The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide

Today I have some exciting news to share with you: my second book has been published!

It’s called The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life.

Here’s a look at the front and back covers:


As most of you know, I started this blog after I moved to the UK—a relocation that involved selling most of my possessions, and starting my minimalist life anew.

Before that, however, I was in the same position as many of you: I had too much stuff, and wanted to pare down. My things weighed on me like hundreds of little anchors, draining me of my time, my money, and my energy.

So one day I made a decision: I stopped buying things, and started to declutter. And to my delight, what I’d expected to be a rather onerous task was absolutely exhilarating! I decluttered in the morning, in the evening, on the weekends, and in my dreams. When I wasn’t actually decluttering, I was planning what I could declutter next.

The entire process was an amazing time in my life: with each passing day, I felt a little bit lighter, a little more serene, a little more free. The less stuff I was burdened with, the more possibilities life seemed to hold.

I began to sing the praises of minimalist living to anyone who would listen, and was surprised at the positive response I received. I discovered that a great many people wanted to declutter their homes and simplify their lives—but for the most part, just didn’t know where to start.

That’s why I wrote The Joy of Less. The book is part philosophy, part pep talk, part practical advice—basically, everything you need to know to purge the clutter from your life.

Part One is all about inspiration. The quotes, stories, and exercises in this section help you develop a minimalist mindset—making it much easier to let your excess stuff go, and keep new stuff from coming in the door.

Part Two outlines the STREAMLINE method: ten sure-fire techniques to rid your house of clutter, and keep it that way. These steps are my “secret weapon” for achieving, and maintaining, a minimalist home—and I’m so thrilled to finally share them!

Part Three shows you how to give each room in your house a minimalist makeover. Each chapter tackles a different room: living room, bedroom, home office, kitchen/dining room, bathroom, and storage spaces (garage, attic, and basement). There’s also a whole chapter on creating a minimalist wardrobe, and another one dealing with gifts, heirlooms, and sentimental items.

Part Four takes this minimalist philosophy beyond the house. In this section, you’ll learn how to declutter your schedule, and reclaim your time as you did your space. You’ll also discover the far-reaching benefits of living lightly and gracefully on the Earth, and see how saving space in your closets can help save the planet.

Want a sneak peek? Click here to read the Table of Contents and the Introduction (or see the Contents below).



I assure you that the book is not a collection of blog posts, but rather a comprehensive manual for minimalist living. The vast majority of material has not appeared on the blog, and will provide you with plenty of new reading on the subject!

I’d be so honored, and grateful, if any of you decide to purchase the book. If you’d like to do so, it’s available on

The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life

For those of you downsizing your book collections (or outside the US), it’s also available on Kindle:

The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life (Kindle Edition)

You don’t need to own a Kindle reader; simply download the free software to your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPod Touch, Blackberry, etc.

Thank you so much for letting me share this with you today. I love to write, but I’m somewhat shy when it comes to selling and promoting my work.

However, I’m very excited about the book, as it sums up all of my thoughts, ideas, and experiences with minimalist living. Furthermore, I feel like you’re all my family—and thought that some of you might be upset if I didn’t tell you about it. :-)

I really appreciate your support of my blog, and hope you’ll read my book!

As most of you know, I started this blog after I moved to the UK—a relocation that involved selling most of my possessions, and starting my minimalist life anew.

177 comments to The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide

  • JeffS

    I refused to support the Kindle and their proprietary formats – and of course the ebook is only available through them. Oh well.

    I guess I’ll buy the book and donate it to the library afterwards.

  • Rachel

    Just bought the Kindle edition of your book; I’ve only read the introduction so far, but I’m already energized! Looking forward to reading more! My first electronic book, too:)

