Curious about leading a minimalist lifestyle, don’t know where to start? Here’s my guide for beginners getting started with minimalism, including 9 simple tips to get started.
MINIMALIST LIFESTYLE TIPS FOR BECOMING A MINIMALIST
My intentional living blueprint takes inspiration from minimalist concepts. Choosing to live more intentionally has caused me to explore lots of different philosophies for living. Minimalism is something that I come back to time and again. I am far from a strict minimalist, but the essence of minimalism is increasingly part of how I am moving towards a balance of life that works for me.
For those of you who have had your interest piqued by minimalism, but aren’t quite sure if minimalism is for you, I’ve put together some tips on minimalism and how to get started with a minimalist lifestyle.
WHAT IS A MINIMALIST LIFESTYLE?
Minimalism is the practice of using intentional thought to define the possessions you need and what you actively do and don’t do with your life. I believe leading a minimalist lifestyle allows you to escape being trapped by non-stop modern living and consumerism.
Minimalism at its extreme can mean living with next to nothing, but I prefer to define it as a way to bring simplicity into my life. Leading a more minimalist life has given me back space and time that was once taken up with the constant accumulation of stuff and busyness.
MAKING A CHANGE FOR THE BETTER
Not sure if adopting a minimalist lifestyle is for you? Try these simple exercises:
- Take a look around your home. How much STUFF do you have? Is decluttering always on your to-do list?
- Take a look at your diary, is it choc-full? Do you actually want to do all the things that are diarised?
- Take a look at your to-do list. Is it never-ending? Do you really need to do everything on it? Really?
If you feel, like I used to, that there is just too much stuff and too much busyness in your life, you could start using minimalist principles today to make changes for the better.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MINIMALISM?
WHAT IS THE VALUE OF A MINIMALIST LIFESTYLE
A minimalist lifestyle helps you to question what actually adds value you to your life and what doesn’t. It enables you to clear the clutter from your life so you can make space for what is most important to you, the things in life that truly bring you happiness, fulfilment and freedom.
PICTURE YOUR MINIMALIST LIFE
You could create a lifestyle where you have the time and headspace to build stronger relationships with the people who mean the most to you. Where you could prioritise what is most important to you and turn your back on the rest. You could use minimalism to strip away unwanted clutter in your home and your life. Use it to reclaim your time and energy so you can lead a more intentional life.
WHAT MINIMALISM HAS DONE FOR ME
Incorporating minimalism into my life has done so much to change my life for the better:
- I’ve switched my focus from possessions to experiences
- My home is less cluttered
- My mind is less cluttered
- There is more space in my head for being present and intentional
- I spend less money which helps me towards complete financial freedom
So if you were under the impression that the only way to lead a minimalist lifestyle is to get rid of all your possessions, think again. A minimalist lifestyle is about so much more than living with less, it is about giving yourself the space to live in a truly intentional way.
GETTING STARTED WITH MINIMALISM
In true minimalist spirit, I don’t believe in rushing to do a huge blitz on every aspect of your life. That would be a very maximalist way of tackling minimalism. Instead, I suggest a more gentle way to start your minimalist journey, by learning about and embracing the principles of a minimalist lifestyle and decerning which of them are right for you. Slow change means intentional change, which in turn means more sustainable change.
Consider the areas of your life that you want to change, the food you eat, the way you manage your money, your work, your busyness, your home-life, your relationships and set intentions for each of these areas.
You won’t get everything just right every time, but this is where you use mindfulness and intentional living to be really aware of how the changes you make are affecting you and your family. Be mindful of whether the changes give you freedom or whether they are in fact a burden. Do they bring you joy or do they add more stress to your life? Adjust as necessary.
START YOUR MINIMALIST LIFESTYLE WITH THESE SIMPLE TIPS
If you are just setting out on your journey to a simpler life through minimalism you should find these simple minimalist lifestyle tips useful, I do hope so.
1. SET THE SCENE
Consider all the reasons why you want to live more simply. Write them down, use a journal or notebook rather than doing it digitally, helps you to have a conscious stream of thought. These reasons will help you shape your blueprint for a more simple life.
2. DEVELOP A MINIMALIST MINDSET
Mindset is everything. Get yourself in the right frame of mind and you are on your way to making changes that will stick. Read my post on developing a minimalist mindset and use the six simple tips to get started.
3. CREATE HABITS
Make minimalism a habit. There is a saying that it takes 21 days for a habit to stick, science has since proven that it takes nearer 66 days on average for a habit to stick, that’s just over two months. So decide on a couple of habits that you want to maintain and give it a try.
4. CREATE A CLUTTER-FREE ROOM
The thought of decluttering your entire home can be overwhelming and can lead you into starting something you never finish. So start slowly by declaring a clutter-free room. This is the room that you will tackle first, it will become your minimalist sanctuary and inspiration for decluttering the rest of your home in your own good time. Be mindful about how spending time in this room makes you feel.
5. MINIMISE YOUR WARDROBE
Well, minimise what is in it! There is something so freeing about creating a capsule wardrobe. If you really don’t know where to start with this, you could consider Project 333, which involves dressing with only 33 items for three months. It will help you experience how freeing it is to dress with less.
6. STOP SHOPPING
Just stop. It’s easier than you think. If something in your home or wardrobe needs replacing, go ahead and replace it, but stop actively looking for stuff to buy. Once you sidestep all-pervading consumerism, you will find it surprisingly simple to stop shopping and you will also start to find true peace and joy in having stopped. I have a post on How To Stop Shopping to get you started and another on how to differentiate between ‘need’ and ‘want’.
7. MEAL PLAN
Meal planning is my go-to minimalist habit. If I had to choose only one minimalist habit to keep, meal planning would be it. Why? Because my simple meal planning system saves me time, brain bandwidth, money and effort. I tried and gave meal planning several times until I worked out a system that was good enough to become a habit. You can download a free copy of my google sheet meal planning template and find out more about how I meal plan.
8. FOCUS ON EXPERIENCES
Last year was my year of music. The year that we went and saw as much live music as we could, it was joyous. This year is my year of seeing live comedy and experiencing more of nature. Focusing your efforts on experiences rather than possessions will free your home and life from clutter, it will also help you create a feeling of time slowing down, as I’ve written about my post How Intentional Living Can Slow Time Down.
9. GO PAPERLESS
Oh the freedom of not having to look at stair piles/intrays and random stacks of paper that need sorting! Avoid printing when you can and avoid others giving you printouts when they can email you. Invest in a shredder so you can get rid of paper as soon as it’s served its purpose. You’re also doing a good thing for the environment by going paperless, it will reduce your carbon footprint.
Well, those are my top 9 tips. I’ve done a lot of reading about minimalism over the years. So I thought I’d also include a roll call of some of my favourite blogs on minimalism and that include minimalist lifestyle tips:
BLOGS ON MINIMALISM
- The Minimalists – Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus help over 20 million people live meaningful lives with less.
- Becoming Minimalist – Joshua Becker inspires others to journey towards simple living. Own less, live more.
- Simply Fiercely – Jennifer is dedicated to helping women build lives they love through simple and intentional living – minimalism, mindfulness and self-care.
- No Sidebar – A collection of posts on minimalism, simple living, and finding happiness.
- Be More With Less – Courtney helps you learn to simplify your life. Declutter your mind. Connect with your heart. Also home to the Project333 minimalist fashion challenge.
Have you started on the road to minimalism or are you already leading a minimalist lifestyle? Either way, I really hope these simple minimalist lifestyle tips are useful. I’d love to hear how minimalism is going for you.