Skip to main content

Book: The Joy of less by Francine Jay | Why I turned Minimalist

More than a decade ago, one Saturday morning, my brother casually started to discuss with me about a documentary he saw. It was about the lifestyle of a person in Japan, who had very limited material possession - wardrobe with couple of formal pants and shirts in shades of grey, few t-shirts and shorts, couple of foot wear, a table, chair, bed and very few essential cookware to meet the needs in his daily life. Upon my brother's insistence, I too watched the video and his apartment (though very tiny) looked pristine and simple. 

But growing up in a society which believes more stuff = more joy (or power or status), and already living in a house full of items (2 sets of sofas, 3 beds, tonnes of clothes (in different sizes), dozens of footwear (mine alone) etc.), many of which we seldom use on a daily basis and most the items which we don't even remember exist, I simply laughed away saying "the minimalist lifestyle is a hoax" and doesn't work in the real time. That was just enough to trigger another sibling argument­čśćand as expected the main topic was totally forgotten the very next day.

A few years later, I moved to the US along with my husband. We rented an apartment and purchased the bare essentials (so start with), like anyother new immigrant. As days progressed, I didn't even realize how stuff creeped into our home. And boom.... we had a visa situation. We had to move out of the US at a very short notice. Apart from other formalities, we had the burden of getting rid of our belongings. Obviously, we couldn't carry the entire home with us - so we discarded almost everything - books, dresses, utensils, furniture and groceries. We donated as much as possible and the rest went straight into garbage. All our hard earned money and effort in buying, setting up and maintaining them went into drain. That's when I remembered the discussion on "Minimalist way of living" with my brother. 

That one incident changed my way of living to a greater extent. For now, I will reserve the discussion on how and what I do to lead a minimalist life, for later. Last month, out of nowhere, I suddenly had an impulse to read a book about minimalism and ended up picking "The Joy of Less", a minimalist living guide written by Francine Jay. 

Francine Jay is known as "Miss Minimalist". She leads a minimalist way of life and has written another book titled "Lightly" and lot of articles on minimalism on her website. If you want to know her experiences or advice or how to lead a minimalist way of life these books and website ( are sure to help you.

If you want to call it a self help book - you may surely call it. But unlike other self help books, the author doesn't quote any examples from her life or others. She explains how to declutter, organize and simplify your life in a very simple and funny way. 

In this world overtaken by commercialization and media, we hoard our lives with stuff that is useful, beautiful and emotional. In this process, we not only clutter the places we live in but also our minds and lives. Francine in this book, explains in lay man terms how to achieve minimalism - first in our houses, the place where we wake up to every morning. She takes us through each and every room - living room, bedroom, kitchen, washroom, office room, even garage, attic and basements which often overflow with things that we even don't know they exist. 

Her philosophy is "we use 20 percent of our stuff 80 percent of the time. that means we could get by with just a fifth of our current possessions, and hardly notice a difference." She advices us to put limits to what we purchase, possess and treasure. "In a culture where we're conditioned to want more, buy more, and do more, they're a wonderful breath of relief. In fact, once you've discovered the joy of limits, you'll be inspired to apply them to other areas." And finally, she extends this concept of minimalism to our lifestyle and its impact on the environment and the future generations to come. 

If you are someone who are just inquisitive about minimalist way of living or dead serious in paring down the clutter around you and within, then you must definitely read this book. It is indeed a guide to minimalism.

If you wish to read my latest articles and watch the content I create, follow me on Instagram and Facebook!! 


