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10 Awesome Books to Inspire a Simpler Life

10 Awesome Books to Inspire a Simpler Life

Today I’m sharing my recommendation of 10 awesome books to inspire a simpler life. I’m including 5 of my favourite simplifying and minimalism books I’ve read and loved. As well as 5 books on minimalism and simplifying on my reading list I can’t wait to dive into!

One of my favourite places to find inspiration and motivation to declutter, simplify and embrace minimalism is books. When I first started decluttering, I devoured books, blogs, articles and anything else I could find on the subject.

10 awesome books to inspire a simpler life

These resources helped me confirm the benefits of choosing less when I first began decluttering. And helped me feel confident that I was on the right path for our family.

Along with giving me inspiration, motivation and guidance to put my plans into action, clear the clutter, and get rid of the distractions and the excess. And they still do all of those things!

There is nothing like reading about another person’s journey of simplifying and the positive impact it has on their life to keep you feeling inspired, motivated and enthusiastic about life with less. No matter where you are on your decluttering and minimalism journey, these books on minimalism and simplifying are wonderful resources.

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Finding like-minded voices when pursuing a simpler life

Choosing to simplify and embrace minimalism requires a change in your physical surroundings. But equally important is shifting your mindset. And in today’s consumer-driven society, that’s not always easy.

It’s actually quite counter-cultural to say no to the “more is better” mindset and intentionally choose to live with less. Finding like-minded voices and stories to encourage and inspire you is so important.

Books to inspire a simpler life: my five favourites

Today I’m sharing 10 of the best book about minimalism and simplifying your life.

First up are 5 of my favourite simple living books that I highly recommend checking out. These are books that have been inspiring, encouraging and motivating for me since I first began decluttering. And still are, as I continue to simplify and embrace minimalism.

These are the books that have been very helpful for me and made the biggest impact on my simplifying journey.

With so many books about minimalism, simplifying and decluttering available, it’s hard to know where to start. My hope is by sharing some of my favourites simple living books, you will find some that speak to you as well.

Books to inspire a simpler life: what I’m reading next

I’m also sharing a list of 5 books up next on my reading list. My “to read” list is always growing. These are a few minimalist books and simple living books that I can’t wait to dive into.

If you’ve read a book on simplifying life you loved that isn’t on either list, be sure to leave a comment and let me know. My favourite way to discover new books to inspire a simpler life is through recommendations from other simple living enthusiasts!


My 5 favourite books to inspire a simpler life

1. The Joy of Less

This is the first book I read when I was at the beginning of my decluttering and minimalism journey. It is full of both practical and inspiring advice. It not only gives you the tools and a plan to get decluttering. But it’s also full of inspiration about the benefits of choosing minimalism. And how choosing less can bring more joy into your life.

The Joy of Less is divided into 4 parts.

Part 1 covers the philosophy of minimalism, what it means and why choosing less can create a more joyful life.

Part 2 covers Francine’s practical approach to decluttering she calls the STREAMLINE method. It’s great for anyone looking for a pragmatic decluttering method to use as you declutter your home.

Part 3 is a room by room decluttering guide. Giving you more guidance to clear the clutter using her STREAMLINE method in specific rooms.

And finally, Part 4 starts the conversation about minimalism as a lifestyle. Moving beyond just “stuff” and embracing a minimalist mindset.

I love books that cover both the how (practical decluttering and simplifying advice) and the why (the benefits, philosophy and mindset of living with less). The Joy of Less offers a big picture take on minimalism. As well as practical, step by step guidance to put it into practice.

2. Simplify: 7 Guiding Principles to Help Anyone Declutter Their Home & Life

This was another book I read at the beginning of my minimalism and decluttering journey. It’s a great place to start for anyone beginning to declutter and embrace minimalism. Especially if you’re looking for some practical, straightforward encouragement and motivation.

What I love about Joshua Becker is how much I can relate to his story. He is a father of 2, who was living a fairly typical life in the suburbs. Reading about his family’s journey inspired me to realize that minimalism can be for anyone interested and willing to pursue less. It’s not reserved only for childless, urban, young professionals. Instead, anyone can embrace a minimalist lifestyle and experience the rewards of less.

