Wednesday, March 27, 2013

10 Ways to Become a Minimalist

I recently read somewhere online that people in western Europe own 10'000 things on average. If you think about it, that really isn't very much. (You could also compare it to a developing country in African where some people can count their belongings on ten fingers.) We should all strive to own less. I wrote a post last week about my experience with minimalism and how it has been the best stress reliever that I have discovered yet. Own less, experience life more...that is my new motto!

Here's how you can do it too:

1.  Throw away the half used lotions, shampoos, and soaps that you don't use in your bathroom.
(You can also do this with pens, pencils, dog toys, kids toys...etc.)
2.  Burn your candles, don't save them for special occasions.
3.   Put DVD and CD contents onto a external hard-drive and give away the hard copies.
4.   Limit sentimental things to 1 box.
5.   Stop stocking up on stuff, only buy what you need.
6.   Keep your two best sheet sets, get rid of the rest. (same with towels)
7.   Get rid of old t-shirts, socks, and underwear. (Why do you keep those anyway??)
8.   Limit kitchen items to one set:
(one set of pots: small, medium, large, 1 muffin tin, 1 cookie sheet, 2 mixing bowls. You DON'T need more than that unless you are running a restaurant.)
9.   Cancel cable, sell the TV. (You can watch news/tv online.)
10.    Don't keep books, donate or sell them when you are finished reading. Or just get a kindle. (You can also borrow, trade, and/or use the library. I am a huge fan of trading. Nothing brings more joy than trading one good book for another.)

Helpful hints:
-Stop thinking you might need something for later. Instead go outside, experience life, explore. You don't need anything for that.
-Tell yourself that you will be just fine without 'said item' that you are debating getting rid of. If you don't use it regularly, then you probably don't need it, and won't miss it.
-The less you own, the less that owns you. You will feel more free!

A Minimalist Lifestyle will help you:
  • Become more creative
  • Get outside more
  • Have a clearer mind
  • Consume less
  • Focus on what's important
  • Save more money
  • Live with intention
 Some great articles and resources:

-A great article: Living with Less, A Lot Less
-Great for motivation, especially his facebook page: Becoming Minimalist
-Less on minimalism, more on zen. Still good stuff though: Zen Habits


  1. Great advice. We've been living like this for 2 years, and I still feel like we have too much stuff sometimes. But I'm so much happier with less!

    1. Thanks Gaylene! I agree. Every time I look around our apartment, I think we've still got too much, what can go next? Isn't it great being happy with less! I love it, can't get enough!

    2. Love the article! Great inspiration! I'm in the process of "getting rid of stuff"! I like that you give "specific" steps to works towards this lifestyle. Thanks!

  2. I am TOTALLY going to start with this. My guy is definitely NOT a minimalist so this will be somewhat of a challenge and a lot of the time my "cleaning out" starts some fights lol

    1. Thanks for the comment! Andy and I definitely argue over what we can eliminate and what we can't, but overall I think becoming minimalist has brought us closer. Maybe the same can happen for you. :) Now we do more things together rather than dealing with our 'stuff'.

  3. Minnimal and good hints, very useful, thank you!

  4. Hi. I'd LOVE to become minimalist, but my family seems to think that I should keep things [ie: clothes, unused items, ect.] just for the hell of it; nothing for sentimental reasons! I've done my spring cleaning before, but I STILL end up with a lot of crap! Help, if you can!? Thanks! Live happily and freely!

  5. My #11 is that I got rid of my car!

  6. i agree but would say u should finish off those half bottles of lotion and shampoo (unless ur going green) as it is a waste to bin them :)

  7. I think this is a great start for a single person or a young couple but some of these ideas wouldn't work with children. Especially newborns.

    1. I wrote this post almost two years ago and we are still living this way. :) We will have a newborn in July and I think it will be quite easy to continue living this lifestyle. Minimalism with a child will definitely be a challenge for us, but we are committed to it and would rather our child get outside than rely on things inside for entertainment.

  8. Great summary! An additional consideration is to consider multi-function. From jackets that can also be windbreakers, to rubbish bins that work as watering cans for plants when empty, and everything in between. More function = fewer items = less clutter = more focus on living, not owning. It all ties together.

  9. I know this is an old post but I really appreciate the list of things to do as it's the quickest way to see how to become a minimalist. Thanks for taking the time!