Making the conscious decision to live like a minimalist doesn’t mean that you have to get rid of everything and completely overhaul your current lifestyle. There are many easy ways to practice minimalism and simplify your life.
Why Live Like a Minimalist?
Minimalism can help you feel more content with what you have and where you are in your life. It can help you stay focused on reducing the physical clutter that surrounds you.
By reducing and removing that clutter, you can create a more calming environment that helps you and your family thrive.
Minimalism doesn’t have to mean making big changes.
Minimalism can be an overwhelming or unappealing concept to some because it sounds like a major overhaul of your lifestyle. However, practicing minimalism doesn’t have to be hard.
Little changes can make a big difference and help you live a stress-free life. Minimalism is about letting go of the physical things that aren’t serving you or bringing you joy and happiness.
For many people, owning less leads to reduced stress by putting the focus on experiences and relationships, rather than stuff. Small changes can make a noticeable difference and can lead to the development of new habits.
Here are 55 ways to live like a minimalist:
Write down the pros of minimalism
Jot down the potential benefits of minimalism for you. Sometimes thinking about why you want to do something and how it can benefit you is a powerful motivator for actually getting started. You’ll have a list of reasons to refer to if you start questioning whether you should continue to pursue a more minimalist lifestyle.
Take it slowly
Don’t try to rush into being a minimalist by throwing everything away or donating it. Take it slowly so that you can ease into it, making it more likely to stick.
Toss out broken stuff
If you don’t know where to start scaling back in your home, start with anything broken and no longer useful. Toss busted toys, appliances, and anything else that you’ve been meaning to fix but haven’t ever actually gotten around to it (and probably never will!)
One in, one out
Buying something new? Toss something equivalent out. Live by one in, one out.
Make decluttering a part of your daily routine. Grab a plastic bag and do a quick clean up at the end of the day to keep clutter to a minimum.
Shop with a list
Don’t go to the store or open an online shopping out without a list. Stick to your list to eliminate impulse buys.
Create a capsule wardrobe
Get rid of the clothing you no longer wear and focus on building a capsule wardrobe. Keep the pieces you can mix and match and want to wear every day.
Ditch old, rarely worn shoes
Stop holding on to worn out or old footwear. Toss out or donate any shoes you haven’t worn for months or years.
Try Swedish Death Cleaning
Have you heard of Swedish Death Cleaning? It sounds intense but basically what it is is a method of decluttering that focuses on getting rid of things over time so that you don’t burden your loved ones once you’re gone. It’s a thoughtful way to let go of things gradually and purposefully.
Experiences can mean so much more than a physical item. Instead of buying your kids, partner, or friends a gift, give them an experience instead. Emphasize quality time with your loved ones rather than things like gifts.
Follow the KonMari Method
By now, it seems likely that everyone interested in minimalism has heard of the KonMari method. Coined by Marie Kondo, this method of decluttering is all about focusing on what brings you joy.
Find a home for things you love
When you have a home full of clutter and things, it can take the focus off of the items you truly love and appreciate. Find a home to display those items so you can enjoy them without having them surrounded by clutter.
Come up with workable systems
Find systems that work for you and your family. There are no set rules for being and staying organized. Here are 8 systems to consider trying.
Do a no-spend challenge
A no-spend challenge is a great way to save and reduce your spending. Here are some great ideas for a no-spend weekend.
When you come across items that no longer serve you, toss them in a box for donations, and drop off when full.
If your kids have a ton of toys, do a swap every few months. Box up half of the toys and put them away
Once they’re tired of playing with what’s been left out, you switch them for the toys in the box. They’ll feel like they’re getting new toys, and you’ll enjoy half the clutter.
Do you tend to hold onto things just in case you might need them? Stop hoarding things just because, whether it’s a particular category of things, or anything and everything you bring home.
Organize messy closets
We all have that closet that we open up and quickly close again because it’s just a mess. Commit to spending a few hours cleaning it up and getting it organized.
Label storage bins, boxes, jars, etc. By labeling, you’ll know what belongs where and everything will have a home.
Avoid window shopping
Whether it’s just a way to pass the time when you’re out and about or what you do when you’re sitting online, avoid window shopping. Stay away from retail sites and stores if you aren’t actually in need of something specific.
Pick favorite products, toss the rest
Toiletries and cosmetics can take over drawers and closets, especially if you like trying new products. Instead of spending money on things that may be hit or miss, pick your tried and true favorites and stick with those. Toss out or give away the rest that you won’t want to use again.
Go through linens
Linens are one of those household items that we can accumulate a lot of over the years. Go through your linens and donate the towels and sheet sets you no longer like or use. Animal rescues are great places to donate old, worn towels.
Visit the library
Love to read? Buying books is great when you want to support an author, but you probably don’t have to own every book that interests you. Make use of your local library system and borrow books and other digital media, rather than buying.
Maximize storage with furniture
Make the most of your furniture by using it for storage. This helps keeps clutter to a minimum.
Get into the habit of tidying up every day. It only takes a little time to get your space neat and orderly so that you can start the next day with an organized space.