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Review: Anex Monkey Smart Watch

Hello Readers,  Welcome back. While browsing through a weekly flyer by Canadian Tire, my eyes got hold of a smart watch, primarily for its name - Monkey Smart Watch. It's original price was $89.99. On account of Father's Day, the price was slashed 70% and offered for just $24.99 (from June 9th to June 16th).  As it was listed on Canadian Tire website, I thought the product should be genuine and googled to know more about the product. But there weren't sufficient reviews online. So I decided to try it myself and booked it online. This smart watch was launched in the last quarter of 2021 as Anex Monkey Smart Watch. Last year, it had been sold for just $19.99 as part of Black Friday deal. Even after 5 days of waiting, Canadian Tire didn't process my order. On the other hand, the stock was vanishing real quick and only 80 watches were available in our near by store. When checked with their customer service executive, I was told to cancel my online order or wait until they p

Are you planning to take CELPIP?

It is a known fact that anyone who aspires to come to Canada on a student visa or as a Permanent Resident has to give an English Test to prove their proficiency. If you are contemplating between IELTS and CELPIP or want to know which test suits you better or looking for some guidance on how to prepare for CELPIP, then read on. This blog is specially curated for you!! ** Long post alert - consider this article as an essay from IELTS / CELPIP reading. Voila, you already started your preparation­čĹŹ IELTS is an English Language Test that is accepted by wider English speaking countries like the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland and hence its reputation amongst the aspiring immigrants. Unlike IELTS, CELPIP is Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP), specifically designed to evaluate test takers ability to function in English for Canada's permanent residency, citizenship and professional designation. In the recent times, especially during the pandemic, man

Why I Write - Q&A with Manu

I keep getting direct and indirect questions on Why I Write? There won't be a better occasion than this to address this Q and other frequently asked Qs. It's been exactly 2 years since I started this website -  Manu's Medley  and apparently this is my 100th blog post.  So Why I Write?  I can give a fancier reply stating "I chose to follow my passion". But I won't, as it isn't true. After being in the IT industry for more than a decade, working tirelessly all through the weeks, months and years, I moved to Canada carrying my little one, when the whole world was witnessing one of the deadliest diseases COVID. It was at the same time, I had to take a career break due to few compelling personal reasons and decided to be a full time mom.  It's a new place and a new role, with almost zero support, unlike the support system at India. To top it, the lockdowns and restrictions were never ending. The three of us spent months together within our apartment and my

Recipe: Idiyappam | Sevai | String Hoppers

Idiyappam, is a well known break fast item in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Sri Lanka. It is also known as sevai or string hoppers (in English) and is primarily made out of rice floor. Like idli, idiyappam is made through steaming using no oil, making it very easily digestible and light on stomach.  When I think about idiyappam, I remember 2 instances from my childhood. One of my friend's mom, used to feed her 2 year old with different colourful sevais for evening snack - white, yellow, red along with a liquid version of it too, almost 3-4 times in a week. Later I learnt from her elder daughter (my friend) that they are coconut sevai (sweet version), lemon sevai, tomato sevai and rasam sevai. Though born and brought up in Chennai, we aren't much into idiyappams.  I don't remember eating them until I crossed 10 years. Whenever we visit a doctor with fever, our doctor used to give a list of food items - kanji, bread, idli, idiyappam and rasam rice, which I was usually averse to even

Book: Before We Say Goodbye by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Before We Say Goodbye by Toshikazu Kawaguchi is the 3rd book I read this year. The 2nd was Meet Me in Mumbai by Sabina Khan. I have posted its audio synopsis and review on my you tube channel - Our_Bookshelf. It is available in this link . Meanwhile, if you wish to read my latest articles and watch the content I create, follow me on  Instagram  and  Facebook !!  Before The Coffee Gets Cold is the first book as part of the series written by Toshikazu Kawaguchi. It was originally a play written in Japanese in 2010 that turned out to be a bit hit. Later it was published as a novel in the same language in the year 2015. Due to its popularity, the book was translated into English. The author published sequels Tales from the Cafe, Before Your Memory Fades, Before We Say Goodbye, Before We Forget Kindness in 2017, 2018, 2021 and 2023 respectively. All except Before We Forget Kindness have been translated into English and the fifth book is expected to be released in English in Nov 2024. When I