Struggling to find a balance between a cluttered, busy life and living the life of your dreams? Wishing you had the freedom to be able to travel more? Maybe you just want more time with your loved ones, or more time and money to spend on your hobbies.
Before we dive into these 21 minimalist lifestyle tips, what exactly is minimalism and how can it benefit you? To sum it up, it’s all about living with intention. When you ditch the clutter and noise, you make room for what’s important i.e. the things that add value to your life.
Living a minimalist lifestyle is so much more than just throwing away a few clothes and hoping for everything to improve over night. That’s a good place to start but it doesn’t quite work that way. First, you need to determine your why.
What’s your end goal? Living minimally can look different for everyone because each person has their own vision of what their trying to achieve. For me? I just want to be free to travel more and minimalist living allows me to do just that!
Do you want to save money? Have more freedom? Travel more? Be more focused and productive? There are truly an endless number of benefits to living a minimalist lifestyle but it can be confusing and difficult to know where to start.
So, I’ve created this list of simple and effective minimalist lifestyle tips to help you simplify your life and as a result of that, be free to spend more time on the things that add value to your life!
These minimalist lifestyle tips apply to anyone who is trying to achieve more clarity, happiness and freedom by letting go of clutter and excess!
The key to any lifestyle change is to start small and don’t overwhelm yourself. You shouldn’t try to implement all of these tips at once. Start from the top and work your way down the list at your own pace.
Table of Contents
Minimalist Lifestyle Tips for Decluttering
Go Paper Free
You know that pile of papers that seems to endlessly accumulate in your kitchen? How much of that stuff is outdated and either belongs in the bin or could be sent to your email instead?
It’s time to switch your bills to be sent out electronically! Most companies offer this option nowadays.
It’s hard to avoid being completely paperless so you should go through your paper pile every week or least once a month. Address the important documents and bin the rest.
Simplify Your Wardrobe
An easy way to get started with decluttering your wardrobe is to pick out anything that is ripped, stained or damaged and toss them all.
Next, go through again and pick out anything you haven’t worn in one year. I always use one year as my gauge because if I haven’t worn something in 12 full months, the chances that I will actually wear it again are pretty slim. These items are all perfect for donating to charity shops.
Try to ignore the little voice in your head that says “I’ll hold onto this for another year, just in case.”
Lastly, go through your wardrobe again and pick out any duplicate items. These are items that are very similar to things you already have. Add those to the donation pile.
Now, go ahead and repeat this process with your shoes!
Tidy Your Workspace
Because less distractions equals more productivity, am I right? Whether you work from home or the office, if you’re workspace is constantly cluttered and messy, your mind will be too!
I work so much more efficiently when there are zero distractions. When you have an organized and tidy workspace, this will help you to stay focused on one thing at a time which leads to better productivity.
Get rid of anything and everything that doesn’t improve your workflow.
Keep Your Car Clean
Simplifying your life applies to everything, even your car. If you’ve organized your house and your workspace, it doesn’t make sense to be driving around in a filthy, cluttered car!
Ditch all the fast food wrappers and garbage, clear out all unnecessary items and give it a good vacuum. Don’t forget to put a rubbish bag in there to ensure it stays tidy in the future.
Buy One, Ditch One
For every new item that you buy, get rid of something similar that you already have. For example, if you buy a brand new handbag, get rid of an old one that you no longer need.
This is a great rule to live by, especially when it comes to your wardrobe, shoes, and accessories.
Being consistent with this rule is a very effective way to manage your belongings so that you don’t end up with a cluttered space and too much stuff.
Toss the Old/Expired
It’s easy to forget about things when they’re tucked away in the back, hiding behind other food etc. So, every few months you should go through your cupboards and fridge to check for anything that’s expired and throw it out.
This also applies to your makeup and bathroom stuff. Makeup collections always have a way of accumulating over time. Take some time every few months to pick out items that you don’t use or have become expired. Toss the expired stuff and give away the unused items to a friend.
Say No to Extra Space
Living in a large home is attractive and most of the time, people’s living spaces are much bigger than they need to be.
