I been getting a lot of inquires for tips on how to live the minimalist lifestyle which is crazy to me because I do not preserve myself as the best minimalist. You might think minimalist living has a particular look to it: clean white counters or a closet holding exactly 30 items, for example. We’re going to break down the principles of minimalist living so you can experience the sweet freedom of living with less — on your own terms.
1. Evaluate Your Space
The first step to minimalist living is stepping back and observing. Examine your home, your belongings, your lifestyle, and your attitude from an objective perspective.
Do you own multiple versions of the same items? Do you feel stressed about trying to find a place to store the blankets your grandma knit for you?
Is your closet overflowing with clothes you never wear and can’t keep track of?
Do you spend five minutes in the kitchen searching for the right lids to go with your plastic containers?
The more you’re able to view the details of your life through an unfiltered, objective lens, the more clearly you’ll be able to see what it is you want to change.
2. Declutter Every Area
This one goes without saying. To live with less, you have to get rid of a lot, which can sometimes feel overwhelming and impossible. The good news? Starting is the most difficult part.
Once you commit to clearing out your space, the actual process will begin to feel manageable which can even fun.
Next, get rid of everything you don’t use or see on a regular basis. The stack of magazines you never read? Toss them. The fuzzy socks you wear approximately once every two years? Say goodbye. As you go through your belongings, focus on eliminating not just the items you don’t use, but also the ones that don’t bring joy or meaning to your life.
3. Evaluate New Purchases Before You Buy
One of the biggest components of minimalist living is giving adequate thought to the things you buy or bring into your home. Before you scoop up the powder blue scarf you see for sale at your local boutique, stop to ask yourself why you feel the impulse to buy it.
Do you need a scarf to keep warm or brighten your wardrobe for winter? Did you pick it up because you saw the red sticker with a 50% discount? Is the discount reason enough to buy it?
These are the questions I ask myself before buying into any item. I like to make sure they will last years, like converse or Levi’s before purchasing them. I want to make sure that noodle maker will last years to come and provide me with homemade delicious noodles every time.
4. Buy High-quality Stuff
That being said, when you do need or want to buy something, go out of your way to make sure it’s a quality item. Investing your money and time into finding things that are built to last will ensure you don’t have to shop as often to replace your worn-down or broken belongings.
The same goes for style. Invest in classic, timeless pieces, whether it’s for your wardrobe, linen, appliances, bedding collection, or furniture, that you know you’ll love for years to come. I hate this because I was never into buying anything that had a high price tag and there are a lot of items that are inexpensive but also very great quality while there is the reverse as well. Always look into reviews!
5. Be Thankful and Grateful for What you Have
Minimalist living is largely about the search for contentment, and contentment begins with gratitude for what you have. Focus on the beauty, convenience, and ease your stuff brings to your life, whether it’s a painting that makes you smile or that little coffee maker that jump-starts your morning routine. When you feel grateful for everything you own, the desire to own more gradually disappears.
6. Purge Regularly
Regularly evaluate your stuff to see what has become a burden or unwelcome distraction in your life. Or you might have a firm “one in, one out” rule meaning that for every item you bring into your home, you get rid of another. Which is what I mention we do with our little one when she gets a new toy.
Depending on your lifestyle, the purge process can take different forms. You might want to comb through your closet at the start of every season to eliminate clothes you no longer want. Maybe you like to walk around your house once a month and put everything you don’t need into a big donation bag.
7. Guilt Be Gone
We all inevitably own items that we don’t use or cherish, yet feel obligated to keep out of guilt — either because they’re expensive, sentimental, in excellent condition, or hardly used. But minimalist living has no room for the unattractive thrift-shop tea cups your aunt bought you, let alone the massive guilt that comes with wanting to get rid of them.
You can assuage your guilt by giving your unwanted items a new, better home.
8. Detach from Material Items
Minimalist living means learning to detach yourself from what you own. It’s completely fine to treasure your favorite book, Like The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson or feel serious appreciation for the jeans that fit you just right, as long as you realize that these things are temporary sources of joy. I know this is the hardest thing for me as I feel attached to almost anything that I own material. I love all my yarn, books, dvd’s and stuff animals. I tried giving a stuff animal away and instantly regretted it… Just remember the stuff you own doesn’t fuel your happiness.
You know what does? Experiences and relationships.