This is the book that made me discover minimalism. I love it, and I’ve read it three times so far.

In Goodbye, Things Fumio Sasaki explains what minimalism really is, and how it can change your life. He shares his experience, practical lessons, and advice on how to live better with less stuff.

When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.

— Lao Tzu

70 tips to become a minimalist

“Say goodbye to who you used to be”; “think of stores as your personal warehouses”; “don’t buy it because it’s cheap, and don’t take it because it’s free”.

The author lists 70 tips to help you discard the items you no longer need. As you go through this section, you may notice that you have already implemented some of these in your life.

You will find that some tips are really clever — something you never thought about; you will discover some that truly resonate with you, and could be applied immediately; while others may take you a little longer, or simply don’t apply to you.

I find this section to be particularly useful, both for practical advice and motivation. Whenever you’re not sure whether you should discard something, this list may help you decide.

Why do we accumulate so much stuff?

Fumio himself used to live in a messy apartment, full of stuff. He had accumulated piles of DVDs, books, and CDs he would never even use. He felt frustrated, but he “couldn’t throw things away”.

Why did this happen? And why does it happen to so many people?The answer lies in how our mind works; our habits; and the way we’ve been conditioned by society.

We’re all different, but there are certain thought patterns, and emotions, that we all go through whenever we think about our possessions. If you’ve accumulated too much stuff, but you’re not sure why, Goodbye Things will help you understand the reason — and help you fix it.

In order to seek one’s own direction, one must simplify the mechanics of ordinary, everyday life.

— Plato

How minimalism changes your life

Some of the obvious benefits of being a minimalist are having a cleaner home, owning less stuff, and being able to find everything you need a lot faster.

But what about your emotions? Your personality, your attitude, the way you feel when you wake up in the morning?

These are, without a doubt, the true benefits of a lifestyle based on reducing your possessions. In short, minimalism means:

  • More time
  • Less stress
  • More freedom
  • More happiness

The list is endless, but these are the basics. Toward the end of the book, the author reflects on how his life changed after embracing minimalism, and how yours can change too — fast.

He mentions he is finally able to pursue some of his passions. He is no longer a super introvert; he has more time, and finds it easier to wake up in the morning; he is more positive, and feels better overall. He drastically improved his life, and you can too.

Should you buy this book?

Perhaps you are curious about the subject, and want to find out more. Or you may be serious about decluttering and having more freedom, and you need a resource that helps you change your habits faster. Maybe you are already a minimalist, but want to learn more.

If you fall into one of these categories, I would definitely recommend getting the book. Goodbye, Things helped me immensely, and I’m sure it can be useful to you, regardless of your current lifestyle. What’s great about minimalism is, there is no standard definition. Once you learn the basic concepts, you can create your own.

Final thoughts

No matter what your lifestyle is, your time is precious. No matter where you live, your space is limited. And even with all the energy in the world, there’s only so much you can do in a day, week, or even a year. Minimalism helps you optimize your resources, so you can focus on what truly matters.

In the book, Fumio Sasaki guides you through the journey of saying goodbye to all the stuff you don’t need, offering practical tips and helping you create a simpler, more exciting existence.

Despite covering a lot of topics, it’s a quick and easy read — one I really enjoyed.