You don’t need to read all of these books to declutter your house.
Each one will help and you may want to read a few, but we all handle clutter differently.
These books aren’t just to help you get some strategies for clearing clutter; they’ll also help you stay motivated through the process and take a new mindset on your stuff.
If you want to get started, start before you feel like it. You may get the motivation before you start, but more often than not, action is what creates motivation.
Choose a book or two and start. You don’t have to have the best method. You don’t need to get everything right; you just need to get started.
Minimalism Strategies to Declutter Your Life and Make Room for Joy
By Erica Layne
If you want practical ways to declutter each area of your home, this book is for you.
I loved the ideas she shares and the questions she asks about each item in her home.
This book starts by addressing your heart and your mind and then proceeds into practical ways to start decluttering and downsizing.
Discover how to apply the minimalist mindset to every aspect of your life by changing the way you think about your home, career, relationships, family, and money. The Minimalist Way will help you take it one step at a time with simple exercises and activities. Ease into minimalism at your own pace and learn how to let go.
Winning Your Never-Ending Battle with Stuff
By Dana K. White
First off, she emphasizes the purpose of her book is not about cleaning, but decluttering. As tempting as cleaning will be, decluttering is the goal, but yes, you can clean as you go if you can’t help yourself.
I really like the questions she introduces to ask yourself about each item:
- Ask yourself where you would look for the item, then take it to that location
- If you can’t think of where you’d go to find the item, ask yourself if it would occur to you that you already had the item (if it wouldn’t, donate it)
It’s amazing how helpful these questions are. On top of that, I feel like she had been to my house, discussing everything from the box of old t-shirts we keep, planning to make a t-shirt quilt, to the expired food in our pantry.
A Room-by-Room Guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life
By Joshua Becker
Exactly as the sub-title says, this is a room-by-room guide. He goes through every room and gives some practical ideas and ways to declutter each one.
I love how practical this book is and it’s actionable stuff you can do immediately. However, it’s not a get-it-all-done event, it’s a process. He shows you how to declutter slowly.
Joshua popularized the minimalism movement online, with his blog, Becoming Minimalist. This is one of his more recent books, so it encompasses everything he’s learned about decluttering over the last decade.
One of today’s most influential minimalist advocates takes us on a decluttering tour of our own houses and apartments, showing us how to decide what to get rid of and what to keep. He both offers practical guidelines for simplifying our lifestyle at home and addresses underlying issues that contribute to over-accumulation in the first place. The purpose is not just to create a more inviting living space. It’s also to turn our life’s HQ—our home—into a launching pad for a more fulfilling and productive life in the world.
A Simple Guide to Declutter and Organize Your Life
By Olivia Telford
This book has a 30-day challenge that can get you on track. It’s in between getting it all done in one weekend and taking 10 years to declutter your house. I think her strategies are actionable and easy to implement.
This is also a short, 146-page read or an under-3-hour listen.
The New Japanese Minimalism
By Fumio Sasaki
A Japanese approach to the subject. He got into the art of Japanese Minimalism, it worked for him, then he decided to share what he learned. It’s written from the perspective of the average person. He’s not a guru. He’s just following principles he’s learned along the way and showing you what he’s learned.
It’s practical and actionable advice. It’s simple, but like most decluttering, it’s not always easy.
The best-selling phenomenon from Japan that shows us a minimalist life is a happy life.
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.
The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
By Marie Kondō
You’ve probably heard of this one. She’s increasing in popularity daily, especially with her Netflix show. Her KonMari Method is one of the most popular methods now. If you haven’t heard of it, there is a big difference from most of the other books on decluttering: she does it all at once. If you want to declutter your bedroom, you do the entire room in a day. Ideally, you’d declutter your entire house in a week or a weekend.
This method can be overwhelming. It works, but only if you prefer to knock it all out at one time.
Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?
Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list).
With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international bestseller will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.
The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential…in Business and in Life
By Lea Babautu
This was one of the first popular books about minimalism. While it’s not a step-by-step guide to decluttering like many of the other books on this list, it is a guide to your mind. It’s about wanting less and appreciating what you have.
Think of this as more of a productivity book. Ideas you can use to help you declutter your house and your life. He goes into everything from becoming more efficient to creating new habits — all which will help you tackle your clutter.
A Customized Plan to Declutter Your Home and Simplify Your Life
By Elizabeth Enright Phillips
Now we’re back to the manuals for decluttering. This last book is one of the best for an approach you can use immediately upon reading it.
All of these books are practical, but this may be the most practical one. At just over 200 pages, it’s a pretty quick read as well.
Those are my top eight for decluttering.
Feel free to share your favorite books on minimalism and decluttering!
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