Minimalist Parenting: Getting More out of Life by Doing Less [Book Review]

Yesterday was a big day for two of the most highly respected, savvy, and creative voices in the parent blogging world. The book, Minimalist Parenting, by Asha Dornfest of and Christine Koh of, hit the shelves. What a welcome addition! Here’s why:

In a world where sites like Pinterest hype just how much more clever and on top of things you could be if only you put in a bit more time and effort, Minimalist Parenting is your oh-so-sane guide to living a richer life through simplifying and streamlining the most complicated areas of family life.

As the book trailer says, we’re parenting in a world that tells us to do too much. In consciously packing fewer activities into our days and less “stuff” into our homes, say Asha and Christine, we can finally exhale, let go of stress, and “make room for the remarkable.”

And we’re not talking about deprivation, either. Rather Christine and Asha advocate taking the time to figure out what YOUR family’s values, priorities and goals are and organizing your life and your home in a way that helps realize them.

The problem with life’s mental, physical and social clutter is that there are so many choices out there–baby gear, preschools, camps, vacation destinations parenting theories–that it’s easy to agonize over making the wrong one. Experts can be  helpful, say the authors, but they’re not living your life. Understanding what’s important to you and your family allows you to tune into the voice of your “inner bus driver” (i.e., trust your instincts) and steer through the road of life with confidence.

Minimalist Parenting‘s chapters offer sensible advice on simplifying various areas of family life that are prone to overcomplication: time and home management, school, extra-curricular enrichment, mealtime, holidays and celebration and more. The tasks are utterly doable for even the busiest of parents. Personal anecdotes from the authors and from readers illustrate the points made in the chapters, and the authors offer practical tools and resources for achieving each chapter’s goals in the way of techniques, timelines, charts, and helpful websites. It’s a fairly quick read, and an enjoyable one.

Minimalist Parenting will resonate with both new parents and more experienced ones. If you enjoyed the “you don’t need everything they say you do” thinking behind  The Baby Cheapskate Guide to Bargains, and you value your time and sanity as much as your bottom line, you’ll definitely want to check it out.

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  1. Thank you for this fabulous writeup, Angie. You were often on my mind as I was writing, given that I too am a “baby cheapskate” when it comes to all the gear and “stuff” out there. So appreciate this.

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