New Minimalism is written by Cary Telander Fortin and Kyle Louise Quilici. It was published in 2018, after their blog and consulting service of the same name grew in popularity.
This book’s angle in the minimalism landscape is to include a sustainable lens for how to declutter.
The majority of the book explains the standard why minimalism is good for you and how to declutter your house. Their method is sorta similar to the KonMarie method by Marie Kondo: bring all similar items from a categories together and sort from there.
The differences are the categories, particularly the clothes and home décor sections. The first step should be to pick your 5 favorited items that you definitely want to keep. This will help you visualize your personal style and guide you through your maybes. Which I think is a good idea, particularly when it’s your first round of full house decluttering.
They mentioned the four archetypes of people that are starting their minimalism journey and which categories will be hardest for them. I think this section could have been fleshed out more. They mentioned their experience with their clients and I would have liked to hear more about that. Also the timeline of the whole thing.
The archetypes are as follows:
- Connected: They wants to keep things from loved ones and are very sentimental about their items.
- Practical: They want to keep stuff because it might be useful one day.
- Energetic : They take on a lot of projects and hobbies. Then they don’t want to get rid of any of it, even though it’s unlikely they will complete it.
- Frugal: Keep items because of the money they spend on it. Or the idea the item may increase in value.
There’s actual mentions of therapy! It was a one off sentence in an anecdote. But I appreciate that they mentioned a client being in therapy helped them figure out why they held on to certain items.
So many books, including this book in previous chapters, mention a client just “eventually coming to the realization” on something massive. I guess it can happen that way, but I think that those types of stories really gloss over the work a individual has to do to get to that point. They just seem to think minimalism will solved everything in a dudes life.
I wish they had gone deeper on that or clients that didn’t do therapy but came to figured out their hurdles. Like more on though process to get there.
The last portion of the book was about interior design. They include 12 design tips/elements to incorporate into your final design when your done. I won’t go into them. But they made sense: use existing storage before buying more. Your drawers should be only filled to the point you can open and close them with one hand. Find a home for everything.
I wished that this book had gone a bit deeper in the route of sustainability. They encouraged donating instead of throwing away and using more simple “natural” cleaning products. I don’t remember 2018 that well but I believe that we were more evolved in the eco and decluttering world by then. They mentioned very briefly donating to more specific originations than just your local Goodwill but don’t explained why (PS: The big places get too overwhelmed with donations and end up trashing most of it).
I did quickly look at their blog, and it seems like nothing has been published since they released the guided journal extension for this book in 2020. A few of the articles touched on items directly mentioned in this book.
Overall, I just found this book under developed. I would just suggest taking 10 minutes looking through their blog posts and you will probably find all the important parts of this book.
Not to end on a bad note, the book had a lot of pictures of interior spaces, and I really liked them. There was colour, and nice, natural materials. Which is sometimes lacking when you think of minimalist décor. So that was nice to look at when you got to a end of a chapter.
You can find out were this book ranks on my minimalism book tier list.