  • Terry

    I love your book, “The Joy Of Less! It has changed my life! I recently sold a desk that I just had no need for on Craig’s List. An elderly couple called & asked if they could come & look at it. They were 20 minutes away & I was making my homemade laundry detergent at that time, also I was still in my nightgown. I quickly changed into clothes before they arrived. The gentleman asked me if I was moving in or moving out. I thought that it was an odd question & asked them (after they looked at the desk, it was in another room) what they meant by that question. The couple looked at each other & I told them that it would not offend me, that I was just curious. The wife said that there was no clutter, no personal objects out, the house was spotless, it looked like I was ready to show the house to perspective buyers , they hadn’t given me much time to it cleaned up so quickly, & it looked like one of those houses on Saturday morning TV where they redo houses to get them sold. I was so happy! They made my year. I explained that I was becoming a minimalist! The wife said that she was going to go home & start cleaning out her ‘stuff”. Yes, they did buy the desk. Thank you so much for writing your book.
    Unfortunately, I lent out my book & it hasn’t been returned after 2 months. I crave to read it again. Looks like a Kindle is going to have to be purchased & order the ebook version, along with your first book. You’re the best!

    • miss minimalist

      Terry, what a wonderful story! I really appreciate your kind words, and am thrilled that my book has been such an inspiration to you. Your house sounds beautiful, and your comment made my day. :)

  • […] The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide […]

  • candace

    I am inspired! After reading your blog it just clicked with me! Now that I am minimalizing my life and my family’s life I feel as though a weight has been lifted off our shoulders….but I have a holiday delima…although I have requested from many extended relatives to get rid of the Christmas exchange of gifts some are just refusing to give it up or donate their money to a better cause then my kids that are already blessed! I cut our list from 47 to 14 this year…and have no plans on purchasing gifts for someone I see once a year…..I just can’t get over the guilt of someone purchasing me or my family a gift and me not reciprocating……Any more suggestions on how to let these well wishers down gently…?

  • smiling eyes

    Thank you for an inspiring blog :O). Have you ever considered “writing” a book about minimalism with a lot of pictures? Even though I like to read I find pictures very inspiring. I am very visuel person.

    Love from Anette, Denmark

    • miss minimalist

      Anette, I would love to do that! I just need to muster up the energy (and will) to deal with photo rights, permissions, etc. Either that, or quickly become a much better photographer. ;-)

  • Julie

    Hi, I would be very much interested in reading the book, but I have a b&n nook, not the kindle. Any change you’d consider offering the book in the nook format (epub) for the rest of us? Thanks.

    • miss minimalist

      Julie, that is definitely on my “To Do” list. I hope to have my book available for the Nook in early 2011. My sincere apologies to all Nook owners for the delay!

  • […] clean & spacious house. {thanks to this book and its author Francine Jay}. The Joy of Less by Francine […]

  • tammy

    I love this site. I want to CONTINUE to hear and be a part of the Minimalist Lifestyle. At 46, I am at a point that Holding On to my Childhood treasures, photos, china, gifts to give to others or gifts I received and SAVED FOR A RAINY DAY.. I am MENTALLY OVERCLUTTERED with STUFF. I have the Neat Clear containers on my selves holding ALL these GIFTS. If I passed tomorrow who would take these treasures? I NEED TO KEEP SIMPLE IN MY LIFE. Too much is causing me more Insanity than Freedom. PLEASE HELP. Its mainly that I have a FEAR of giving these things away. I even bought 4 Trunks to SAVE my Treasures. MORE SAVING.

    • miss minimalist

      Tammy, the first step is wanting to change, so you’re well on your way! I think you’ll find some great tips and lots of support in our little community here. :)

  • I just bought your book last night on my Kindle and am already on Ch 16! I am loving it!!

    After reading a bit, I’ve come to realize that I was already pretty much a minimalist before I even decided to actually become one. Ha! :)

    Your book is easy to read, fun, and makes absolute sense!
    I had already started de-cluttering my life before I purchased your book but I am STILL getting great tips and ideas to keep in mind AND to pass along to my family and friends who could benefit from a little de-cluttering themselves, even if they don’t want to become a minimalist.

    Great job and I can’t wait to finish the book!


    • miss minimalist

      Thank you so much, Jude! I’m glad you’re enjoying my book, and really appreciate your kind words. I had to laugh when you said, “I was already pretty much a minimalist before I even decided to actually become one.” That’s how I felt, too!

  • Brooke W.