Simplify is full of practical advice to encourage and inspire you to declutter, simplify and pursue what he calls “rational minimalism”. Alongside stories of Joshua’s own personal experiences and journey to simplify and embrace minimalism.

In Simplify, Joshua shares the most valuable lessons he has learned from decluttering, simplifying and finding minimalism to inspire and encourage you to find the same benefits. Simplify is a great resource to help you shift the way you think about “stuff” and figure out what matters most to you, so you can clear the clutter and focus on what matters most.

3. Simplicity Parenting

Simplicity Parenting is an excellent resource about the how and the why of simplifying life with kids.

This book discusses the way kids today are overwhelmed with stuff, choices, activities, information and busyness. And provides amazing insight into the impact of clutter and busyness on kids and the stress it causes for kids and families.

Simplicity Parenting offers inspiration about why choosing to slow down and simplify will benefit kids (and their families!). Along with practical ideas to help you do it.

If you’re a parent wondering if simplifying is worth the effort, or want to learn more about the benefits simplifying can have on your kids and your whole family, definitely check out this book. The concepts and theories are well explained and logical. And you can start putting the strategies into practice right away.

4. The Year of Less

The Year of Less is a memoir documenting Cait’s year-long shopping ban and what it taught her.

This book was a wonderful surprise that was so much more than I was expecting. I expected it to be more of a “how-to” book for anyone looking to consume and shop less in our consumer-driven society.

But The Year of Less is so much more than that. It’s a heartfelt and wise look at consumerism in a much broader sense than simply committing not to shop. Cait shares so many valuable lessons about money, life, habits, addiction, love, facing our emotions and figuring out what truly matters to us.

The Year of Less is powerful and thought-provoking. It made me question my own spending and shopping habits, encouraging me to become more intentional about how and why I buy.

If you’re looking for a “how-to” guide to shopping less and saving money, this isn’t it.

But if you’re looking for inspiration to question and challenge your habits and patterns, not only of shopping but also in general, you’ll find it here. If you want to find ways to live more intentionally and embrace a minimalist mindset, I highly recommend The Year of Less.

5. Soulful Simplicity

Soulful Simplicity is probably my favourite book to inspire a simpler life to date. I loved it and highly recommend it for everyone!

Soulful Simplicity is beautifully written and very inspiring. I couldn’t put it down and my copy has so many dog-eared pages and highlighted passages because there is so much wisdom and truth on these pages!

It is a truly inspiring book about simplifying your home, your life, your time and your mindset to find your way back to love.

Although there are practical simplifying tips inside Soulful Simplicity, what I love most about this book is the focus on shifting your mindset. It truly is very “soul focused” indeed.

Throughout the book, Courtney reminds us that it all comes back to love. It’s about simplifying and getting rid of the clutter, the excess and the distractions to make room for love.

It is authentic and genuine, focusing on simplifying from the inside out. And sharing why choosing less can be so amazing. Giving you time, space and freedom to get back to a place where you can hear your heart guide you and find your way back to love.

Soulful Simplicity is a beautiful big-picture take on simplifying. Encouraging us through gentle wisdom and personal stories to choose to have less and do less. All so we can get clear about what matters most to us and give ourselves more time and space to live soulfully, authentically and from a place of love.

Soulful Simplicity is a refreshing, inspiring and truly insightful book and I can’t recommend it enough!

My upcoming reading list of books on minimalism and simplifying your life

Next, I want to share several books that are up next on my reading list. These are all books I’ve heard wonderful things about and am looking forward to diving into. Although I can’t share my reviews of these books yet, I thought it would be fun to share what I’m planning to read next!

6. Chasing Slow

I have been following Erin on Instagram for quite some time and I love the thoughtful, authentic and gentle perspective she shares on life.

Chasing Slow is about slowing down and creating a life focused on the things that matter most. I am looking forward to reading her book and learning more about her story, her life and how she came to be where she is today.

7. Cozy Minimalist Home

A new book by Myquillyn Smith, who you may know as The Nester. I love Myquillyn’s real-life approach to minimalism. It’s not stark or extreme. Instead, it’s about creating a cozy space with less stuff and plenty of style.

