, and achieve financial independence at any age, even though the author got started when she was in her thirties.
Joshua Fields Millburn, Ryan Nicodemus, and special guest star Colin Wright share their experiences with the minimalist lifestyle, including avoiding the desire to keep up with the newest consumer trends.
This book includes practical advice for clearing away physical and mental clutter in your life, so you have more time to spend on what matters most, as well as stories from other minimalists who have adopted this lifestyle.
The book also discusses cultivating a sense of gratitude, living purposefully, and pursuing your goals without distractions. Also discussed are the benefits of being a minimalist, such as increased productivity and improved health.
Rachel Jonat shows you how to be a happier person by having less stuff, caring less about what others think of you, and cultivating inner peace by taking care of yourself.
This book presents a guide for gradually transitioning to a minimalist lifestyle with small steps rather than all at once, so it’s easier to adjust your habits and mindset. The guide includes helpful advice on decluttering your physical space, simplifying your schedule and commitments, as well as building up your willpower to make changes.
Erin Boyle provides practical advice on decluttering your physical space and simplifying your life by focusing on the things that matter most.
Throughout this book, she discusses ways to live with less and spend more time doing what you love instead of dealing with the hassles of a full closet or overflowing junk drawer. This book is ideal for people who want to develop better habits, create a more peaceful environment, and ultimately find their way to happiness.
Christine Platt uses her experience growing up in South Africa to share practical advice for getting rid of excess stuff and living more simply.
This book discusses how to lead a simpler life by minimizing your possessions, obligations, and expectations so you can focus on what’s most important to you. The author also shares stories from other African-Americans who have adopted this philosophy and insights on how they successfully simplified their lives.
Ruth Soukup provides valuable advice for simplifying physical and mental clutter in your life and how to set up routines that help you declutter your living space.
This book is written in a humorous tone that makes it an easy read, and it’s perfect for people who want practical steps for getting rid of unnecessary items to focus on the things that matter most. It also includes advice on simplifying and de-stressing your schedule and developing positive habits that promote a peaceful living space.
Brooke McAlary is an Australian blogger who writes about her experiences with simplifying her life. She advocates living with less to focus more on what matters to you (rather than what society tells you is important).
In this book, McAlary shares how she’s learned to slow down and focus on quality rather than quantity to live a happier, more fulfilling life.
Emily Ley is a mom, an attorney, and founder of her own business (Ley Legal). She’s also known for her popular lifestyle blog that focuses on how to live with less.
She shares how you can balance multitasking while still prioritizing what matters most to you in this book. She believes in the power of simplifying your life so you can spend time doing the things you love with people you love.
Eve O. Schaub is a mom of two who used to be overwhelmed by the constant clutter in her house. She’s funny, relatable, and has found it easier to say “NO” to things she doesn’t need or want-such as social obligations, stuff that isn’t useful or beautiful, excessive food & eating.
In this book, you’ll read about Schaub’s yearlong journey as she simplifies her life and declutters her home. She also shares how paring down doesn’t have to be a chore or something that causes anxiety-it can be an empowering way to live with less stress and more happiness!
The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life is Worth More than Anything You Can Buy in a Store
Cait Flanders is a writer and blogger who used to spend too much on shopping, drinking, eating out, and impulse buys. In this book, she shares why she decided to stop spending for an entire year.
In her journey from being a consumer-obsessed shopaholic to living with more intention, Flanders illustrates how small changes can have a significant impact on your life. She also provides practical advice, such as saving money, cutting back on shopping, and simplifying your home & food.
In this seminal book on minimalism, Marie Kondo helps you to get rid of anything that doesn’t spark joy in your life. This requires getting rid of old clothes, books, papers, sentimental items, and other things you don’t need.
Getting rid of these things allows you to experience a “joy-filled” life with less stuff to worry about. This style of japanese art of decluttering is also showcased in two Netflix shows starring Marie Kondo.
Tonya Dalton is a mom, photographer, and professional organizer who believes in prioritizing experiences over stuff. She doesn’t want her kids to be surrounded by excessive toys or TV, so she created “The Joyful Collection” for her daughter (one stuffed animal & one book at a time).
In this book, Dalton shares how minimalism has improved the quality of her family’s life. She provides tips on curating a home that sparks joy, removing the excess clutter in your life, enjoying your time more freely by saying no to activities you don’t really want to do, and much more!
Cary Telander Fortin and Kyle Louise Quilici are a married couple who have adopted a minimalist lifestyle. This book shares how minimalism has helped them live happier and more fulfilled lives through experiences rather than possessions.
In their stories, you’ll learn about what it means to embrace both the practical and philosophical aspects of minimalism – it’s more than just getting rid of stuff but can also be a mindful way of living.
Myquillyn Smith is a blogger who started her business “Nifty Thrifty” as a way to make money from home. In this book, she provides practical advice on how to decorate your home using a minimalist philosophy by using what you have, updating cheaply or for free, and finding joy in the small things.
In this beautiful guidebook, Smith shares how she transformed her own home into a cozy haven that’s free from clutter, full of personality, and perfectly imperfect.
The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter
Margareta Magnusson is a retired nurse who has come to terms with the fact that there are two certainties in life – death & taxes. So when she became a widow and moved to a smaller home, she set out to simplify her life.
In this book, Magnusson provides practical advice on how to decide what you want to keep and what you want to let go of. She also explains why getting rid of the unnecessary allows room for new opportunities and experiences.
Yolanda Acree is a clinical psychologist who specializes in stress management and mindfulness. In this book, she shares how you can be mindful of your thoughts & surroundings so that they can work for you rather than against you.
Acree provides actionable steps to help readers identify their unproductive patterns and develop healthier relationships with themselves and others through practicing simplicity. She also explains how mindfulness can bring opportunities to become more compassionate with yourself & others.
