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My most recent Audible listen was “The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify” by Francine Jay. It coincided with the beginning of my pre-baby nesting/spring cleaning urge, which began in February. I felt the need to get rid of stuff and make room for our family to grow. I wanted to simplify my life in whatever way I could, so The Joy of Less came into my life at the perfect time. I feel like I took so much away from this book, so I wanted to share some of the wisdom. Of course, there’s a lot more to learn by reading the book for yourself, and I highly recommend it!
Lessons from “The Joy of Less”:
- “Less stuff equals less stress.” I couldn’t agree more. That’s exactly why I’ve been so into decluttering (again) lately. The more stuff you have, the more you need to take care of the stuff, like cleaners, and storage bins, and the more time you spend taking care of your belongings.
- You don’t have to own certain furniture because it is expected. When you’re in college or younger and maybe didn’t have as much stuff, you also didn’t need as much. When you move into a bigger place you tend to fill it up with more stuff, and a lot of it is to keep up with the Joneses. This has been eye-opening.
- Try the one-a-day declutter. This has been the most practical tip for me, because sometimes you just can’t or won’t spend a whole weekend throwing all of your stuff into a pile and sorting through each item. Or, if you’ve already decluttered, you can keep your home tidy and minimalist by regular assessing items as you come into contact with them. I have been doing this lately. I kept a bag behind our bed and put items in it as I came across them and decided I didn’t want, use or like them anymore.
- Set an example for others. If you want your partner to minimize their belongings, do so by doing it yourself and supporting them if they want to, but never purge their things without their knowledge. Encourage your friends to exchange experiences as gifts as much as you can.
- Become a “minsumer.” Being a minimalist consumer means not buying. Borrowing when you need something, fixing what you have when it breaks, and buying secondhand are all alternatives.
- Reduce is better than recycle. This is the biggest reminder I needed. I tend to think it’s OK that I buy something because I can recycle it afterward, but it’s better to not cause the waste in the first place. I have been thinking more about how I can repurpose items I bring into my home. Thinking about the disposal of an item you buy is just as important as thinking about its lifespan. Ask “why before you buy,” the author says.
- Connect with minimalists. Reading blogs about minimalism or joining a local group can help you find likeminded people who encourage your lifestyle rather than disparage it.
If you’re interested in this book, I recommend trying Audible because then you don’t have a physical book taking up space in your home, but if you prefer reading to listening, I’ll provide a link below. Consider giving the book to a friend or family member who is interested in minimalism when you’re done with it, or donate the book to a library or charity!