Wondering what the true meaning of minimalism is and how to start applying it into your day to day life? These 8 minimalist lifestyle tips will help you get started. Think of it as a little guide to minimalism for beginners.
You’re intrigued about this whole minimalism thing and that’s what brought you here, right? But how to be a minimalist you wonder. You’re thinking about maybe living a bit more minimalist but you’re not sure how to get started. All you know is that you want to make some changes in your lifestyle because deep down, something is telling you, that there’s more to life than what you think.
Guess what, my lovely friend? Your gut is right. Life is so much more than work, money, a new car or a house. Once you remove all the things that prevent you from living intentionally, and I don’t just mean the material possessions, you will be able to create a space that allows you to do more of what matters to you.
So what is minimalism? Or better yet, what minimalism is not?
Minimalism is not some fancy trend that people follow to look cool and make their lives seem put together. It’s also not an ‘all or nothing’ approach. You don’t have to get rid of all your belongings and embrace living in a tiny, empty flat with very minimal furniture and two pairs of shoes, to call yourself a minimalist.
Minimalism is a mindset that encourages us to focus on being intentional about what’s truly important. It’s about seeking simplicity, fulfillment, peace, and ultimately freedom. It’s about being content without having to surround yourself with an excess.
Most importantly, minimalism is a journey. That’s why the minimalist lifestyle meaning is different for different people. To me personally, it’s a way back to your true self. A way back to your heart and soul. To who you were before this consumerist society told you otherwise.
Minimalism is not about physical declutter only. It’s also about mental and emotional declutter. So let’s find out how to minimize all aspects of your life in order to bring more clarity, fulfillment, and joy. This post is all about 8 minimalist lifestyle tips for beginners.
8 MINIMALIST LIFESTYLE TIPS FOR BEGINNERS:
1. Identify your ‘Why’
The first step to decluttering your life. Identifying your ‘why’ is crucial key to success for everything you’re starting. When the initial excitement is gone, it’s your ‘why’ that will keep you going.
Take a minute and think about:
- What does minimalism mean to you?
- What can it bring into your life?
- What’s the reason that lead you to it?
2. Physical Declutter
Now that your intention of becoming a minimalist is more clear, it’s time to get on with some actionable steps that will bring you closer to the slow and mindful life you’re dreaming of, and learn how to adopt a minimalist lifestyle.
Get rid of everything you don’t need. Ev-ry-thing. Start with what needs decluttering the most, whether that being your kitchen, living room or garage, and slowly make your way to your wardrobe, bookshelves, and every little corner of your home, car, and workspace. As I like to say, less mess, less stress. This step is probably one of the most minimalist lifestyle tips for those new to the space.
Clearing out the clutter is easier said than done, so here are a couple of questions to ask yourself, when in doubt, to simplify the process:
- Do I really need this item in my life?
- If I lost it or it got stolen, would I really purchase it again?
Read this post about achieving a sustainable minimalist wardrobe. It’s a simple step-by-step guide that will help you sort out your closet with ease.
3. Mental And Emotional Declutter
In the same way the too much stuff can take up space and block paths in our home, too much emotional clutter can take up space in our minds and block thinking paths in our brains. This can put a lot of pressure on our headspace.
All that junk clogs up the pipes like autumn leaves in the gutter. If we don’t take the time to clear it out every once in a while, the whole system blocks up and begins to overflow. This makes it really difficult to think clearly as anything and everything becomes too overwhelming. So take some time to sort through the mess.
These could be:
- tasks we’re procrastinating on
- limiting beliefs
- information overload
- negative mindsets we keep nurturing
- constant fear of not being, having or achieving enough
- overthinking in general.
To clear mental clutter, take a pen, go through each category mentioned above and write down all the the things that contribute to your mental distress. Be honest with yourself and don’t be afraid to lay it all out.
Once you find out what’s taking your mental space, you’ll be able to filter it out and get rid of what no longer needs to be there.
Taking a break from social media will help, as well as switching off in general. Meditations are extremely helpful to connect with yourself, spending time in nature too and, of course, spending time alone.
When it comes to sentimental clutter, it can be a lot more challenging to let go of some things. As humans we are built to form attachments. It’s what connects us to things. This is a good thing that has helped us survive as a species. But over the last few hundred years, this ability has lead us to form more attachments with things that we don’t need, rather than people we do. The emotional connections we make to the inanimate use highly valuable energy in our minds, leaving behind emotional clutter to be hoarded. Bag it up, and get it out.
Emotional clutter includes:
- holding grudges
- holding onto habits/ things/ people and behaviours that may no longer be serving you
- negative emotions such as anger and bitterness
- sadness and refusal to let go
To part with sentimental clutter, write down all the negative emotions that are hurting you. Once you identify them, go through each one separately, and try to sit it with it, to understand it, before letting it go.
