First of all I love Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism because it has great before and after pictures. These pictures are not only of the author’s spaces but of some of his friends. There are only five chapters and they are all packed full of great information. Sasaki’s definition of minimalism is “reducing our necessary items to a minimum and doing away with excess so we can focus on the things that are truly important to us.” I think that is a fine definition and one that you can easily relate to.
If you want to get to the heart of this book go to Chapter 3. This is the section with 55 tips to help you say goodbye to your things.
Here are my favorite tips from Chapter 3:
- Discarding is a learned skill.
- Start with the stuff that is clearly junk.
- Know the difference between things you want and things you need.
- Our things are like roommates, but we are paying their rent keeping them in our homes. They actually create extra work for us to keep them.
- Declutter first then organize.
- Let go of “someday”.
- Say goodbye to who you used to be.
I highly recommend this book if you are thinking about decluttering your space or even the idea of becoming a minimalist. I think this book gives lots of practical advice on what to think about and what to tell yourself when you are trying to cut down on the amount of possession you own.
I also enjoyed the book because while I am not going to be moving into a smaller space I can donate some of the quantity of things I own.