    What a fun inspiration you are. I am new to blogs but can’t stop reding yours. I’ve not read the book but am on a crusade to purge my life and simplify. I am a mother of three, work full time as a medical profesional and once lived out of a back-pack in SE Asia. Those days are gone but I yearn for the simplicity I had back then. We live a very “simple” life (no TV, no media, small house, no electronic toys or plastic toys — when we can help it). Thank you for making this journey to less such a grand adventure. I’ve got a long way to go but I’m sure you will keep me on track! I am starting in the basement and working my way up … I can’t wait to get to my (tiny) closet! Brooke

  • Sarah

    I love your book! It’s clear, informative and funny, and I’ve already realized a few things about minimalist tendencies in our home, e.g. my husband always insists that the floors be kept free of stuff(and I’ve learned and this is great) and, on another level, I’ve been thinking about myself and my dislike of sentimental keepsakes that I’ve wondered about before…I’m now on ch. 21 and scrutinizing our living room. I think I’ll keep your book as a part of my – nowadays – minimalist ‘library’ and return to it when and if Things get out of hand :D

  • Kianna

    I have read a lot of blogs about Minimalist Lifestyle and out if all the ones I read yours is my Favorite. I have been a minimalist for about ten years now ever since someone gave me a book by Don Aslett (Clutters Last Stand) which truly changed the way I see clutter.Keep the wonderful blogs coming ….

  • Phill

    Hi, new to the minimalist mindset. Just starting my journey, and found your blog. Just purchased “Miss Minimalist” for my android phone, and LOVE IT. Your other book will be next! Thanks for the inspirations, having already donated 2 bags of clothes in one week, i cannot believe how much lighter and better i feel as a person. Keep it up!

  • You had me hooked at the intro!

    I found “The Joy Of Less” in the library, perhaps set free by someone following the principles set forth in your book, and was instantly captivated by your conversational writing style.

    Being a person who donates, consigns, and purges “things” on a regular basis, I didn’t think this was something I of all people needed to read, but man was I wrong!

    You really dialed in on all the stuff we forget we have, how it affects our freedom, and our ability to enjoy life. It made me think twice about bringing home more stuff, and it taught me how to let go of those items I’ve been hanging onto for years because they were “too good to give away”. (they’ll be going on ebay!) Now you’re that voice inside my head saying “what are you going to do with that?”

    I loved your book so much, it’s already been shared with my friends and now that I know you have a blog, I’ll be visiting often.

    Wishing you much success, and the freedom to enjoy it!

    Fab Frugal Jane

    • miss minimalist

      Thank you, Jane, for your lovely words! I’m thrilled that you’ve been inspired by my book, and had to laugh about being that little decluttering voice in your head (love it!). I appreciate you sharing it with your friends, too; that means a lot to me.

  • Robin

    I bought your book on Kindle, and I love it. It has been absolutely life-changing! I’ve picked the “low-hanging fruit” clutter in my life, now I’m tackling the harder stuff. I just read your post yesterday on decluttering our fantasy selves, and am now prepared to jettison who I used to be, and who I dreamed I’d be (but haven’t become). I’ve learned that decluttering is a lifelong process, and the STREAMLINE method is great–I like particularly the start-over and module steps.

    Thank you so much for helping me change my life!

  • miss minimalist

    I’m thrilled to hear this, Robin — thank you so much! I love hearing about your decluttering efforts, and knowing that you’ve found the STREAMLINE method helpful. It sounds like you’re making wonderful progress!

  • Dyana

    I just ordered the book and can’t wait to get it! We have accumulated so much stuff in the last 15 years, and I have just had it with all of the clutter! I want everything to have a place, and for everything to be something we use or treasure. I am anxious to get started on reading and getting rid of as much as possible, but it is so overwhelming, I’m not sure where to start. What would you recommend for me to do to get started while I wait for my book? Thanks, so much!

  • Herr_Mannelig

    For the Kindle, you no longer need to download anything (possibly). You can use their online Cloud Reader at

    It only works in Safari (OS X, iOS) and Chromium or Google Chrome (everybody else) but it works very well and has offline storage so the applications are not needed when this is available.

  • Olivia

    I would really like to go minimalist. I’m afraid my house will look like I don’t care about beauty. This is how my mom’s house looks. Plain to the point of being sad. Its very clean and everything is functional, but no beauty. Its the same with clothes, lots of brown and beige. I guess my question is How to do minimalist without looking dull or frumpy? Thanks.

