What are simple tips for becoming a minimalist?
Becoming a minimalist means finding a way to be happy with less.
But sometimes the path to minimalism is a little easier said than done.
If you’re hoping to start decreasing the things in your life, you’re well on your way to becoming a minimalist already!
With these 17 simple tips to becoming a minimalist for beginners, you’ll be living a minimalist lifestyle in no time.
What is Minimalism?
In a nutshell, minimalism means living with only the things you absolutely need.
But conceptually, minimalism means different things to different people.
That means it’s up to you to come up with an idea of your minimalism.
Whether that includes reducing the number of things you need to be happy or producing less waste when living your daily life, figuring out how you’ll live your minimalist lifestyle is the first step to becoming a minimalist.
If you’re wondering how you can apply minimalism to your life, consider these examples:
1) Owning fewer possessions.
One of the most popular applications of minimalism is reducing the number of possessions you own, keeping only the things you need on a daily basis.
This process allows you to remove the distractions that come along with owning excessive things, and instead focus on the things and people that are important to you.
2) Less clutter.
Since you will be ridding yourself of all unessential things, you can kiss excess clutter goodbye.
In addition to the fact that your home will be cleaner and more organized, you’ll probably find that your mind is clearer without all that clutter, too.
3) Living intentionally.
Without the distraction that comes from clutter, a minimalist lifestyle allows you to live more intentionally.
This lifestyle forces you to focus on the things that matter most and makes you eliminate all the other things in your life that aren’t important.
4) Freedom from living comparatively.
When your life is focused on the things around you, you often find yourself comparing your life to the lives of others.
But a minimalist lifestyle allows you to take your focus off possessions and onto less tangible things, like your relationships and family bond.
5) Spending less.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly lifestyle, you won’t find a better option than minimalism.
Since you’ll only be using things that are essential, you won’t need to worry about overspending or going into debt to purchase the things you need.
How to Become a Minimalist
Since minimalism can mean different things to different people, the journey you take toward minimalism will depend on your goals.
But there are a few common steps everyone can take to start living a minimalist lifestyle.
These simple ideas are easy ways to become a minimalist when you’re a beginner.
Figure Out Your Why You Want To Be A Minimalist
Before you start living as a minimalist, it’s a good idea to think about why you want to live that type of lifestyle in the first place.
Living a minimalist lifestyle can be difficult at times, so knowing exactly why you want to change your lifestyle can help when the going gets tough.
There are a variety of reasons someone may consider adopting a minimalist lifestyle, including:
- Living more frugally
- Getting out of debt
- Keeping a cleaner, more organized home
- Finding more time to enjoy with friends and family
- Living a simpler, more peaceful life
- Enjoying more experiences instead of accumulating more things
- Reducing your waste and decreasing your carbon footprint
No matter what reason you choose to pursue a life of minimalism, make sure you know exactly why you’re choosing the path before you get started.
Start by Decluttering
Since the basis of living a minimalist lifestyle is to reduce the number of possessions you have to only the items you absolutely need, it’s a good idea to start by decluttering your home.
This means removing all the extra possessions that aren’t essential to your family.
While decluttering your home is an important first step on your way to living a minimalist lifestyle, it doesn’t have to happen all at once.
Decluttering your home is a big process, which means it will probably take you a while to remove all that extra clutter from your house.
Taking your time to work through the decluttering process will ensure you’re able to sort through all your possessions to figure out what your family needs and what you don’t.
The first step to decluttering your home is to figure out how you’ll sort through all the stuff in your house.
Typically, you will sort your things into four different bins or piles:
Everything you plan to keep in your home will go in this spot, so make sure it’s something that you can’t live without to ensure you stay on your path toward minimalism.
One popular method to help you decide what you should keep is to focus on possessions that only “spark joy”.
It’s Marie Kondo’s method that detailed in her book Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
Place everything that you don’t plan on keeping, but is still in good, usable condition in this pile.
After sorting through the items in your home, you can figure out where to donate your unwanted things.
Anything that can be recycled should go into this pile, including paper, plastic, and glass items.
All other things that you can’t donate or recycle and will be thrown away will go in the trash pile.
You can use bins, baskets, or cardboard boxes to help you sort through the things in your home. As you declutter, you’ll use the bins to help you keep track of where everything will go when you’re finished cleaning out each room.
After deciding what you’ll do with the things you plan on removing from your home, you can get started.
Work on one room of your home at a time to keep from getting overwhelmed.
