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Less Is More: A Reading List

Quality over quantity and all that…

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I’m a big fan of the ‘less is more’ movement. Clutter grosses me out and to me there is nothing quite like the feeling of offloading unwanted junk; it literally feels like a weight off my shoulders. It goes without saying that I’m a Class A Monica who would happily purchase a mini hoover to hoover my big hoover with. That’s not to say that I’m a perfect clean-living minimalist who never gets sucked in to consumerism however. Sometimes I want all the things and to eat a Domino’s pizza in bed whilst making a mega ASOS order. It happens. So when I feel myself getting sucked in I like to remind myself of the ‘quality over quantity’ mantra and reel it back with some gentle reading, listening and viewing to give me a point back in the right direction. Here’s my ‘No you don’t need to order five swimming costumes off ASOS – you’re not even going on holiday soon‘ sway-list…

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PODCASTS

I’m still pretty new to the world of minimalism podcasts, but the obvious choice here is the one from ‘The Minimalists‘ – no surprises there! It was recommended to me by my mate Matt, and as I listened to one episode I managed to rid our kitchen of one rubbish full of crap and one for the food bank. It has magical powers! The episodes are often long and there’s a lot of them, so it’s not something that I listen to religiously, but is good for a little ‘top-up’ every now and again when I feel like there’s a clear-out on the horizon. If anyone else has any other recommendations then I’m all ears.

YOUTUBE CHANNELS

YouTube is a tough one when it comes to this kind of thing, because aside from the message that you want to resonate with, there’s also the person, the way they film, sound, lighting, the whole shebang – so I’m a little light on suggestions for you here, but again my finger is ready to click the subscribe button if you have any others to put forward. I really loved Light By Coco, but unfortunately she’s terminated her channel – it’s worth keeping an eye out if she ever decides to return, because her videos were fab.

Lavendaire’s videos are beautifully shot and offer life advice in general that focuses around living with less, journaling and just generally getting your creative juices flowing. Although I do also love Use Less for sustainable and capsule lifestyle and style ideas.

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BOOKS

It goes without saying that a read of Marie Kondo’s ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying‘ is mandatory. There’s some brow-raising points in there, but for the most part is simple to get your head around and many of the tips and tricks from there are still things that I do two years after first reading it.

‘The Joy of Less’ by Francine Jay is another good book that follows a similar theme of giving you the mantras and the background in the introduction and then giving a step-by-step guide of how to apply it to each room in your home. Sheila Chandra’s ‘Banish Clutter Forever: How The Toothbrush Principle Will Change Your Life’ is again very similar, but extremely practical. Don’t read these when you’re on holiday because all you will want to do is return to have the most epic clear-out of your life. You also don’t need to read all three of these because they’ll get a bit samey. Have a read of the Amazon reviews and see from those which one sounds like it will float your boat the most.

BLOGS

My blog reading when it comes to the subject tends to focus on capsule wardrobe content, so I’m always down for a scroll of Caroline Joy’s blog – Un-Fancy. It’s awesome and is the place that I credit for getting me into the whole capsule wardrobe thing and sparking my interest in living with less and getting rid of a tonne of complete crud from our flat. If you have a bit of time on your hands (and I’m sure you do because it’s Monday and we all have nothing to do on our to-do lists I’m sure – LOLZ! Good luck – I hope this week is good to you all), then have a read through the archives to see how her outlook on the topic has changed. It’s really interesting to see how she started off with quite a rigid format and has since moved into something a bit more fluid and flexible. A good learning tool for sure.


FIVE THINGS YOU CAN DO TODAY

Clear out your bags. I always used to keep my handbag packed and then do a little switch-a-roo whenever I wanted to move the contents to another bag. However these days I unpack whatever bag I’ve taken out for the day straight when I get home into a drawer, along with where I store the rest of them. This way means that I only ever end up carrying around what I need and stops me getting lazy with removing receipts, old train tickets and Curly Whirly wrappers.

