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The Joy of Less

A Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify
Written by: Francine Jay
Narrated by: Teri Schnaubelt
Length: 5 hrs and 59 mins
Categories: Self-Help, Motivational
4.5 out of 5 stars (64 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"An inspiring read for anyone wanting to downsize, finally park the car in the garage, or just clear out a few closets." (Rachel Jonat, TheMinimalistMom.com)

Having less stuff is the key to happiness: Do you ever feel overwhelmed, instead of overjoyed, by all your possessions? Do you secretly wish a gale force wind would blow the clutter from your home? If so, it's time to simplify your life! The Joy of Less is a fun, lighthearted guide to minimalist living:

  • Part one provides an inspirational pep talk on the joys and rewards of paring down.   
  • Part two presents the Streamline method: 10 easy steps to rid your house of clutter.
  • Part three goes room by room, outlining specific ways to tackle each one.
  • Part four helps you get your family on board and live more lightly and gracefully on the Earth.

Ready to sweep away the clutter? Just listen to this book, and you'll be on your way to a simpler, more streamlined, and more serene life. 

Francine has helped hundreds of thousands of people declutter their homes and simplify their lives with her best-selling book, The Joy of Less.

Her advice has been featured widely in the media, including on CNN, BBC, Today, and in The New York Times, USA Today, The Chicago Tribune, The Guardian, The Financial Times, Forbes, The Huffington Post, Le Parisien, ELLE Espana, House Beautiful, Woman's World, Dr. Oz, The Good Life, and others.

The Joy of Less, a beautiful minimalism book, makes an ideal gift for any loved one on a mission to simplify their life.

©2010, 2016 Francine Jay (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Everyone should read this!

Fantastic book. Well written and well read/performed. It's definitely one that I keep thinking about as I try to live a minimally. #Audible1

3 people found this helpful

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I've listened to this book 3 times!

I love this book. It's so helpful, in a step by step way to dive into the minimalist mindset, how to tackle decluttering, and then focuses on the specifics of each area of your home. Much better than "how to declutter and organize" because it teaches how to maintain a minimalist mindset and lifestyle. Rather than going on a clutter " diet," this book teaches you how to shed the clutter and keep it off!

3 people found this helpful

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First Self Help Book I Finished!

loved it. may not go to the extreme but defiantly see a lot of the stuff I do that makes things worse... will have to listen to it again!! around the husband so he will soak some of the info in as well.

1 person found this helpful

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Comment on narration

I was interested in the content but the narration is too monotone to get through the full duration.

2 people found this helpful

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Great info on the why & how to start minimalizing

Loved this book and will listen to it again when I need motivation or to refresh the memory.
Lots of tips and it's best to see what chapter appeals to you to start. All over it has a lot of information and great advice on how to get other family members involved and when to start or how to do that. You can never start early enough with little children to explain the reason behind Minimalizing.
The narrator was good but a bit boring to listen to. That must have been the reason I have started it and put it away for a few weeks.

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Limited usefulness

I think if you were tasked with writing a book about de-cluttering your home, you could come up with 90% of the major points just by brainstorming on your own. There isn't anything mind blowing here, just go through your stuff and strip away the non-essentials.

On the other hand, it's sometimes nice to read (or listen to) ideas we already know. It can give reassurance and even a little motivation to start with action. So, even though there's nothing new in this book, you might still get some benefit from it.

The narrator is pretty boring on this one. It's like listening to a corporate training video.

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  • Brenda Murray
  • 2018-05-27

Joy of Less: Yes, I'm judging you.

There are some good tips for reigning in the clutter in you life. However, if you're not a minimalist yet and you imagine them as judgy and self-important, this book will only confirm that. While I did take away some good tips on reducing what I own and consuming less, the author came across as both condescending and ridiculous at times. For example, if your hobby is woodworking, that requires a lot of stuff. So give up that hobby and write poetry instead, so you can get rid of your woodworking equipment. She also seems to think every woman is a label whore who runs to the mall every time a new shade of lipstick comes out. One thing I dislike about minimalist books and blogs is that they seem to push the idea that interiors must be white, modern, and stark to minimalistic. This book definitly adheres to that aesthetic. Also, I hate the word module now. In short, good tips yet vaguely annoying and judgy.

60 people found this helpful

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  • art student
  • 2016-07-19

Definitely worth a read!

Great narrator. I really liked this book. Sometimes the writer got a bit preachy, and while I wholly agree with most of her points sometimes it got a bit redundant and I wished she would just move on and get off the soap box. I will firstly admit that it could be because I am far along in my minimalist/zero waste/zero impact journey, I have heard a lot of her points before, which could explain why I got more frustrated when she wouldn't move on than someone else might have been. To someone who is new to it all it is very informative and worth a read/listen. Very life changing and a new way to think about our lives today that is so meaningful.

42 people found this helpful

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  • Lefie
  • 2017-05-05

Top 3 Minimalism Books

I've read many many books on simplifying, minimalism, and conscious living. The Joy of Less is definitely one of the more impactful reads, as it supplies reasoning and logic to back up your decision-making when embarking on a less cluttered lifestyle. Whether your aim is to become an extreme minimalist, find ways to be more environmentally friendly, or simply pare down your possessions and organize, I highly recommend this book!

41 people found this helpful

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  • K. Russell
  • 2016-05-28

Good to listen to when you're decluttering or moving

Lots of good thoughts and reminders about living with less. Makes a person really want to toss and donate things.

31 people found this helpful

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  • Beach Grandma
  • 2017-01-06

Some good ideas

Although some technique and advice are impractical the essence of the book are both good and motivational. The most helpful chapters are in the last third of the book.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Bigger Rock
  • 2016-09-20

Changed my mindset

Changed my mindset. This book will motivate you to declutter, for all the right reasons.

20 people found this helpful

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  • Ramon Sanchez
  • 2017-08-25

A hardcore How to, Not a story

This is a How to book. It's pretty hardcore on how to minimize your possessions. It's flexible and shows you what an ideal minimalist life is like. The reader doesn't need to go to the extreme but should know what it looks like. there are a lot of great ideas and tips to get started. I was expecting a story but this was just as useful non the less.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Brenda
  • 2017-06-04

Rich content and soothing narration

Loads of content that goes beyond minimizing material belongings and into the underlying motivations of our lives. Yet it weaves it all seamlessly and doesn't feel overstuffed. Even better than Kondo's books, IMHO (which were also good a read), but the two can go well together. I have gone back to several chapters multiple times and taken what's most relevant for me at any given stage.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Rebecca Myer
  • 2017-02-25

Less is more

Great inspiration! I re-read after moving to a new house, it is helping me set up a comfortable living space. Bonus of listening, my husband is getting excited about minimizing his space a well.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Atma Khalsa
  • 2017-02-06

My favorite minimalist book

This is the fourth and best minimalist book I've listened to. Very engaging, inspiring and practical. The narration was also incredible and well suited to the material. Thank you!!!!!!

12 people found this helpful