Once you’ve picked a room to declutter, you can follow this process:
- Remove everything from the room
- Go through the items one by one and decide which box the item will go in
- Remove the boxes labeled donate, recycle, and trash from your home
- Take your recyclables to the recycling center and set the trash out on the curb
- Donate the remaining items to your favorite charity
- After that, take the time to put the items you plan to keep back in the room they belong
Continue working your way through each room until you have decluttered every space in your home.
Other areas you’ll likely want to declutter are your wallet or purse, your computer and your email inbox.
Take A Look At Your Wardrobe
Many people consider minimalism to be reducing the number of things around you, but they don’t take a good look in their closets!
Clothing can cause just as much clutter and distraction as any other stuff laying around your house. That’s why its important to apply the concept of minimalism to your clothing, in addition to other areas of your life.
Creating a capsule wardrobe is a great way to reduce the amount of clothing you have at home while still feeling stylish.
A capsule closet features a handful of classic pieces that are interchangeable among each other. This allows you to create a variety of outfits without the need for tons of different clothes.
Related: Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to build a minimalist capsule wardrobe.
Don’t Forget Your Groceries
The amount of food that gets wasted by an average household each week is astounding.
That’s why it’s important to take inventory of the amount of food you purchase for your family when you’re starting your minimalist lifestyle.
If you find yourself throwing away food every week, it’s probably time to start thinking about a new approach to grocery shopping.
Grocery shopping as a minimalist means only buying the food your family needs and avoiding purchase of food items that are excessive or frivolous.
Choose Experiences Over Possessions
Just because you have decided to live a minimalist lifestyle doesn’t mean you can’t have fun!
In fact, reducing the amount of stuff you have in your life will make room for more time and money to enjoy fun experiences.
Instead of adding more things to your life, think about ways you can enrich your life with an experience. From learning a new skill to going on a trip, using experiences as a way to enjoy yourself is just another benefit of a minimalist lifestyle.
You can use a tool like Skillshare to easily learn new skills online.
The topics are endless and include: music, photography, film & video, interior design, productivity, business.
There are free courses. There are also premium courses available at a cost. However, you can sign up here and get the first 2 months of Skillshare premium for FREE.
Downsize Your Living Arrangements
After decluttering your space and adopting a minimalist lifestyle, you may notice that your current living arrangements aren’t ideal.
Or maybe you need a push to really cut back on the number of things you have in your home.
Downsizing is a great option for a minimalist lifestyle because it makes you take a hard look at everything you have.
When space is limited, you’re forced to take inventory of everything that is truly essential in your life and remove all the stuff that you don’t really need.
Related: Here’s an article with a list of things minimalists don’t own.
Becoming a minimalist is just the first step in living a minimalist lifestyle.
After you take that step, you need to continue taking measures to keep living minimally throughout your life.
With these easy tips, you can maintain your minimalist lifestyle with ease.
1) Pick a number.
If you’re having a hard time letting go of things in your house, start by picking a number of items you’ll keep in each room.
In your closet, for example, pick a number of pants, shirts, and shoes you’ll keep, then get rid of everything else.
This will force you to think critically about every single item, ensuring you pick the things you absolutely need and love to stay in each space.
2) Get rid of extra hangers.
After you have decluttered your closet, get rid of all the extra hangers. That way, you won’t have a place to hang anything new!
This will remind you that you shouldn’t make frivolous purchases.
It will also help you remember to only add something new when you are replacing something old.
3) Go paperless.
Think about how much paper clutter you have to deal with on a daily basis.
From tossing out junk mail every afternoon to organizing financial papers as you pay your bills, keeping up with all that paper can be difficult.
By going paperless, you can reduce the amount of paper clutter in your home and reduce your family’s waste at the same time.
Here are tips for going paperless:
- Opt in for paperless billing for all your regular bills
- Use your phone to take a picture of things you need instead of printing them out
- Shred anything you don’t need right away to get your paperless lifestyle started
- Unsubscribe for things on paper you don’t need or can get online. For example, a lot of newspapers can be accessed online.
4) Replace instead of adding.
Getting into the habit of replacing things in your home instead of adding to the things you already have is another great way to embrace the minimalist lifestyle.
Each time you buy something, make sure that thing is replacing something that’s already in your home. That way, you’ll never be adding to the clutter in your house.
5) Give everything a home.
After you have taken the time to declutter your house and reorganize each room, take the time to ensure it stays that way!
Make sure everything in your house has a designated spot.