Sort the under crackers drawer. Does anyone else’s underwear drawer very quickly become one big mush of black underwear making it hard to decipher Bridget Jones-esque pants from trainer socks? Having a sort though immediately makes you feel like you’ve got your shit together and makes getting ready in the morning about 15 minutes quicker. Plus it won’t take you that long.

The nightstand of Pinterest dreams. For some reason in our household, our nightstands are always the one place where receipts, Amazon parcels, magazines, retainers and dust love to come and have a party. Sorting it all out and finding a home for these odds and sods will not only make your nightstand look positively Pinterest-worthy, but also create a clear place for you to glance at as you nod off.

Repurpose your Tupperware. Just like my mother I am a huge fan of the humble Tupperware box. Not only do they come in handy in the kitchen for leftovers or for grouping together smaller food items in your cupboards like nuts or spices, they also pop up in other parts of our home. I store jewellery in them, hair accessories and they pop up a lot in my beauty storage as they’re a good way of keeping things that are harder to store like liners, lipsticks and mascaras, all together.

Organise your linens. If there’s one area that we all tend to get a little hoard-y with it’s linens. Realistically all we ever need are three sets of bed linens (two so you can have one on as you wash the other and one spare for guests or emergencies) and two sets of towels, plus a set for the beach (again so you have one to use whilst the other is being washed and the beach towels can be used as back-ups too). The only other exception is an extra towel for dying your hair because that is the ultimate towel ruiner – been there, done that, had the freakishly green dyed towel.

Photos by Lauren Shipley

Comments

  • JUST what I needed!

    Gemma
    http://www.fadedwindmills.com

  • Victoria

    Yes to the hair dye towel! Cheap, grey, abismally stained! I’ve got both Marie Kondo’s book and Banish Clutter Forever. I think I prefer Lifechanging Magic because the hokey bits actually help me get rid of stuff. If I can out loud state the good things that dress has done for me, I’m finding it easier to let it go.
    I’m supposed to be having a frugal month but priority access to the M&S sale has started…

  • Ray

    I’ve actually just started de-cluttering my whole life lol but never read a book about it. I would like to read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying. It stood out to me.

    http://www.underaytedray.co.uk

  • loved this post 🙂

    Mikixx
    littletasteofbeauty.blogspot.it

    https://goo.gl/arADu3

  • I love decluttering like you Anna, so I think doing a bit more research on minimalism is needed for me! I can’t believe I’ve never read Marie Kondo’s book… yet! Our bedside tables are my arch nemesis in accumulating rubbish! xx

    http://www.natalieleanne.com

  • This is right up my street 🙂 I love choosing things that I really love and buying less. Marie Kondo’s book is one of my fave books x

    LuxeStyle

  • So feeling this! Just makes you feel so good having no clutter everywhere

    http://www.themollyellis.com

  • Definitely needed that list of 5 things I could do today. I have two weeks of holidays ahead of me and a lot of decluttering I need to do. Thanks for sharing!
    -Kathryn xx
    http://hellokathryn.com/

  • I absolutely love decluttering, it’s like an addiction! Ha! Thanks for sharing Anna!

    I hope you have a great Monday,
    Michael
    https://www.mileinmyglasses.co.uk

    • HarrisonBeach

      Completely agree!!

      You’ve got a great blog… It’s refreshing to actually see a guy commenting on Anna’s content!!

      http://www.byharrison.com

  • Lovely post Anna, and interesting to read. I really want to get into listening to more podcasts, I didn’t know much about them previously, but they sound like a great thing to have in the background while doing other things. Marie Kondo’s book is such a classic, I’m currently re-reading it. Those other book recommendations look good too. Having an organised nightstand is a good idea, and I like having a small collection of my favourite things on there. Have a great Monday! 🙂 xx

    Helen | Helen’s Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

  • Jaclyn

    For YouTube videos on minimalism I love Pick Up Limes x

    • Yes! She’s amazing! I only found her last week but I’m obsessed!