If you have a few extra rooms in your house, it’s natural to want to fill them with more furniture and decorations that aren’t necessary. Another downside to this is that having more space equals more time spent cleaning.
A larger home also comes with more storage space and the possibility to store clutter and old items that you no longer need. Even if you can afford the extra living space, ask yourself if you really need it.
Minimalist Lifestyle Tips for Saving Money
Limit Gift Giving
Giving and receiving gifts is nice, but is it really necessary to do it for every single holiday or birthday? Think about it, if you’re receiving and buying gifts 5+ times per year, you’re probably accumulating a bunch of stuff that you don’t really need or use.
If you’re one of those people that goes crazy at Christmas time and drains your bank account buying epic gifts for everyone, that’s not really necessary or practical.
The solution? If someone wants you to buy you a gift, a gift card to a spa or your favourite restaurant is a better choice than some random item you’ll never use. Think along the lines of experiences vs. things.
Instead of forking out hundreds every year on buying gifts for everyone, set yourself a limit to how much you will spend on each person. Whether that’s $15-20 each, this way you’re more likely to stay in control and not go overboard.
Just remember, you don’t always have to buy gifts for everyone at Christmas!
Cook at Home
How often do you eat out for lunch when you’re at work? Do you grab multiple coffees at Starbucks every day or go out for dinners regularly? While eating out is convenient, it’s no surprise that it starts to add up quickly.
If you’re not paying attention, you could end up spending a few extra hundred bucks every month when you don’t have to. Take a sandwich to work instead or better yet, come up with a meal plan and prepare your lunches for the week every Sunday.
When I’m saving up for a trip, which is most of the time these days, eating out is the first thing to go.
Sell Unwanted Items
This is a win-win situation. Get rid if your junk and make money from it. Go through your house and find 10 things that you haven’t touched in the past year that you could sell. Line them up, take photos of them, upload them to Facebook market place and watch the money roll in.
We recently did this when we made the move from England to Australia and you wouldn’t believe how quickly the money starts to add up when selling small things. Ok, we ended up selling way more than 10 things but still!
Look around for hidden items that you haven’t used for years and have probably forgotten about.
Board games, old phones (yup, I recently sold my old iPhone 4 and made $50!), electronics, kid’s toys, old books, extra hair straighteners/curling irons and anything that’s collecting dust in your garage or basement, if it’s still in good shape, get rid of it!
These days we are constantly bombarded by ads telling us where we should be spending our money and making us feel like we always have to “keep up” by having the latest and greatest stuff.
Even if you’re already a budget conscious person, ads have a way of getting into your head whether you’re aware of it or not. The less time you spend watching TV or scrolling through social media feeds, the less likely you are to be tempted by these persuasive ads.
Limit Your Shopping
Are you one of those people that goes shopping when you’re bored? Or maybe you can’t walk past your favourite store without popping in ‘just to have a look.’ Stop doing that. It’s dangerous.
Habits like this are terrible for saving money and usually result in an over-cluttered wardrobe.
I’m not saying to stop shopping forever, but instead you should go in with a plan. Make a list of the exact things you need. Set out with a goal and you will be more likely stay on track and not get carried away.
Live Within Your Means
This is easier said that done as a lot of people have debts or loans to pay off. If you’re serious about moving toward a minimalist lifestyle, it’s really important to get on top of your finances.
Paying off any outstanding debts should be a priority and I would go even further by saying, don’t use a credit card unless you really need to!
I’ve found that once I stopped using a credit card, I’m forced to only use the money I already have which makes me question whether or not I really need to buy that new thing.
This results in a much more organized and simplified life.
Cancel Unnecessary Subscriptions
How many subscriptions do you currently have on the go that you really need? Sure, Netflix is cheap enough but do you really need to have Netflix and cable TV? Keep the one you use the most and get rid of the other.
Make a list of all the monthly subscriptions you currently have set up and cancel the ones that you can live without, but especially the ones that you don’t actually use!
