Miss Minimalist gets it right – the joy of less

Jonathan D. Blundell —  September 13, 2010 — 3 Comments
the joy of less

the joy of less by Francine Jay

Over the last several weeks I’ve been reading through Francine Jay’s book, “the joy of less.”

I was a bit intimidated when she sent me a copy of the book and I discovered it was 286 pages long.

I’m used to shorter minimalist e-books like:

…not that longer is any better or worse — just different — and probably something my family members would be more likely to read than an e-book.

And while I could give a typical review of the book, I thought I’d try out the new presentation app: Prezi.com.

Scroll through to view an overview of the book (or for the traditional readers, you can read the highlights below…)

What I love about the book is Francine wrote and organized the book in a great logical manner.

First she tells us what the problem is. Then how to solve the problem. Then shows us how to apply the solution and finally, casts a vision for how the solution can really take hold and change our lifestyle.

In general, our stuff can be broken into three categories:

  • Useful stuff
  • Beautiful stuff
  • Emotional stuff

And while some might think minimalism is all about getting rid of all our stuff — in reality…

Anything you use often, which adds true value to your life is welcome in a minimalist life.

The problem is that more often than not, we have tons of potentially useful stuff that never really gets used.

Francine writes that we must learn that we are not our stuff. Getting rid of our stuff doesn’t affect who we are. Getting more stuff doesn’t affect who we are.

It’s what we do — not what we own that’s far more illuminating.

Francine also stresses that less stuff = less stress.

  • We stress over not having stuff
  • We stress over trying to acquire stuff
  • We stress over how to keep our stuff in good condition
  • We stress over how to fix our stuff once it’s broken
  • We stress over replacing our stuff with the latest and greatest stuff

(rinse and repeat)

OR…

We can realize that less stuff = more freedom.

When we’re no longer chained to our stuff, we can connect with others and have greater participation in our communities.

So what’s the solution?

Francine has a great 10 step process to making minimalism work in your home.

STREAMLINE

  • Start over
  • Trash, Transfer or Treasure
  • Reason for each item
  • Everything in it’s place
  • All surfaces clear
  • Make use of modules (containers)
  • Limits
  • If something comes in, something goes out
  • Narrow it down
  • Everyday maintance

Once you get the process down… repeat, rinse and re-cycle through it as often as needed. Before long you’ll start seeing the benefits of minimalism in multiple areas of your life.

Like I mentioned above, this isn’t your typical minimalism e-book — but it’s well worth the read — and well worth passing it along to friends and family (or picking up a few copies for Christmas). But be sure you realize you can’t force these ideas on anyone.

Learn the process, apply the process and then let them be drawn to your example.

Once people are drawn to your lifestyle, point them in the right direction with books like this.

the joy of less is available on Amazon.com and other retailers in paperback or for Kindle.

Find out more about Francine Jay on her blog, MissMinimalist.com or follow her on Twitter: @missminimalist.

Jonathan D. Blundell

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I'm Jonathan Blundell. I'm a husband, father of twins, blogger, podcaster, author and media geek who is trying to live a simple life and follow The Way. Circle me on G+

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3 responses to Miss Minimalist gets it right – the joy of less

  1. I loved this review! Thanks for making it so enticing with the prezi presentation. While I’m excited about the ideas for simplifying, I also realize how much decluttering I still have to do!

    • Thanks Willow –

      The Prezi presentation was not only fun to learn and work with, but made “writing” the review a fun/different experience than I’m normally used to.

      I’m with you though – there’s still tons of decluttering I have to do as well.

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