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Just Let It Go!

Chicken Soup The Joy of Less

As an emerging minimalist, I am interested in how others embrace the lifestyle. The Joy of Less is Amy Newmark and Brooke Burke Charvet’s 2016 book and a part of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. The book’s 10 chapters, containing over one hundred short stories by persons who de-cluttered their homes and lives, convincingly extols the “less is more” ethos.

Chapter 1, The Freedom of Less, centers on reducing things owned. People tossed old journals, gave a questionable family heirloom to charity, and said goodbye forever to a television. Phyllis sold most of the contents of two 360-square-foot rental storage units – that’s about the size of a two single-car garages. She no longer pays storage fees and moved to a home that is smaller by “several hundred square feet.” Tanya, a writer with too many books in her small apartment, gained a sense of belonging by contributing to local Little Free Libraries, an international book-sharing and literacy project.

Chapter 2, The Joy of No, has accounts of gaining more personal choice, time, and spiritual growth. Choosing part-time teaching over a full–time commitment gave Liz more time to cook, hike, and enjoy “…not just a career, but an actual, fulfilling life.” Bracha sees her Friday Shabbat as a freedom to “…lay down all the gadgets that accompany us all week long. We are left with just ourselves – and the people right around us.” It’s ironic, because from the outside it may look like those of us who are observing Shabbat are curtailing our freedom. We are actually choosing to “disconnect” in order to more fully reconnect spiritually one day each week.”

These and many other stories make The Joy of Less a powerful starter kit for anyone interested in a materially simpler and emotionally richer life. Greater peace of mind and contentment is out there and both fit anywhere - you just have to make room for them.