Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism

What do you do when it seems you have it all, yet can't find happiness? For Japanese editor Fumio Sasaki, the answer was to get rid of his belongings, right down to his bed. In Goodbye, Things, Sasaki shares how he did this and his emotional transformation to a state in which owning less resulted in more joy.

The minimalist movement has experienced a recent resurgence, a phenomenon Sasaki credits to a growing awareness that many people use possessions to measure worth. Goodbye, Things is a very personal journey, but the ideas and concepts are presented in a way that is both motivating and adaptable. Sasaki defines minimalist as someone who knows which items are truly essential and does away with the burden of anything extraneous. De-cluttering in a meaningful way theoretically leaves what's really important rather than what exists for appearance's sake.

Sasaki doesn't just tell, he shows with numerous photographs. The guide itself is quite beautifully pared down, from the gorgeous cover design to the well-organized interior. Even the pages are calming--large margins and spacing, along with numerous headings, render them pleasing to the eye.

Minimizing is particular to each individual, and Sasaki compiles different methods and tips for downsizing. We're all somewhere on the spectrum between hoarder and "sute-hentai" (weirdo obsessed with throwing stuff away), so our sweet spots will be different. The key is making peace with the idea that we are more interesting than our things. --Lauren O'Brien of Malcolm Avenue Review

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