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Movie Review: The Minimalists Less is Now

Minimalism is hugely popular these days especially now that many people have time on their hands due to Covid. I had the opportunity to review the movie “The Minimalists Less is Now” which is currently streaming on Netflix. Takeaways from the documentary and my thoughts on if it is worth a viewing below!

The Minimalists Less is Now movie

Who Are the Minimalists?

The Minimalists are authors, podcasters, filmmakers, and public speakers Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, who promote a minimalist lifestyle.  “Less is Now” now streaming on Netflix, focuses mostly on their pasts and how growing up in poverty affected their views on obtaining “stuff.”  This is the second Netflix documentary, the first being “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things.”  The Minimalists host a popular podcast and have authored several books on striving for a minimalist lifestyle.

“Less is Now” is different from The Minimalists first documentary with a deep dive in their backgrounds and personal experiences regarding minimalism. Also included are fans of The Minimalists telling how the following the duo has changed their own lifestyles. “Less is Now” doesn’t really reveal any new thoughts on minimalism but what it does do is give two tangible strategies for jump starting a minimalist lifestyle: packing parties and the 1 in 10 out method.

Host packing parties

Ryan Nicodemus encourages viewers to host packing parties and says that his minimalist journey started when he packed all of his belongs and then slowly unpacked only the things he needed in 30 days.  He got rid of the things he actually didn’t need.  While I think packing parties are a good idea, I think his comments on how to truly live like a minimalist is what’s important.  Nicodemus notes that his home looks lived in, he has plenty of what he needs and the difference is he is VERY organized.  

1 ITEM IN, get rid of 5-10 items.

Joshua Milburn followed the 1 in 5-10 out method which simply means when you bring in 1 items you get rid of up to 10 items. I don’t know how sustainable this method is but I do think it can helping when you are just starting your minimalist journey.

Should You Watch Less is More?

I do think aspiring minimalists will get a lot out of this documentary.  Some moments like Milburn speaking to a non existent audience just doesn’t work (he literally looks and sounds like his is on an acting audition.)  What does work is when he travels back to his childhood home and remembers just how cluttered it was.  He explains that poor families don’t say no to the majority of items which left his home a jumble of mismatched furniture and clutter. 

It’s also relatable to listen to his experiences as a young man who had a high paying job and a huge house with more bathrooms than people. These things didn’t fulfill anything for him and it wasn’t until his marriage collapsed and his mom was diagnosed with cancer, that he really started to think about the what WOULD make him fulfilled. And those things weren’t things at all.


9 Ways Minimalism Makes You Happier

How to Find Your Own Version of Minimalism

10 Reasons to Get Rid of Extra Clutter

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