    • Kasandra

      I wanted to suggest that channel as well 🙂
      It is nicely shot and pretty calming 🙂

  • Great suggestions!! I will check out the Youtube videos!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Andrea.

    Seize your Style

  • Mary Beth

    I am shocked that Coco took down all her videos! I thought she was on another extended break–I had no idea she terminated her entire channel. Sad! I do have a recommendation for you. You might like Alli Cherry on You Tube. She is a minimalist living in Southern California. She’s great.

  • I feel the same way about clutter. That’s not to say I’m clutter free, but I try! Great tips!

    Alina
    http://www.eclecticalu.blogspot.com

    P.S. I love Use Less, she’s the best!

  • I don’t think I can do the Marie Kondo book after Lily’s video review (although it gave me major LOLs!) but the Joy of Less looks right up my alley. I am always trying to live a more minimal life.

    xoxo Mollie
    http://www.molliebellezza.com

  • I love podcasts, especially when walking!
    http://www.flareaforte.com

  • Loving these suggestions!

    Hannah | Stories Of A Telescope

  • Laura

    I love this! I’ve been in the process of minimizing myself for the past year or so and Kondo’s book really helped. I’m going to check out the other two books now!

  • I postpone living a clutter free live until the kids moved out…

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  • Maggie

    If you’re looking for a good youtube channel about decluttering, Clean My Space/Melissa Maker is a great one. Aside from the obvious cleaning videos, she also has some great ideas on decluttering. The channel has several videos about “10 Things You Should Toss Today/This week.” I always find it really inspiring. Plus she has a newsletter.

  • It feels so good when I declutter, but then I somehow forget about it and tend to accumulate more stuff then I can imagine. I am due for a good decluttering session, will be giving one of those books a go and have already subscribed to the minimalists pod cast and listened to the first episode 🙂

    xx
    Cheryl
    http://daisycandle.com

  • I love a good declutter every now and then! having a tidy living space makes life so much better x http://www.justsavxnnah.com

  • Suzanne Watkin

    Pick up limes YouTube channel is good

  • Clearing out my bag at the end of the day has been a lifechanger. It’s a simple change that keeps me from feeling the clutter creep up! I read the Marie Kondo book but I’m not sure if I can take the plunge and do a huge purge yet!

  • Heather

    I loved Coco’s videos and I’m really sad she has stopped making them but I think it also shows how committed she is to her motto of living light. Pick up Limes is a great YouTube channel for tips on minimalism (most calming videos ever!) and My Green Closet has really informative and helpful videos on capsule wardrobes and sustainable fashion.

  • I think everyone can use little less in their lives! I am so with you on the handbag one.My handbag is always always full of receipts!
    https://www.bevseyeview.com

  • Love this post. I’m currently starting to get in the “less is more” mindset and need to start putting those thoughts into actions.
    http://www.divaandthedivine.com

  • How strange that Light By Coco deleted all her videos? I loved her channel and would definitely have referred back to past videos. What a bummer!

  • Love this post x I need all the de-cluttering help I can get x

    http://www.themollyellis.com

  • Emma B

    I am also on a minimalist journey, I actually rediscovered your vlogs through doing so as I love your capsule wardrobe. I have to admit I stopped watching make up related YouTube videos when I decided to stop buying as much make up, so The Anna Edit rebrand worked to get me back in, and now I’m hooked! Your capsule wardrobe has inspired me! I also watch Use Less, have you seen the minimalist ninja? I am a Mum of two, a total homebody, so her level of minimalism wouldn’t fit my lifestyle, but she has such integrity and some great tips. Good to watch on those days when you feel spendy.

  • Sarah Balmer

    If you enjoy The Minimalist Podcast they also did a documentary on Netflix. Love the blog and all your work. Xx

  • Lovely post! I miss Light by Coco’s videos. I don’t know if you are familiar with Jenny Mustard, but she makes videos about minimalism!

