'There's happiness in having less. If you are anything like how I used to be - miserable, constantly comparing yourself with others, or just believing your life sucks - I think you should try saying goodbye to some of your things'
Fumio Sasaki is a writer in his thirties who lives in a tiny studio in Tokyo with three shirts, four pairs of trousers, four pairs of socks and not much else. A few years ago, he realised that owning so much stuff was weighing him down - so he started to get rid of it.
In this hit Japanese bestseller, Sasaki explores the philosophy behind minimalism and offers a set of straightforward rules - discard it if you haven't used it in a year; be a borrower; find your uniform; keep photos of the things you love - that can help all of us lead simpler, happier, more fulfilled lives.
This is the third de-cluttering book I have read and reviewed. But this one is also by a Japanese author as was The Life-changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo. Where this differes from Marie Kondo is that Marie was from an early age a declutterer, whereas Fumio becomes a minimalist after being a hoarder. This is why I decided to read the book as I thought maybe it would be more realistic to achieve.
Whilst the book has lots of good advice and indeed references the Kondo method several times what Fumio has achieved is so far away from what I think is a practical life. He has so few possessions, instead thinking of shops as his personal stores, so that if ever he needs something, he buys it, there is no need to store it. In fact one item he has given away twice now and has decided if he buys it a third time he will keep it.
I liked the way the chapters were set out in the book. One chapter is "Why did we accumulate so much in the first place?" and another "55 tips to hepp you say goodbye to your things". One of his methods is to photograph possessions so that you will always have a memory of them, you do not need the physical item.
I have after reading this book I decluttered yet again - but this time more ruthlessly. I have far less items on display - meaning also less dusting. Fumio also says that your brain is working harder when it has more items to look at and process - it's true I do feel lighter now there are fewer things around.
I'm giving this book five out of five stars. Although a lot of it was not relevant to me, if you want to become a minimalist - then this is the book for you.