Life today is full of more.
More choices. More options. More to achieve. More to do. More to be.
Yet, our souls are drawn to less.
Less stress. Less hurry. Less stuff.
You want a life of less, but you’re trapped in the cycle of more. Luckily, there’s a way out. A way to simplify your home and your schedule. A way to honor the slow that’s calling out from inside you. To honor the you that wants to put on the brakes of busy and savor the moments of this fleeting thing called life.
If you’re after a life of less, it’s time to embrace a minimalist lifestyle. Here are 12 minimalist living tips to help get started.
What is a minimalist lifestyle?
At its essence, minimalism is the intentional living with less. It’s not about sterilized spaces or only owning 100 items, but about crafting a simplified life that allows you to live out your purpose and passion. And while there are no set “rules” governing how you must achieve this lifestyle, there are some common ways you can simplify your home and schedule to achieve the life you’re after.
12 Minimalist living tips to simplify your life
1. Identify your why & create a vision for your life
Before any major life change can take root, you have to assess your why. Change is hard, and if you don’t know why you’re doing it, and what you want at the end of it, change won’t likely be achieved.
Why do you want to simplify your life?
What do you envision your life being like after you do the work of simplifying?
Cast a vision for your future self and write it down in great detail. Not only will this spur you on during the difficult days, but it will remind you of why you are doing the hard work of altering your life in the first place. After all, if change were easy, everyone would do it.
2. Evaluate your current situation
The next minimalist living tip is to evaluate your current space and your current priorities to determine how to get from the life you have to the life you want.
- How does your home support the simplified lifestyle you want to create? What is working for you? What might need to change?
- Is your schedule a good reflection of your priorities? Do you spend your time on the things that you value most, or is the bulk of your energy spent on things that you don’t truly prioritize?
3. Create a plan and set goals
Now that you have a vision for the minimalist lifestyle you want, and have evaluated where you are, it’s time to create a plan and set some goals. Depending on where you are in relation to where you want to be with minimalism and simplifying your lifestyle, this process may take some time.
Give yourself grace and don’t get discouraged if you aren’t progressing to the simplified life you’re after as quickly as you desire. While some people are “rip the band-aid off” types, others are not. Recognize your comfort zone, but be willing to step outside of it a bit.
No matter the speed of your change, remember that progress is progress. Don’t let perfectionism hinder your forward movement.
Need more inspiration & motivation to accomplish this minimalist living tip? Check out these posts:
4. Declutter your home
One of the quickest and most impactful ways you can embrace a minimalist lifestyle is to declutter your home.
Stuff weighs you down. Clutter depletes your motivation and forces you to spend your time cleaning, organizing, and caring for it. The more you own, the more you have to maintain.
When you get rid of the physical possessions that are controlling your schedule, it feels like a breath of fresh air.
Home no longer feels like a stressful, chaotic place to be. Instead, it becomes the haven it was meant to be.
If you need some decluttering motivation or inspiration to accomplish this minimalist living tip, check out these posts:
5. Become a DIY’er
A minimalist lifestyle embraces a life of less through simplifying belongings and schedules. Minimalists also tend to repair things versus buying new. Embrace your inner minimalist by becoming a DIY’er.
Check out these DIY Posts for more inspiration:
Minimalist Bedroom Room Tour
How to Paint Wooden Furniture
Create a Photo Gallery Wall- 5 Steps to a Gorgeous Showcase
6. Be a Picky Purchaser
Another minimalist living tip is to be selective with your purchases. Now that your home is decluttered, you don’t want to just fill it back up with stuff.
Think of your home as a museum, and you are the curator. You decide what items deserve space in your home and which don’t make the cut. Think before you buy. Only add items to your home that truly speak to you, serve a purpose, or bring you joy.
As an added bonus, because minimalists are used to living with less, you’ll likely find you have more money in your savings account. As you shift from a life focused on stuff to a life focused on your highest priorities, you will find yourself wanting less and less.
So, when you have a need or desire a particular thing, you’ll be able to spend more money on a higher quality option. Embracing a minimalist lifestyle often means less stuff, but the stuff you own is a lot nicer.
7. Simplify your schedule
No matter how streamlined and simplified your home becomes, if you don’t analyze how you spend your time, you will continue to find yourself depleted, missing out on the things that matter most.
