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The Best Decluttering Books to Help You Simplify Your Life

The Best Decluttering Books to Help You Simplify Your Life

One of my favourite ways to get inspired, motivated and educated on any subject I want to learn more about is through books. Including decluttering, simplifying and minimalism! In today’s post, I’m sharing some of the best decluttering books I’ve read lately, along with some more books that are up next on my reading list. And I’m even sharing one bonus “book” I’m using to simplify my life daily!

I’ve shared another round-up of some of my favourite decluttering and simplifying books here, so be sure to check that post out as well.

All of these books offer unique, insightful and inspiring perspectives and ideas about how you can take steps to simplify – your home, your schedule and your life!

If you’re looking for some simplifying inspiration, I hope you’ll enjoy this round-up of some of the best decluttering, simplifying and minimalism books I’ve read recently. I hope you’ll find these books as inspiring as I have!

I’d love to hear what your favourite decluttering or simplifying book is! Leave a comment on this post and let me know. If it’s not on the list, I’ll be sure to add it to my ever-growing “to read” list!

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The Best Decluttering Books to Help You Simplify Your Life
Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

Lightly: How to Live a Simple, Serene, and Stress-free Life

First up in my round-up of the best decluttering books I’ve read recently is Lightly by Francine Jay.

I am a big fan of Francine’s writing. The way she presents simplifying and minimalism is always so inspiring and encouraging, without feeling restrictive or overwhelming. And Lightly is no exception!

Lightly is both a practical tool to help you simplify different areas of your life. As well as an inspiring and thought-provoking read about the ways you can apply the idea of living lightly to all areas and aspects of your life.

I particularly enjoyed the sections of the book called “Lighten Your Stress” and “Lighten Your Spirit”.

So often, the idea of decluttering and simplifying are focused solely on your “stuff”. While there is plenty of great information in this book addressing how to lighten your stuff. I really love how it also applies the idea of simplifying to so much more.

Lightly gives practical and insightful advice to help you lighten your home, your environmental footprint, your schedule, and ultimately your spirit.

This is a great book to inspire and encourage you to lighten and simplify all aspects of your life so you can focus more on what matters most to you.

Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter & Organize to Make More Room for Happiness

Outer Order, Inner Calm by Gretchen Rubin is probably my favourite book on this list. This book is such a great resource for anyone looking to simplify and create more order and calm in their lives.

What I love most about Outer Order, Inner Calm is the format of it. It’s written in practical, bite-sized pieces that are easy to read quickly and apply to your home and your life right away.

The ideas are not extreme, just simple, common sense ways to bring more order into your home and your life. And then shows how that order and simplicity can translate into a happier, healthier, calmer life.

This book is such a gem if you’re looking for a quick and easy read with practical, common-sense solutions and advice to create a home that allows you to thrive and feel your best in it.

Simple Happy Parenting: The Secret of Less for Calmer Parents and Happier Kids

I have been a fan of Denaye Barahona for a long time and her book, Simple Happy Parenting, did not disappoint.

Not only is the information in the book useful and practical, but the book itself is beautiful. The book features beautiful pictures of Denaye and her family, which I loved.

Simple Happy Parenting is a great resource for parents looking for ways to simplify their home, their lives and their parenting strategies to achieve a calmer, more peaceful home both they and their kids can thrive in.

This book goes far beyond just how to declutter your home. In fact, the section on simplifying your stuff is only one small part of this book.

Instead, it shares helpful tips and advice to help you simplify your life and parenting strategies as a whole to make your life easier and more intentional. Along with why it matters to make those shifts and changes.

If you enjoyed Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne, I think you’ll enjoy Simple Happy Parenting as well.

Breathing Room: Open Your Heart by Decluttering Your Home

This was a new-to-me book that I hadn’t heard of until recently, but it’s worth including on this list of the best decluttering books.

Breathing room gives strategies to declutter, room by room in your house, from a more emotional and spiritual perspective. Focusing on getting to the heart of how to clear the clutter and create a home that best serves you and your family on an emotional level.

The book focuses on getting to the root cause of why you have clutter (the emotional reasons behind your clutter), so you can then make intentional decisions about how to best use and enjoy your home.

It also includes suggestions for how you can work on clearing emotional clutter in terms of what takes up your time, energy, thoughts and emotional capacity.

