Minimalist living for those who really wanna live

Enough already. Minimalist living is all the rage now. I mean, look at all the people moving into tiny homes.

minimalist living book cover
Marie Kondo

Marie Kondo

Tidy guru, Marie Kondo, launched her own show on Netflix on this very subject with a simple message:

"Spark joy"


By getting rid of all that stuff, they get to concentrate on what's really important:

People

Experiences

Fun

And so can you.

Minimalist Living In a Nutshell

The minimalism creed is this:

The less you own, the happier you'll be.

Everything comes into question from the way you spend money to how many knives are in your kitchen drawer.

By clearing out the clutter, you make room in your life for the important things:

Health

Relationships

Personal growth

Health

You Want Something Different

laundry area of minimalist living

It's taken a long time for you to accumulate what you have. You might have so much that you don't even know where to start.

You just know that where you are isn't working for you.

You're stressed and you're anxious. You can't keep up with all the dusting and when Aunt Martha comes for a visit, you shove as much as you can in the closet.

You're done with it.

But the transition is going to be just that -- a transition. That means it's going to take time.

So, remember this:

"Every little step is a step forward."

And once you're surrounded by only the things you truly love, you'll be freer to enjoy your life.

How Minimalist Living Can Change Your Life

You've listened to Marie Kondo and follow her on Instagram.

 

You stopped buying random objects strolling through Target.

You've even cleaned off your kitchen counter, leaving only your soap, cutting board, and a candle.

Just like Marie.

But you're wondering how having less is going to improve your life.

Here are a few ways:

organized clothes

Cram the clutter

When we live around clutter, it takes up more than physical space. It stops us from thinking clearly, and we can't focus. Reducing the clutter reduces the problem.

living room with sofa and tv

Prettify

A minimalist living space is just prettier.

books on bed

Free up time

We all only have 24 hours in a day. When you’re not constantly shopping for stuff or cleaning the stuff cluttered around you, you have more time. Spend that time doing things you never had time to do.

lady smiling

Shift your focus

Don't let marketers fool you. Stuff doesn't make you happy. Instead of buying stuff, focus on what makes you happy and do that.

living room of minimalist living

Dust schmust

When you start living a minimalist lifestyle, you won’t have to spend as much time dusting your collection of figurines or organizing your drawers for the umpteenth time this year. A minimalist house is a cleaner house — and what’s not to love about that?

Minimalist lifestyle mindset

“My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions, but in the fewness of my wants.” Joseph Brotherton

Making the Decision for Minimalist Living

Famous minimalists taking the world by storm, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, there are two types of decisions:

Intellectual

intellectual thinking

The trouble is, there's no motivation to do anything about your should's.

The other decision is emotional. It's causing you pain, and maybe that's why you're here reading this.

Emotional


The two suggest making a list of your “must do’s.” Your decisions that stem from emotion.

When your minimalist must do's stem from an emotional place  BA BAM!  that's when you start on your path.


 


Minimalist Principles You Want to Print and Stick on Your Fridge

women talking with furniture around them

1. Omit needless things

Start every day with the mindset that you will eliminate needless things as you go about your day. Meditate and clear any clutter around you.

woman on a stop or no hand signal

2. Identify the essential things

Identifying what you absolutely need. Reduce errands, cut down on meetings, say no.

quote about time for minimalist living

3. Make everything count

Don’t go the day mindlessly. Whatever you do throughout the day, make it worthwhile.

joy of a woman

4. Fill your life with joy

By consciously choosing what you want your life to look like, you’ll be more apt to achieve it.

man thinking

5. Edit your day

At the end of every day, think about what you did right and how you could improve tomorrow because it's a new day.

And remember, minimalist living isn’t something you start overnight. It’s a gradual change from a life of consumerism to one of simplicity and authenticity.