I’m looking forward to this book because while I feel content with the amount of stuff left in our home, I’d love to continue working on styling our home. A book that focuses on creating a cozy home you love while still embracing minimalism sounds right up my alley!

8. Essentialism

Essentialism is Greg Mckeown’s book about what he calls the “disciplined pursuit of less”. A systematic approach to figuring out what is most important to us, then eliminating the non-essential. Which allows us to regain control over where our time and energy are going, so we can direct them towards the things that are most important to us.

I’m looking forward to reading more about applying the principles of minimalism and intentional living to areas of life beyond our physical possessions.

9. Present Over Perfect

As someone who has always struggled with perfectionism, I can’t wait to read this one.

It’s the story of Shauna Niequist’s journey to let go of busyness, perfectionism and always striving to prove her worth. And instead, finding a way to be present in life as it is, and come back to her true self.

I started this book when it first came out in 2016, but got busy and never finished it. The irony of that is definitely not lost on me. But I’m looking forward to reading Present over Perfect and learning from Shauna’s journey.

10. Slow

I thoroughly enjoy Brooke McAlary’s work. Her down to earth, practical, easy going perspective on creating a simpler, meaningful life is refreshing, authentic and inspiring.

I’m looking forward to soaking up her wisdom in her latest book Slow. According to the description, Brooke shares both practical advice and thought-provoking insights into the benefits and challenges of creating a slow life in a fast-paced world.

10 awesome books to inspire a simpler life

There you have it! Some of my favourite books to inspire a simpler life. As well as what’s coming up next on my reading list.

Have you read any of the books on this list? I’d love to hear what you thought of them. What’s on your reading list? Leave a comment and let me know!

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Thursday 14th of February 2019

Thanks for sharing these! Present over Perfect is on my list as well. And I have been wanting to read The Year of Less so great reminders for me!

Simple Lionheart Life

Saturday 16th of February 2019

I'm so glad you enjoyed the post, Christine. I hope you enjoy both books! Thanks for reading :)


Wednesday 5th of December 2018

What a great list, thanks for sharing. I read a couple from that list and actually looking forward to read: "The year of less" and "Soulful Simplicity" :)

Simple Lionheart Life

Thursday 6th of December 2018

Thanks, Sandra! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I really enjoyed The Year of Less and LOVED Soulful Simplicity. I'd love to hear what you thought of them after you read them! Happy reading :)

Mark Moore

Monday 3rd of December 2018

My daughter recommended Essentialism and I was quite impressed. You will probably find it inspiring.

Simple Lionheart Life

Monday 3rd of December 2018

Thanks for sharing that Mark! I've heard a lot of great things about Essentialism and I'm looking forward to reading it. Thanks for reading :)

Jade @ Captured by Jade

Monday 3rd of December 2018

What a great comprehensive list you've put together here. I've read a couple of books about simple living & minimalism - including The Year of Less which you feature here - and am keen to read some more and widen my horizons a little... Especially as I'm still very much in the early stages of trying to live a more simple & slow lifestyle. Thanks for so many great recommendations!

Simple Lionheart Life

Monday 3rd of December 2018

I'm so glad you enjoyed this post, Jade, and found it helpful! I really enjoy books when I'm looking inspiration and motivation to declutter and simplify. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy some of these books too!


Sunday 2nd of December 2018

I didn't realize that Brooke had a second book out! I loved her first. Thanks for alerting me - gotta get my hands on this gem. Are you planning on reading Joshua Becker's new Minimalist Home? I'm curious if it will surpass my love of the Joy of Less as the most helpful decluttering book I recommend to readers.

And I know you'll enjoy Present over Perfect. One of my faves!

Simple Lionheart Life

Sunday 2nd of December 2018

Yes, I'm excited to read Brooke's newest book too! I'm happy I was able to let you know about it! I am definitely planning to check out Joshua Becker's newest book too. I really like his perspective and work, so I'm sure it will be good as well. You'll have to let me know what you think of it after you read it! And what you think of Slow too! Thanks for reading :)

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