How To Adopt a Minimal Lifestyle


When I first decided to embrace a more minimal lifestyle I thought there would be some set in stone rules to follow. What I've found with more and more research is there is not. Everyone's definition of minimalism is different and everyone practices minimalism in a different way. This was really good news for me because I am not quite ready to give up my 65-piece Starbucks "You are Here" mug collection!

However, I was ready to give up clothes I didn't wear or things that didn't look good on me. Dishes that were cluttering up my kitchen cabinets. Shoes that no longer "sparked joy" and toiletries that were collecting dust in my bathroom.

These are just some of the things I have gone minimal with and by doing so have made me feel "light". Today I wanted to share with you some ways you could also go minimal without going crazy.

My number one reason for going minimal was to reduce stress. I find that having a lot of things stress me out. I don't like having a lot of options to choose from. I have found that going minimal has really helped with this. So above all of these ideas I am going to share, find out your reason for going minimal and keep it in mind when you are tempted to revert to your old ways.

How To Go Minimal Without Going Crazy

1. Only keep things you love.

I am one who tends to wear the same pieces of clothing all the time. I find things that I like and fit well and I tend to return to those items all of the time. Creating a capsule wardrobe was my solution to this problem. I bagged up all of the items I never wear and I gave them to goodwill. I only kept the items that I always wear and really loved. This was over a year ago and guess what, I've never gone searching for one of those pieces.  

This method can be applied to many areas of your home. I also did this with dishes, make-up, paperwork, kids art, books and more. Now when I am in search for something in my home, I only have a few things to choose from and they are all items I love.

2. Start small.

When you begin to declutter and downsize, start small. Don't throw away or donate everything all at once unless you have thought it through and are ready to do that. Here is the method I used when I was getting rid of things. It makes the process a little easier it to sort items before you discard them. 

  •  Gather all of the items you are considering getting rid of or keeping and place them in 3 piles.
  • One pile will be things that you know will get rid of, one pile things you will keep and a pile of things you are not sure about.
  •  Bag up the items you are sure about getting rid of and put them to the side.
  • Take another look at the items that you say you will keep, channel your inner KonMari and ask yourself "does this spark joy?" If the answer is no, add it to the get rid of pile. If it does, put it away neatly to keep in a place that you can easily spot it for regular use.
  • Hold on to the items you are not sure about for 1 month. If you have not reached for them in that time period go ahead and get rid of them as well. If you have used it, consider keeping it.

3. Accept that minimalism is an ongoing process.

Once you decide to go minimal with your lifestyle it does not stop at the first purge/declutter. It is an ongoing process. You will continually need to go through things and get rid of things that don't "spark joy" and are adding stress. You will also need to ask yourself whether you really need things when you are considering a new purchase.

I have been on this minimalist journey for nearly 2 years now and I still find myself accumulating things and having to purge all over again from time to time. That is OK! I just remember my purpose for beginning this lifestyle and I keep moving forward. 

In order to feel successful in your minimalism journey, you have to accept that minimalism is an ongoing process. 

I have found minimalism to be one of the most freeing things I have done for myself in my life. It feels really good not to put some much focus on materialistic things and focus instead on things that truly matter in this life.

So tell me, have you every considered minimalism? 

What is your purpose for being a minimalist?

If you are new to minimalism or are considering starting a minimalist lifestyle check out these resources to help you along the way.

Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life
By Joshua Fields Millburn