goodbye, things on minimalist living

Fumio Sasaki

TLDR; A quick and fun read about one man’s journey and experiences with minimalism.  Inspirational, tied to other ideas and philosophies.  Recommended.

goodbye, things starts as a journey from Sasaki’s cluttered, standard Japanese life to one of an impressive minimalist.  This isn’t a book about how to throw things out.  Sasaki deftly ties other larger ideas into the basic concepts of minimalism.  He first examines the laundry list of negatives associated with today’s consumerist (or as he calls it, maximalist) society; stress, cost, lack of focus, lack of time, unhappiness, etc.  Many of these symptoms have a direct correlation to the constant cycle of buying and owning 300,000+ items.  By eliminating these things, Sasaki contends that we don’t give up anything.  In fact, we gain time, space, happiness, cleanliness and focus.  His themes are very reminiscent of the common threads that run through two recent subjects of study, Stoicism and Essentialism.  Both Stoicism and minimalism refer to similar goals, such as being present in the moment, don’t possessions own you (nod to Tyler D), only focus on the important and that material goods can never truly be owned (they can be taken/lost/destroyed at any moment).  Essentialism and minimalism share some values, namely reducing the noise that overwhelms most people, focusing on what is important and going big on very little.  A quick read, broken into short chapters.  One of the few negatives is repetition from the direct usage of earlier material (parts of the book came from his website).  Inspirational, light with smart connections to larger themes.  4.5/5.