This week a minimalism book came out by the popular minimalist youtuber Rachel Aust. She has been one of my favorite youtubrs for quite a while and I love her practical explanations, aesthetic, and inspiring youtube videos.
While I have ready many books about minimalism I have not read anything like Rachel Aust's book, Less: a visual guide to minimalism. I devoured this book in a few hours and (trying to put my fangirl aside for this review) it is an amazing book for people new to minimalism that just want to jump right in.
How is this minimalist book different?
What I love about this book and what I think makes it so different from all the other minimalism books that I have read is that it is a no fluff, step by step instruction guide that is visually pleasing while not overwhelming or overstimulating. Yes it covers many areas of life (simplifying your home both items and visually, meal prep, cleaning products, to decluttering your finances and closets) but this book does it in such a simple way that you don't feel like it's a long overwhelming to do list. You just take it one step at a time or in as big of bites as you want. It's all up to you. If you don't like all the anecdotes and wordy explanations of some minimalist books then this visual option is for you.
One of the biggest lessons that stuck with me was about organization. I hear this all the time, "I just need to get organized." Well if that is all it took then wouldn't your life be in order after the 5th time of you organizing this year. This quote from Rachel Aust is the perfect explanation as to why organizing alone often does not work.
"Organization isn't the same thing as minimalism. While it might feel good at first to put all your extra bits and bobs away into pretty matching containers, they're still there. Once you actually start to get rid of clutter and release it from your life, the good feeling of owning fewer items and really beginning to live intentionally sets in. Organizing what you have left after that satisfies the desire for orderliness and keeps you aware of what you own." (pg. 24)
The Analytical Mind
Another perk of this book in particular is that it has many decision charts and lists that can help a new minimalist make decisions quickly and with little stress. Here is an example...but there are many other decision charts. Everything from how to cull sentimental items to pairing down your skincare.
This one that I share with you is for decluttering those difficult areas (the junk areas) like the basements/attics or the dreaded garages. All you do is take this map and while holding each item ask yourselves these questions and follow the map. Just look at how simple and beautiful this chart is. If you have a very analytical mind your heart will jump for joy while reading this.
Did you notice the little Minimal Challenge at the end of the page? Rachel has many challenges like this throughout her book which although simple when you do each challenge would make a huge impact on your progress. That's the beauty of this book: while it is simple the changes you could make with this book would have a huge impact on your life.
However if you are well down the path of your minimalist journey it wouldn't hurt to pick up this book to give you ideas about how to make your home feel and represent you. Just because you don't have much to get rid of doesn't mean this book isn't for you. There are color schemes, advise on capsule wardrobes, minimalism challenges, and tips on how to simplify your life in general (schedules, meal prep). This book has something to offer everyone no matter if you are just starting out on this journey or you think you are at the maintenance phase.