“Less is more” is a key concept of minimalism. Too many “things” and too much “clutter” just serve to distract us.
This is why creating habits to routinely declutter and/or get rid of excess can be so powerful.
Like many guys, I simply loathe cleaning. Yet I love to work in a tidy and organized environment. What a quandary!!
My solution has been a series of small micro cleaning habits. Most of these ideas are originally found in the books listed here.
These books on minimalism, organization, and decluttering feature: simplicity, uncluttering your life, and top notch organization.
These decluttering and organization books have a wide variety of topics. They can help a wide swath of people. Whether you should be featured on an upcoming episode of Hoarders or already live a neat-as-a-pin minimalist lifestyle, I am thinking there are still few things you could learn from these books.
Best Simplicity and Organization Books
1. The Power of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential…in Business and in Life by Leo Babauta
Although most of us work hard to reach success, we often do so without a clear vision of what we really want, or what success really means to us. And to make things harder, there are so many distractions around that vie for our attention.
This book teaches you how to focus on what’s truly important in each aspect of your life. Babauta, the author and creator of the blog Zen Habits, is your guide in removing the clutter that blocks your path to success and prevents you from living the life you deserve.
This book provides helpful tips and suggestions on how you can foster new habits that boost your productivity, sharpen your focus, make you more efficient at your tasks, and create focus-oriented and actionable steps to reach your goals.
2. Time Management from the Inside Out: The Foolproof System for Taking Control of Your Schedule—and Your Life by Julie Morgenstern
Time-management systems do not always fit into a one-size-fits-all framework. This book identifies your personal psychological strengths and stumbling blocks to create an effective time-management system that’s tailor-fit for your needs.
Through effective tools and technology, this book is your guide to learning time-management skills for achieving a more organized life. Morgenstern teaches you how to create a system that’s adaptable to constant change, take control of your life, and overcome procrastination for good.
3. Organizing from the Inside Out: The Foolproof System for Organizing Your Home, Your Office and Your Life by Julie Morgenstern
This revised edition is a thorough guide on how to bring order and organization into every aspect of your life. The book is consistent with Morgenstern’s style of letting readers discover their true personalities and working with them to develop a system that helps them live a clutter-free life.
Through this book, you’ll learn about a tried-and-tested formula for clearing the clutter in your life and getting rid of it forever. Morgenstern shows you the common challenges people face when it comes to decluttering—personal issues that are at the root of their tendency to be disorganized. In this book, Morgenstern shows her readers that it’s possible to stay organized and enjoy the process of organizing, too.
4. Banish Clutter Forever: How the Toothbrush Principle Will Change Your Life by Sheila Chandra
This book offers helpful suggestions on how to get rid of clutter, and more. The author promises to help you achieve a working system for organizing your space and your life.
Sheila Chandra introduces readers to a couple of concepts that are vital to becoming efficiently organized: zoning and completion. Rather than just providing tips on how to live in a tidier space, Chandra helps readers get more organized in their lives by sharing her personal experience growing up in an extremely cluttered house.
Readers get introduced to the “toothbrush principle.” Something almost all people are good at is not losing their toothbrushes, so this becomes the jump-off point for becoming permanently organized in all areas of your life.
By the time you finish reading this book, you will have a firm grasp of the habits that promote an organization, as well as newfound confidence in your ability to stay clutter-free.
5. Focal Point: A Proven System to Simplify Your Life, Double Your Productivity, and Achieve All Your Goals by Brian Tracy
This book promises to help you find clarity. Through Brian Tracy’s guidance, you will discover who you truly are and what it is that you want most out of life.
You will learn how to think and act like numerous successful people. Tracy will show you how to develop effective plans in order to reach success in different areas of your life. Moreover, you will learn the techniques of fast-tracking success and getting results that usually take a lifetime to work on.
This book promises to give you fulfillment in many aspects of your life. For example, you’ll be doubling your productivity, improving your relationships with the people you care about, making a difference in your community, and developing your spirituality to find peace within.
6. Organize Yourself in 24 Hours: 50 Best Strategies to Organize Your Mind, Organize Your Life, and Manage Yourself in the Way You Want by Christ Lewis
This book gives you 50 strategies for organizing anything and everything in your life. Lewis uses a straightforward approach to deliver his message about how to boost productivity, become more focused, and reach peak performance.
The strategies featured in this book are all designed to teach you about being highly efficient and organized. Readers can work through all the strategies within 24 hours, becoming productive and organized in the quickest time possible.
7. One Year to an Organized Life: From Your Closets to Your Finances, the Week-by-Week Guide to Getting Completely Organized for Good by Regina Leeds
This book’s author has spent over 20 years helping the messiest people bring order into their lives. She shares some of her routine-building techniques to help readers organize their households and keep them that way.
