MINIMALIST LIFESTYLE TIPS: HOW TO EMBRACE MINIMALIST LIVING EVERY DAY
Minimalism is a wonderful way of making sure that your life is heading in the direction you want it to, with plenty of time, space and freedom for honouring the things that matter most to you. Here are some minimalist lifestyle tips and ideas on how to embrace minimalist living every day.
THE MINIMALIST LIFESTYLE
The minimalist lifestyle isn’t something that you can achieve overnight. It takes time to make changes, to keep those changes up and let them settle in, especially when life throws temptations and obstacles at you every day!
The minimalist lifestyle is a long-term shift, made up of small, daily actions and decisions about what you let into your life and what you keep out. That’s why it’s a lifestyle, not just a project that you can do once and tick off.
Today I’m sharing some minimalist lifestyle tips to help you embrace minimalist living in your own daily life.
HOW I BECAME MINIMALIST
To give you a little background, I thought it might be helpful to quickly share my own journey to a more minimalist life. I use the term minimalist here, but in other articles on my blog, you’ll find that I write about decluttering or simplifying life. The labels are different but the principles are the same.
- Identify the clutter and why you’re holding on to it
- Decide what’s important and a priority in your life
- Remove the clutter that takes you away from those priorities
- Make intentional, mindful decisions that keep you aligned with your priorities every day.
Sometimes people start by decluttering their homes. Other people start by making a list of what’s important to them in life and gradually saying no to things that don’t serve them – in their schedule, mind, finances and so on.
Whichever way you approach decluttering, simplifying and minimalism, there are no right or wrongs.
Your path will be as unique as you but as long as you arrive at a point where your life is full of life and not full of clutter, then you’ll be right where you need to be… and you’ll keep learning and changing and evolving as time goes by. Here are some gentle reminders about minimalism that you might like to read.
So, back to how I became minimalist and my starting point was my clothes. When my children were little, I struggled with my mornings. They were frantic, frazzled and stressful. I arrived at work, having done the school run and all the morning chaos that led before it, looking like something the cat had dragged in. I felt I looked unprofessional, ill-prepared and not like my positive, energetic self.
I decided to do something about it and getting my wardrobe in order was my first step. I cleared out the stuff that took up space but I didn’t ever wear. I kept the pieces I loved and felt good in and gradually put together a small wardrobe of clothes that went together easily and fitted my lifestyle. It made getting dressed quicker and feeling great about myself and the day ahead much easier.
Bingo! If this was what a minimalist wardrobe could do for me, imagine what a minimalist lifestyle could do for my family and I!
Slowly but surely, I adopted the same principles to other areas of my life and that’s how I became minimalist. In slow, gradual steps, that felt right to me for the right reasons and I learnt many lessons from minimalism along the way.
I naturally begun to choose less of so many things and in turn this gave me more of so much else – the things that money and stuff could never provide in the same way. I had more calm, ease, freedom, self-confidence, zest for life and more time for family, friends and myself.
TRYING THE MINIMALIST LIFESTYLE
Those first steps towards minimalism weren’t without a hitch and I made plenty of false starts. I blamed lack of time, lack of motivation, my hoarder husband and kids with too many toys. I worried about what other people would think or say.
For many years I struggled to say no in case I missed out on something. I tried to do it all until I discovered that my body and brain were telling me they couldn’t keep up and to slow down instead. I felt a failure until I realised that I was measuring success using the wrong unit of measurement. To this day, I still find meditation difficult because my mind defaults to busy. I need to practice meditation more!
However, the minimalist lifestyle is a life of learning and questioning. Life evolves and we change so it’s only natural that our priorities shift too.
Looking back on what I’ve learnt and what I write about, I’ve been able to identify some of the key elements of the minimalist lifestyle that have really worked. I’m sharing them here in case they might help you.
They’re not a short-cut to the minimalist lifestyle but they’re some pointers to help you move in the right direction, hopefully with a few less false starts than I made in the beginning!
MINIMALIST LIFESTYLE TIPS
Here are some simple minimalist lifestyle tips and ideas on how to embrace minimalist living in your everyday life. I hope you enjoy the article and if you’d like, take on board and try out the suggestions that feel right to you.
1. Learn to say no
A small but powerful word. Practice saying no to things you don’t want to do. Say no to yourself when you feel you’re being pulled off course. Say no to negative mindsets and limiting beliefs.
2. Listen to your heart
Instead of listening to the noise of the outside world, listen to what you (really) want. What lifts you up, what makes you happy, what lights you up. Find time and space to follow your heart. You might like this article I wrote from a personal perspective about minimalism and happiness.
3. Check-in with yourself regularly
Take note of what you’re feeling. Are you happy, sad, anxious, frustrated, excited, fed up? What triggers these emotions and when exactly do you feel them? Do more of the things that bring a positive energy and try to do less of the things that give you negative energy.
4. Clear your surfaces
Keep on top of those clutter-hotspots. Horizontal flat surfaces like table-tops, worksurfaces, counters, even stairs and floors are all clutter magnets. Do a daily quick sweep and keep them clear.
