Has your life been complicated and disorganized, and you are wondering how to live a simple life? Well, in this article, we will look at some minimalist lifestyle tips to help you.
You maybe have experienced a stress-free life as a kid growing up under your parents’ household. It felt like you have all the time in the world and dreams seemed achievable.
However, everything can turn upside down when you get into the adult stage and everything gets complicated. The challenge of independence can give you struggles in fulfilling responsibilities. If you find yourself disorganized, unmanaged and in literal mess, you need to make the change.
The solution that can fit your need is ‘minimalism’. This way of life may not give you the same privilege you got as a kid, but you could find more satisfaction as you apply it to your life.
Before we share our best minimalist lifestyle tips, what even is minimalism?
What Is Minimalism
Minimalism is simply reducing the things that are not useful. It means taking the time to do a huge downsize and getting rid of things that you don’t need with the aim to save on space. Sounds easy, right? Well, for most people without motivation, it can even feel like it’s impossible.
It takes great decision-making to weigh things accordingly and quickly. Most people tend to live in cities, but one challenge that most city dwellers have is finding a decent living space. Apartments can be tiny, prices of commodities are high, basic services can be costly and the temptations of spending are rampant.
By removing the things that are not a priority, you retain those that help you maximize your time, exert just the right amount of effort, budget your resources and provide attention for yourself. That is what it takes to be a minimalist.
As a minimalist, you will live with the things you need and eliminate those that you don’t need. This lifestyle also inspires the need to find happiness in experiences and relationships rather than buying and accumulating more.
Benefits of Being a Minimalist
Being a minimalist pushes you to be frugal and to live simply but it doesn’t mean you have to settle for cheap. It is the accumulation of practical habits and developing a mindset that eliminates waste effectively and efficiently. Here are some benefits that can be accrued from being a minimalist:
- More appreciative for one’s self.
- One can find less contentment on materialistic things and more on life happenings.
- Develops mindfulness that prevents future problems involving health, finances and relationships.
- Less effort in conditioning for a clear mind due to organized living space.
- More time devoted to other fruitful tasks.
- Quick recovery in case of unfortunate events.
- Easy evacuation procedures if disaster strikes.
- Gain extra resources in case of medical and financial emergencies.
- Manage stress brought by outside factors.
- Help in conserving nature and reducing material waste.
Clearly, all those benefits are what most people need but are struggling to achieve. Minimalism can help you achieve these.
It can be difficult at first due to the many bad habits cultivated throughout your life but gets easier with a painful reminder such as debt and broken relationships. Minimalist lifestyle is viewed as a constant journey towards satisfaction in life.
21 Essential Minimalist Lifestyle Tips
If you are looking to embrace the minimalist lifestyle, here are some 21 minimalist lifestyle tips that you can follow.
Minimalist Lifestyle Tips #1. Remain Focused and Maintain the Minimalist Mindset
Focus is a bold word. Truth be told, it is easier said than done and maintaining it can be a hassle. Being minimalist requires focus and awareness of your actions. It all starts in the mindset and eventually translates into a habit.
To stay focused, you need to find your motivation. If the benefits mentioned before can’t keep you going, then maybe you can think about your bills to pay, your health condition or your toxic social circle. Start from any motivation and as you keep being a minimalist, you will start to have a more positive outlook of life that will help drive your consistency.
Minimalist Lifestyle Tips #2. Set Goals
Along with finding motivation, you will also need to develop goals. It will be great if you set short-term and long-term goals as a minimalist. Being minimalist enables you to be keen on details enough not to cross the borderline of being controlling.
Examples of having short-term goals include identifying which items are necessary and which ones are not, making a budget for everything and keeping tabs on the expenses. You can also set a schedule of the tasks to be done each day.
For long-term goals, you can come up with strategies to declutter and simplify each room at a time. This is especially true if you can’t do it all at once. Start small and set realistic long terms goals that you can achieve with ease.
Minimalist Lifestyle Tips #3. Remove Unwanted Stress: Digital Detox
Even if you own a few possessions and live in frugality, you can still extend your minimalist lifestyle to another aspect that existed because of technology – your digital activity. Nowadays, social media and other apps like mobile games and dating apps are easily accessible. Although technology is good, it can consume your time unknowingly and cause you to compromise your goals.
Additionally, posting in social media can at times result to a lot of negativity and toxicity. Digital minimalism helps you get rid of unwanted stress in favor for productivity. To know more about digital minimalism and detoxification, check out our book: Digital Minimalism in Everyday Life.
Minimalist Lifestyle Tips #4. Prevention of Unwanted Stress: Meditation and Nature Therapy
To complete your self-care, you also must tend to your physical health. You don’t need to purchase gym equipment that you might be rarely using or a membership you are not committed to. Start with a few meditation exercises to build mind conditioning.
