The author of The Minimalist Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life is considerably more practical than our friend Sasaki, and the result is a perfectly reasonable, if blindingly obvious set of checklists, interspersed with fawning, mind boggling testimonials (as in “we cleaned our home and that allowed us to adopt a child with special needs”).
Mari Kondo is still the queen.
The author of Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism is convinced that his extreme approach to minimalism has made him happier–and I’m sure it has! What’s less clear is that we would all benefit from living in a small room with a thin futon and a low table as our only possessions (he does allow himself a Mac and iPhone, but not a proper bath towel!). I would not like to live the “before” picture of his apartment, overflowing with books and tchotchkes (I imagine there is a Japanese equivalent for this term, but I do not know it), but the “after” picture is not inviting, and is lacking a family, to boot. That said, the author makes some excellent points. My favorite is that we can use the entire city as our personal floor plan, in particular to meet friends.
Those who know me well may wonder why I would read The Home Decluttering Diet: Organize Your Way to a Clean and Lean House but I gotta keep those skills sharp, right? And this particular book won’t help. It consists of a set of checklists, first to de-clutter the house, one area at a time, over the course of a month, and then individual chapters on how to organize each room, each topped off with a cutesy craft project, most of which add more clutter. Good grief! And the initial decluttering plan is just insane. One day is for makeup (a whole day??) while another, equal day is for the kitchen. Really? Must be written by someone who doesn’t cook much (and places layers upon layers on her face!). Avoid absolutely.
The Prairie Girl’s Guide to Life is what happens when one reads too many Little House on the Prairiebooks as a kid. It sets out to reclaim a highly romanced way of life where everything needed to be made at home and self-sufficiency was a given with a series of disparate how-tos. Still, I could not think of any way to make use of the “How to Milk a Cow” section, and “How to Brew Tea” seemed liked a big joke…