A minimalist lifestyle goes against the norm of the modern consumerist lifestyle. It is all about living on bare essentials, decluttering your life, and ensuring that you only take what you need. The case for living this lifestyle is the lessened stress that the reduced clutter gives.
Minimalists believe that once you get rid of the excesses that are dimmed normal in modern society, all you’re left with is space for the things that really matter to you. For anyone who’s curious about living a stress-free life, here are 25+ super easy ways to begin living a minimalist lifestyle.
Having more and more won’t solve the problem, and happiness does not lie in possessions, or even relationships: The answer lies within ourselves. If we can’t find peace and happiness there, it’s not going to come from the outside
~ Tenzin Palmo
1. Do some research
If you’re reading this then you’re on the first step to living a wonderful minimalist life. While a lot of people may have heard about it, there are a lot of misconceptions associated with minimalism. It is therefore prudent to first understand what the lifestyle is all about.
Websites such as theminimalist.com offer wonderful guidelines into how to leave the lifestyle and even citing others who are living the lifestyle. In other words, learn as much as you can about the lifestyle and ensure you are clear of all the misconceptions.
2. Count your possessions to see what you appreciate most
You should take the time to review all the things you have and your own. This is not just an exercise in awareness of your material wealth, but the wealth of your whole being. It should also include reviewing your relationships.
Such reviews allow you to see what you have and appreciate its value (or lack thereof) and thus separate what you have into what is important, what you need, and honestly, what you should or need to let go of. Ultimately, you’ll not need excess or be so much materialistic.
3. Reduce the clatter
Once you’ve counted what you have, you can then get to the useless stuff and get rid of it. Minimalism is primarily about living with what you only need. As an example, you really don’t need a car if public transport could serve as a sufficient alternative means.
Taking out the unnecessary items from your life reduces both the waste and the mental effort that organizing those items take on you.
4. Decide what’s important
You need to identify only items with actual value to you. A lot of junk that we keep can be chalked up to ‘just in case I need this’ but I highly doubt that you’re going to need that empty ramen bowl you’ve been meaning to work into a DIY coffee table fixture for the past 8 months. If you can’t find an honest use for an item, get rid of it.
5. Get rid of the excess
On top of getting rid of the unnecessary, one should also get rid of the excess. For instance, you don’t really need many pots and pans nor do your pets need so many beds. Excess just uses up space that you could dedicate to something more important or leave empty.
There is no need to fill every nook and cranny with an item from your travels or any other sort of thing that only serves to draw the eye. The goal should be to have all your possessions to serve a purpose and be functional.
6. Get goals
Minimalism is mainly a tool to achieve a happier lifestyle. Therefore, to begin living a minimalist lifestyle, it means you must have a goal. This can be anything from decreasing traveling or excessive spending to better your career or meet your personal goals.
7. Stop making excuses
A minimalist lifestyle has downsides. It requires enough self-discipline and honesty to analyze items that offer no value beyond a purely aesthetic one. Luxuries and other excesses are to be avoided if they do not help serve a purpose. This can prove to be a challenge particularly for a person who is full of excuses.
8. Shop only for essentials
Minimalism doesn’t mean you stop shopping for goods and services. It maintains only shopping for essentials. This is in order to ensure that they do not waste resources on the unnecessary. The result of this is that the people end up concentrating their efforts only on important endeavors geared towards them achieving their goals.
9. Stop hoarding
Collecting unnecessary items eats into the space reserved for items that could better serve the individual. To combat this, it is important to avoid the collection of unnecessary items. Also, donate items that are not needed for those who would be better served by them.
10. Make plans
The best way to achieve goals is to ensure that there are plans set in place for achieving the goals. Plans are especially important to new minimalists as they have more space and time with the adoption of this new lifestyle. Making plans places the individual in the best position to achieve his goals and make use of the resources that minimalism provides.
