How To Live A Minimalist Lifestyle with PRACTICAL Tips
There’s something oddly satisfying about homes with uncluttered surfaces and less stuff. It can feel extremely freeing and like a breath of fresh air. However, the minimalist lifestyle can also go against the grain and be counter-cultural to live out.
Let’s get practical here. If you’ve hung around me enough you know how much I love tangible things you can do. So, here are a few tips to help as you seek to live a minimalist lifestyle.
- Say no thank you to the free stuff that businesses and booths are always handing out to you. You don’t need it.
- Take a hard look at what clothes you actually wear. Turn all clothing hangers backwards and as you wear an item, turn the hanger the opposite direction. This will help you understand what you actually wear and what you don’t.
- Buy clothing and shoes based on their practicality and versatility for both usage and color palettes.
- Minimize your magazines and paper mail as much as you can control. This is a hard one and one that I honestly can’t do 100% because getting some invoices via email just doesn’t stay top of mind. I physically need some bills staring me in the face in order to have them not get lost in the shuffle. The point is: know thyself!
- Simplify your beauty routine. Can you live with less types of hair products? Do you even use them all? Do you need three different types of face mask cremes? Take a hard look at what you use and what you don’t. After you pare down, commit to buying just the streamlined regiment moving forward.
- Clean out your wallet. I recently traveled overseas and didn’t bring my big huge wallet and it was SO great. While at home, I can’t go as streamlined based on my business cards and receipt folders, I WAS able to look through what gift cards and extra membership cards I had that add extra weight and space.
- Buy standard wrapping paper and gift bags. Avoid buying holiday specific gift wrapping supplies and instead go for patterns and colors that can work for any occasion. You’ll take up less space and you can still have some fun personalizing your gifts for each holiday.
- Unsubscribe to emails. Mental clutter is a real thing, my friend! Therefore, go through and unsubscribe to any lists you are on that are not helpful or bring you joy. Simple as that.
- Simplify your credit cards. Do you REALLY need five different credit cards? No only are these more to carry around, but they are more to keep track of payment deadlines, fees, and monthly statements. Simplify and you’ll do yourself a huge favor!
- Shred old paperwork. Have old paperwork and files that are over 7 years old? If so, go ahead and shred those puppies and get them out of your house!
- Toss owners manuals. Take a hard look at what owners manuals you actually use and seriously consider tossing most, if not all, of them. All of these manuals are typically available online and so there’s no need to keep the paper versions of most manuals.
- Use reusable bags. Not only is this better for the environment, but you also don’t have hundreds of plastic bags accumulating under your kitchen sink.
- Continuously collect giveaways. We keep a box in our guest closet where we put stuff to give to charity thrift stores. This habit has induced a mentality of always simplifying our home. It’s amazing how much stuff can clutter up over time.
- One in and one out. When you purchase a new pair of sandals, get rid of one. When you purchase a new book, get rid of another one. While this isn’t always possible, it’s a good perspective to have to help maintain a common amount of “stuff” in your home.
- Borrow, don’t buy. Focusing on borrowing instead of buying items can be extremely helpful, especially if it’s an item you don’t use that often. For example, we borrowed a friend’s tile saw in order to retile our shower. While we could have purchased this item, we probably wouldn’t use it for a few years and it would have just gathered dust in our basement. Creating a sharing economy can be so rewarding where you lend out as much as you lend!
- Buy quality. This is something my husband taught me that I originally struggled with, but I’ve found it to be true. When we first got married, we were broke, yet my hubby purchased a brand new Dyson vacuum. I nearly choked when he told me how much this puppy was. However, eleven years later, that thing is still running and working great! Sometimes it pays to purchase the higher quality item that will last and cause you less stress big picture.
- Shop online. Over-buying is a very natural thing to do when you’re physically wandering stores. However, when I pop online to purchase something, I’m usually looking for something specific and there are much less impulse buys. This helps me focus on buying the things I need, and not adding to the clutter in my home.
- Use your library. I’ve been a fan of the library since an early age, but borrowing books can help you live that minimalist lifestyle you crave. Check out books first, and then if you find one you simply MUST have, you can then decide if you want to buy it.
- Decorate with sentimental items. We’ve used artwork from our childhood, figurines, and other items that have sentimental value as part of our decor around our house. Instead of buying more stuff, we’re giving these sentimental items a new purpose.
- Avoid shopping for recreation. Yes, it’s fun to go shopping with your girlfriends, but shopping for the sake of shopping is only going to lead to more stress and junk in your home. Instead, go for a walk, get a cup of coffee, do a yoga class, or something else besides shopping instead!