  • Sarah

    Hey Anna! Love your blog and Youtube channel, especially anything capsule-wardrobe related!
    If you’re after some podcast recommendations, try The Slow Home podcast and Let It Be. Both are hosted by a lovely Australian lady called Brooke. The Slow Home covers a pretty broad range of topics and they have some great guests (Sarah Wilson was on the other week and was awesome!) Brooke hosts Let It Be with her mate Kelly and are really fun to listen to – like listening in to two mates chatting! Their latest episode is about minimalism and how it has been somewhat hijacked by marketers and the difference between purposeful living vs aesthetic minimalism – fascinating stuff!
    Keep up the quality content, you’re ace x

  • annasjotter

    I never felt that Marie Kondo’s book was quite up my alley, but I will be giving that podcast a go for sure!
    annasjotter.wordpress.com

  • I am so bad for clutter, I can’t even manage to keep my own room clean, useful post!

    http://www.lydstaple.co.uk/

  • I am such a hoarder, I really need to listen to the advice in this post! When moving back from uni I thought I’d got rid of loads…only to have to unpack it all at home. Less minimal than I thought!
    http://www.millievyse.blogspot.co.uk

  • Julie Kirstine Godsk Nielsen

    I really miss Light By Coco too! I recently stumbled upon “A Small Wardrobe” on YouTube, and she is definitely worth checking out if you like Coco ☺

  • I am terrible clutterbug. I have been trying for ages to declutter my life but it is so hard. I think I might be a hoarder. I think it’s high time I start making a few changes with these useful tips to help me declutter my room from all the unnecessary clutter.

    http://www.doseofbeckx.com

  • Rachel Taube

    love this post! are you planning on doing a bullet journal update? that is my other attempt at minimalism that needs a little help hah

  • HarrisonBeach

    Loving the new style of pictures Anna! Definitely inspirational!

    http://www.byharrison.com

  • Katharina Madita

    As some already mentioned: I fell in love with Sadia’s channel pick up limes. She just radiates calmness, has a lovely personality, a very soothing and at the same time engaging voice. Her videos mainly focus on minimalism, (healthy) recipes (she is a vegan dietian), smart meal prep…

    I am so glad that your are advocating a lifestyle that is more simple – and thus more sustainable. I have always loved your positive energy. I think it’s refreshing that you as a (beauty) youtuber and blogger use your voice to talk about “breaking the habit of consumerism”. I think it is so important that so called influencers with a large and young audience talk about more than fashion, makeup and skin care. Not that there is anything wrong with beauty content. But the dose makes the poison. Considering our environment just like our budget and health. As you say quality over quantity is an important “mantra” that draws attention to how our clothes are made, where our food comes from and what happens with all the stuff that we – again and again – throw away.
    I would love it if you looked more into these topics. <3 Love from Germany

  • Essie

    Finding your capsule wardrobe videos was the start of my journey to minimalism! I’ve never liked clutter or mess but feel more able to pare things down and live with fewer high-quality items. It certainly helps me feel calmer!
    http://www.emmewrites.com

  • Elisha Maè Iveson

    Lovely post Anna – all subscribed to your YouTube recommendations and ready for a binge watch!

    Elisha-Maé | http://www.elisha-mae.co.uk

  • I will have to check out ‘The Minimalist’ Podcast + YouTube channels, as well as ‘The Joy of Less’. I absolutely LOVE to read.

    I’m new to your blog, your pictures in this post are great!

    Kayla Graham || http://www.getupgetdown.reviews

  • Emily

    I’m always looking for great declutter/minimalism content and have been hooked on muchelleb’s youtube! Definitely worth a watch and she makes videos pretty consistently

  • Mademoiselle Saar

    Love this post! Got me really motivated to clean out everything I own!x

  • I love everything you have suggested! You are also one of the people that gave me inspiration when I first began my minimalist journey. So you should add yourself to the list 🙂

    xx
    The Felicia Renee | a minimalist lifestyle & beauty blog