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Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism Hardcover – April 11, 2017
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“Inspiring in its straightforwardness and sincerity . . . I don't think it would be possible to read Goodbye, Things without taking a look at your own home (and life) with a new set of eyes. . . . In the end, what matters is the thoughtfulness the book inspires.”
- Janel Laban, Apartment Therapy
“In his new book, Goodbye, Things, Fumio Sasaki shares the lessons he learned by going minimalist. . . . For Sasaki, minimalism isn't about how little you have, but how it makes you feel. Sasaki credits his minimalist lifestyle with helping him lose weight, become extroverted and proactive, and above all, feel happy and grateful for what he has.”
- Heeseung Kim, Cosmopolitan
“Makes the case for radical minimalism . . . treat each of [Sasaki's] 70 tips as an opportunity to reevaluate how you use and why you keep the things in your home.”
- Jenny Xie, Curbed
“Take your spring cleaning to the next level with Goodbye, Things by Fumio Sasaki. A best-seller in Japan, this book uncovers why we want to own more than we need, what this mentality does to our well-being and how we can live better by owning less.”
- Katie Neal, Parade
“If you’ve ever felt bogged down by all of the things filling your life up with clutter then this is the book for you.”
- C.A., The Daily Want
“In a time of rampant consumerism, a new movement is preaching an alternative path ― one that banishes all but the most fundamental and enriching consumer products from our lives. In Goodbye, Things, Fumio Sasaki recounts his conversion from reckless hoarder to hyper-mindful consumer, and offers advice to those seeking the same simple happiness that he found in minimalism.”
- Gear Patrol
About the Author
Fumio Sasaki is the former co-editor-in-chief of Wani Books, and lives in a 215-square-foot apartment in Tokyo, furnished with a small wooden box, a desk, and a roll-up futon pad.
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When I discovered the Japanese version of this book over a year ago, my husband and I had already downsized quite a bit after reading Marie Kondo’s “Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” But reading “Goodbye, Things” has had even more of a dramatic impact on our lives, mainly because it made us think fundamentally about how we use, and why we keep, certain things. Our priority went from “living in a nice apartment full of things we love” to “minimizing our footprint to maximize our time and freedom.” We used to talk about buying a condo someday; now the idea of taking out a mortgage or being tied down to a place does not sound appealing to us at all. We used to tell each other we should entertain guests more often; now we realize that was only because our friends like to host dinner parties, and we felt guilty for not reciprocating. We have accepted that the number of things we can realistically take care of are much, much smaller than we once thought.
“Goodbye, Things” also helped us let go of items that sparked joy but we weren’t actually using or taking good care of. I really resonated with Sasaki’s observation of the “Silent To-Do List”: the more objects we have in our surroundings, the more they contribute to our already overwhelmed sensory load, and the more time and energy they take up. My husband and I used to have three bookshelves full of our favorite books, but now we only keep a handful that we are actually reading. We also let go of our long-owned musical instruments, after we finally came to terms with the fact that playing them just was not our passion or priority anymore. As difficult as this was, now it feels as though a huge weight has been lifted off our shoulders.
Overall, I found this book to be a very helpful and inspiring introduction to minimalism, and for my husband and me, it really did change our lives.
The first part of the book is practical advice, and though he includes references to minimalist friends with spouses, hobbies, and children, it's mostly oriented toward people like himself. (The advice is still pretty good). For me the best part of the book was the second half, where he talked at length about the changes minimalism had made in his inner life. I found myself nodding in along as he talked about silent to-do lists and the procrastination they cause, the joy of living in the present, and finding value in just being ordinary.
Recommended to anyone who thinks of minimalism as chilly or self-centered, because this book will fill you with warmth.
Not recommended to anyone who is just looking for the perfect manual. That's not what this is trying to be.
So glad I did! For whatever reason, this one matched me better than the others, possibly because it looked like the author had some of the same issues I struggle with (books, in particular). One of his other offhand observations was that his old bed was heavy, and that was pretty much a direct hit too! I live with a couple cats in a one-bedroom apartment, and I refuse to get a bigger place just because the square footage has too much stuff for me to set up a writing/creative area.
With this book, I figured out a way to open up a lot of space in my current apartment, and while I doubt I'll make it to a real "minimalist" living space, I can definitely see getting down to a slender "mediumist" place. (I love my backup toilet paper!) This book doesn't "shame" you either, if you don't happen to want to get down to practically no possessions, it just does a wonderful job of explaining how to let go and find your own balance so your stuff doesn't take over your life.