This minimalist living tip is often overlooked, but it’s an essential one on the path to living a life of less. Analyze your schedule and figure out where your time goes.
- Do you have too many commitments during the week that leave you drained?
- Have you committed to things that take up large chunks of your time, but don’t really add value to your life?
- Are there routine tasks you could automate to find more time for the important things?
- Consider online grocery shopping with delivery or pick up options
- Automate regular bills through automatic bill pay at your bank
- Cluster errands to a single day of the week to reduce the amount of time you spend running around
8. Simplify your meals
Working to create a weekly or bi-weekly menu for meals is a great way to embrace a minimalist lifestyle in the day-to-day. Reduce the stress of “What’s for dinner?” by having some go-to meals in your arsenal.
- Consider a theme menu for your week (Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, Italian Wednesday, Thai Thursday, Pizza Friday, Leftover Saturday, Chili/Soup Sunday)
- Find some family favorites and regularly rotate them for simple planning
Consider creating a weekly menu with a grocery shopping list so that you don’t have to recreate the wheel each time. Once you have one week planned out and perfected, create another. Work to have a month of meal plans that you can work through.
9. Prune on the regular
Just as a plant needs regular trimming to grow healthy blooms and achieve its potential, so your decluttered home needs consistent pruning.
Don’t assume that decluttering means never having to remove items from your home again. As long as we live in a materialistic world, we will be bombarded with stuff. It requires diligence, and some solid habits, to keep your home decluttered and simplified, but it is absolutely worth it.
As a test, I tracked every item that came into our home in 2019. Check out how I set up this experiment and see the monthly results here:
Minimalism Challenge: Tracking Incoming Items
Minimalist living tip: Consider a “one in, one out” home philosophy. For every item you bring in to your home, find one to declutter. Adding a new shirt to your capsule wardrobe? Remove one you no longer wear or love. Did your kiddo celebrate their birthday and received a dozen new toys? Help them find some toys they no longer use to donate.
Looking for more tips for helping kids declutter & live a simplified life?
Capsule Wardrobe for Kids: 4 Simple Steps to Curating a Timeless Look
10. Focus on Gratitude
The quickest way to peace is to focus on the good stuff. Routinely practicing gratitude helps you keep the right perspective.
According to Happify Daily, “The benefits of practicing gratitude are nearly endless. People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they’re thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems.”
Keep a gratitude journal, or simply get in the habit of listing things you are thankful for during a certain time of day, such as meal times, first thing in the morning, or before you go to bed at night.
11. Experiences > Stuff
Another minimalist living tip is to focus on experiences instead of stuff. You’ve already seen how too much stuff depletes your energy and disturbs your peace at home. By focusing on experiences with those you love, you create memories and deepen relationships- and that’s better than anything you can buy!
Some of the best experiences we’ve ever had have been while vacationing. Travel is a great way to experience the world and gain a deeper appreciation for other cultures.
Check out these resources to learn more about the benefits of minimalist travel and why you should be focusing on experiences over stuff.
Benefits of Traveling: 15 Ways Adventuring Can Enhance Your Life
Travel Light: 15 Practical Tips to Get Started
One Bag Travel: Minimize Your Stuff to Maximize Your Experience
Road Trip Tips for an Epic Adventure!
12. Get comfortable with NO so that you can live a life of YES
Before you can say yes to all you want to accomplish and try in this life, you have to get comfortable with no.
No, I would not like any free samples.
No, I’m sorry, I can’t be in charge of the spring father-daughter dance.
No, I cannot take on a new responsibility at work right now.
No, we don’t need any new toys but thank you for asking.
Saying no to the things that aren’t aligned to your priorities- the things that don’t support the plan you’ve crafted for your new, simplified life- will enable you to craft a home and a life where you have more margin.
And it’s in this new space where you earn the ability to say yes.
Yes, we can go to the park after dinner.
Yes, I’m free to go camping this weekend.
Yes, we can try that new class together.
Minimalist living tip: at the heart of less, there is more
Embrace these minimalist living tips and craft a life of less. Create margin and opportunity through simplifying your home and your schedule. Cast a vision for your life that’s focused on your highest priorities and values, and then set a plan that doesn’t stop short of achieving it.
A minimalist lifestyle is not a pipe dream. You can craft a simplified life that honors who you are at a foundational level. Focus on these 12 tips and begin your journey to curating a life you love.