A minimal list of minimalists

My brother recently gave me a great minimalist gift: a rock from Walden PondThoreau is considered one of the earliest minimalists, eschewing the comforts of society, moving to the woods in order to "live deliberately."  There is a certain element of that mindset within the minimalist community, and an almost universal agreement that stripping away the extraneous opens your life to the extraordinary.

The Minimalists, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus.  Everything that remains is especially good, but you might also enjoy Minimalism: a documentary about the important things.  Best quote from Everything that remains: "I am seated on the warm side of floor-to-ceiling windows in a half-empty cafe, a black coffee on the table in front of me. A thick sheet of ice coats the sidewalk outside. Winter clouds hang over everything, the sky the color of a wet hippopotamus." So, yes, minimalism, but also really good writing.

Cover of Everything that remains                          Cover of Minimalism: a documentary about the important things     


Leo Babauta, founder of zenhabits.net, is, in some ways, a senior member of the minimalist community.  It's not that he's so much older; he's just been writing about it for over a decade.  Check out his first offering:  Zen to done: the ultimate simple productivity system.

Joshua Becker was inspired to become a minimalist when, during a conversation with his neighbor, she mentioned that maybe he didn't need so much stuff.  He thought it over, and then he wrote a book.  You might like it.  It's called The minimalist home: a room-by-room guide to a decluttered, refocused life, and it's available in several formats.

It would seem reasonable to include Marie Kondo in this list, but according to her website, konmari.com, she is not a minimalist.  However, her message to only keep things that spark joy leads to an aesthetic that looks an awful lot like minimalism.  Her latest, Joy at work: organizing your professional life, is maximal in its number of suggestion on making your workspace tidy and joy-sparking.  

And finally, be sure to check out Rachel Aust's Less: a visual guide to minimalism.  It's a beautiful, simple book illustrated with flowcharts and lots of white space, and is, in its very style, minimalist.

American cover of Less: a visual guide to minimalism

Posted by LisaF on July 24, 2020