How to Become A Minimalist: 7 Ways To Start

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7 easy ways to start becoming Minimalist
HOW TO BECOME MINIMALIST: 7 EASY WAYS TO START

A Minimalist lifestyle is about clearing the clutter from your home, heart and mind to create space for the things which really matter to you. In practice, it can be a little daunting if you don’t know where to begin. For some helpful tips, check out this post on how to become Minimalist: 7 easy ways to start and try it for yourself.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BECOME MINIMALIST?

Minimalism is a lifestyle choice that encourages you to think differently about what you have in your life. From decisions about what clutters your home to defining your priorities and what’s important to you, Minimalism is catching on.

More and more of us are pulling away from busy lives and overstretched brains and seeking a happier, fulfilled and easier life with less stuff and more breathing space and emphasis on the important things in life.

In this article I’m sharing some ideas on how to become Minimalist: 7 easy ways to start if you’re new to the idea but want to give it a go.

They’re a mixture of practical tips to help you clear the clutter, but also some ideas on how to shift your mindset and begin to think like a Minimalist.

Further reading:

If you’d like to learn more about the Minimalist lifestyle, what it means and what it doesn’t, here are some articles which you might like to read:

GETTING STARTED WITH MINIMALISM

Before I move on to give you some suggestions on how you can get started with Minimalism, there are a few points that I wanted to mention first.

1. Minimalism can often be misinterpreted

People tend to think it means you’ll have to throw all your stuff away and live with just what you can fit in a backpack. It’s true that a Minimalist lifestyle is about removing the clutter in your life and focusing on what’s important. However, what that means in practice is different for all of us.

My Minimalist life with kids, work, school and the stuff that comes with that might be different to someone with a different set of commitments and responsibilities. I have a full life just with less stuff than many people and keep a mindful watch on when the clutter tries to creep back in!

2. Over-thinking

Considering the pros and cons of a Minimalist lifestyle and doing lots of background research is great, but it can also stop you from getting started. 

Decluttering is a popular first step and it’s where you can define what’s important to you by knowing what to keep and what to get rid. Finding a place to get started and continuing with consistent, baby steps, to clear the clutter is what you’re aiming for. Give yourself time to really feel the benefits instead of throwing it all out and feeling instant regret.

3. Learning to let go

When we’ve spent money, time and effort bringing stuff into our lives, it seems counter-intuitive to want to clear them away. Learning to let go, move on, say no, can take courage and practice. We’re often conditioned to say yes to every invite or opportunity because it seems churlish or selfish to say no. Instead, find ways to decline or postpone, get comfortable with donating or recycling instead of throwing away and again, take baby steps.

7 easy ways to start becoming minimalist
7 EASY WAYS TO START BECOMING MINIMALIST

Try these ideas to explore what Minimalism could mean for you…

1. Declutter your clothes

A minimalist wardrobe tends to have fewer clothes. Instead of a closet stuffed full of pieces that you don’t really wear, perhaps think about ways you could benefit from having fewer clothes.

You’d have:

  • More space in your wardrobe
  • Less stuff to rummage through each morning when you’re getting dressed in a hurry
  • Fewer decisions to make because you have fewer (but better) options.

A minimalist wardrobe doesn’t have to include a set number of pieces, you don’t even need to follow a capsule wardrobe. However, I do believe a wardrobe filled with less clothes can give you more freedom and flexibility.

The key is choosing clothes that you love to wear, feel good and confident in wearing, that are versatile to mix and match with each other, are easy to care for and that really suit your lifestyle.

A cluttered closet tends to be overstuffed with things we don’t wear very often, don’t feel very good wearing, we can’t find anything to match with and that just take up space. They make getting dressed a hassle rather than something we look forward to doing each morning.

Simplify your wardrobe by:

  • Decluttering items that you don’t wear
  • Choosing pieces that you can reach for knowing they’ll fit perfectly and you’ll feel good wearing
  • Organising what you have left and,
  • Donating, recycling or throwing away the rest.

Suggested reading:

Simplify Your Wardrobe And Declutter Your Clothes

2. Simplify your eating

We all have to eat and most of us have to cook or prepare food in order to eat! Remove the stress and reduce the time it takes you to prepare your food by choosing simple, healthy meals.

Complicated recipes that require lots of ingredients or that have many different stages are ok if you love cooking and have plenty of time to devote to it.

However, if you’re feeding your family day in, day out or have limited time, energy or motivation to spend hours in the kitchen, choosing simple, minimalist meals with a focus on quick and healthy, are a good choice.

Take a look at my article on simple tips for healthy eating to get started.