As the title suggests, One Year to an Organized Life tackles organizing almost all aspect of your life, such as your finances, career, closets, and basement. Anecdotes about real people’s experiences using Leeds’ system are interspersed with her suggestions. These stories inspire most readers, helping them see that becoming completely organized for life is achievable.
8. Daily Inbox Zero: 9 Proven Steps to Eliminate Email Overload by Steve Scott
If you are like many people who have an accumulation of email in their inbox and can’t keep up with the deluge of this electronic communication, this book can help you go to the root of the problem. This book provides nine steps to help you eliminate the problem of an overloaded inbox.
The book will teach you how to process email correctly, including the following strategies:
9. Unclutter Your Life in One Week by Erin Rooney Doland
Erin Doland is the founder of Uncluterrer.com, and in this book she shows readers how to achieve a stress-free life within a week by following her process of organizing and decluttering. Doland uses a down-to-earth approach to winning the battle against clutter. She shares a system of organizing based on the way you process your thoughts.
This book provides information on how to use each day of the week to organize specific areas of your life. For example, you are to focus on organizing your wardrobe on Monday morning, your office the rest of the day, and creating a reception station on Monday evening. Tuesday morning, on the other hand, is allocated to organizing the bathroom, while the evening is for establishing routines within the household.
The author understands that many of us succeed better in developing new habits when a reward system is in place. Thus, she also includes suggestions for rewarding and celebrating our success when it comes to organizing our lives using her methods.
10. The Joy of Less: a Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life by Francine Jay
In our heavily materialistic culture, minimalism is one solution to the collecting and hoarding of material goods. The premise of this book by Francine Jay is that “having less stuff brings happiness.”
Jay is your guide to living simply and serenely. You’ll learn that your stuff (or clutter) does not define who you are; that when you have less stuff, you’ll feel less stress; and that when you possess less objects, you have more freedom. Through this book, you will be introduced to the streamline method, which is a 10-step process of getting rid of clutter. You will also learn how to achieve a minimalist lifestyle for yourself and your family.
11. Getting Rid of It: The Step-by-Step Guide for Eliminating the Clutter in Your Life by Betsy and Warren Talbot
This book teaches you how to achieve freedom by getting rid of things, relationships, and behaviors that weigh you down. Betsy and Warren Talbot drew insights from their personal experience in 2010 of escaping what they termed as “the Cult of Consumption” by selling everything they owned and taking an open-ended trip around the world.
In addition to sharing their personal experiences, the couple also offers useful tips on how to get serious money from selling the possessions you no longer need. The book also contains weekend challenges as reinforcement for what you’ve learned about decluttering.
12. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
In this book, Greg McKeown shows us the way to be in control of the choices we make in our lives. This is the path of essentialism, where a person lives a life that matters.
Readers will gain insights into the following topics:
13. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
Marie Kondo’s rise to prominence as a tidying-up guru was aided by her unique approach to decluttering. She tells clients to gather up all items of the same category and dump them on the floor. She then advises them to keep only those objects that spark joy.
This approach to minimalism appeals to many people. A number of readers and clients have claimed that using the Konmari approach has changed their lives and led to better decision-making.
This book helps you understand why clutter happens, provides a simple process to begin tidying up and organizing, and inspires you to tidy up and avoid future clutter by showing you the positive, long-term benefits of the habit.
14. It's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff by Peter Walsh
If you are getting overwhelmed by clutter, you might want to read this helpful book by Peter Walsh to guide you on how to get rid of those excess material possessions. Written in a lighthearted way, the book nevertheless tackles its subject matter seriously, delivering tips and suggestions on how to take back control of your life.
Walsh explains the reason behind our tendency to have clutter in different areas in our lives. He shows us why clutter is a problem, and why we should get rid of it. Then he offers sound suggestions for solving this problem.
A quiz about clutter is provided in the book to help you better understand what you’re up against. Readers find Walsh’s writing style to be motivating enough to start decluttering.
15. Find Your Focus Zone: An Effective New Plan to Defeat Distraction and Overload by Lucy Jo Palladino
This book provides insightful information about the strategies most high performers use to stay on top of their games. Palladino teaches you the steps that unlock your ability to fully focus on anything that requires your attention. The book promises to bring success into your life.
Through Palladino’s guidance, you’ll find solutions to:
Are there organization books missing from this list? Are there books on organizing that shouldn't be here? Do you find this list useful? Do you have any favorites? Make sure to let me know in the comments on the main page of the +200 Best Habit Books List