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Minimalist Lifestyle – 7 Small Steps To Begin

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Minimalism is focused on living with less. Do you want to start living a minimalist lifestyle? Here are the top tips & tricks how to start doing so!

One of my goals was to collect less stuff and embrace minimalism. The minimalist lifestyle sounded awesome to me; less clutter, less maintenance costs, less things to worry about, less less less!

I’ve already been doing great for some years not buying anything except for what I need. However, I certainly had a lot of stuff that I bought years ago, never used and still keep around ‘just in case’.

I don’t even know what kind of stuff I had that was taking in so much space. It’s just lying there, chilling.

In theory, being a minimalist sounds great, not having too much stuff to worry about and only keep the necessities that you use. In practice it’s harder to implement.

First, we’ll discuss the benefits of minimalism. After that, we will discuss a couple of small steps you can take to get started.

So let’s dive straight into minimalism!

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Minimalist Lifestyle – Less Worry

As I’m collecting more stuff with the years, I realize that a lot of things don’t bring me joy or happiness. They just make me worry about; ‘I should really use that’, ‘Why am I not wearing that’, ‘Why do I have so much stuff’. It’s not that my space is cluttered, I keep it as clean as possible. It’s more that my closets and my cabinets are just overflowing, the stuff is everywhere and I can’t find a thing.

I love a lot of the things I own, but some things are just there, not bringing me any joy and taking up space.  Also, I don’t even know what I have. Sometimes I find something that I forget I had.. I think that says it all!

There is also this voice in my head asking me ‘why do you want to throw it out?’, ‘maybe you’ll need it one day’, ‘you spent money buying this’. If you’re also having one of these voices, please ignore them. You’ll feel much better when things are cleaned up and you are seeing less stuff around the house.

So get rid of the unnecessary stuff that you don’t completely love & you have some extra space in your mind to think about other things!

Related Reads: Why Experiences Are Better Than Things

Minimalist Lifestyle – Less Maintenance

The more you embrace minimalism, the less time you have to spend on maintenance and cleaning. You don’t have to clean the things anymore that don’t bring you joy, I know we all dread cleaning. This will be a good first spot to step up your game! In addition, you don’t have to maintain everything anymore. No more gadgets fixing, sowing clothes, deep cleaning etc.

This will free up much of your time, alongside with the fact that you will have less to organize and less to search for! Imagine allll the time that you are spending now on organizing, cleaning, maintenance, searching for stuff. Uhg, especially the searching for stuff would save me a lot of time! This time you can spend now on doing things you love, what a different life that would be!

You can pick up things you enjoy, but never had the time for! Like:

Minimalist Lifestyle – Less Spending

Freeing up space in your house and in your mind is only one benefit of minimalism! What if you want to get things out of your house that are perfectly fine to use? One thing you could do is sell them. Sell them on eBay, Craigslist, etc. This will bring you extra income, on top of the other benefits!

Related read: Side Hustle, ways to earn extra income.

Next to the fact that you can sell your stuff, living the minimalist lifestyle is just that – a lifestyle. This means that you want to prevent cleaning out your house, selling and throwing out things, only to buy them again the next month. You’ll only buy what truly brings you joy and that you really need. This basically means you will be buying less stuff, which means a higher savings rate and a bigger investment account.

Staying On Track

Throwing out things would hurt in the beginning, but it would feel good afterward. However, staying on track would be the hard part.

If you get your stuff down to a certain # of items, what do you do when you want to buy something new? The best way to go about this, is to ask yourself: ‘Do I love this item more than any of the other things I have now?’. If you say no, be honest with yourself and don’t buy the thing. If you say yes, go for it! HOWEVER, you should get rid of as at least one thing in exchange for your new item.

Buying New Things

I started around 3 years ago on the one end of the spectrum: I don’t buy things I don’t need anymore. First I was having very real issues with buying everything in sight. When I buy something, I ask myself:

  • Do I really need this?
  • Will it bring me joy?
  • Can I afford it?
  • Do I want to spend my money on this?

If the answer to all these questions is YES, then I’ll buy it. Most of the time, if I don’t really love something it isn’t worth spending my money buying it. For friends and family, I love to buy gifts, so I spend much more than I would for myself.

One extra tip that I can give you, is to go shopping with a goal. Last month I really needed an extra pair of work pants. I only was wearing the same black jeans, and I really needed the extra one. Well, the shops are only open from 9 am until 6 pm on the day that I had time, and I was there at 5.30 pm. I took 15 different pairs of jeans into the fitting room, which I fitted in 20 minutes. In the end, I bought 3 pairs of trousers within 30 minutes for €60 (apparently it was on sale, happy me!).

So make sure you ask yourself the questions above, go shopping with a goal and you buy less of what you don’t need.

Minimalist Lifestyle - 7 Smalle Steps To Become A Minimalist For Beginners
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7 Small Steps To Begin With The Minimalist Lifestyle

It can be difficult to start with a minimalist lifestyle. You want to start, but taking on everything at once is way too overwhelming. Here are a couple of small steps you can take to get started!

1. Write Down Your Why

Writing down your why is the start of many processes. Why do you want to simplify your life? Why do you want to live the minimalist lifestyle?

It could be that you’re stressed out, write that down. Or you could feel like you don’t get any time with your partner. Write that down. Don’t have money to spend on the things you love? Write that down. Want to be financially free? Write that down too!