3. Declutter your home

It probably goes without saying that Minimalist homes are clutter-free (for the most part anyway). It doesn’t mean they don’t have stuff in them but the stuff they do have is carefully chosen and deliberately there. There’s no random clutter stuffed in cupboards hidden out of sight, there aren’t garages or attics full-to-brimming with items kept for those ‘just in case’ and ‘what if I need them’ moments. Sound familiar?!

By getting rid of the random, unwanted and unnecessary clutter there are 2 big benefits. You’re creating:

  • More physical space in your home so it appears bigger, you have more room to move around in and it’s calmer and less visually distracting to distract and confuse your brain!
  • More time for what’s important to you because you don’t have to spend time tidying, moving or cleaning the stuff. What else would you be rather doing instead?!

Suggested reading:

If you’d like more help on decluttering your home then here are some helpful resources:

4. Shop mindfully

Minimalist living doesn’t mean you can’t go out shopping or spend money. Of course, Minimalism and frugal living can go hand in hand if you want them to, but I also know that plenty of minimalists like to buy new things and spend money!

What I do encourage you to do if you’re trying to become a minimalist, is to shop more mindfully. Before you hit the shops because you’re bored or feeling down, and definitely before you get tempted by big red ‘sale’ signs and huge discounts, think carefully whether you really need that item.

Ask yourself some questions:

  • Is it going to add value to my life or contribute in some meaningful way?
  • Will it replace something I already have?
  • Is it an upgraded, better or newer version which means you could donate, recycle or throw the other one you already have?

Instead of adding to your clutter by buying stuff just for the sake of it, ask yourself why you’re shopping and do you really need that item. Would you be better off saving that money, paying off debt, or spending your money on non-physical items that could bring great memories rather than just more clutter?

Suggested reading:

If you’re a shopaholic, or just like to hit the shops at the weekend but want to explore a more minimalist lifestyle, check out this post on Minimalism and Shopping: 18 ways to shop with intention. I’ve included some helpful tips to help you think differently about your shopping habits.

5. Declutter your schedule

Getting rid of clutter is the start of your Minimalist journey. However, clutter isn’t just physical stuff that you can see. It’s also stuff that you can’t.

Our diaries and our time can be cluttered in the same way as our shelves or cupboards. Too many appointments and things to do leaves us too little free space in our schedule.

If you look back on your day, week or month, how much space and free time did you have?

When we fill our time with stuff that we don’t want to do or don’t need to do, we’re cluttering up our calendar in the same way we clutter up our homes with stuff.

Think about decluttering your schedule, choosing carefully what you say ‘yes’ to, learning perhaps to say ‘no’ a little more. Give yourself more free time to do the things you WANT to do, rather than just what you NEED to do.

Suggested reading:

How to become a minimalist_ 7 easy ways to start
6. Practice gratitude

I believe that gratitude is a vital component of a minimalist life. Everywhere we turn, we’re bombarded by messages to buy more, achieve more, strive for bigger and better.

Yet, all this chasing means we end up with overstuffed homes and lives. Being grateful for what we have, building on that instead of chasing the next big thing, helps us create the best life we can right now.

It’s about living in the here and now, being fully present with what truly matters to you now.

When we stop believing we need more stuff to make us happier, richer, more successful, more fulfilled, we begin to appreciate what we have already. 

Suggested reading:

How to create a morning gratitude practice

7. Define your priorities in life

I love decluttering so it was a natural progression for me to become Minimalist. I’m generally tidy and organised and I find it really therapeutic ditching my clutter and creating a clean, open living space where my kids can play and my husband and I can relax. Yet, many people find decluttering difficult.

The important thing to remember is that decluttering is only PART of the process to becoming Minimalist. It’s just a tool at your disposal to help you get rid of your stuff.

The true value in becoming Minimalist lies in what happens afterwards. What does decluttering your home and your life REALLY give you? It’s not just less stuff to clear and tidy.

For me, it’s more time, space and freedom to do the things that I and my family WANT to do, by making it quicker and easier to do the things I NEED to do. Life isn’t perfect but it’s happier, freer and far less stressful.

I invite you to think about what you really want out of life.

  • What are your priorities?
  • What really matters to you?
  • If you can gift yourself more free time, more energy and more space, what would you do instead?

Define what’s important to you, get clear on what’s just cluttering your home and life and embrace a life that’s fuller, just with less stuff!

Suggested reading:

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

Have you begun to explore a minimalist lifestyle for yourself? If so, where did you start? How has a life with less clutter benefitted you? What have you learnt since becoming minimalist? I’d love to hear from you and if you have any thoughts to share that might help others interested in trying a minimalist lifestyle for themselves.

RESOURCES FOR MINIMALIST LIVING

If you’d like more information and help on how to become minimalist yourself, here are some resources which you might find helpful:

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