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Minimalist Lifestyle Tips for a Healthy Mindset
How much time do you spend throughout the day mindlessly scrolling through social media? The answer for most people is likely hours. These are precious hours of your life that add up quickly and amount to nothing.
I’d be lying if I told you I never do this myself but it’s important to be aware of it and designate time where you’re completely disconnected from social media, checking emails, replying to texts etc.
Unplug for an afternoon every week or even a full day if you can. Put your phone away, read a book or go catch up with a friend and be completely present without the distraction of checking your phone every 10 minutes.
In today’s world, our attention is in in constant demand. Our brains are struggling with information overload and if you don’t make an effort to turn your mind off once in a while, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and anxious.
Practising yoga and/or meditation on a weekly basis is an excellent way to reduce stress in both the body and mind which has a positive effect on all aspects of your life. More focus, less stress and anxiety, and an improved mood are just a few of the benefits that you can look forward to when you make time for these activities.
Yoga with Adriene is a popular YouTube channel with a ton of awesome free videos to easily follow along at home.
Spend More Time in Nature
Another effective way to reduce stress and improve mental well-being is to get outside and go for a nature walk. Surround yourself by trees and remove yourself from busy city life for a while and you will be glad you did.
Many studies have proven that spending more time in nature improves your mood, reduces depression and anxiety, and greatly decreases stress. Scheduling in just 30 minutes per day to go for a walk or a run surrounded by nature could do wonders for your mental health and it won’t take long for you to start feeling the benefits!
Stop the Comparison Game
It’s easy to get caught up in comparing yourself and your possessions with your friend who always has the latest and greatest. Consumerism is an endless cycle that leaves you feeling empty and unfulfilled.
Besides, it’s expensive and wasteful to upgrade your things when your current ones are doing the job just fine. Yeah, my Samsung Galaxy from 2015 could probably do with an upgrade but it’s still working fine and that’s all I could really hope for with a 5-year-old phone!
Happiness cannot be found by spending all of your money on keeping up with the next guy, I can promise you that.
Experiences vs Things
Part of living a minimalist lifestyle is about realizing that experiences provide so much more value to us than material items do. This is something I really began to understand once I left home at 22 years old to travel the world.
I used to love shopping, buying the latest gadgets and keeping up with the latest trends. I didn’t know how much my life would change once I said goodbye to that lifestyle forever.
Those years I spent solo travelling were some of the best of my life. I look back on those times with joy and nostalgia. No material item can ever give you memories like that.
Experiences provide greater happiness, better memories, and as an extra bonus they result in zero clutter.
So, get out there and do the things you love. Make time for your hobbies and the things that bring you joy because what is the point of everything if you’re not truly happy?
Don’t Over Commit
Do you feel like you’re constantly running around from one commitment to the next? Stressed out and craving some time to yourself?
Stop overbooking your life; this applies to work, social commitments, family responsibilities etc. Mental health is important and if you’re constantly living in a state of stress, all other areas of your life will be negatively affected.
Remember, you are in control of your own schedule so don’t fill it up with stuff that you don’t enjoy doing just because you “feel like you have to.”
Sometimes you just have to say no. This might even mean cutting down a day or two at work.
Your time on this earth is precious and making time for yourself and the ones you love should be a priority that isn’t overlooked.
Change Your Mindset
Like I’ve said before, minimalist living isn’t about throwing all your stuff away and hoping for the best. It’s about living with intention and creating room in your life for the things that matter the most and the things that bring you joy. Ditch the clutter, cut out the negativity, and get rid of anything that doesn’t add value to your life.
Ultimately, becoming a minimalist requires a mindset shift. This takes time and consistent effort by making small changes each day. No lifestyle change happens overnight, but if you take one step at a time, you’ll get there and it will be worth it.
I hope you’ve found these minimalist lifestyle tips helpful and that they’ve inspired you to start taking the steps toward simplifying your life. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll start to see all the amazing benefits of minimalist living across all aspects of your life!
Let me know in the comments if you’ve enjoyed this article and feel free to share it with someone in your life that you think could use some help in this department 😉
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