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Are you curious about minimalism and looking for the best minimalist books to read to learn more? But what comes to your mind when you think of minimalism? For some, the idea of a single chair in an otherwise empty room and a wardrobe with one pair of shoes. Others might think of it as a lifestyle that helps things not get too cluttered.
There are articles, advice, minimalist books, books on decluttering, and plenty of opinions about what it is and what it means to be a minimalist. Many have benefited from this practice, and the idea of clearing out unnecessary things and creating a simpler life appeals to most of us on some level.
There's no doubt that we could all benefit from owning less. Our stuff costs us more than we think it does. In fact, Alexander Harris of Spare Foot found that it costs nearly $90 a month to rent a storage space on average.
If that's not enough, the amount of stuff we have in our homes can affect how stressed we feel.
With all that in mind, it's definitely time to learn more about this minimalism thing. It has gained popularity lately, and with good reason.
We can all benefit from taking control of our possessions and determining what stays and what goes and minimalist books are a great place to start! Reading books on the topic will give you a way to do just that while also choosing what does and does not work for your lifestyle.
But first, let's find out what a minimalist is and what the best minimalist books are.
What is a minimalist?
So, what is a minimalist? Simply put, a minimalist focuses on having the things they need and not adding much else to their lifestyle. However, within this, there's a lot of room for interpretation.
This is because everyone has a different idea of what they "need" for their daily life. But overall, a minimalist strives to live without excess stuff and tries to keep things simple. It could be with minimalist fashion, minimalist skincare, minimalist finances, and much more!
How this list of best books on minimalism can change your life
Minimalist books are definitely helpful with defining what the lifestyle is like and how to begin using minimalism in your own life. So if you embrace the advice, you can completely change your life for the better because less stuff means less stress and more time. Yup, less is better!
In this article, you'll find 15 of the best books on minimalism to give you all the information you need. Some are more inward-focused, prompting shifts in your thinking, and others tell you how to get rid of clutter in your home.
Use these minimalist books to gain perspective on the movement and apply it to your own life.
The 15 best minimalists books to learn all about minimalism
1. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
Netflix sensation Marie Kondo offers her approach to changing your life through tidying up. This read explores the idea of what to keep or get rid of based on how you feel about it, not by what you "should" or "shouldn't" keep. For instance, she teaches you to only keep the items that spark joy in your life.
Praise for this book and its author is nearly endless, as Kondo brings a fresh and time-saving perspective on cleaning to the world.
2. Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life by Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Fields Millburn
This book explores the idea of owning less for a more satisfying life. Written by bloggers who found their lives completely changed by minimalism, Ryan and Joshua are flipping tradition on its head.
They advocate for true happiness over more things and share their own stories of how they made the leap to minimalism themselves. They genuinely care about helping people live happy and fulfilled lives. Their book offers a peek into this lifestyle and what it can do.
3. Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist
Author Shauna Niequist explores the internal aspects of less. Less everything. In a culture that is stuffed to the brim with activities, things, and more, she discusses her journey back from this way of life.
It reads more like a collection of thoughts from a good friend than an advice manual, but it will make readers think hard about their own lives and what they give time and attention to. Niequist advocates for readers to focus on one thing at a time and teaches about genuine rest and simplicity in the process.
4. The Afrominimalist's Guide to Living with Less by Christine Platt
This book features a unique take on minimalism from celebrated author Christine Platt. She wanted to create a minimalist lifestyle that worked for her, not one based on mainstream ideas. Influenced by history, culture, and her own experience, Platt created this gem of a book that will surely be read for years.
She invites readers to take a look at their own lives and stories and apply that to minimalism to create something that makes their lives better than before.
5. 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 by Cait Flanders
What began as just an experiment started a new lifestyle. This book by Cait Flanders focuses on a year in her life when she stopped shopping for anything non-essential.
Think of this as an extreme take on the "no spend month" craze; this year of change brought much clarity for the author. She moved beyond buying less to owning fewer items, as well, and found that she was much happier for it.
6. Project 333: The Minimalist Fashion Challenge That Proves Less Really is So Much More by Courtney Carver
Many have heard of this widespread movement that focuses specifically on our wardrobes. Courtney Carver challenges readers to use only 33 wardrobe items for an entire 3 months. It doesn't seem like enough, but she and many others found it incredibly helpful and easy to do.
