The Minimalist Home: A Room By Room Guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life – Book Review

“…I would even go so far as to say that the people in a minimized home stand out more as valuable than they do in a cluttered, overcrowded house. Somehow we can see each other better when not distracted by things. We are drawn to one another and are there for one another.” -Joshua Becker (The Minimalist Home)

Have you ever had a desire to get rid of the junk in your home? How does your garage currently look? Is your living room easy to maneuver through?

With an accumulation of stuff, it can sometimes be hard to know where to start. Enter Joshua Becker’s The Minimalist Home: A Room-By-Room guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life book. It provides a step by step guide to eliminating the things that distract from an intentional home, and in turn an intentional life.

The content is a great mix of minimalism inspiration and practical tips for turning the spaces in your home into the most intentional environments you can dream of.

Each chapter concludes with a Minimizing Checklist – basically a series of questions that will likely make you evaluate your spaces and family relationships in a way you never have before. Just a few for example:

1. Does this space encourage conversation and highlight what is important to our family?
2. Does this space foster intimacy and rest?
3. Is this space easy to maintain?
4. Are the kids comfortable hanging out in their rooms during the day and are they getting enough sleep at night?
5. Is there enough space in my guest room to comfortably accommodate all the belongings my overnight guests bring with them?

My wife and I already live pretty simply, but this book showed up at a timely stage of life for us. We recently invited a foster child (2 months old when he arrived) into our home and we’re about to birth another baby into the world next March.

Because we’ll soon have two babies to care for our biggest project while reading the book has been preparing two bedrooms. Before having kids I used the closet in our master bedroom and Holly used the closet space in our other two bedrooms.

You’re probably thinking we have too many clothes, which to some extent is probably true. However, we live in a house built in the 1950’s and the square footage of each bedroom is no more than 175 square feet, including the master. Without one of those large walk in closets, we have to get a bit creative with closet space.

So we began the closet consolidation process. We were challenged to examine all our clothes and shoes and other assorted items we had stuffed in these spaces. Naturally, we determined it wasn’t all necessary. Some of the items were tossed in the trash and others were bagged for donation.

In the end, my wife and I are now sharing a closet for the first time in our three and half years of marriage. After all, sharing is caring.

The closet project was just one of a many minimizing decisions we made after discussing Becker’s prompts. With a rather small living room we decided to get rid of our coffee table. The items we sat on it can easily be placed on our side tables, and getting rid of the coffee table will free up so much more space to play with the babies.

Coffee table removed. Previous TV stand converted to bench and moved by window. Bench could also serve as a coffee table if necessary. 

The questions and insights Becker writes about encouraged us to investigate every nook and cranny of our home, and it allowed us to dream about what kind of environment we want to create for these kids, our guests and ourselves.

For me, the practicality of minimalism is fun. For example, I really enjoy conducting a garage sale. We have hosted two a year for the last three or four years. I realize the actual practice of getting rid of stuff isn’t as exciting for others. I think we can all agree, though, that only hanging onto the things that truly add value to our lives sets us up for a life with less distractions and more meaning.

With the constant ebb and flow of relationships and circumstances and stuff, this book will be a great resource to pull off your bookshelf for years to come. Find out more about The Minimalist Home book and pick yours up HERE.

What minimalist decisions have you made or will you make for your home? How will those decisions affect you and your family? Feel free to share in the comments section.

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