Goodbye, Things
by Fumio Sasaki
Penguin

Retailers will quake at the appearance of yet another book lauding minimalist living. The latest to find bliss in owning little is Fumio Sasaki, a single, 30-something editor at a publishing company in Tokyo. Sasaki calls himself a “classic case” when explaining his move to empty his cupboards and clear his shelves: he just couldn’t stand living in an “overly cluttered pigpen” any longer. Interestingly, he points out, his compatriots have done the same for other reasons, such as information overload and the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, which affected their sense of value. Artist Mai Yururi, for example, found fame for her comic essays “There’s Nothing in My House”, which explain that she had become a minimalist after the quake turned her family’s possessions into “deadly weapons”. Sasaki mentions tidiness expert Marie Kondo, whose simple rule of thumb involved asking whether something gave you joy. But he went further, ridding himself of things even if they still had resonance. His advice for achieving zen-like nothing­ness? To ease the pain of parting, photo­graph everything first, and rent gear only when needed. Also, fashion wise, like Steve Jobs, aim for a signature look.