Treading Lightly
Treading Lightly

10 Books on Minimalism

Over the past few years or so I have been slowly making my way through books that are shaping the way I want to live my life. In addition to many of the blogs I read (a post for another time), these books in one way or another all talk about cutting down on the excess and finding the things you really love. Whether you are hoping to cut down to 100 things or you just want to explore the idea of minimalism or conscious consumerism, there’s something here for you.


1. The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo: Marie takes a different approach to dealing with excess and clutter. Her method is based on whether or not your items bring you joy, and while not all of the things in my life do, it’s an interesting perspective. Minimalism is about getting rid of the things you don’t need and that don’t add value.

2. The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and our Health—and a Vision for Change This book (and the videos that go with it) were my first introduction to conscious consumerism and taking into consideration everything that goes into my stuff.

3. Everything That Remains by Joshua Fields Millburn: I dove into this looking for an answer to my endless itch to get rid of everything. I got so much more out of it than just a list of things I could donate or sell.

4. The 100 Thing Challenge by Dave Bruno: Spoiler alert, I don’t have only 100 things, and I likely never will. But learning about what he chose to keep and what got the boot (and what he regretted getting rid of), was worth the read.

5. Essentialism by Greg McKeown: Minimalism isn’t just about the amount of stuff you have shoved into your closet or in the back of your car. Greg dives into how to cut back your work and your social life to the things that are essential to you. “The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done.”

6. Clutter Free With Kids by Joshua Becker: To be fair, I don’t have kids and I haven’t read this book, but I really enjoy Joshua’s blog, Becoming Minimalist.

7. The Big Tiny by Dee Williams: Tiny houses are not for everyone, but they are absolutely fascinating. Dee dives into how she ended up living in a tiny home, including building it herself.

8. Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson: Bea makes getting to zero waste seem perfectly normal and doable. The book is full of recipes for making everything from toothpaste to house cleaner, and it’s fascinating to read about how Bea’s family of four produce only a handful of trash each year.

9. Gorgeously Green by Sophie Uliano: This was my first handbook to simplifying my life, and I didn’t even know it at the time. I started making my own beauty and cleaning products after reading this book in high school. It’s a great book to flip through for inspiration or to keep on hand for helpful recipes.

10. You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap): How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too by Tammy Strobel: Tammy intertwines her personal story of downsizing with research on happiness and wellbeing.

For more minimalist reads, check out my list on Goodreads.

*These are in no particular order, not my random decisions as to which is The Best.

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