Bea Johnson is an eco-friendly minimalist who shares how she & her family have drastically reduced their trash output to nearly zero. In this book, Johnson provides practical advice on how you can do the same in your own life.
She explains the importance of reusing items whenever possible, buying in bulk or for long-term use instead of regularly consuming new products, and how to recycle effectively to avoid creating excess waste.
Another great way to reduce waste is to dumpster dive, rather than buying new. Learn more about the best places to dumpster dive here.
The Curated Closet: A Simple System for Discovering Your Personal Style and Building Your Dream Wardrobe
Anuschka Rees is a fashion designer and stylist who provides actionable tips on creating a more curated wardrobe with less stuff.
In the book, Rees offers advice on how you can learn what styles & colors work best for your body to get rid of outfits you don’t wear anymore. She also shares budgeting tips for clothes shopping, how to care for your wardrobe, and how you can design your ideal wardrobe with less effort.
Christine Koh is a mother of three who shares how she has embraced minimalism in her daily life to create more time & freedom for herself.
In this book, Koh provides practical advice on how you can apply the same principles that have worked for her with her children. She explains why getting rid of your kids’ excess stuff will leave them feeling calmer.
Joshua Becker is a father of two who provides advice on how you can simplify your life & keep the “good stuff” by focusing on raising children with less stuff.
In this book, Becker explains why focusing on experiences rather than material items will help your children lead happier lives. He also provides all kinds of helpful tips for organizing kids’ rooms, getting rid of toys & clothes your kids don’t need, and how you can make a family mission to embrace minimalism together.
Joshua Becker is a leading voice on simplifying your life and eliminating clutter. Through his blog, Becoming Minimalist, and his books “Simplify” and “Clutterfree with Kids,” he’s helped hundreds of thousands of people live more by owning less physical stuff.
Through this book, Becker shares different ways to create a meaningful life with less through simplification. He helps you identify what’s most essential and explore how to remove distractions so you can concentrate on those things that bring joy and happiness into your life.
Author Joshua Becker is also well-known for his blog, Becoming Minimalist, and he’s written about simplifying your life in previous books such as “Clutterfree with Kids” and “Simplify.”
In this book, Becker offers a different perspective on living more with less. Instead of removing stuff from your life entirely, the idea is to determine what’s most important to you and get rid of the excess, so you have more time to pursue those things that matter to you.
You’ll learn how to differentiate between what’s “good enough” versus something that’s best, how to declutter without feeling deprived, why less can be more in some areas of your life, and other principles for making room for what matters most.
Author Francine Jay shares her personal journey about simplifying your life by learning how to pare down possessions. She provides inspiration, along with workable strategies for living a simpler, happier life with less stuff.
Through this book, you’ll learn ways to reduce the amount of physical clutter in your home while focusing on what’s truly important to you and living more mindfully. You’ll also learn how other people have applied these strategies in their lives, which will inspire you to make changes for the better in your own life.
Another fun read by Francine Jay, this collection of articles has a friendly and fun tone. It’s a great introduction to minimalist living, and Francine offers humourous personal stories about decluttering and simplifying your life. These essays are a fun and easy read to get you started on a less cluttered path!
No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet, and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process
This book is a memoir written by Colin Beavan, who tried to minimize his impact on the environment to see if it really was possible to live a completely “green” lifestyle. After making small, seemingly insignificant changes like giving up bottled water and using cloth rags instead of paper towels, he found that it’s not as complicated as people think to lead an environmentally friendly life.
Dana K. White is one of the most well-known organizing experts in the country. She’s an organizational consultant, speaker, and author who has given presentations on personal organization to over 200,000 people all across America.
In this book, she provides practical advice for how you can bring more order into your life by eliminating things that no longer serve a purpose. You’ll learn how to:
- Identify the areas of your life that need decluttering
- Determine which belongings are essential and which ones you can live without
- Organize your things in a way that makes sense for you
- Develop strategies for keeping your home organized long term, so you don’t fall back into bad habits later on
Even More Books on Minimalism
Looking for something else? Why not try one of these books on minimalism:
- Soulful Simplicity: How Living with Less can Lead to So Much More by Courtney Carver
- The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less by Barry Schwartz
- The Power of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential…in Business and in Life by Leo Babauta
- Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
- Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport
- Project 333: The Minimalist Fashion Challenge That Proves Less Really Is So Much More by Courtney Carver
- The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life by Leo Babauta
- An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker
- The 100 Thing Challenge: How I Got Rid of Almost Everything, Remade My Life, and Regained My Soul by David Bruno
- The Minimalist Way: Minimalism Strategies to Declutter Your Life and Make Room for Joy by Erica Lane
- It’s All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff by Peter Walsh
- Enough by Patrick Rhone
- Sustainable Minimalism: Embrace Zero Waste, Build Sustainability Habits that Last, and Become a Minimalist without Sacrificing the Planet by Stephanie Marie Seferian
- Minimalism for Families: Practical Minimalist Living Strategies to Simplify Your Home and Life by Zoe Kim
Is minimalism going out of style?
The short answer is no. You’ve seen how many books are on this list, right? Minimalism is picking up speed and being embraced more readily throughout the world. As consumable goods become more accessible and easier to get, it’s also easier to drown in the amount of stuff we own. Shows like The Minimalists and Tidying Up on Netflix show a significant interest in learning to live with less.
Which of these books spark your interest the most in learning more about minimalism? Let me know in the comments below!
A forty-ish web designer/developer by day, a budget & financial fanatic by night. I’m a mom, wife, avid reader, and DIY enthusiast who’s tracking our journey to debt freedom. Read More