5. Shop less
Get rid of excess store and credit cards. Shop when you need but not to fill an emotional void or the only thing to do on a rainy day. Find other ways to spend your time, save that money for something special, avoid debt and prioritise life over stuff. Less shopping, consumption and waste means that minimalism helps the environment too.
6. Own less stuff
Stop buying things you don’t need. Decide how much of anything in your home is enough. Donate, recycle, or throw away the rest. Commit to filling your home with less and owning less in general.
7. Create a calm home
Busy, cluttered homes not only look busy and cluttered but they feel like that too. Home is where the heart is and it’s where most of us spend our time. Here are some tips on creating a minimalist home.
8. Make cleaning easier
Looking after your home needn’t be time-consuming or suck your energy. Try these minimalist cleaning routines to help you spend less time cleaning.
9. Celebrate blank space
This could be space in your clutter-free home or space in your clutter-free schedule. Blank space doesn’t need to be filled.
10. Refresh your goals regularly
Goals that don’t align with your life and what you want from it make for a cluttered mind. Make sure that your goals are meaningful and support you to get the most out of life.
11. Invest in memories
The minimalist lifestyle encourages one to buy less and own less but this doesn’t mean don’t spend money where it matters. Create memories and live fully in the present by making the most of experiences and activities that give you joy and happiness.
12. Give everything a home
Decluttering your home is one thing, but the clutter soon builds up again. Decide where you’re going to keep things when not in use so they can be stored away instead of being left out to clutter your line of sight.
13. Clutter that you can’t see
Minimalist living isn’t just about the clutter that trips you up. Clutter can invade our homes and life in many different ways. Here are some tips to avoid the build-up of mental clutter that fogs our brains and prevents us thinking clearly.
14. Be mindful and present
When you’re busy looking into the future you fail to appreciate what you have right now. Minimalist living encourages you to define your priorities in the here and now and when you do that, you learn to be present and engaged. Avoid multi-tasking, adding too many things to your To Do list, overbooking and overstretching yourself. Be mindful and aware of what you’re doing and where you are, right now.
15. Address your mindset
How you think about things determines how you feel about them. How you feel about things often determines the decisions and actions you take and make. Here are some essential mindsets to help you get the most out of life.
16. Find value in doing less
Being busy isn’t a badge of honour. Slow down, heed the warning signs of being too busy and discover what you can learn and achieve by actually doing less.
17. Don’t keep clothes that make you feel bad
If you open your wardrobe, are you greeted by jeans that no longer fit or heels you don’t have occasion to wear any more? Your clothes should make you and your body feel loved and special. Get rid of clothes that make you feel anything less (same goes for things other than clothes!).
18. Stop trying to follow a rule-book
Minimalist living is whatever you want it to be. If limiting your wardrobe to less than 30 pieces or never keeping a spare set of bedlinen doesn’t feel right, then don’t. Ignore the myths that tell you minimalism is about no furniture, never spending money or scrapping your TV. Minimalism is a state of mind rather than a measure of how much you own.
HOW TO GET STARTED WITH A MINIMALIST LIFESTYLE
So, we’ve looked at a few minimalist lifestyle tips and I very briefly shared my story of how I got started with minimalism, but what about if you want to try it for yourself? Exactly how and where do you begin? Simplifying life isn’t always as easy as we think!
I would suggest that the first place you start is by working out WHY.
Why do you want to simplify your life? Why do you want to do it now? What do you hope to change and what do you hope your life will be like after?
Answering these questions will help you discover your why. And, when you know your why, the HOW usually falls into place.
If you’d like to explore your ‘why’ then you might enjoy Simplify Your Life. It’s a guide and workbook to help you get clear on your own why, what holds you back, what motivates and lights you up and how simplicity can create space and freedom for you to make those changes. It’s packed with practical tips and soul-searching questions to really get to the root of what you want from life and how to go about getting it.
The next step after clarifying why you want to simplify life is to make a few changes, step-by-step.
The first place most of us start is with our homes. Start small, start easy but make that start! Try decluttering the bathroom, or your bedroom. A place that you’ll be able to see a difference in a relatively short period of time. Work up to bigger, more complicated spaces only when you’ve practiced your decluttering skills.
Further reading: How to declutter your home and life
RESOURCES ON MINIMALIST LIVING
Here are some other helpful minimalist lifestyle tips and ideas:
- 3 gentle things to try if you’re not sure minimalism is for you
- The minimalist mindset – how to think like a minimalist
- What is minimalist living – a helpful guide
- Unexpected and life-changing benefits of minimalism
- How to decide what to keep and what to get rid of
- 100 things to get rid of right now
- What is minimalism and a few things it’s not!
A FREE DOWNLOAD…
Decluttering can be tough for some of us. To make it easier and also to help you identify the clutter in other areas of your life (rather than just your home), you might like to get your free copy of my Declutter Starter Kit.
We’ll explore how decluttering is the first step towards a simpler, intentional and minimalist life – that’s not daunting or extreme, but realistic for most of us!
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