10 Best Minimalism Books That Will Teach You How to Live Simply

Minimalism was a great lifesaver for me. It taught me how to live more with less. It not only saved me money and time but most importantly, gave me peace of mind. It might sound ironic to have to acquire books to learn more about minimalism, and this is why I suggest getting the digital form or borrowing them from a library.

The first book that got me started was Zero Waste Home by Bea JOHNSON. I always wanted a minimalistic life but didn’t know how to start that, and the rule of having zero waste, was the best way for me to start a minimalistic lifestyle. So before buying anything, I’ll have to make sure that I won’t end up with waste to deal with.

Without further ado, here are, in no order, a list of the best books to help you live simply.

1. Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste
by Bea Johnson, 2013

In Zero Waste Home, Bea Johnson shares the story of how she simplified her life by reducing her waste. Today, Bea, her husband, Scott, and their two young sons produce just one quart of garbage a year, and their overall quality of life has changed for the better: they now have more time together, they’ve cut their annual spending by a remarkable 40 percent, and they are healthier than they’ve ever been.

Reviews | “Waste not, want not isn't about penny-pinching. It's about gratitude and loving our lives. Bea Johnson doesn't just teach us to save the planet. She teaches us to save ourselves." - Colin Beavan

2. Essential: Essays by The Minimalists
By Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, 2011

The best of The Minimalists. This book by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus collects the most relevant essays—some short, some long—from their popular website, TheMinimalists.com. This collection has been edited and organized to create an experience that's considerably different from reading individual selections online. From simple living, decluttering, and finances, to passion, health, and relationships, Essential is for anyone who desires a more intentional life.

Reviews | “No matter where you are on the continuum of Minimalism, these essays provide an honest reflection on the author's experiences, bundled with kind consideration for how it might be possible for you to see positive improvement in your life.” - B. Taylor

3. Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life
by Joshua Fields Millburn, Ryan Nicodemus, 2011

In their debut book, Joshua & Ryan, authors of the popular website TheMinimalists.com, explore their troubled pasts and descent into depression. Though they had achieved the American Dream, they worked ridiculous hours, wastefully spent money, and lived paycheck to paycheck. Instead of discovering their passions, they pacified themselves with ephemeral indulgences—which only led to more debt, depression, and discontent.

 After a pair of life-changing events, Joshua & Ryan discovered minimalism, allowing them to eliminate their excess material things so they could focus on life’s most important “things”: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution.

Reviews | "This is the minimalism book everyone's been waiting for."

- Intrepid Radio 

4. Everything That Remains: A Memoir by the Minimalists
by Joshua Fields Millburn, Ryan Nicodemus, 2013

Not a how-to book but a why-to book, Everything That Remains is the touching, surprising story of what happened when one young man decided to let go of everything and begin living more deliberately. Heartrending, uplifting, and deeply personal, this engrossing memoir is peppered with insightful (and often hilarious) interruptions by Ryan Nicodemus, Millburn's best friend of twenty years.

Reviews | "A better life, by having fewer possessions." --Seattle Times

"Perhaps it's a good time to sit back and look at how we can all live with less." --USA Today

5. The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own
by Joshua Becker, 2016

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Most of us know we own too much stuff. We feel the weight and burden of our clutter, and we tire of cleaning and managing and organizing.

While excess consumption leads to bigger houses, faster cars, fancier technology, and cluttered homes, it never brings happiness. Rather, it results in a desire for more. It redirects our greatest passions to things that can never fulfill. And it distracts us from the very life we wish we were living.