Minimalist living mindset

Leonardo da Vinci

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Leonardo da Vinci

Clutter Is the Enemy

cluttered kitchen

This is a source of stress

You know that clutter causes stress. You look at it every dang day and think,

"I'm gonna organize all this sh** today.

Today. Yup, today."

But it doesn't happen, and there's a reason why.

Of course, you want to get rid of the clutter. Of course, you want to relieve your stress. You just can't begin because there's

SO. MUCH. STUFF.

That's when we turn to Marie Kondo, again.

Thanks, Marie.

She not only has the Netflix show and the Insta, but she also has a book.


Since then, people have become obsessed with wrangling all of their stuff into neat, orderly piles.

woman holding a book

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese art of Decluttering and Organizing.

Da' Rules

We've decided clutter is the enemy to burn in a lake of fire, but wait...

Little Sally Sue made you that clay ashtray that was supposed to be a mug when she was in second grade. You can't possibly throw that away.

There's a solution. Try these rules.

rules written on the black board


“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

william morris

William Morris

Minimalism ≠ Decluttering

"Decluttering is an action."

"Minimalism is a lifestyle."

Although you'll likely need to declutter to start your home and mind on the minimalist path, the two are not the same.

Before You Declutter

office table of simplicity vs complexity

Many people have lived with clutter for so long they aren’t sure it’s possible to live without it.

But once you're ready...

  • Remove the excess
  • Make sure everything left has a home
  • Stop buying stuff

We all know you're going to have the urge to buy stuff.

99%
"We all do."

Before you plunk down that credit card or cash, ask yourself:

  • Do I really need this?
  • Do I have a place to store it at home?
  • Will it add extra work for me?
  • Am I buying it for the right reasons?
man saying I need it

Decluttering -- The Eternal Journey

Now that you have the right mindset let’s talk about some practical ways you can declutter your home.

Sarah Therese declutters her entire home with a toddler underfoot here.

ARROW DOWN

To declutter your own space, start by:

  • Make a list of all the rooms or areas you plan to tackle
  • List your targeted areas in order of severity
  • Plan on doing one room or area at a time
  • Choose a sorting system


Image via Instagram

Understanding Minimalist Finances

Since you're minimizing what you're buying habits and making conscious decisions on everything you purchase, guess what?

All that money you're saving can go toward things you actually enjoy.

pile of boats
person sitting on a trailway
luxurious dining area
paris tourist spot

 "Vacation..." "Adventures..."Exclusive restaurants..." "Exciting tours..."

Minimalist finances are wanting to own less stuff and using the money you save to do the things you actually want to do in this lifetime.

How to create a minimalist budget

When living minimally, your budget should reflect that. Here are some steps you can take to create a budget that is in line with your minimalist living lifestyle.

“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” Will Rogers

Change your mindset

Define financial values and priorities

Create a list of spending and consumption habits

Simplify your accounts and credit cards

Create a spending plan

Automate your payments

Question future purchases

Commit to monthly planning meetings

Change your mindset

Stop thinking in terms of monthly payments and begin thinking about ownership. A person who practices minimalist living isn’t weighed down by monthly payments but buys what they can afford.

Define financial values and priorities

Your financial values are the things that are important to you. For example, you may want to retire at age 50 or save 20 percent of your income. Once you know your values, you can set your priorities or goals. You know where you are going, and now you need to plan the steps to get there.

Create a list of spending and consumption habits

Create a list of everything you spend money on, and then evaluate whether or not it adds to your life. For example, if you buy $100 worth of books every month, do you get enjoyment from reading them? If so, keep buying them. But if you spend the same amount of money on new clothes every month and don’t wear them, you should reevaluate that spending habit.

Everything you spend money on should bring you joy and satisfaction. Cut out the spending habits that don’t.

Simplify your accounts and credit cards

When practicing minimalist living, you should only have one checking account, one savings account, and one credit card. That keeps your finances simple, and because you won’t have to spend a lot of time keeping track of a lot of accounts, you’ll have more time to do the things you enjoy.

