What We’re Reading: Miss Minimalist

| November 5, 2011

While researching budget books for my last post, “Cheaper Than a Free Lunch: Winter* Clothing,” I came across an e-book on Amazon.com. Its title: Miss Minimalist: Inspiration to Downsize, Declutter, and Simplify by Francine Jay. The book is simply a collection of her blog posts available online for free. I didn’t mind because the book was $0.99 — go cheap!

The e-book is pretty straightforward — the why and how of de-cluttering your life, from the physical to the mental. It had me thinking about my last few moving experiences. The last of which, thankfully, involved very little furniture but a ton of STUFF (some things I hadn’t seen in years). I left most items with my roommate, but much of it I either gave away, threw away, donated or simply shoved into my parent’s already-packed basement — likely never to see the light of day again!

One of the many wonderful suggestions made by Mrs. Jay includes getting rid of one item (just ONE – size & value does not matter) per day — whether through donation, toss, or give-away. This doesn’t seem like much…but that’s 365 less items in your apartment or home (or in my case, an itty bitty studio) per year! Just the thought of that makes me giddy!

I remember when I moved out of my apartment after college, how liberating it was to sell almost all of my possessions, purchase a backpack, fill that backpack with just enough clothing to get by for 4 months. One would be surprised that I never felt like I was wearing the same things often…even though I was! Some days, I even wanted to get rid of the backpack and its contents because it was such a heavy burden. If we all thought of packing all of our current possessions into a bag we had to carry daily, wouldn’t we want to dump that unnecessary baggage, too?

The dilemma many people feel when packing suitcases is the dilemma I feel when I move — I only want to bring the essentials (plus a few frills) with me. When I go away on vacation, I take even less. Sometimes, sadly, I don’t even take the minimum. The key to living burden-free is to simply stop buying crap you don’t need! I make it a point to buy second-hand items or raid my parent’s house or borrow before I purchase — not only does it save money, but it’s one less thing consumed by me. I plan to try this anti-consumerist approach to life. The thought of getting rid of all the non-essentials is something I look forward to. :)

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UPDATE: We now have a copy of The joy of less! The information is below:

Title: The joy of less: a minimalist living guide : how to declutter, organize, and simplify your life

Author: Francine Jay

Call Number: TX309 .J39 2010