Always ending up with little items that you buy here and there? Start tracking your spending and becoming more aware of what you’re buying every week.
Focus on quality
Going forward, try to focus on bringing quality items into your home. When you make a purchase, consider not only the price but the quality, as well. A good durable item may cost more upfront, but it pays for itself over time.
Set realistic goals
Becoming minimalist isn’t easy for everyone, even if you have the best of intentions. Set realistic goals that you can achieve, rather than trying to make a major lifestyle overhaul overnight.
Involve the family
Minimalism can be an individual pursuit, but it can also become a way of life for any family. Involve everyone by getting them to declutter with you, donate unwanted items, and let go of the things they no longer use or want.
Don’t accept other’s unwanted items
Do you ever feel pressured to take something off of someone else’s hands just because they offered? Don’t accept unwanted items just because you feel obligated. Suggest that they donate it instead.
Have more than one of an item that you don’t need multiples of? Donate them.
Take a few minutes each day to practice mindfulness.
Organize your clothing closet
Don’t live with a messy, overwhelming closet. Get it organized in a way that works for you, whether that’s hanging clothes by color, season, style, or type. It’ll give you a sense of calm when you choose your clothing each day, rather than a sense of cluttered chaos.
Rotate your clothes
Do you find yourself grabbing the same favorite garments week after week? A great way to extend the life of your clothing and get more mileage out of your wardrobe is by rotating your clothes. Create a capsule wardrobe to wear for a month, and then swap it out for another set of pieces the next.
Living simply doesn’t come naturally for everyone. In fact, it probably doesn’t come easy for many people in our consumer-driven society. Embrace simplicity and living with less.
When the weather allows, spend more time outdoors in the fresh air and enjoy nature. It helps clear your head and allows you to enjoy the beauty of the world outside of your four walls.
Plan meals weekly
Plan your meals so that you know what you need to buy and when to make it. This helps you stay organized and avoid unnecessary trips to the store for ingredients and other items.
Avoid clearance aisles
The clearance aisle is great for finding deals, but also for finding things to take home that we probably don’t need. If you find yourself buying things just because they’re on a great deal, steer clear of the clearance section when you shop.
Get comfortable with letting go
You don’t have to be a hoarder to have trouble letting things go. It’s natural to want to keep things that we’ve had for a long time just because we’re used to having them around.
But once you start letting things go, you see the benefit of it. It means that the things you give away will find a new home where they can be used and appreciated.
Make a monthly budget
Setting a monthly budget is a great way to keep your spending in check. It helps you better prioritize how you spend your money. With a budget, you may be less likely to buy the stuff you simply don’t need.
Repurpose and reuse
Have something sitting around that you aren’t quite sure what to do with? Think outside of the box and repurpose or reuse it for something else.
Make your art
Dress up your walls with your creativity. Wall decor can be expensive but you can make your own with a little effort and imagination. Check out these awesome ideas for inspiration.
Ask for cash gifts or donations
If you know someone is likely to buy you a gift or bring one for your child’s birthday, ask for cash or a donation made in your honor instead.
Regift items you don’t want or use
Received an item for a gift that you’ll never use? Regift it to someone who will appreciate it.
Reexamine your priorities
Your priorities could be influencing your spending and acquisition of “stuff”. Reevaluate your priorities every so often to make sure that they’re in line with the lifestyle you want to live right now.
Take a day before you buy
Before making a pricey purchase take a day to think it over. Don’t buy on impulse just because you see a good deal or like the looks of something. Sleep on it and make a thoughtful purchase, or choose to move on.
Think quality, not quantity
Focus on buying, owning, and using quality items that will last. Toss or donate the extras that you aren’t using.
Practicing gratitude is a great way to gain an appreciation for all that you have in your life. It can lead you to contentment and feeling good about what you have without always wanting more.
Thinking about moving or getting ready to reassess when your lease is about to be up? Consider downsizing to a smaller place. It will inspire you to get rid of things you don’t need.
Don’t wait for your clothing to fit
Many of us tend to hang on to clothing items long after they stop fitting well. Now’s the time to donate those items and live in the now. Own and wear clothing that makes you feel good, and let go of the rest.
A great way to keep your wardrobe minimal and tidy at the same time is by tossing away excess hangers. Get rid of any of the cheap hangers that come with new clothes from the store.
Keep creative toys
When downsizing toys, focus on those toys that encourage creative play. These types of toys are versatile and will offer hours of fun while encouraging kids to come up with new ideas.
Let go of stuffies
Unless your child loves and plays interactively with their stuffed animals, letting go of some can significantly reduce clutter. It’s also better for your health and can help alleviate allergies.
Toss expired medicines
Clean out your medicine cabinet and toss expired medicines, vitamins, and first aid items.
Don’t keep things just for the sake of owning them
Letting go of stuff isn’t easy for everyone, I know. However, there’s no need to keep things just for the sake of owning them. If something isn’t useful or meaningful to you, it’s just taking up space. Get comfortable with letting go and making more room in your home and your life for what truly matters.