This project can give people a new perspective on shopping, clothes, and the way we spend money. It is one of the most practical minimalist books on the market.
7. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
Essentialism is one of the most unique books on minimalism because it focuses on our own choices. We tend to add things into our lives without much thought, and as a result, are exhausted.
Essentialism takes a step back to think about what truly matters and changes our minds for the better. Applying essentialism can lead to a higher quality of life that helps you live with more peace.
8. Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste by Bea Johnson
This read goes beyond being one of the best books on minimalism to changing the way we think about overconsumption and wastefulness. It will help you figure out a brand new way to live that is good for you and the earth.
Bea Johnson brings a fresh look at a way of living in Zero Waste Home that gives back while also being practical. An inspiring how-to guide for minimalists and those who want to live more sustainably.
9. Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport
You, like many others, may feel frustrated by the amount of time spent on phones and computers but aren't sure how to break free from it yourself. In the book, Cal Newport offers advice about how to be a digital minimalist.
He shows various perspectives and an approach to technology that allows you to take back control and stop the cycle of too much. One of the best minimalist books on reshaping your mind to a new way of living that makes sense.
10. Minimalism for Families: Practical Minimalist Living Strategies to Simplify Your Home and Life by Zoe Kim
One of the most practical minimalist books, Minimalism for Families, is an excellent book for getting rid of extra items around your home. Author Zoe Kim helps families to get organized, get a clear strategy, and most importantly, remember what matters most. A great example to follow for people that are new to minimalism and tired of all the clutter.
11. Unstuffed: Decluttering Your Home, Mind, and Soul P by Ruth Soukup
Unstuffed focuses on getting rid of items in the home as well as freeing up the mind. It is a call to live a simpler life, free of complications and clutter. Ruth Soukup offers guidelines for keeping our lives as simple as possible and changing our perspectives.
12. Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism by Fumio Sasaki
One of the most interesting books on minimalism, Goodbye, Things is Fumio Sasaki's story of owning less. The author details the feeling of thankfulness that comes with living a simple life.
It is a great personal story that shows the triumphs of minimalism. It will make you think and want to try out this lifestyle.
13. The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify by Francine Jay
The Joy of Less discusses the why of minimalism, in addition to the how. Francine Jay shows readers how they can be happier when they choose a life that revolves around less. She also goes into detail about how exactly to get organized and get rid of the excess. So you'll be ready to clean by the time you finish this book.
14. Everything that Remains: A Memoir By The Minimalists - Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus
This book makes readers take a long look at the lives they've built and whether those lives reflect what they truly want in life. Joshua Fields Millburn shares the story of his own path towards becoming a minimalist and the way things have improved since then.
This is a memoir, so you'll get more of a story from this book, and it's a great way to challenge thinking patterns and learn why having it all isn't all it's cracked up to be.
15. New Minimalism: Decluttering and Design for Sustainable, Intentional Living by Cary Telander Fortin and Kyle Louise Quilici
If you love the idea of minimalism but think that it goes too far with decor and furniture, you'll love this book. A great way to examine the minimalist lifestyle while also making your space one that you feel comfortable and happy in. The perfect book for decluttering, New Minimalism is the guide you need.
Read these minimalist books to change your money and life
Knowing that there are so many benefits to having less stuff, why not give it a try? This list of the best books on minimalism can really help if you feel stuck with all the clutter and unsure of where to turn.
These minimalist books offer various perspectives. Some are personal stories, others are about specific parts of minimalism (like digital), while others contribute practical advice for removing items from your home and getting organized.
So what's our advice? Choose a couple of books that speak to you and your lifestyle. Find ways to use the advice given in these minimalist books, and then share it with others. Start small, with just one room, or one part of your life, like your closet or how much time you spend using technology.
You may notice considerable differences in your life, including a more peaceful mind and greater happiness while living a simple life. Minimalism can work for you, and it can change your finances for the better.
Start learning how to minimize your spending and save more money with our completely free courses and worksheets! Also, follow Clever Girl Finance on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube for minimalist tips and tricks!