I have followed The Minimalists for years. I don’t remember where I first heard about them (probably on a personal finance blog), but I do remember loving the clean aesthetic and feelings of control I got from the idea of a drastically simplified home.
While the story of two bachelors with no families didn’t jive with my own experience, they also pointed me in the direction of family-man Joshua Becker, who gives practical simplification advice for families, and Courtney Carver, who had specific and extremely effective ideas about how to cull your wardrobe.
For years, I listed to the Minimalists’ podcast, so when their first documentary came out, I watched it as soon as I could get it on Netflix.
I watched it in one lovely sitting on January 2nd (it’s only 53 minutes long) and then spent a glorious afternoon inspired to clear the shelves and counters in my kitchen and family room.
Less is Now is surprisingly similar to the Minimalists’ first documentary, Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things. In it, the Minimalists, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, share similar stories, sometimes using the exact language they use in the first documentary, to tell the story of how they found the path to a simpler life.
And they have a fairly strange way they’ve decided to tell their respective stories, in front of a set of a living room, in a formal and somewhat stilted delivery, as if they were delivering a one-man show to an audience of no one.
Despite the awkwardness of their delivery, which I suspect comes from the fact that they’ve told the same story so many times that it’s almost impossible to sit down and share it naturally anymore, the message that they share is compelling.
It was compelling to me, again, despite my having seen the first documentary. It was compelling enough that after watching it, I was inspired, and motivated, and happy. Hearing about other people living a more simplified, less materialistic life just made me feel good. It made my choices feel validated, it reminded me that others share my values.
I don’t know why D’Avella made a second documentary that was so similar to his first, but it works. It gets the message back out to perhaps a new and larger audience. It interviews compelling characters, like Dave Ramsey. It’s short enough that it leaves you wanting more. It inspires you to live a simpler, more curated life.
So, if you get the chance, watch Less is More. I think you’ll find it helpful in a host of ways, not the least of which is spending less.