11. Travel lightly
Every time you take a journey, just carry a few items to minimize baggage and wastage. Traveling lightly ensures you only move around with essential items and nothing more. For instance, you can pack only half the clothes you need.
12. Embrace multipurpose tools
Instead of using many tools that all serve different purposes, why not have a single tool that serves a multitude of purposes. This is the benefit that minimalists are encouraged to look for in all their items.
Multipurpose tools conserve the space that could have been used up by having many tools to achieve the same goal. Why by a screwdriver and a corkscrew while the Swiss Army Knife comes with both tools in a compact design.
13. Less social media is a plus
Reducing clutter in a minimalist’s life also means reducing the amount of time wasted in consuming non-helpful information.
While social media can be a powerful tool for communication and business, it mostly serves as a platform for people to share vain and otherwise non-helpful titbits about their lives that you as a minimalist will have no use for. Social media also encourages spending due to countless consumer-targeted Ads.
14. Digitize everything
Books and papers can be cumbersome and space consuming. However, digital formats for data and information can sit in your multipurpose tool and allow you to hold a much larger batch as compared to actual physical text.
It helps if you start getting as much digital content as you can. E-books, online newspapers, music downloads instead of CDs, all these help ensure that you do not fill your personal space with unnecessary clutter.
15. Borrow whatever you don’t need to buy
While it may be nice to own your own items, minimalists are encouraged to instead borrow items that they would use instead of buying them. This reduces the number of possessions they have and helps ensure they do not rack up clutter or hoard items.
As long as you keep the borrowed items safe and the lender doesn’t mind sharing, prefer to borrow items instead of buying them.
16. Always choose quality over quantity
This is for the simple fact that quality items last longer than cheap alternatives. Whenever you decide to buy an item, buy one with the highest quality available. It will last you longer and ensure that you do have to keep replacing it and piling up trash.
17. Budget your time
Just as you budget your resources, budget your time. Ensure that all the things you endeavor to do are geared towards edifying you. Do not do things for them just for the sake of it but enjoy whatever time you spend doing something.
18. Delegate as much as possible
As often as possible, value your time and ensure that all tasks that can be executed by someone else are given to someone else. This is so as to give the minimalist more time to execute the tasks more important to them or those that the minimalist is better equipped to perform.
19. Before getting an item, get rid of another
One good rule of thumb for the minimalist is to ensure that before making a purchase of something, get rid of any items already owned. This protects against clutter and handling too many items.
20. Get rid of emotional clutter
Just as the physical clutter can eat into physical space, emotional clutter can eat up mental space. In a bid to live a minimalist lifestyle, avoid emotional baggage and instead find healthy outlets to ensure your mental state reflects your physical space.
21. Dissociate value from material things
In becoming a good minimalist, one needs to stop placing too much value on material possessions. This is only achievable by placing importance on essential materials.
23. Eat simple and healthy foods
The minimalist lifestyle extends to eating habits. One should eat foods that meet nutrition standards and try not to overindulge in unnecessarily expensive foods. The foods should also be simple enough to prepare.
24. Decide to live a better life
The whole point of minimalist living is to facilitate happier, more satisfying living. The minimalist needs to work on doing exactly this by embracing more beautiful aspects of living and avoiding wasting time on enjoying pleasures doesn’t add value to the quality of life.
25. Create a savings account
Financial freedom is part of minimalism. Having a savings account and regularly sending money to the account encourages you to continue even living a more minimalist lifestyle because it will ensure you cut out needless subscriptions and expenses. Plus, it will make you more financially stable.
26. Dress with less
Having a few shoes, clothes, and accessories may sound extreme but it is a good way to begin living a minimalist lifestyle. It makes life less complex and reduces clutter in your wardrobe.
27. Enjoy the journey of living a minimalist lifestyle.
Finally, once you’ve adopted or decided to live a minimalist lifestyle, appreciate the little things you have and always live every single day thanking yourself for the path you’ve taken.