Intentional living,  Minimalism

How To Practice A Minimalist Lifestyle In 10 Steps

Wanting To Start A Minimalist Lifestyle?

Starting a minimalist lifestyle is simple. If your life is filled with clutter, it may seem like an overwhelming task.

But I promise you can do this.

You do it one step at a time, like anything else.

Why Start A Minimalist Lifestyle?

Do you feel overwhelmed often?

Are you having trouble keeping up with the clutter in your home?

Do you feel like you are always cleaning?

Do you feel busy so often that you can’t slow down? When you run into friends and they ask how you are, what is your answer? (“Busy!”)

Have you ever had the thought that you’ll never catch up financially?

Minimalism can resolve so many of these life aches.

And if it doesn’t resolve it, it can help clear a path to reach your goals. Minimalism is all about making room in your life for the things that are most important to you. 

There are some things that I choose not to minimize. My son’s Lego’s for example. He uses them in creative ways and can play with them for hours. He does not have an excess of toys, but he has a decent amount of Legos. This is an area I choose not to pare down.

Maybe you enjoy crafting and that is an area that you choose to hold onto what others might consider excessive. But it brings you joy and it’s what you want to make room for.

Minimalism does not have to have hard and fast rules.

Why I Started a Minimalist Lifestyle 

A few years ago my husband and I were tired of our closet being full. We were renting the upstairs of my parent’s home. 

The closet was a huge, long and narrow storage space. It was filled with empty boxes and junk and had been used as a catch all for years. 

So we started filling trash bags. We donated a million gallons of clothes. Everyday we filled the curb with stuff we didn’t want. Several months later we had an empty closet. We ended up converting it into a playroom for our son. It was perfect as we lived in such a small space.

And It Felt Sooooo Good

So we decided to keep going.

We pared down for the next couple of years. All the while feeling like we were preparing for something and not knowing what. We just wanted as little as possible. 

It felt like a never ending journey. There was always another drawer to go through again, or some extra sheets we really didn’t need.

We have always felt overwhelmingly blessed by others. So we didn’t sell anything. We believe we are blessed so we can be a blessing, and we give so much because we receive so much. 

What Happened Next

I’ve told this story so many times it feels strange typing it. But long story short, we came upon a huge financial impasse and had to make a decision. What direction were we going to go? Steps to be more comfortable where we were?

Or take the money and explore?

So that’s what we did. After years of minimizing we pared down to a car full of belongings and hit the road. 

We got a tent and camped across the country, heading first to St. Louis. Then West and all up and down the coast. We traveled for four months, got a positive pregnancy test along the way and saw such beauty it often made me teary.

To see my weekly recordings of our journey, visit my page here.

So… What Are You Preparing For?

What do you want in life? Where are you now? Where do you want to be?

What are your challenges? What is your why? 

And how will you make room for it all?

Starting a minimalist lifestyle isn’t about getting rid of everything. It’s about keeping what is truly valuable to you and discarding the noise that keeps you from enjoying what is really important. 

How To Start 

Start small. 

If you’re tired of your messy closet, start your minimalist lifestyle with donating some clothes. Too big? Clean out the junk drawer.

If you want to start a minimalist lifestyle and be less busy, look at your schedule and cancel something. Say no. Take a 24 hour staycation and practice doing nothing for one day.

If you are trying to minimize finances, cancel a subscription box. Make coffee instead of buying it. Examine your recurring payments and see what can go. 

10 Steps To Start A Minimalist Lifestyle

  1. Determine what your goal is. Minimalism means different things to different people.
  2. Take an inventory. Know what you have so you have an idea of where your starting point is.
  3. Honestly analyze the value of items. What do you need? What do you want?
  4. Decide what you love the most. What is most important to you? What brings you joy?
  5. Get rid of the excess. If you are on the fence about some things, set them aside in a box and reevaluate after 6 months. Sentimental items may take time to go through. Be gentle on yourself.
  6. Stop collecting new things. Stop shopping for a while.
  7. When you do purchase new things, choose high quality items that will stand the test of time.
  8. Consider borrowing things from people instead of buying and collecting.
  9. Digitize as much as possible. Get rid of excess paperwork and stacks of photos and albums.
  10. Declutter other areas of your life besides stuff: your emotional life, your nutrition and diet, and your finances.

My Biggest Suggestion Is This: 

Don’t think about what you want to get rid of. Put everything in the get rid of pile and think about what you want to keep.

Think of it this way: If your house was on fire, what would you grab?

Minimalism doesn’t happen all at once. 

You don’t just want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Be intentional. Take it one step at a time. A minimalist lifestyle involves intentional living. Think about how much time it took you to collect everything that you have. It won’t be solved overnight.

Categorize your life (work, home, finances, time, food, whatever.) Start with the area that causes the most stress. 

If that’s too daunting, start with the junk drawer.

3 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

shares