Are you searching for minimalist lifestyle tips to transform your home and habits? Even if you don’t plan to live like Marie Kondo 24/7, there are plenty of lessons you can learn from the minimalist movement.
There’s no magic formula or set of strict rules to begin living a minimalist lifestyle. With a few simple strategies, you can start reaping the benefits of a life with less stuff and more meaning.
Between the viral KonMari method and the growing low impact living movement, people around the world are finding happiness in decluttering their life–and keeping it that way.
That being said, I believe the two biggest benefits of simplifying your life through minimalism are saving time and money.
When you think about it, the act of living with less ultimately comes down to easier choices, fewer expenses, and less maintenance. And all of these savings enable you to do more of what you love, whether it’s traveling the globe or spending quality time with the people you love.
If you’re ready to start living a simpler life, here are eight minimalist lifestyle tips to get you started.
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#1. Make time for regular self-reflection
The most powerful tool in a minimalist’s arsenal is self-reflection. It takes a lot of honesty and insight to be able to keep your home, mind, and life free of unnecessary stuff!
I learned the importance of self-reflection from Courtney Carver’s wonderful book, Soulful Simplicity.
It’s one of the best books on simple living, in part because it emphasizes the importance of making time each morning and evening for reflection.
Carver shares several strategies in her book, but my personal favorites are morning gratitude reflections and evening journaling. Both of these activities keep my values and goals at the forefront of my mind, and are immensely helpful when I’m trying to build new habits.
All the decluttering strategies in the world won’t help you if you don’t have the skills to maintain a minimalist lifestyle.
#2. Spend money mindfully
Self-reflection isn’t just a quiet activity to do at home. It’s part of practicing mindfulness, or taking a pause to consider your actions and their consequences.
This is an especially important minimalist lifestyle tip for spending money.
How long do you wait before making a purchase? 10 seconds? And how many times have you bought something, only to realize later that you didn’t truly need it?
Marketers know this about our spending habits. In fact, they are actively trying to influence your subscious mind, where roughly 90% of buying decisions are made.
There are so many psychological reasons why we buy things, from the desire to “fix” something in our lives (hello, free weights collecting dust in the corner!) to the thrill that retail therapy offers. We tend to amass stuff without considering our true motivations behind the purchase.
It’s the reason we end up buying too many clothes and filling our grocery carts with junk foods we know aren’t good for us.
In order to break away from impulse buying, we need to practice mindful spending. This will move the decision-making process from our subscious mind to our conscious (i.e. paying careful attention to what we’re doing).
Here are three questions to ask before making a purchase:
- What will I do with this?
- How long will this last?
- Do I already own something else that serves this item’s purpose?
This minimalist lifestyle tip is all about slowing down and actively considering if your purchase is necessary and useful.
And it’s not limited to big ticket items. Even a $10 book deserves to go through the three question process.
Best of all, practicing mindfulness before spending allows you to thoroughly enjoy what already you have before adding something new to your life.
#3. Prioritize experiences over things
There’s nothing new about the concept of choosing experiences over things. It’s a trend that’s been making headlines for a decade, particularly in relation to millennials.
And it’s more than a trendy concept. Psychologists have shown again and again that spending money on experiences provides longer-lasting happiness than spending on things. Even the anticipation of an experience, like a vacation or dinner with friends, generates repeated feelings of joy and excitement.
But even if you agree with the idea, it can be hard to stick to in daily life.
If you have trouble skipping things in favor of experiences, you might find it helpful to think in terms of trade-offs.
For example, a brand new smartphone can cost as much as a short vacation, or 10 fancy dinners with your partner. Which would you rather have?
Save me for later!
#4. Stop feeling guilty about self-care
When is the last time you turned down an invitation to go out so that you could relax at home?
Self-care is an important part of maintaining a minimalist lifestyle. Without it, you’ll struggle to go against the path of least resistance (i.e. mindless spending, phone scrolling, and task doing).
FOMO is real, and it’s normal to feel uncomfortable when turning down requests from friends and family. But if you stretch yourself too thin, will you truly be happier?
When you take care of your mental health, you have the energy to be your best self. And when you do decide to gather with friends and family, you can actively listen, engage in meaningful conversation, and build stronger relationships.
#5. Make decluttering a routine thing
In the world of minimalism and simple living, there’s a lot of emphasis put on decluttering for the first time. But what’s often lacking is how to keep your space clutter-free after that initial purge.
Here are three minimalist lifestyle tips for keeping a clutter-free home:
- Every few months, go through each room and place any items you don’t regularly use into a “declutter box”. If you don’t miss those items after 30 days, donate the box.
- Assign everything you have a “home”, whether that be in a drawer or on a particular shelf. Clean up and put things back in their homes as soon as you’re finished. with them.
- Use multi-compartment containers to organize and store small items like charging cables and TV remotes.
#6. Borrow instead of buy
The best minimalist lifestyle tips are often sustainable ones, and this tip is no exception.
A surefire way to keep your house free of clutter and your wallet full of cash is to borrow rather than buy things you only need for a short time.
As a lover of physical books, my regular trips to the library keep our home from overflowing with novels. And in today’s sharing economy, you can rent all kinds of things.
You can rent a fancy dress for that black tie wedding instead of buying one that will end up forgotten in the back of your closet after the event. You can rent specialty power tools from Home Depot for one-off projects.
And if you live near family or friends, you can graciously ask to borrow things. Most people are more than willing to lend stuff if they know you’ll take good care of it.
#7. Take care of what you have
When you only own what you need and love, you have a vested interest in taking care of your stuff. Minimalists learn how to properly look after and maintain what they have to prolong the life of their things.
From washing machines to wood floors, there are routine steps you can take to keep your stuff in good condition. Read the care instructions inside the manuals that come with appliances and cookware, and use the good ol’ internet to look up everything else.
I use a checklist that includes weekly, monthly, and periodic household chores, so I don’t forget to clean the dishwasher or descale the kettle.
#8. Choose the right living space for you
Some people think the only place to live for a simple life is a giant farmhouse in the country. That may work if you’re a devoted homesteader, but it doesn’t make sense for the majority of the developed world.
And if you’ve seen “minimalist homes”, you might think you need a big empty space with ony a few pieces ultra-modern furniture. However, there’s a difference between minimalist design and minimalist living.
So how are you supposed to live like a minimalist? In a space that fits your needs and values–not anyone else’s.
Imagine how much bigger your savings account would be if you rented a smaller apartment. Or how much time you’d save on cleaning if you didn’t have a huge foyer and kitchen.
Choosing a living space based on other people’s values instead of your own is a recipe for unhappiness and financial frustration.
Your home should be the right size for you and your family. Don’t let the annual overnight guest or family heirloom dining table for 10 dictate the square footage of your accommodation
Of all the minimalist lifestyle tips I’ve shared, this one has the biggest impact on your wallet and free time.
More Minimalist Lifestyle Tips
Check out these extra minimalist lifestyle tips and guides to help you downsize, declutter, and appreciate what you already have: