I just finished up The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Living Guide by Francine Jay; "how to declutter, organize, and simplify your life." She breaks this guide down into four parts:
- The basic thought process in the desire to eliminate the excess and the beauty that could be had with a simpler home and life.
- A very practical and detailed process to complete the decluttering and organizing called S.T.R.E.A.M.L.I.N.E. (Start over / Trash, treasure, transfer / Reason for each item / Everything in its place / All surfaces clear / Modules / Limits / If one comes in, one goes out / Narrow it down / Everyday maintenance.)
- How to apply the STREAMLINE process to each specific room of the house.
- Expanding these principles into managing daily schedules and activities, and how taking these steps benefit others.
Her recommended STREAMLINE process is a perfect approach to decluttering, organizing and minimalizing. I will definitely keep these ideas in mind in my ongoing efforts in our own home. I also really appreciated her ideas on applying these principles to my daily schedule and the activities I allow to creep in and clutter up my life. A very practical and applicable read.
I have only one potential complaint on this book:
I was looking for something to read more on the extreme side of minimalism. (Her blog is definitely that way, so I thought this book might be, too.) This seemed to be less about extreme minimalism and more of an every man's guide to decluttering. Obviously, that's not a bad thing and definitely makes minimalism approachable to those that might otherwise look the other way. But for the inspiration of someone able to live extremely minimalist, her experience on Miss Minimalist blog will suffice and I plan to read The 100 Thing Challenge next.
I definitely recommend this book. And not necessarily for people interested in minimalism. If you're looking to declutter or organize or get a little perspective on why minimalism might be worth a second look, this is definitely the book. And if you're not sure, again, at least check out her blog: Miss Minimalist.