There is a big focus on decluttering mindfully, intentionally and with compassion in this book. And it brings a unique voice, perspective and approach to decluttering. I’ve included Breathing Room on the list for anyone interested in taking a more spiritual approach to decluttering your home and your life.

Slow: Simple Living for a Frantic World

Slow, by Brooke McAlary, is another decluttering/simple living book I love.

What I love about Slow, is that Brooke shares her journey through the process, along with her helpful and practical suggestions for simplifying your own life.

It’s always nice to know where someone started from that led them to simplify their lives. And Brooke’s story is very inspiring. From depression and deep unhappiness to living a mindful, joyful, fulfilling life.

The tips, strategies and suggestions in Slow are all presented in a way that’s simple, straightforward and not at all overwhelming.

Brooke’s own approach to simplifying her home and her life was doing it slowly and thoughtfully, which I love. It’s a lot easier to make lasting changes in your life when you take things slow and work through the “why” behind the changes your making. And that’s the approach Brooke shares in her book.

Decluttering books on my “to read” list

I also have a few decluttering, simplifying and minimalism books I’ve heard about or have been recommended to me that I’m excited to read.

Project 333: The Minimalist Fashion Challenge That Proves Less Really is So Much More

First up is Courtney Carver’s newest book, Project 333, coming out March 3, 2020. Her first book, Soulful Simplicity, is one of my all-time favourite simplifying books. So I cannot wait to read Project 333.

If you’re not familiar with Project 333, it is Courtney’s minimalist wardrobe experiment where she chooses and wears 33 items of clothing, including shoes, outerwear and accessories, for 3 months.

But if you have read Soulful Simplicity or Courtney’s blog Be More With Less, you know that her work is about so much more than just the “stuff” or the clothes.

Instead, it’s about the intention behind why she simplifies and how it’s allowed her to create a life full of so much more after choosing less. More time, more space, more health, more energy and most importantly more love.

I can’t wait to see what inspiring, encouraging and uplifting messages Courtney has to share with us in Project 333!

The Minimalist Way: Minimalism Strategies to Declutter Your Life and Make Room for Joy

The Minimalist Way is written by Erica Layne, founder of The Life on Purpose Movement. I love her writing on her blog and I am excited to check out this book.

The Minimalist Way is about teaching you how to apply a minimalist mindset to all aspects of your life, in a simple and realistic way. And I’m looking forward to reading more about Erica’s suggestions and philosophy on creating a minimalist lifestyle that serves you and your family well.

Decluttering at the Speed of Life: Winning Your Never-Ending Battle with Stuff

Decluttering at the Speed of Life is written by Dana White, of A Slob Comes Clean.

I have heard this is a great decluttering book for messy people – or those where decluttering and organization doesn’t come naturally for them. Dana takes a humorous, relatable and realistic approach to decluttering and simplifying.

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter

I’ve heard about this book from several people and am looking forward to checking it out.

It is based on the Swedish practice called “döstädning”, which translates to “death cleaning”. It’s the process of cleaning out unnecessary belongings while you are still fit and able rather than leaving it for family members to do when you are no longer able.

I think this is a great practice. Not only do you remove the burden from your family of figuring out what to do with all your stuff when you are no longer able. But you also get to decide for yourself what is important, because, in the end, you are the only one who knows what is actually meaningful for you. And why not live with the benefits of a clutter-free home now anyway!

I’m looking forward to learning more about this philosophy and practice because I think it’s a wonderful idea!

A different kind of book helping me simplify my life!

Clever Fox Planner

Although this is not a book, I want to include the Clever Fox Planner in this list of the best decluttering books simply because it’s been a wonderful new tool I’ve found to help me simplify my life!

One of my goals this year is to find ways to bring more balance into my life, particularly in the efforts I’m making to focus on taking better care of myself. This planner from Clever Fox has been a wonderful tool to help me do this.

I’m a big fan of making lists – they help me get my to-do list out of my head and down onto paper, so all the things I need or want to do aren’t swirling around in my head all day!

But, my lists and planning used to focus strictly on what tasks I wanted to accomplish. This helped with my productivity, but I found myself over-focused on being productive, sometimes at the expense of my own overall well-being.

A balanced approach to planning

The Clever Fox Planner takes a more balanced approach to planning. Focusing not only on the tasks you want to accomplish but also giving you space to focus on your life as a whole.