There are some amazing guided meditations on Youtube that can help you clear your mind. Here are some great books that you should consider checking out too:
4. Declutter Your Relationships
You’ve sorted out your home, you cleared your mind, the next step is to move your focus to your current relationships. This is an important part of the process, so you shouldn’t skip it.
Are there people in your life that just take your mental or physical space, time and energy, without contributing to your growth and happiness?
You need to let go of any toxic relationships (that includes friends, work colleagues, partners and even family members) that no longer serve purpose in your life.
Some good questions to ask yourself are:
- Why is this person in my life?
- What purpose do they serve?
- Do they add up to my growth and happiness or are they taking more (time, space, energy) than they are giving?
- Why do I hold on to this person?
5. Declutter Your Schedule
As we’re working on minimising and removing all the excess from our lives to start living more consciously with only the things we truly need, we can’t disregard our time management.
Overloading our schedules is a common practice, which I’m guilty of too. This affects our minds and adds up to the stress we might be dealing already with.
If you want to practice a simple minimalist lifestyle in every aspect of your life, your next step is to declutter your schedule. Limit all the unnecessary activities that are eating away your time. These are different for everyone, you know you the best. The formula is simple – if it doesn’t serve you, brings you joy, or contributes to your growth, stop doing it.
It helps making a daily or weekly to-do list, going through all the tasks there, and check with yourself if you can realistically handle all of it. We have a certain amount of time and energy that we can use. To make the most out of it, we need to be conscious about how we’re going through our day-to-day lives.
I was hesitant about adding this step as for the longest time ever I’ve been this person and friend who would always tell you to set as many goals as possible in order to fill your life with purpose and determination.
That’s just been my personal approach towards goal setting until recently.
However, the more I’ve been embracing the principles of minimalism, the more I’ve started realizing that anything in overabundance can be a reason for overwhelm and it’s just not necessary, regardless that our consumer culture is trying to prove us otherwise.
By no means am I suggesting to forget about all your ambitions and dreams. Just prioritize the most important and fast-achievable ones first. Set a small number of goals at a time (that could be 3/4/5 – the number is totally up to you), and once you reach them, move to the rest. Once you achieve these, make a new list, etc. You get the idea.
How many credit cards do you own? Do you really need all of them? Be honest. I didn’t think so, either. You can take control over your money and set boundaries on your spendings by reducing the number of accounts you have.
If you don’t do it, there’s a big chance that you’ll end up with all of this unnecessary clutter in your life again. Because, unfortunately, our modern world is designed around consumerism. These ‘amazing’ credit card deals, 0% interests, membership points, all of that is made to encourage you to buy more. To borrow and own more, which keeps you trapped in this vicious cycle forever.
The only way to achieve freedom is to realize when enough is enough. You can still be a minimalist and own or purchase nice things from time to time. These just need to be items that serve a purpose and genuinely bring you value.
Achieving financial freedom is simple.
Have less money going out than you’ve got coming in. Simple? Yes. Easy? Not so much.
The good news is there are tools and services available to make it easier. If you’re looking for a way to better sort your money situation, here is an idea. Try Curve!
Curve is a great solution to money management that combines all your bank cards in one, allowing you to control your finances with ease.
The concept of it is very simple. It’s a digital app where you can add all your debit, credit, and even loyalty cards to keep track of your spendings.
Once you add all your existing cards to your digital wallet, you will receive a physical Curve card, which will link to them, so you can use it when making purchases.
When you’re able to see exactly what you spend and where your money goes, then you can make conscious decisions about which cards you actually need and which you can let go of. The goal is to work your way to minimize the number of accounts you have and just keep one or two, so you can better manage your money. Curve is really helpful for me, so I’d recommend you try it too.
Remember, minimalism is not an all-or-nothing approach! It’s all about being mindful and avoiding the unnecessary.
8. Learn To Say “No”
This is the last step of this minimalist lifestyle guide.
Once you’ve cleared your physical and mental space, you should learn how to protect your own peace, otherwise, all of this chaos you finally got rid of, will take over your life again.
Learn to say ‘no’ when your brain is telling you to purchase this new shiny phone that you’re seeing advertised all the time unless you actually need a new phone and can realistically afford it.
Know when to say ‘no’ when your schedule is full and someone is guilt-tripping you to do something or be somewhere even though you told them that you can’t.
Learn to say ‘no’ to gifts that you don’t need. You can show gratitude and kindness to the person offering but explain to them that you don’t really need this item and it can serve someone else better.
Although it’s not always easy, learning to say ‘no’ is crucial for maintaining a simple, intentional life centered around minimalism. I hope you find these living a minimalist lifestyle tips useful.
This post was all about 8 minimalist lifestyle tips for beginners.
*A portion of this post is sponsored by Curve, but all views and opinions shared are my own. Read full disclosure here.
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