January 2, 2018
I reached for "New Minimalism: Decluttering and Design for Sustainable, Intentional Living" looking more for how to do decor in newly rearranged living room than decluttering. I had read at least 5 decluttering books in the last few months, and I did not think there is any more to say on the subject. And perhaps the authors did not intend to say more, but they succeed in doing it their own way. Sure, almost any book on the subject will encourage you to figure out your "why", why do you want to start living minimally and declutter your house. In "New Minimalism", however, you will also find the generalistic, but nevertheless useful analysis of four types, or archetypes of how we interact with our belongings - and how to address each one when it comes up.
Another way the authors manage to put their own spin on decluttering craze are their environmental concerns and tips to do things in the Earth-friendly way. Some of the things I never thought about was, for example, to donate your items, thus allowing others to use them rather than end on landfill, but then pack your donations in paper bags that can be recycled.
On that note, however, the authors go a bit too far in their criticism of the cleaning supplies as "toxic chemicals". I am sure there are compounds not good for us in some of the cleaners, but just because acetic acid is called vinegar and you use lemon as a source of citric acid does not mean you avoided chemistry altogether. And while many chemicals are indeed toxic, there are also so-called natural sources of toxins. Cyanide with your almonds, anybody?
While I was disappointed the authors did not spend all that much time talking about the decor overall, the few tips they provided were quite useful. Enough to distinguish it from all other decluttering books out there, starting from the Marie Kondo "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" to "Unf*ck Your Habitat" by Rachel Hoffman. And if you never read any of those, "New Minimalism" is definitely a good start.
I have received a free copy of the book for the purpose of this review from NetGalley. The links in this post contain affiliate codes.