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Five Minimalist Reading Recommendations

We talk a lot about minimalism here on the totallee blog, but we’ve yet to share a recommended reading list of some of our favorite reads on the topic… until now. For those of you interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the aesthetic, a good place to start is our reading list below, where we’ve curated a list of five of our favorite reads on minimalism.


Marie Kondo
“The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing,” by Marie Kondo

Author Marie Kondo writes beautifully in her concise guide to organizing the messes that surround most of us in the frenetic modern world. Despite what seems like an uphill battle--cleaning up your work space and apartment/house--Kondo makes it a relatively straightforward proposition: trust her method, put in some elbow grease, and enjoy the tidy fruits of your labor. According to her book, none of her in-person clients have lapsed back into cluttered squalor.

The Minimalists
“Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life,” by The Minimalists, aka Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus

At only 140 pages, “Minimalism” gets to the point quickly. Its two authors, who have dubbed themselves The Minimalists, describe how a minimalist lifestyle can be a boon to anyone looking for a more meaningful existence. Josh Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus each had a “successful” life, yet were left feeling emptier than ever on the inside. Their approach to minimalism is what saved them. They argue that minimalism can and should be applied to everything important in life, including family, relationships, personal health, and career.

Goodbye, Things
“Goodbye, Things,” by Fumio Sasaki

Similar in spirit to Marie Kondo’s approach to organizing your life, Fumio Sasaki’s “Goodbye, Things” provides a personalized account of a man overwhelmed by the unrelenting demands of everyday life. His approach? To offload as much of the unnecessary baggage (both metaphorical and literal) as possible, which ultimately made him appreciate the things that remained more fully than he ever did before. While less of a “how to” guide than Kondo’s book, “Goodbye, Things” is for the minimalist who appreciates the narrative style of storytelling, and would rather glean insight as opposed to having it expressed academically.

Kinfolk Magazine
Kinfolk Magazine,

Kinfolk’s print magazine is available quarterly in four languages and 100 countries worldwide, and its website has new posts every day. The dynamic magazine radiates minimalism every turn of the page and in every digital post, offering opinions and advice on a range of items such as fashion, interior design, and culinary arts. The structure and layout take their adherence to the minimalist dogma even further, wasting no visual space on busy frills or excessive ornamentation.

A. Quincy Jones Architecture
“A. Quincy Jones: Building for Better Living,” by Brooke Hodge

No minimalist reading list would be complete without a quality book on mid-century modern architecture, the most popular style of minimalist architecture. Author Brooke Hodge delves into the career of the seminal A. Quincy Jones, whose architectural work still litters the Southern California landscape, from individual residences to whole sections of college campuses. Hodge not only explores how Jones became one of the most respected minimalist architects of his era but also how the modern architectural style itself is the outward manifestation of minimalism in brick-and-mortar form.