I’m a total documentary junkie, so there really aren’t any that are off limits.  But my absolute favorites are the ones that inspire big lifestyle changes or somehow manage to change our perspective of the world. They can be amazing sources of motivation if you need that extra push!

So this is for the aspiring minimalists out there! If you’re looking to downsize your life, or more importantly find more with less, this list of minimalism documentaries is for you!  All of these documentaries will inspire you in one way or another.  

So are you ready to purge your house, focus on happiness, and live more simply? Here’s where to start:


Ready to take the plunge into minimalism? These documentaries are great inspiration for helping you get there!


The True Cost

You will never look at your closet again after watching The True Cost.  

This documentary profiles “fast fashion,” which is the shift towards inexpensive clothing that is so cheap we view it as disposable.  

It will make you realize things about the quality (and quantity) of your clothing that you’ve probably never realized.  And the “true cost” of these cheap clothes is even more disturbing.



How big is your home?  Does it feel too small?  How about living in a home that is less than 500 sq ft?  

That’s the cut-off for a home that is technically considered “tiny” and there are a growing number of people that are opting for this lifestyle.  

What is really inspiring about TINY is that these homes is that they are really, really, really nice.  

They’re small because they’re supposed to be. The idea is that as the square footage shrinks, the quality of living grows.



Happy takes a look at just what you would think…happiness!  

By taking a look at some of the world’s happiest cultures, as well as saddest, the documentary draws some fascinating conclusions….some of which are obvious (like that things don’t always bring happiness!).  

Watching this is such a great reminder that what we work towards everyday shouldn’t be things, it should be happiness.


I Am

You may have to take my word for I Am and just watch it for yourself because no description will do it justice.

This is possibly the most thought-provoking documentary I have ever watched, and one that you will probably need to repeat just for it to really sink in.  

Basically, the producer tries to prove that we are all (as in, the whole world) interconnected in a way that one community’s pain is felt by all.  So to truly be happy, we need to help those around us.  

It’s a great message delivered in a very scientific way.  You’ll definitely be rethinking what is important to you after this one.


Living on One Dollar

Living on One Dollar follows a group of college students who spend a summer living in a small Guatemalan City where the average income for families is less than $1 a day per person.  

A summer can in no way do justice to what a lifetime in poverty would be.

Still, this is a great reminder how lucky we are and how much we don’t need the things we want.

These guys definitely prove a good point!


Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things

Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things is the classic go-to documentary on minimalism (shocked??).

It provides a great overview of the foundation of minimalism and why it is becoming more and more attractive for people.

Both of the men profiled in the documentary left their high-powered, high-paying jobs to live with less…and are both much happier for it.


So there you have it!  5 minimalism documentaries that are sure to inspire you!  Let me know if you’ve seen any others that should be added to this list!


If you’re a lover of documentaries, you may also want to check out these other lists:

The Ultimate List of Best Documentaries to Watch

5 Documentaries that Will Inspire You to Change Your Life

7 Documentaries that Will Scare You Skinny


Ready to take the plunge into minimalism? These minimalism documentaries are great inspiration for helping you get there!


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10 comments on “5 Documentaries that Will Inspire Minimalism”

  1. It’s really great that Netflix has increased their amount of films along these lines! If they’re doing that it must mean there is a need which reflects on what we’re hoping for as far as change

  2. Great article! Thanks for the suggestions of these five documentaries! I just added three of them (The True Cost, Happy and I Am) to my Netflix que. I saw they had very high ratings of the reviews in Netflix. Excited to see these films and keep my motivation going for decluttering, organizing and living a simple life!! 🙂

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