The whys you write down for your process will keep you motivated. When you want to quit, when you feel like it’s too hard to keep going, when you need that finish push – your whys will do exactly that!

2. Think About It

To through you home and take a step back. Take the observer role and walk through your house. What are the things that you would like to see change? What would your current home ideally look like?

When you take a step back and really observe your home from an objective perspective, you will see the true potential of you home.

Imagine what you home would look like when you’re done with it. This can provide you with some extra motivation to get started and make the change happen.

3. Get Rid Of Duplicates

Getting rid of everything that you don’t use anymore is a little to radical for the majority. When you want to get rid of stuff, it can start to feel overwhelming. Where do you start?

Take a small step and put all your duplicates in a box. Do you have the same games? Put them in the box. Do you have duplicate books? Put them in the box.

Go through your house and fill up the box. You will be surprised how many things you have save for ‘just in case’.

Put the box away for 30 days. Anything you haven’t used by then, you can donate.

Good news: once you start it will get easier. So there you go.

4. Dress With less

People have way more clothes than they think. Consider implementing a clothing ban for a while.

A clothing ban is a period in which you don’t buy any new clothing, jewelry, or shoes. You can decide for yourself what you include in your clothing ban, it can be anything that you want to include.

I have a clothing ban in place for almost two years now. Read everything that I learned from my clothing ban and how it can benefit you as well!

Having no new clothing into your closet will help you a lot with identifying which of your current clothes you actually love. Some items you won’t wear as often and you can get rid of them if you’re ready.

5. Be Grateful

The minimalist lifestyle is largely about being happy with what you have. This comes from gratitude. When you feel grateful about the stuff you have in your life, the things that give you joy, and what adds to your house – you will feel that in your body.

Gratitude is one of my favorite emotions to have, it makes you feel so happy and content!

Focus on the things that you have in life that give you joy. The beauty of the items, the convenience of the items, and how easy these items make your life.

It can be a work of art, a photograph, your guitar, or the water boiler that gives you hot tea in the morning.

Find it hard to focus on the gratitude side of things? Or want to enhance your gratitude practice? Here’s why a gratitude journal can help you with that!

6. Minimize Your Meals

I have to say: this step is not for everyone!

When you think about how much time you spend about thinking what you want to eat, it’s insane. What do we want to have for dinner? What do I want to have for breakfast?

The problem here is that the options are ENDLESS. Food isn’t as simple as you think.

Simplify your meals and you will save a lot of time. Try eating the same breakfast and lunch every day. Plus, have a 4-5 dinner options that you can rotate throughout the weeks.

7. Save Money

I’m a big advocate of having an emergency fund. You will find a big relief in both stress and emergencies when you have an emergency fund.

Set aside month every week to fuel your emergency fund and you will feel so much lighter when you reach that.

Let’s Do It!

It all sounds very great, but now we have to take action! Try every one of these steps and see what it brings you. Some things will stick, others will not. That’s all fine.

Take slow steps, one at a time, to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Even if it takes a couple of years to get to your ideal situation, you will notice the benefits immediately when you start living the minimalist lifestyle!

Related read: How to Simplify your Life

Are you planning to dip your toes into the minimalist lifestyle?

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Minimalist Lifestyle - 7 Smalle Steps To Become A Minimalist

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27 thoughts on “Minimalist Lifestyle – 7 Small Steps To Begin”

  1. Great post M! It’s great that you are doing this in your 20s! I wish I knew about minimalism by then 🙂

    We discover minimalism in our early 30s after reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Since then we went a long way as we sold most of our possessions last year (2 years later) before taking on traveling the world full time. My wife and I only carry two backpacks and we are getting so much more mind space and freedom since then. If you are curious, here is what I have in my backpack: https://www.nomadnumbers.com/carry-on-packing-list-for-nomadic-long-term-travels.

    We still consider ourselves “aspiring” minimalists as it takes time to fully embrace this mindset but won’t regret the change as it was definitely for good.

    Reply
    • Thanks! Yes I really notice that when I clean up, it eases my mind as there is less to think about. I’m trying at the moment to get rid of things, but it’s still hard to say goodbye to some of my belongings.

      I can imagine that traveling the world full time lets you realize that you only need little, that’s also what I’ve concluded from my travels to South America for 4 months with only a backpack. Your article looks great, looking forward to the post about the wife’s version!
      I love following your journey, it’s my dream to one day be location independent & travel the world full time!

      Reply
  2. I love how you included tips on how to shop and get rid of items! Most articles only discuss how to get rid of items and neglects discussing what do when shopping. The last thing anyone wants to do is get rid of a lot of stuff only to buy more items to replace it.

    Reply
  3. Really connected to your journey/thoughts with minimalism! The biggest struggle I had when starting my minimalist lifestyle was clothing. I loved shopping. I’ve definitely come a long way but I still have to fight the occasional urges. Like you said – going shopping with a goal in mind is SUPER helpful. Mindlessly shopping leads to overspending and usually guilt. Being more mindful of your why and asking those questions definitely helps keep you focused!

    Reply
    • Thanks for your reply! I feel you, clothing (and shoes) were the hard part indeed. I’m avoiding my urges by simply not going shopping, until now it works! It’s also the realization that you don’t need so much. I’ve not been buying new clothes for the last 1.5 years and the only thing I may need to buy this year are new winter shoes – the rest of my clothes are still fine to wear. The shift is perspective is freeing I have to say!

      Reply

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