Becoming Minimalist: Start Here.

Welcome to Becoming Minimalist. If you are new, welcome! We are honored to have hundreds of thousands of regular readers, and brand new readers every day. If that’s you, welcome. I’d love to make your experience here as comfortable as possible.

Most importantly, Becoming Minimalist is designed to inspire others to pursue their greatest passions by owning fewer possessions.

Our Story

Our story begins in suburban Vermont while I was cleaning the garage, my wife was cleaning the bathrooms, and my 5-year old son was playing alone in the backyard. I struck up a regular conversation with my neighbor who commented, “Maybe you don’t need to own all this stuff.”

The juxtaposition was striking. My possessions piled up in the driveway… my son in the backyard… my day slipping away… I immediately recognized something needed to change. My belongings were not adding value to my life. Instead, they were subtracting from it.

We began donating, recycling, and removing our unnecessary personal possessions. We embarked on an intentional journey to own less stuff.

As a result, we discovered more money, more time, more energy, more freedom, less stress, and more opportunity to pursue our greatest passions: faith, family, friends. And we decided to write about it.

Becoming Minimalist quickly became a place to encourage others to embrace minimalism. It does not boldly require anyone to become minimalist overnight—nor does it specifically define the word for you. Instead, it encourages each reader to discover their own journey and the far-reaching benefits that come from owning less.

We are dedicated to rational minimalism and discovering what that uniquely means for us. And the more who are introduced to this life-changing message, the better! Because we’re all just trying to make the most of this journey called life.

Our Writing

Get introduced to our simple message by reading some of our most popular posts:

Or, to discover the importance of owning less, try one of these posts:

We learned quickly that our journey to live with less on the outside would force our attention inward:

And would be entirely unique because of our life’s values:

Our story has been seen on the CBS Evening News, the Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, The Guardian, The Boston Globe, and countless interviews/reviews you can find all over the Internet.

Over the course of the last five years, we’ve written four books. And they tend to sell pretty well.

And if you really can’t get enough, browse our archives. But be warned, there’s a bunch of information there.

Our Community

If you would like to receive new posts via e-mail, sign up here. We send out a newsletter that unites, motivates, and equips simple living advocates. We are also connected to our community through social media. Find us here:

  • Facebook: Inspirational quotes and links.
  • Twitter: Quotes, thoughts, links.
  • Google+: Interaction and conversation.
  • Tumblr: Interesting stuff found on-line during research.
  • Pinterest: Promoting simplicity in home and life.
If you’ve heard enough and are convinced to try it out yourself, you’ll find some good suggestions here: 7 Ways to Sample Living With Less.

Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

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Comments

  1. Rebecca Brunstad says

    Wow, I’m so happy I found this. Josh was the youth pastor at my church , but that was before I was old enough to be his student, and I got to see him a few years ago at the Life conference in St. Louis. I went to his seminar on minimalism and he gave me a copy of his book and it changed my life. Thank you so much, Josh! Oh, and Katie says hi

  2. Annie Link says

    Hey, Joshua! I loved meeting you yesterday and your talk at Covenant Presbyterian was extremely inspiring. It struck me today that visiting the National Whitewater Center with you and Laurie was a great reminder that the best things in life are not only NOT things, but are often free (like out visit) and/or experiences (like rafting and kayaking). I don’t know who wrote the words below, but I loved reading them: “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” Thanks so much for your challenge to live more gently and intentionally by releasing the things we don’t need.

  3. Emily says

    Hi Joshua,
    I was wondering if you offer any courses regarding minimalist living?
    Many Thanks,
    Emily :)

  4. Marina says

    My name is Marina and I’m a tango teacher. I have had my own tango school for more than 20 years. In the beginning, this was my absolute dream job: a job full of creativity and freedom – exactly how I wanted it. With the expansion of the school came moving to bigger cities and hiring people. I invested a lot both personally and financially. The school started to become a huge administrative machinery. Financially the situation was getting worse and I was worrying day in day out, struggling to make enough money to pay my bills.

    Than I found a company who helped me through this tough time and I want to share my story now. Hope you can write about my great journey so far. I am a reader of your blog and I would love to share my story with your audience.

    Sincerely

    Marina

  5. aloikin says

    Hello
    i recently moved to canada from africa and the bombardment hit me so fast .Id like to know if you have reccomendations for minimalists living in canada or bloggers writing from a home view

    cheers

  6. Red says

    HI – Thank you for your book and site!!
    I do have a question for you: One of my “attachments” are certain types of memorabilia – mostly because I feel that if I don’t have them around – i won’t remember things in detail like family outings, events in our lives, and personal enjoyments like art and letters written by children and grand children! I’m always looking for a way to trim them down – but they do accumulate. It helps me maintain a contextual memory chain over the years.
    One recent example was a work journal I kept for years – documenting the detail oriented type of work I do. When I look at it, it gives me pleasure that I’ve accomplished certain things.
    How do you recommend handling such things? Getting rid of them: well I don’t think I’d feel free – I would definitely mourn them. It’s an interesting problem. I would value your input.
    Again – thank you for your site!!!
    Red

  7. Adam Smith says

    I’m sorry, but I just caught you talking on some live tv show about becoming a minimalist. I will agree Americans are over indulgers, over spenders, etc. But to call yourself a minimalist? You have styled hair, nice clothes, a website where you probably get paid to do all this. You are not a minimalist……you might value what a true minimalist would do/say, but do you really do that? Do you donate your money to charity? Do you live with only the necessities? You can tote ideas like they’re you’re own or that you have really grasped it, but I’m sorry I think you’re another fad. Just the fact that you are on television promoting yourself is contrary to minimalism.

