Book Review and Giveaway: Minimalist Parenting by Asha Dornfest & Christine Koh


Reader Appreciation week giveaway #2! If you haven’t done so already go enter your name for a Versalette 2.0.

The book: Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More by Doing Less

New parent? New to the idea of minimalism?

This book is full of very practical advice. Some of it is really common sense but with so many of us stressed out and in debt we could use a refresher about identifying what our values are and how to start living them.

The good: time management tips for busy families.

The productivity/time management section spans the first quarter of the book and while it isn’t revelatory if you have read a book on this topic, Christine and Asha do a nice job tailoring those skills and techniques to family life and framing them in a way that’s easy to implement.

Clutter is called crap in this book and that easy no-holds-bar tone is another thing I enjoyed. Parents worrying about what others will think if they decide to downsize to one family car from two, or donate half their kids’ toys, will find a reassuring friendly voice in this book.

The bad: this book is a general parenting book.

It is not a manifesto on simplifying your life and turning your back on consumerism.

Everything from play date etiquette to meal planning to negotiating flexible work arrangements are covered. For parents with children past the toddler age much of the advice will be common sense they already have.

For new parents, or those expecting a baby, this common sense could be a good reminder as those days of kids with multiple after-school activities loom.

This book could be a jumping off point for families that are new to the idea of minimalism or it could be a great tool for busy families looking for a bit of breathing room.

Giveaway: just leave a comment below for your chance to win a copy of Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More by Doing Less.

Giveaway open to anyone that lives where Amazon ships to. Note: I purchased my own copy of this book and have purchased the giveaway copy. I have not been compensated for this review and giveaway. I will close comments and pick a winner very early on Monday July 15th.

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  • We just had a second baby and moved into a smaller house, and are gearing up to sell one of our two cars! This sounds like a book I need to read. Thanks!

  • I would love to read this book! New to minimalism and I have two kids. Trying to start them out right!!

  • Your site is a blessing! Thank you for making me feel sane, and not like I’m depriving my child of unneeded crap. I need to get my hands on this book!

  • would love to win this…..sometimes the ‘things’ that come with kids can be overwhelming!

  • Just found your blog and fb page. As a mom of 5, who is always broke and always on the go, we would love to slow things down and enjoy more of a stress free, minimalist life.

  • I have been following your blog for a long time and have been reading other books you have recommended! They have helped tremendously… we now have gotten rid of most toys, and our little girl (and Mommy) is happier than ever!
    Best wishes to you and your family from Germany!
    XXO Simone

  • We have a second one on the way…and already know that it will be a vastly different experience – i.e. NO JUNK ;)…but, I am worried about being so busy that I get caught up in it all and forget the basic principals of minimalism…I am afraid that I will fall into the ‘convenient’ and fast trap and run out and buy a bunch of disposable diapers instead of going with the cloth 😉 … So, basically, I NEED this book :) You have a great blog, I don’t follow blogs, not many, but yours is a staple :)

  • I could use this book. My kids are only 21 months and 8 months and I feel like our lives (and homes) are way to busy! I need an intervention lol!

  • I’ve been following their blogs (and yours) for a while, and have been meaning to read this!
    If it’s good I will recommend it to my book club.

  • We are expecting our first little one and trying to escape the baby machine. With living in a one bedroom apartment we are trying to figure out what we really need and what people say we need. Balancing that with being the first grandchild on both sides we expect the clutter war to be a bit tricky. Hopefully this will point us in the right direction!

  • Perfect timing! We’re also expecting our first (after years of fertility issues) and just received our first bag of baby “stuff” from our fertility doc (random bottles, insulated bottle bag…)…made us realize we definitely don’t want to fall into the trap of needing tons of stuff. Plus, there is no way we have room in our tiny house! This book seems like it would be a great starting point. :)

  • What perfect timing! My daughter is expecting her second baby and would love some pared down parenting advice.

  • This book sounds so timely for my family! We’re really working hard to declutter and simplify things while our son is still a toddler.

  • I’ve been through a couple of rounds of decluttering and would welcome this book to get an extra push!

  • I would love this book! I live in a small house with husband and 3 adult children and 2 small ones adopted from China! Oh I know this would help!

  • I have three kids and am just starting our journey towards minimalism… this could be very helpful!

  • I would love to read this book. We have 3 little girls and work hard to keep our schedules simple and our lives “uncluttered”. Thanks!

  • This looks awesome! thanks for reading and reviewing it for all of your readers. Hope youre enjoying life on the isle of man, we recently moved from the middle of england, to the south and its very different. Have a sun-filled weekend!

  • would love a copy of this book. I am new to minimizing but am loving it. We have two boys and I would love some gguidance as far as the parenting side goes. Thanks for the chance to win :)

  • I just had my first baby and am trying to keep things simple around here. We have a very small house, so that certainly helps — as would this book! Thanks for your review and for offering a free copy.

  • I always enjoy reading about minimalism/simplicity living, be it a “refresher” or new information.

  • Trying to embrace a minimalist atttitude with our time/schedules can be hard sometimes with so many things pulling us in different directions- work, play, swim lessons, helping others. My biggest issue is actually organizing all of it. Sounds like a great book for that and hope I am the lucky one!

    As a side note, hanks for putting this book out there. Often I have thought back to your posts when making decisions, so I appreciate ALL of the tools you have gathered over time to share with us readers.

  • We’re expecting our first and want to do what we can to feel we have *enough* time, money and space (in a Vancouver condo) rather than always feeling strapped.

  • Would enjoy gleaning ideas from this book as we just found out we are expecting our first. Living on an Army salary doesn’t make it easy to go out and buy the latest baby gadgets and “must-haves”, so I’m looking for some creative ways to save and encouragement that less is better!

  • Sounds great! We tend to fill our own lives with extra clutter “crap”, when the essentials are all that’s needed.
    And end up missing out on the best stuff of life.
    Thank you for your posts!

  • I would enjoy this book. I am always looking for resources to give parents to help with good parenting!

  • I have enjoyed reading your blog for a few months now and I would love to read this book, too. =o)

  • My partner and I are considering starting a family and I think this would be an excellent book for him to read to calm some of his fears and get him on the same page as myself.

  • Good review! I paged through the book earlier, and pretty much felt the same way you did. I do highly recommend Minimalist Parenting – a great book!

  • Great review! Had my eye on this book already. Read your blog regularly. Would be great to win :)

  • I need to read this! I’m trying to move into a simpler way of living, and I started decluttering June 12th and so far I’ve purged about 200 items… feels good but I’m no where close to where I want to be yet!

  • I recently listened to the podcast that Meagan Francis, of the happiest home did with these two, and I loved it! Since then I have meant to read the book, I guess that fact I feel like I don’t have the time to read it is a clear indicator that I need to, haha.

  • I also heard the authors on Meagan Francis’ podcast and was totally intrigued. Would love to enter the giveaway. Thanks!

  • Oooh thank you for your awesome site, you have already helped me so much and been inspirational. I am expecting my 2nd child in a few months and we live in a small-ish 2 bedroom apartment so any assistance is always appreciated. And what another commentor said – it’s good to hear I’m not an awful mum for refusing to buy a load of rubbish for my kids! Esp when DH would try to convince me otherwise! 😉

  • This book sounds phenomenal! We are so minimalist compared to many of the people we know and love…and still it all feels like too much sometimes. I’m embarking on a mass-purging before (home)school starts at the end of August. I love that there are actual *books* out there now extolling this lifestyle. Makes me feel more legitimate :) xo

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