Once you attain that calmness, you can work on doing physical exercises without equipment. To encourage you more, you can walk outdoors and enjoy nature while on it. Minimalism teaches you to be more appreciative and by appreciating the beauty of nature, the habit of being content can be easily adapted.
Minimalist Lifestyle Tips #5. Donate or Sell Appliances
Do you have kitchen appliances that just sit and collect dust day in day out? How about you donate or sell those appliances and save some space. Another minimalist tip for the kitchen is throwing away dishes or other utensils that are chipped or cracked. Toss out any broken thing to minimize the kitchen space.
Minimalist Lifestyle Tips #6. Create Schedules
Schedules make you more organized. If you start making one, tasks will later become routines and thus, you can quickly measure the amount of effort to exert. Schedules also prevent you to overcommit so that you won’t be wasting energy on something that needs only a certain amount.
However, there can be a thin line in following the schedule. One of which is forgetting that things will not always go as planned. This can sidetrack you and let other tasks go in disarray.
As you make your schedule, try to put allowances on every task. If your day turned out to be perfect, those accumulated allowances could turn into excess period which you can spend more on unwinding and relaxation.
#7. Tidy Up your Surrounding
A messy workplace creates a messy thinking and produces a messy output. And then, you will have to redo things all over again because of such failure. To help you clear your mind, try to integrate the habit of tidying up your home or office regularly.
Cleaning will keep your room fresh and boost your minimalist attitude. It also helps to eliminate clutter and garbage without much effort.
There are practices being applied in the workplace such as the ‘5S’. If you apply that to your own personal environment, you can expect your productivity to increase. An organized space will also enable you to gear your efforts towards more important tasks.
#8. Declutter your Wardrobe
When people come across the term minimalism, the first thing they will think is having few possessions. This is true to a certain extent. You only need to remove the unwanted things and retain what is needed the most.
A good place to start is by eliminating unworn clothes in your wardrobe. If you are working nearby and rarely attend outside events, you don’t need 10 pairs of sneakers or a set of similar dresses with each one color. A good rule of thumb is to eliminate clothes that you haven’t worn in a year.
If you are buying a new working dress, then ditch the old one. If you purchase new sneakers, throw out the damaged ones. Doing this with your wardrobe will motivate you to use the minimalist approach in other parts of the house.
#9. Maximize the Usefulness of an Item
If you change clothes to go out only to find yourself spending a few minutes outside, do not put away your used clothes. If it is still clean, try to maximize its usefulness by hanging them to be used tomorrow or the latter part of the day. It will be a waste to wash clothes that are underutilized.
Another instance of underutilization is exercise. When you are at the comfort of your home, you don’t need to dress up only to be drenched in sweat.
As much as possible, you can try to exercise with only minimal clothing, but not to the point of having underwear only. This can save you the amount of clothes to be washed on a daily basis and underutilization can be quickly eliminated.
#10. Eliminate Doubles
Do you have too many sets of items like utensils in your cupboard? If so, then it’s about time that you decluttered the room and eliminated some. It is a good idea to keep a few extras, but don’t go overboard with it.
For example, you don’t need 10 wooden spoons or 30 dinner plates while you are a household of just 4 people. You also don’t need all sizes of wrenches when the only thing you can repair is the faucet or a power saw when you are not chopping down wood.
Try to determine what things are important and get rid of the doubles.
#11. Purchase Multipurpose Objects
Purchasing multipurpose items can save you a lot of time, money and effort. Without knowing it, you are also preventing yourself from wasting time. Multipurpose objects are extremely popular among minimalists since you have the functions of at least two objects in just one.
If you are starting fresh, try to purchase multipurpose furniture and appliances. For instance, a couch that converts into a bed or a coffee table that can also be used as a desk. This will save you a considerable amount of space. Try to purchase multipurpose tools that can be used both at home and outside on trips.
Also, you can opt to buy a high-end laptop rather than a PC, entertainment system or a TV. If you already have existing objects and are unable to sell them, try modifying them to accommodate other functions.
#12. Have a Fixed Arrangement
It is a nice thing if different set of tasks can be achieved from various positions. This is made possible by having a fixed arrangement of the objects. For example, you can set up a working table beside your bed so that you can traverse easily from resting to working and vice versa.
Another example is having the storage for cleaning materials near the kitchen, bathroom and the washing area. This saves time by having the things accessible on areas they are constantly needed.
Utilize the space and arrange things according to the advantage of the usual tasks. You have maximized the time and have more for another productive activity. However, it takes a trial-and-error method in order to arrive on the most acceptable arrangement.
