Anyone can be a minimalist. You might not use that word, but you might still be a “minimalist” at heart. Whether you’re on a road to declutter, simplify, streamline, slow down, live sustainably, or spark joy, these book recommendations will educate and inspire.
For me paring down and experimenting with minimalism is all about making things easy on myself and my family, freeing up headspace and time for more importan/fun/thoughtful pursuits, and reducing stress. It’s about building a comfortable life that’s not always perfect but is mindful and intentional.
Minimalism also isn’t all about white interiors and making your friends and family uncomfortable with your “weird” and “high maintenance” ways. It might take some getting used to for others in your life, but stay the course if it has a positive impact. For me there’s such a huge connection between the tidiness of my space and my mental health and happiness that it will always be worth it to stick to my goals.
Streamlining our physical space is also tied to being eco-friendly. In my home we use less, buy less/buy secondhand and choose multi-use items whenever we can. We choose functional, durable, reusable items when we can. Oftentimes, this means the aesthetics are also nicer – bonus! Living light and living with less trash and waste goes hand in hand.
Here are my recommendations for anyone interested in exploring streamlining their physical space and simplifying their life, but especially if you have kids (of any age). Minimalist tip: See if you can borrow these titles from a friend, pick them up from the library, or buy them used or in digital format. I like a hard-copy format so I can easily pass it along to a friend or neighbor but if you’re used to reading on a kindle or iPad, go for it!
Simplicity Parenting* by Kim John Payne
This book and website are excellent resources for parents who want to encourage more creative play and happiness and less stress in their families life. It’s the kind of book you re-read either in its entirety or by section because its such a good blueprint to a calmer, more joyful and connected lifestyle.
Minimalist Mom* by Rachel Jonat
Rachel’s blog was absolutely one of the reasons my family chose to dive in and drastically reduce our belongings. Her book was written especially for parents and I like her perspective. While I was already a parent and had passed the newborn stock-up and registry stage, I still gained a lot of helpful information from her book.
The More of Less* by Joshua Becker
An excellent introduction to decluttering and simplifying your home. I read – er, devoured? – this book in just a couple of days because it’s a fast read, and immediately asked my husband to read it too. Then immediately wanted to give it away. But wait! That’s a good thing! While not every single word or section resonated with me and my lifestyle personally, it was such an energizing book that reinvigorated my commitment to a minimalist home.
Simple Matters* by Erin Boyle
The day I found Erin’s blog, I think I read only a few posts before I realized I wanted to buy her book. It had just come out so I was excited to see what she offered up in the book versus her blog. They are complimentary but different. The book offers up stories and advice seamlessly, and her insight about living in a small space and the freedom that comes with being basically forced to live with only the minimum is valuable for anyone, regardless of how many square feet you inhabit.
The Joy of Less* by Francine Jay
This is a road map to simplifying. It not only demystifies the term minimalism but it offers tons of practical advice. If you’re the kind of person who likes to mark or highlight cool sentences and quotes, you might love this book just for the beautiful nuggets of advice sprinkled throughout. There were beautiful sentences that jolted me into “aha!” moments that I will be forever grateful for.
Do you absolutely need to read any of these books in order to pursue a simpler, slower life and home? Of course not. There are lots of resources out there to help, but the sheer number of blog posts, Instagram accounts and articles on the subject can also be overwhelming and cause some decision paralysis. Which is the exact opposite thing you’re probably looking for. The road to a minimalist home is long, and I do think that these books can provide insight as well as motivation and energy to your journey.
The book titles with an asterisk are affiliate links to target.com. Your shopping experience doesn’t change in the slightest but I may earn a small commission from your purchase. If you enjoy my posts and recommendations, I hope you’ll be totally fine with this. If you were going to buy the book anyway, I so appreciate you using my link. More info can be found on my “Where to Shop” page.
I’d love to hear from you – have you read any of these? What did you think? What other books should I add to my reading list?