Steps to Get Started on Minimalist Living

a tidy minimalist-style book shelf

Minimalism is living intentionally with only the things that you truly need. It is being surrounded by fewer material items so that you will be able to do more with your time and life. It’s not about self-restriction but about liberation. It is about learning to be happier with less. It’s because when you are more comfortable with having less, you’re less likely to feel a deep craving for the pursuit of more. Living a simple life can help people free themselves from the tight grasp of material possessions. Therefore, minimalism signifies the liberation from materialism.

If you’ve understood what minimalism is and you want to try living a minimalist life but you don’t know how to start, then you’re in the right place. Today, we are giving you some essential steps you can take to get started on minimalist living.

1. Determine Your Reasons and Write Them Down

The first step if you want to become a minimalist is to be clear about your reasons. Create a list of all the reasons you want to live a simpler life. Is it because you own to many stuff and you’re running out of space? Or is it because you’re spending more than you earn on a regular basis?

Whatever reasons you have, try to write them down to keep you accountable. What you’ve written will serve as your reminder on why you want to make a change if ever you feel yourself slipping back into your old habits.

2. Remove the Duplicates

The next step is to walk through your home and discard all the duplicates. You can do this by getting a box and filling it with duplicate things in your house. For example, if you find copies of the same book or DVD, put them in the box. If you find two sets of measuring cups, put them in the box as well. Once you fill the box, label it “Duplicates”. After that, put it out of your sight for about 30 days. If you do not need anything from that box or you don’t remember what’s in that box in that span of time, then you can simply donate it.

3. Declutter the Worst Area in Your House First

Before you do some decluttering in your home, you need to determine first which is the worst area. For a lot of people, their wardrobe is the worst area because there are usually piles of clothes there that do not look tidy. Aside from the wardrobe, some of the possible worst areas can be your kitchen where too much food is stocked or your garage that is crammed with sports equipment and other tools.

In decluttering, you don’t really need to eliminate everything you enjoy. You just need to find those things that are taking up more space and money and then the rest will seem easy in comparison.

4. Designate a Clutter-Free Zone

Another essential step you can take to get started on minimalist living is to designate a clutter-free zone in your home. This could be a countertop, your nightstand, your kitchen table, or wherever you want. This area will be your inspiration to live with less. If you find yourself enjoying that zone, then you can expand it every day. A clutter-free kitchen table can become a clutter-free room and a clutter-free room can become a clutter-free minimalist home that you are aiming to have.

5. Travel Lightly

Living in a minimalist way is not just seen at home but when you travel to different places as well. Another step to get started on minimalist living is by learning to travel lightly. Instead of traveling with an enormous bag or luggage that needs to be checked-in for every flight, you can instead travel with a carry-on size rucksack. If you are traveling for 4 days, you can pack for 2 instead because you can always wash and hang clothes if you need to or you can wear the same things twice. This will make traveling much easier for you.

Aside from that, traveling lightly will help you keep accountable for the items you have. It’s because having a small carry-on will make sure that you’ll only pack things that you really need, instead of filling up a huge backpack with items that are useless for your trip which can only add nothing but weight.

6. Make Your Meals Simple

There are lots of people with an over-packed fridge and they throw out food every week because they didn’t get a chance to eat it which is a lot of waste. When you want to live a minimalist life, simplifying your meals is another essential step to make. By doing this, you will be able to save money by cutting down the number of ingredients you buy. Aside from that, it will also be less stressful for you to think of or plan a new recipe each day.

However, being a minimalist does not mean you need to eat the same thing throughout the week. It just means being more responsible and aware of what you are buying and cooking and perhaps adjusting those habits to keep things simpler.

7. Dress with Less

Dressing in only a few clothes is also another step to take to get started on minimalist living. This can sound extreme and challenging, especially for fashionable women but it can actually make your life easier instead of more challenging. For example, you can try the Project 333. You can do it by dressing with only 33 items for 3 months. That includes shoes, clothes, jewelry, and accessories. Once you get the hang of it, you will be able to dress simply every day.

8. Set a Savings Goal

Having an emergency fund can make everything much more simple. It’s because being a minimalist can be challenging if you need to pay debts and not having enough money to cover emergencies. Therefore, another step you can take is by setting yourself a goal to save a certain amount of money every month. Getting better at managing your money is one of the important parts of being a minimalist. And it is also a skill that everyone should be consciously trying to improve.

9. Clear Your Mental Clutter

Aside from decluttering your home, it is also important to clear your mind if you want to live a minimalist life. You can do this by finding something that gives you headspace and a way of re-setting your day. You can try yoga or other relaxing exercises. One of the most important things to do if you want to become a minimalist is to look inwards just as much as you see what’s around you.

10. Follow a One-Week Rule

Once you’ve done decluttering your home and you’ve started to live a simpler life, the next step is to make them a habit and avoid re-introducing more things into your life. You can try following a one-week rule if ever you want to buy something.

For example, when you’re shopping online or when you’re thinking about buying something that is not important, you can wait for a week first. If after a week and you still want it, then you can buy it. But if you forgot about it after a week, then that’s just an impulsive moment for you.

Minimalism shouldn’t be complicated. In fact, it is something that should make your life more peaceful and easy. You can try the steps we shared one at a time and continue to take small steps and lean into the life you want. If you need more ideas about how to get started on minimalist living, then you can check our Useful Resources for Minimalist Living post.