    • joshua becker says

      Thanks for the comment Adam. But your definition of minimalism sounds more like intentional poverty and seclusion. I am promoting neither.

  8. Anne says

    Loved!!!!! Your response to Adam Smith! You stated early on that each person has to decide what their definition for minimalist is. Like your site. Need lots of help. Moving in 5-7 years to downsize. It might take us that long. Get caught up on family memorabilia and such. I also have some attachment to “things” that have given me lots of joy in the past or came from parents, etc. Thankful for your site.

  9. Ohio Mom says

    Do you address “projects to be done someday?” My husband and I are both guilty of this – pictures to be framed, objects to make, culinary ideas, projects for kids to give as gifts…

  10. Hana says

    Hi Joshua,.

    I am looking for a link I saw on your Facebook page a while ago on a budget plan that worked for you. I am looking for a plan for my family and haven’t found one that works for us long term. Could you give me the link please? Thank for your inspiring posts. They truly make a difference.

  11. Richard says

    Hello Joshua,
    This site has been a great great help to me. Specifically, by having fewer possessions I’ve found my mind free to focus on the things most important in life.
    I used to collect many things and I found that I was thinking about my collection more than anything else. I made the decision to sell all that I’d collected. I found it difficult to start with but now that I’ve sold them all, I feel free of the mental burden.
    Thank you very much indeed for your help.
    Most appreciated.
    Rich.

  12. Rose says

    Gidday from Australia,

    This is quite a radical statement and perhaps you will dismiss it and me as paranoid… but I want to say it because i think what you are doing is important and I have really enjoyed and benefited from your productive gifts.

    I was just thinking this morning (given my understanding and awareness of this society) that you are calling on people to do the exact opposite to what the system requires them to do in order to sustain itself.

    The system of global fascism and slavery, spiritually and materially is based on people being sold manufactured goods, history and realities. You are calling on people quite rightly to quit buying crap and to simplify their lives to love each other and not their things.

    Being a leader of a good movement that is filled with light always attracts the dark… people are often slandered, set up, killed off (like the health doctors and black and Native American activists in US at the moment) or belittled.

    I would ask you to take care of yourself…. white light, sage and awareness of whats happening protects you.

    Kind regards
    Rose

  13. says

    Hello! :) I send you this post because I really like your blog!
    I’m following you for a while now and your tips/articles are very helpful to me, so that’s why I wanted to share your blog.
    If you want to accept this nomination, go to the site below for details.
    http://sitarasa.com/2015/08/01/three-day-quote-challenge-day-2/

    Note: as a fairly new blogger I have understood that the nomination is only meant to be an encouragement and a nice way to make your favorite bloggers known via your blog site – and of course it’s okay not to participate, but I hope you will :)

  14. Dana says

    One benefit of the minimalist lifestyle is that moving is a lot easier to accomplish with less stuff! After living in my place for many years and gradually letting go of clutter, I recently learned I need to move, as the landlord’s son will be moving into my place. I’m guessing there is less emotional conflict with fewer items to negotiate.

  15. HN says

    What can you say about living on less which has not already been said (by philosophers of long, long ago)?

    Does a “Minimalist” need to sell books? What do you need the money for?

  16. Teszter says

    Everything you say is here:

    “The richest man is not he who has the most, but he who needs the least”.

    A true minimalist will replace his posts with this quotation – and spare people the trouble of reading fillers.

  17. says

    I have been drawn to the idea of minimalist living for quite some time. long enough for the current state of my home to haunt me on a daily basis. I feel inspired and ready to move forward “One step at a time” as I have read here :). Two questions that come up with this lifestyle.
    1. The idea of just throwing away or donating everything I don’t need seems easy enough. The thing I get hung up on is guilt with the idea of just tossing things and not knowing where it’ll just go and if that creates a bigger problem in someone else s home (3rd world countries that get dumped with our trash in their streets) Not sure what to do with the things that are not valuable enough to donate, that are not recyclable, or not compostable trash. maybe like a broken binder, stained clothes, chemical products, etc. I really am searching for the most sustainable way to dispose of my things with the environment in mind. Any cool businesses you know of that help collect and repurpose or dispose of things sustainably? The idea of this extra step than just tossing it feels best, but also is keeping me from getting anything done.

    2. Holidays/birthdays/gifts
    oh man the times when you get left with a bunch of exciting yet mostly always useless things you will never use.. i never seem to be that happy receiving gifts though I am told I am one of the happiest people most people know..but its because my brain immediately goes: “ohhh nooo something I wont use! More clutter! I cant give this away its from my mother in law! Ill need to keep this forever :( I’m probably making a face like I hate it…Try to smile like you love it.. maybe I shouldn’t so they know I don’t want things! I don’t want to seem unappreciative though.. I am so grateful that they thought of me!!” haha you know this game! My question is life as a minimalist, how do you usually respectively exist in this family and social world of gift giving?

  18. says

    Love the upcoming changes, Joshua! I appreciate you and your family and your collective commitment to inspiring others to live with more integrity. Thankful for you!

  19. Jackie says

    Josh,

    I just found you and just in time. My job has caused me to move every two years or so for about twenty years. I have been dragging around so much stuff and each move it has grown. My last move I had to rent the LARGEST truck you can rent before you move up to a semi! A lot of the stuff is sentimental. My father died and I “inherited” most of the stuff from the house that my mother couldn’t keep. This is the hardest for me to part with but I am ready to start the journey. I want to be free and I know this stuff is holding me back in SO MANY ways. What you said about being in your garage while your kid was alone playing really hit home. I stay home a lot going through my things instead of spending time with friends and family. I need help!

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