Create a spending plan

A minimalist budget is easy — all you have to do is list your income on one side of the page and your expenses on the other. You should account for every dollar you earn, whether you apply it to bills, savings, or retirement funding.

Automate your payments

Because a minimalist budget is all about simplicity, you should automate every payment you can. That includes deposits to your retirement account, automatic bill payments, and even transfers from your checking account to your savings account.

Question future purchases

When evaluating whether or not to make a new purchase, remember that you have to work for everything you buy. Ask yourself if the thing you want to buy is worth spending that many hours at work instead of doing the things you want.

Commit to monthly planning meetings

Finally, you should commit to reevaluating your minimalist budget every month. That is true even if you’re the only person attending the meeting! By consistently evaluating your budget, you will be able to change the things that don’t work quickly.

Minimalist living mindset

You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.”

author vernon howard

Vernon Howard

Declutter Like a Minimalist Without Losing Your Mind

Bathroom

  • Keep what you use every day on the countertop
  • Put everything else in drawers or cabinets
  • Store only one set of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash in the shower

Bedroom

  • Start with your nightstand. Use the three-box system to remove and resettle anything on your nightstand.
  • Put dirty clothes in the hamper
  • Simplify your wardrobe. Keep only what you love and wear.
  • Think quality
  • Define your personal style
  • Don't wear it? Donate it.
  • Consider a capsule wardrobe (see below) (designer_start) Please add an icon here and on "capsule wardrobe" to connect the two for the reader. (designer_end)

Laundry room

  • Throw away all the empty detergent and fabric softener bottles
  • Gather up all the loose change that’s been collecting there and put it in your purse
  • Fold any washed clothes and put them away
  • Wash all dirty clothes and put them away as soon as they’re dry

Pro tip

You thought you knew how to fold clothes, but making everything stand on end saves room.

Fold like this:

Capsule wardrobe: Explained

In the 1930s, an average woman had 36 pieces of clothes in her closet, but today, she has 120.

And remember, Cladwell says we only wear about 20 percent of those clothes. That was the impetus for the capsule wardrobe craze.

A capsule wardrobe is when you use only 30 to 50 pieces of clothing for time capsules — usually 3 months. During that time, you can’t buy anything new.

clothes and shoes

To start one:

  • Take everything out of your closet and lay it on your bed
  • Separate it into three piles: love, kind-of-like, and don’t like
  • Begin putting together your outfits
Your capsule wardrobe will probably be made up from the love pile.

If you just want to get your toes wet, store the remaining clothes, promising you won’t touch them until the three months is over. You can use the remaining clothes for your next wardrobe capsule.

Minimal Living Maintenance Is Key  

It would be a shame to do all that work and not maintain your minimalist living lifestyle, wouldn’t it?

Luckily, there are some things you can do to keep the momentum going.

Start a donation box

woman speaking

Keep a box handy that you use to deposit items you no longer want. It will prevent you from piling them up someplace, only to forget to donate them. Empty the box once a month.

Stick to the one in, one out rule

boy cleaning the trash

Most people living the minimalist living lifestyle have a rule that for everything they bring into their home, they must donate, throw away, or sell something else. That forces you to make hard decisions and will ensure that only things you love take up space in your home.

Set aside a tidy time

man cleaning the floor

If you spend only 10 minutes a day tidying up, your minimalist house will stay tidy and clutter-free. You can do this when you first wake up when you’re waiting for the coffee to brew, or right before you go to bed.

And that's not all.

These eight simple habits will help you embrace the minimalist lifestyle.

Are You Ready for Minimalist Living?

Decluttering your life and practicing minimalist living is a great way to not only find out what truly matters to you but to have the time to enjoy what you love.

Are you thinking about starting a minimalist living lifestyle? We would love to hear your thoughts, fears, and inspirations in the comments below!

mother and children playing


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