The monthly planning sections give you space to reflect on the month as a whole. Assessing all areas of your life, from work, relationships, finances, personal development, fun and more.

And the weekly planning sections give you space for personal and work goals and priorities, habit tracking, balancing all areas of your life and opportunities to reflect at the end of each week.

I love that the Clever Fox Planner not only gives you space but really encourages you to go beyond your “to-do list” and find balance in your life as a whole.

While it’s not technically a book, this planner has been a wonderful resource and tool helping me to simplify my life and focus on my life goals as a whole and I highly recommend it!

The best decluttering books to help you simplify your life

I hope you enjoyed this list of the best decluttering and simplifying books I’ve been reading lately, as well as the books I’m looking forward to reading next!

If you’ve been inspired by a book to simplify and declutter your life, I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below and let me know your favourite simplifying and decluttering books!

The Best Decluttering Books to Help You Simplify Your Life
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

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Wednesday 12th of February 2020

I have also read outer order inner calm by Gretchen Rubin. Loved it!!! I recently finished Goodbye Things by Fumio Saski. Very good as well. My son is reading both. And improving his home. Discarding and organizing. So much nicer.

Simple Lionheart Life

Wednesday 12th of February 2020

Yes! Outer Order, Inner Calm is such a great book. I really enjoyed it and found it so helpful and practical. I read Goodbye Things a while ago, it was an interesting read as well. I love that you are able to share these books and this simplifying journey with your son as well. That's so great. Thanks for reading!


Wednesday 12th of February 2020

Thank you so much for your list. I have read Gretchen Rubin's book and would like to look for The Minimalist Way and Slow. Have you ever read "Living The Simple Life" by Elaine St. James? It was published back in the 90s, but it's what gave me the push to simplify my life. I have just recently re-read it and the principles are still there, even if the technology is more advanced these days :o) I ditto the other comment here about looking forward to a book of yours. That would be a bestseller!

Simple Lionheart Life

Wednesday 12th of February 2020

You're very welcome, Donna! I haven't read Elaine St. James' book, but I'm going to add it to my reading list. Thank you for the recommendation! And thank you for your kind words. I would love to write a book one day and I appreciate your support and encouragement!


Tuesday 11th of February 2020

I like how you included the planner! I love a good planner. :)


Thursday 13th of February 2020

Wow, fantastic list of inspirational books! I cannot wait to dive into these. I have been on a declutter journey for 12 years and I find it to be a constant process, a check in I do annually. I’m in the middle of grappling with a lifetime of photos - one of the many delayed decisions over the decades. It’s a project that I find overwhelming. Maybe these books will give me more insight on how to tackle this and more. I own Gretchen Rubin’s ‘Outer Order Inner Calm’ and have read it several times - it’s SO GOOD! Thanks for all you do to keep me focused and happy Melissa!

Simple Lionheart Life

Wednesday 12th of February 2020

Me too! I love finding a good planner that works for me. Thanks for reading :)


Monday 10th of February 2020

Have you read When Less Becomes More by Emily Ley or Rhythms of Renewal by Rebekah Lyons? I read both of those last year after finishing Atomic Habits by James Clear and I swear they changed my life. I use Emily Ley's weekly simplified planner every day and what I love is how minimal yet functional it is. I'll definitely be checking out your recommendations too!

Simple Lionheart Life

Wednesday 12th of February 2020

Thanks for sharing your recommendations. I have Atomic Habits requested from the library right now. And I had When Less Becomes More from the library over Christmas, but I ran out of time and didn't get a chance to finish it before the due date! I'll be requesting it again to finish it. I haven't read Rhythms of Renewal though, I'm going to add it to my reading list. Thanks for the recommendation and thanks for reading :)


Sunday 9th of February 2020

Terrific list. Thank you. Just started Decluttering at the speed of life, let's hope this will work. Bringing my list to my library on line catalog. Love my library. Your words bring focus, hope and joy to my life and I'm sure many, many more.

Simple Lionheart Life

Wednesday 12th of February 2020

Thank you, Maureen. I appreciate your kind comment and I'm so glad my blog has been helpful for you. I hope you enjoy Decluttering at the Speed of Life. And good for you using your library as well. That's wonderful! Thanks for reading :)

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