  • […] my head. But when I clicked the link at the bottom of his post, things changed. The link was to this blog post, describing a book called ‘The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, […]

  • Rachel

    Could you please make your book available to Sony eBooks? I trust their platform far more than Amazon’s. I have requested it from them, but that process takes much longer. I really do not want to have to get a physical book. Thank you for writing this!

  • […] 14, 2011 by Fairy I am currently reading “The Joy of Less” by Francine Jay aka Miss Minimalist.  I enjoy her blog posts but this book is just […]

  • […] my head. But when I clicked the link at the bottom of his post, things changed. The link was to this blog post, describing a book called ‘The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, […]

  • […] read “The Joy of Less:  A Minimalist Living Guide,” I encourage you to do so.  Here is a link to download free pdf […]

  • Marie Loeb

    I bought this book for my husband as my present for Valentine’s Day. It is completely changing how he views stuff, and I couldn’t be happier.

  • Karen Nicklin

    Hi -just found details of ur book from a magazine I was looking thru before re-cycling,looks like I will be ordering it for my kindle .I am an ex hoarder who is still on the de cluttering & living lite trail- I feel so much better from what I have achieved so far (much inspiration from another author -Karen Kingston -u may have heard of her).
    Any inspiration for my new life philosophy is gratefully received.
    Decluttering makes SO much sense on many levels,I cant begin to describe the benefits it has brought to my life -pity I cant convince the colleagues that I share office space with!(perhaps my new found serenity will rub off on them eventually)

  • Sue

    Your book is a godsend. I have read countless books, blogs and articles regarding decluttering for at least 10 years, trying to find the “magic secret” that would turn me into a neat freak. For years I have taken days off of work in order to attempt catch up cleaning just to get by, or to prep for hosting an event at my house. I’ve become disgusted at myself, hearing me say “Oh I don’t have plans for the weekend. I’ll be cleaning.” We couldn’t hire a cleaning service because of the amount of clutter, since most services require to you to clear the clutter first.
    ANYHOW!!!! The analogies, visualizations and reasoning you employ in your book are the magic pieces I needed! As a writer, it really helped for me to see decluttering as editing. Also, envisioning all flat surfaces as slippery, flex spaces. Genius! In one week, we have hauled more than 35 bags to trash/recycle/Goodwill. Now, I know that the true minimalist actions begin once I’m able to sustain NOT bringing as much crap BACK into my household. But I have faith, considering the stuff I discarded. I got rid of things that previously survived purges. Your points about old college work, etc. also hit home. I have boxes in the garage of my essays, papers, etc. Those items will be the next victims this week. Your book also made me realize how much work I’ve been creating for MYSELF!! If I wouldn’t by a billion blankets, I would have a billion dirty blankets to wash. (I didn’t really have a billion, maybe half a billion.) It’s like stadium lighting flashed on in my head. Finally. I see this says the book is your second, so I’ll have to find the other one. Oh, and I purchased it on my Nook :)

  • misskitty_79

    Hello. I am in Canada & I own a Kobo. I would be interested in buying your book, but the kindle file format is not compatible w/ my Kobo. Is your book available in any NON-proprietary file formats, like perhaps, ePub or PDF? If so, please do let me know where I can find those…
    Thank you.

  • Kerry

    I would love to see this book on Audible!! I use audio books to save time and use my commute time. Any chance of seeing this on Audible anytime soon?

  • […] LiveLifeGorgeous, dat is ook wel het vermelden waard toch? Maarre ja, ook wel boeken hoor… ‘The Joy of Less’ vond ik een leuk en praktisch boekje, een aanrader als je huis volstaat met spullen en je wilt een […]

  • […] I read every article that she had written that day and when I returned home I purchased her book The Joy of Less. Finally another piece of my life puzzle fell into place! I got off the consumer treadmill and […]

  • Heather

    Wow! first self-help book about decluttering that I read all the way through. I felt that I could fit the tips in my life and I wouldnt have to go buy more stuff to do it! My kids asked me why I was getting rid of stuff. I told them its because of your book. My ten year old said,”Let me get this straight. Your getting rid of our stuff ’cause you read a book?”