#13. Limit Bad Habits
Bad habits can consume time and reap only negative results. Try to lessen them by allocating your time to do more productive and fulfilling activities. Afterall, minimalism is all about feeling good about yourself.
The bad habits don’t only point on the vices such as drinking and smoking. They can also be as casual as procrastination, video gaming and binge watching. We all know they don’t magically disappear, but it helps to create diversions and alternatives like taking care of plants or having a pet.
#14. Reduce your Shoes
Another important tip for minimalism living is going through your shoes and eliminating those that you don’t wear often. In most instances, people forget to declutter their shoes when going through their wardrobe. It is however important since shoes can take up much space.
When doing this, keep in mind shoes that you will need for various occasions like work, workout, and special occasions. Then, sell or donate the rest of the shoes that you don’t wear often. Honestly, you don’t need 30 pairs of shoes.
#15. Utilize Storage Containers
Storage containers come in handy for keeping things that you will need later. This way, you can keep those items close by without them interfering with your daily routine. The best thing is that storage containers come in all shapes and sizes to choose from. Just make sure you aren’t hoarding your items in your storage containers.
#16. Living Within Your Means
As a minimalist or one inspiring to live a minimalist life, it is vital to budget and allocate your resources wisely. The last thing you want is to purchase things that you cannot afford as this is likely to leave a negative impact.
At this point, you have knowledge of how much income you will be receiving on a regular basis. Make a budget plan on how your money will be allocated and don’t forget to account for emergency funds and savings for your long-term goals. Also, avoid adding things while you already have enough.
If you determine that you have a small extra amount left, do not invest on liabilities like starting an action figure collection, subscribing to multiple streaming platforms, shopping on designer clothes, purchasing jewelry or even owning a pet. Learn to live within your means and always stick always to the budget. If you have extra, invest in food or donate to charity.
#17. Sell Unwanted Items
If it happens that you have unwanted and unused items that are still in a good state, consider selling them for extra income. It may require sales talk and some advertising, but it’s the only way to get rid of excessive items while receiving cash in return. Have them at their best condition so that they will remain appealing.
If those items cannot be sold, then find joy by giving it to someone who needs them. Learn to let go of things that you don’t need as this will also help you declutter your storages in the process. Holding on to things that don’t value to you will only complicate your life further.
#18. Repair If Possible
Repairs can save you a lot of space and money. There are many do-it-yourself or DIY videos that you can use as references. They bring out the inner creativity and develop your technical abilities.
However, repairs can only stretch the condition of a damaged object to a certain extent. If the object has outlived its usefulness, the repair might cost more than purchasing a new item.
It will be even harder if the item bears sentimental value. Decide based on the current usage and learn not to put emotional attachments on non-living and replaceable items.
#19. Respect Food
Believe it or not, most people waste food knowingly or unknowingly. Unlike water where the replenishment is achieved both by nature and human efforts, food is always prepared by humans. The ingredients used may contain nutrients that are needed by the body, but people tend to unconsciously waste them.
To avoid such a mindless habit, try to order food that you can consume. If you are on a diet, consume less and put the food on the refrigerator but do not forget to consider its temperature and the ingredients used. To further avoid ordering more than you can handle, you can learn to prepare and cook food by yourself instead and internalize the value of each ingredient.
#20. Throw Away Expired Items
If you have outdated food in your house, then it is tight to throw it away. Expired food will only take a large portion of your pantry or freezer and you won’t need them. This also applies to other expired products like medicine, makeup, etc.
These items will only take valuable space and won’t be of use in the end. So, if you have a lot of self-care products that you hardly use, it is about time you tossed them away.
Minimalist Lifestyle Tips #21. Maximize Technology
You don’t need a newspaper when you can get the news online. You also don’t need post-it notes when you can put something on your phone’s reminders.
Technology makes our lives easier and more convenient. See to it that the devices you have are maximized to their potential to make you comfortable. If paperless documentation is needed, learn to utilize it.
By now, you have realized what it takes to become a minimalist. It is definitely not easy, and it takes discipline to keep the habit going.
However, if you feel the need for freedom from devices and all the stuff, and can find contentment in simplicity, you will appreciate the concept of minimalism. It is life-changing, and it can help you learn to appreciate things that bring your more purpose, joy and fulfillment in life. It can also help you get rid of things that bring distractions to your life.
Additionally, it is a great way to give back to the world and can help you contribute to taking care of the environment. The above tips will help you simplify your life and live only with the essentials. Ultimately, minimalism can have a great impact on all aspects of your life.
Want to read the best books on minimalism? here’s what we recommend.
And if you want to dive deeper into decluttering your digital life, grab our book Digital Minimalism in Everyday Life here.