Reviews | “I’m so inspired by this wise, timely book! Like so many people right now, I’m drawn to the idea of minimalism, but, to be honest, I find myself pretty deeply entrenched in bad habits of clutter and accumulation. I’m so thankful for Joshua’s clear vision for what life can be when we choose to surround ourselves with less stuff, and how in doing so, we create more space for living and dreaming.”—Shauna Niequist, author of Bread & Wine and Savor

6. Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism
by Fumio Sasaki, 2015

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Fumio Sasaki is not an enlightened minimalism expert or organizing guru like Marie Kondo―he’s just a regular guy who was stressed out and constantly comparing himself to others, until one day he decided to change his life by saying goodbye to everything he didn’t absolutely need. The effects were remarkable: Sasaki gained true freedom, new focus, and a real sense of gratitude for everything around him. In Goodbye, Things Sasaki modestly shares his personal minimalist experience, offering specific tips on the minimizing process and revealing how the new minimalist movement can not only transform your space but truly enrich your life. The benefits of a minimalist life can be realized by anyone, and Sasaki’s humble vision of true happiness will open your eyes to minimalism’s potential.

Reviews | “In his new book, Goodbye, Things, Fumio Sasaki shares the lessons he learned by going minimalist. . . . For Sasaki, minimalism isn't about how little you have, but how it makes you feel. Sasaki credits his minimalist lifestyle with helping him lose weight, become extroverted and proactive, and above all, feel happy and grateful for what he has."- Heeseung Kim, Cosmopolitan

7. Simple Matters
By Erin Boyle, 2016

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For anyone looking to declutter, organize, and simplify, author Erin Boyle shares practical guidance and personal insights on small-space living and conscious consumption. At once pragmatic and philosophical, Simple Matters, is a nod to the growing consensus that living simply and purposefully is more sustainable not only for the environment, but for our own happiness and well-being, too. Boyle embraces the notion that “living small” is beneficial and accessible to us all—whether we’re renting a tiny apartment or purchasing a three-story house.

Filled with personal essays, projects, and helpful advice on how to be inventive and resourceful in a tight space, Simple Matters shows that living simply is about making do with less and ending up with more: more free time, more time with loved ones, more savings, and more things of beauty.

Reviews | "Erin Boyle speaks to the heart and soul of the minimalist lifestyle. With her deft prose and graceful imagery she details not only how we can approach homekeeping more simply, but why—for our own happiness and peace of mind—we absolutely must. Simple Matters is a must-have manual for serenity in the modern world!" - Anne Sage

8. The Joy Of Less
By Francine Jay, 2010

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The Joy of Less is a fun, lighthearted guide to minimalist living. Part One provides an inspirational pep talk on the joys and rewards of paring down. Part Two presents the STREAMLINE method: ten easy steps to rid your house of clutter. Part Three goes room by room, outlining specific ways to tackle each one. Part Four helps you trim your to-do list and free up your time, and explains how saving space in your closets can save the planet.

Reviews | "I loved the many words of wisdom in this book. The Joy of Less puts power back into the hands of all who feel like objects have overtaken their home or life." - Holly Becker

9. Essential Zen Habits
By Leo Babauta, 2015

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Essential Zen Habits shares a method and a six-week program for changing a habit, and outlines steps needed to quit bad habits, deal with life struggles, and find mindfulness. All in a very brief format of "just do this" instructions, no fluff whatsoever.

Reviews | “[Leo Babauta] has the knack of saying exactly what I need to hear, exactly when I need to hear it. . .I find his thoughtful, sincere, real comments and suggestions to be priceless.” -Ellen Morris

10. The Curated Closet
By Anuschka Rees, 2016

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With so many style and shopping options, it can be difficult to create a streamlined closet of pieces that can be worn easily and confidently. In The Curated Closet, style writer Anuschka Rees presents a fascinatingly strategic approach to identifying, refining, and expressing personal style and building the ideal wardrobe to match it, with style and shopping strategies that women can use every day.

Reviews | “Anuschka Rees’s The Curated Closet is a smart, straightforward manual that encourages readers to discover what they like and to develop a wardrobe that makes getting dressed easier. Anuschka's pragmatic book should be required reading for anyone familiar with staring at a closet full of clothes and still feeling like they don't have a thing to wear.” - Erin Boyle

Have you read any of these books?
Do you have other books on minimalism you can recommend? please let me know your suggestions in the comments below!

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