And if you purchase something new, be sure you know exactly where it will go. If you can’t come up with a place to put that new item, you probably don’t need it in the first place.
6) Watch less TV.
As you watch your favorite shows, you’re also inundated with advertisements encouraging you to buy something new.
After so much exposure, you may be tempted to give into those ads and disrupt all the progress you’ve made toward your minimalist lifestyle.
Instead of watching TV, consider other more productive ways you can enjoy your free time, like exercising, learning a new hobby, or reading.
7) Plan your meals.
One of the best ways to ensure you’re only buying the food your family needs each week is to take the time to plan your meals.
In addition to helping you reduce your family’s food waste, meal planning will also help you save money at the grocery store.
Each week, set aside an hour to plan out each of the meals your family will eat for the week, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for each day.
Then, make a list of all the ingredients you need for the meals and stick to that list as you shop to avoid purchasing extra food your family won’t eat.
If you’re a beginner to meal planning, the $5 meal plan makes it easy to get started.
For $5/month, they send you a weekly meal plan where every meal will cost approximately $2/person! They save you time and money so that you can focus on doing things you enjoy!
They offer a 14 day FREE trial (approximately 40 recipes) – regular or gluten-free – that you can cancel at any time with no questions asked.
If you’re confident with meal planning:
8) Purchase reusable items.
Reducing your family’s waste is a great reason to become a minimalist.
And one of the best ways to reduce waste and clutter in your home is to invest in reusable items, like water bottles, coffee cups, and cloth diapers.
I like having a water bottle close by because it’s a constant reminder to stay hydrated.
This Lifefactory water bottle is great because it’s made of glass, but has a silicone sleeve and handle for easier gripping and handling.
I initially found out about this water bottle from my mom friends who were raving about it. They have multiple and place them all over the house!
This water bottle also has an opening that’s large enough to put ice cubes in if you just need to chomp on cubes.
9) Take advantage of your library.
There’s no need to purchase a new book or magazine when you can read it for free and return it at your local library.
The next time you’re ready for some new entertainment, check out your library to find what you need instead of adding to the clutter in your home.
You don’t even need to read a physical book.
You can listen to a book through Audible, an Amazon company with the world’s largest selection of audio books.
Here’s a 30 day trial to Audible, which gets you 2 FREE books! If you cancel within the free trial period, the books are still yours to keep!
10) Keep track of your spending.
Budgeting is a great way to stay on track financially, but tracking your spending is also a good way to stay on track with your minimalist lifestyle.
Instead of just keeping track of your spending for your budget, take it a step further and track everything you have purchased.
Keeping a running list of each thing you buy, along with how much you spend on it, will make you think twice about everything you spend money on.
This is my Excel budget spreadsheet that I use to keep track of my spending.
It also has monthly and annual income, expense and savings summaries and charts. It has 3 different calculators to track your early retirement progress!
11) Store toys in one toy box.
Keeping up with all your kids’ toys can be a big job.
If you’re living a minimalist lifestyle, you’ll need to reduce the number of toys your kids have.
One simple way to help reduce toy clutter is to store all your kids’ toys in one toy box.
If the toys don’t fit in the box, get rid of them. And each time your child gets a new toy, let your child pick which toy it will replace.
This is our toy storage bin, which I love because it has separate compartments perfect for organizing different size items in the playroom.
The bins are angled for easy access to the toys. There’s nothing above the bins so the toys can stick out slightly.
12) Go digital.
Many people struggle with minimalism because they feel like they’re forced to give up sentimental things.
But with the help of technology, you can reduce the clutter in your home while still holding on to those sentimental items.
Taking the time to digitize your old photos, family videos, favorite music, and movies will allow you to get rid of the physical stuff while holding onto the memories.
13) Keep decluttering.
Decluttering doesn’t stop after you do it one time.
Maintaining a minimalist lifestyle means continually reducing the things in your life. That means you’ll never be finished clearing out the clutter in your home.
Every few months, take inventory of the things in each room of your house and remove any excess clutter that has accumulated over the past few weeks.
Related Ideas for How to Be A Minimalist
- 30 Day Minimalist Challenge: How to Become a Minimalist in 30 Days
- Quotes on Minimalism to Motivate You to Try a Minimalist Life
- Extreme Minimalist Tips
- No Spend Challenge: How to Not Spend Money for 30 days or More
- 18 Things to Stop Buying to Save Money Every Day
- Easy Budgeting Tips for Beginners
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