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The Joy of Less by Francine Jay - a best-seller About Decluttering

Updated on December 3, 2016
Gloriousconfusion profile image

I've always been a keen reader and have so many books that I couldn't hope to read them all in my lifetime. I love being surrounded by them

The Joy of Less

This book by Francine Jay is well written and easy to read, with lots of helpful ideas, and a minimalist ideology which you can adapt to your own way of life - you don't need to follow it blindly - just take the bits that appeal to you.

I have found that even using just some of the small steps recommended left me feeling better, and so enthusiastic that I wanted to recommend it to other people who, like me, love hoarding things. I'm not an Obsessive Compulsive hoarder, but I do tend to hang on to things when I have no use for them, just i case I might need them at a later date.


Before I Had Finished Reading This Book About De-Cluttering My Eyes Were Opened To Its Possibilities:

Not long after reading a chapter, I had a disastrous day when I couldn't stop spilling things or knocking them over. It started when I accidentally broke a raw egg, which dripped all over my open kitchen drawer. Normally I would just have mopped the place where the egg spilt, but, mindful of Francine Jay's advice, I duly emptied the complete contents of the drawer out on my kitchen counter, thoroughly mopped out the whole drawer, and put back only the items which I use regularly.

Then I considered which things I should just throw away, which things might actually be useful to someone else and who I might pass them on to, and whether there were any other articles which I considered were worth keeping.

the Joy of Less - This Would Be a Good Christmas Present

The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life
The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life

Easy to read, lots of helpful ideas, and it might just permanently change the way you organize your belongings.


I Surprised Myself:

I sorted out quite a large pile of utensils which I had not used for years

I put them in the dishwasher and gave them a clean-up, so that they looked as good as they would ever look, and my plan was to take them to a charity shop, after first letting my daughter select any she wanted. I was quite proud of myself.

All this came after reading one random chapter in the middle of the book.

After reading about a quarter of the book my enthusiasm for decluttering was boundless

This is strange, because I am a self-confessed hoarder.

I looked around for more easy things to clear from the house, and started on my empty bottle collection. I keep them to store all sorts of things I have made, such as pickles or chilli prawns and also to decant packets of dry food, once they have been opened. I hate being in a situation where I need a bottle urgently, and there are none to hand. But I myself am completely out of hand when it comes to moderation, and I can't bear to throw containers away. So this was a big test for me. You'll see part of my collection of bottles in the photograph below.

My son jeered, saying "just throw them in the rubbish bin, Mum, nobody could possibly want someone else's old bottles", but I knew otherwise.

My daughter was delighted to take some of the jars for her jam-making sessions so I boxed up the most suitable ones for her, using one of my large number of hoarded boxes and thus killing two birds with one stone. I was happy that they would be used, and felt no pain about parting with them.

Then I advertised on a local community website that I was giving away bottles and three people immediately replied. It was a bit time-consuming, with emails backwards and forwards, and eventually I left them on my porch for one lucky person to collect. My saucy son sneaked the bottles away and dumped them by my waste bins behind my back, but I found them, and carried them back to my porch. By the following day they had been collected by someone who wanted them, and I felt very comforted that I had not thrown them away and it gave me the strength to look around for the next step in de-cluttering.

Through reading The Joy of Less, I have found that giving my belongings away is a far pleasanter way of parting with my hoarded possessions than simply binning them. And although I have not yet finished reading the book, I am impressed by the fact that I already feel greatly encouraged to sort out my home and to stop hoarding junk.

All-in-all a very impressive and influential book.

My Embarrassingly Large Collection of Glass Jars and Plastic Containers

Glass Jars Galore
Glass Jars Galore

Don't Just Take My Word - Watch This Video For a Further Review

All three of these videos have something helpful to say to help you re-organize your home, and, thereby, your life.

Are you a hoarder? Do you find it difficult to let go of possessions you don't use or even like?

See results

Do Leave a Comment - about the book, about your clutter habits or just anything which adds to the conversation - I love to hear from people all round the world!

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    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 

      13 months ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      I wish I was a minimalist. Instead I'm always struggling to keep the clutter down. Sometimes I'm more successful than other times. Right now my home isn't really terribly cluttered but there are little pockets of clutter than need to be worked on and organized better.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile imageAUTHOR

      Diana Grant 

      22 months ago from United Kingdom

      I can understand that, and I don't collect much these days....but it is hard to get rid of stuff already collected!

    • Gloriousconfusion profile imageAUTHOR

      Diana Grant 

      22 months ago from United Kingdom

      I tend to hoard things in case I can make something with them, or use them later - in the days after the war it was called Good Housekeeping. And of course it's hard to give away presents, but I have to stop being so sentimental I suppose.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile imageAUTHOR

      Diana Grant 

      22 months ago from United Kingdom

      I find getting rid of unread books is like tearing my heart out! I gave myself a deadline of 31st December 2016 to clear out all the books I've been trying to sell, and clear out all the spare boxes I store to put them in. I've done quite well, but not achieved my goal. But it does help to give yourself a deadline.

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 

      23 months ago from Templeton, CA

      It is really hard to clear over 50 years of accumulated stuff. I've read the books and been inspired and made a start, but the physical body doesn't want to do the work it takes. I can't tell you how many carloads I've already taken to thrift shops! It still doesn't seem to make a dent. Of course, I'm also dealing with inventory from a closed online bookstore and have to itemize every book I get rid of that's part of it for the IRS. If didn't have to do so much paperwork before getting rid of the inventory it would go a lot faster.

    • profile image


      23 months ago

      I come from a family of hoarders so it's very easy for me to keep things. Trying to control that impulse, is hard!

    • profile image


      23 months ago

      We lived in an RV for 13 years and really got out of the habit of collecting or even wanting to collect stuff.

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile image

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 

      4 years ago from United Kingdom

      I so need to declutter We spent the whole afternoon today clearing out old lesson plans, receipts and other paperwork. Some went back to 1995 even so I was worried I might need it again, so we had a bonfire. The kitchen is full of jars and gadgets we never use too.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 

      4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Diana, this sounds like something I really need to read (or, more likely, listen to in audiobook format). Reading about its effect on you is very encouraging, and I really appreciate your excellent review!

    • Craftymarie profile image


      4 years ago

      I need to read this since we tend to hold on to so many things that we don't need and it ends up making the home look untidy. Learning to let go would be very freeing.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 

      4 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      A very fun review to read, and so relatable. It sounds like a book to add to the wish list. More and more now, I try to thin thing out. That can get nearly as addictive as hoarding. We actually need so much less than we have. I love that you are finding pleasure in the giving too.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile imageAUTHOR

      Diana Grant 

      4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Ibidii: I didn't think of that - I can see now that staying in the same house for over 50 years has not been conducive to having a good clear-out

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I learned from my parents and grandparents to recycle and repurpose. A certain amount of retaining things is good. But I can see that people who live in the same house for many years will keep more than they need. I have moved too many times in my life - nearing 70 times - so I have been forced to examine all my belongings and give to charity all the time after a garage sale. The book sounds good!


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