  • I bought the E-book for my kindle. Excellent work! I enjoyed it very much and it really helped with de-cluttering my my house especially since I have a wife and a 2 year old. What really interested me though was the material on the philosophy behind minimalism. Thank you.

  • […] Time to Simplify: Practical Minimalism for Living with Less; The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize and Simplify Your Life; […]

  • Jean

    Help! I have glanced about your website and have loved everything I have read. What I specifically came looking for was how to deal with a spouse who does not share my need to shed. I am by no means an example of a true minimalist, but I am married to a man who wants to keep everything! Examples – It might be worth something someday. It was my grandfather’s. We could keep it as a spare,etc. We are drowning in unfinished projects, never to be used again sports equipment, broken aquarium equipment, duplicate tools. Arrrghhh! He won’t part with a thing. Once again… HELP!

  • Lindsay

    I read your book at the end of last year and absolutely loved it. I recently got married and got a lot of wonderful wedding gifts but when we moved I could really see how much stuff we both had. I’ve gotten rid of bags of clothes, used up a bunch of (extra) bathroom supplies, given stuff away on Freecycle, and got around to selling what the wedding presents replaced. My husband still thinks we have too much stuff but we’re well on our way to living more simply.
    Best thing is, I showed my mom your book and she loved it. I gifted the Kindle version to her for Christmas and last time we Skyped, she was clearing out her 4 inch binder full of recipes. My extended family has been talking about how much they want to clear out stuff too… maybe it’s time for some belated Christmas gifts!
    Thank you so much

  • […] “The joy of less: a minimalist living guide” di Francine Jay; […]

  • ann

    i love being a minimalist and enjoy reading other people’s tips, which most, i find (humbly), are basic common sense .. buying a book to teach me that seems unnecessary for me .. and defeats the concept of less stuff .. catch 22 .. just saying .. peace & love :)

  • Jaime

    Dear Francine,
    I saw your book two years ago by chance surfing in the net. I ordered it and read it without knowing how much I needed it.
    I live as expat moving from country to country but the first two moves were quite hard since I did not know what to do with all my “valuable” stuff. Besides the philosophy you are not what you own is a whole new lifestyle for me.
    I saw this blog and I cannot control myself from thank you for such a great sharing and tell you that many many people ask me how I can live like this and I am happy to tell about your book. Unfortunately the translation to Spanish is not that interesting since the title does not relate to the content. I have given away only English copies of it.
    Again thanks!!

  • […] “The joy of less: a minimalist living guide” di Francine Jay; […]

  • Sandra

    I’m just beginning to declutter my home and embrace the minimalist lifestyle. As a first I didn’t purchase your book (sorry) I borrowed it from the library. My library didn’t even have it to check out so I had it sent from nearly six hours away. I’m learning that I can love books but not own them. I’m beginning to sort through my books and donating them to nursing homes, schools or churches. My husband is even getting excited about the minimizing. If only we’d done it six moves ago. I guess getting close to 40 I’m realizing that all the stuff doesn’t keep days from passing by, keep loved ones from passing on or give you the enjoyment I once thought they did. I turn 40 in June and I’m hopeful to be decluttered and we’ll on my way to a minimalist lifestyle.

  • […] Jay is a celebrated author and blogger.  She is “Miss Minimalist”!  She says “Less Stuff = More Joy” and ya know what, she’s RIGHT!  Look, I get it.  It’s HARD to purge the items […]

  • […] early (yay flying east to west) and am excited to share this month’s online book club choice: the joy of less: a minimalist living guide by francine jay.  i was introduced to miss minimalist‘s work by a blog reader […]

  • I live in London and saw your book at my daughter’s house. I dipped into a chapter and immediately started to identify with what you were saying, and thinking about what I could release from my life. I then got the book out of the library and am reading a bit every day.

    So faras a rsult, I have cleared out lots of unused kitchen utensils and a great collection of glass bottles and jam jars I’ve been hoarding. /
    So impressed that I’ve written about you book

  • Tina

    I’ve read your books and followed your advice. We have a mostly empty bedroom since my son moved out. He has to take some books yet. Then we are getting the carpets cleaned. More rearranging will follow. I can’t imagine what people do with big homes.

  • […] more with LessThe Joy of LessZen HabitsSo, my challenge to you. Ask […]

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