The Joy of Less Book Summary - The Joy of Less Book explained in key points
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The Joy of Less summary

Francine Jay

A Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize and Simplify

4.4 (178 ratings)
16 mins
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    The Joy of Less
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    Divide your stuff into three categories and declutter with a sense of non-attachment.

    Take a look around your house. Do you feel overwhelmed by all the things you’ve collected over the years? Is your credit-card debt rising and rising? If so, it’s time to start developing a minimalist mind-set so you can gain control of all your belongings.

    To develop a minimalist mind-set, you need to first divide your stuff into three categories: useful, beautiful and sentimental.

    The useful category contains all the things that are functional and practical. Obviously, this includes items that are necessary for our survival, such as clothing, water, shelter and food. But it also includes Items that make our lives easier, like beds, pens, laptops, plates, and so on.

    Beautiful possessions are those that give us a deeply satisfying feeling, and they deserve to be part of our lives.

    Sentimental items are reminders of people, places and events that are important to us.

    Before you can become a minimalist and start decluttering, you need to form a sense of non-attachment to your possessions.

    The usefulness of a minimalist life can be observed in this example: It’s the middle of the night and you’re fast asleep, when suddenly a fire alarm goes off. Is your first instinct to gather your laptop, important files and photographs? Of course not, the most important thing would be to get you and the other people you’re living with out of the house. 

    In other words, when it comes to your health and happiness, the most important things aren’t material items. And while we all get attached to beautiful and sentimental items, it’s important to develop an unattached, minimalist mind-set to keep things in perspective. These beautiful and sentimental items aren’t the most important things. Understanding that is the first step to successfully decluttering our homes and truly valuing the things that are worth it.

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    What is The Joy of Less about?

    The Joy of Less (2010) is a guide to developing a minimalist mind-set so you can maximize your life. It provides easy-to-follow steps on what needs to be done to enhance each room of your home.

    Best quote from The Joy of Less

    Its not easy to be a minimalist in a mass-media world. Advertisers constantly bombard us with the message that material accumulation is the measure of success.

    —Francine Jay
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    Who should read The Joy of Less?

    • Those who feel stressed and overwhelmed when coming home
    • People who spend too much and are in debt 
    • People who work at home

    About the Author

    Francine Jay is an author who has appeared on CNN, BBC and Forbes. Jay pioneered the current minimalist movement and runs the blog

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