Minimalist Living » 15 Small Changes to Improve Your Life Now!
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When you are ready to adopt a minimalist lifestyle, these small changes can help you start your minimalist living journey. These simple and intentional habits will fill your mind with joy and help you be your happiest self.
Minimalism is a way of life that helps people prioritize what is really important to them and let go of everything else.
It is all about living a simpler life, free of clutter and anxiety.
Whether you have followed minimalism for years or are just starting to adopt this to your life, these 15 daily habits will awaken your inner minimalist.
What is minimalist living?
The concept of minimalism is becoming more and more popular these days, and for good reason. Minimalism has a way of freeing up your space and mind so that you can live a freer life.
However, there are a lot of misconceptions about what minimalism is or isn’t — let’s debunk a few of these right now.
Minimalist living is not:
- living in an all-white house
- getting rid of everything you own
- owning less than 100 items
- a restrictive one-size-fits-all rule of living
- only for the rich and single
Minimalist living is:
- about simplifying your home
- creating more space in your life for the things that matter to you
- owning only the things that add value to your life
- a flexible way of thinking about ownership
- for anyone and everyone!
My personal favorite definition of minimalism is this:
Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.Joshua Becker
Watch this video on what REAL minimalist living looks like!
What are the benefits of minimalism?
There are many benefits of minimalism, some of which have been well-documented in scientific research, as well as written about extensively by the most popular minimalists in the world.
Minimalist living can help you:
- remove clutter from your home and life
- reduce stress and overwhelm
- have more free time to do things you love
- improve your finances
- feel happier and more satisfied with your life
- create deeper relationships with your family (and yourself)
- and more…
READ MORE: 10 Minimalism Benefits That Will Make You Say, “SIGN ME UP!“
How to get started with minimalism
Minimalism is so freeing!
Once you start, you will search for new ways to incorporate it into your life. It’s such a rush to find something that gives you so much freedom and peace at the same time.
These small changes will add up over time and are all things that you can do every single day to revel in the calm and joy that minimalism brings.
1. Reflect on your life goals
The beauty of minimalism is that it can be personalized to you and your values and your goals.
Before you get started, take some time to reflect on what you want to achieve in your life, as well as how a minimalist lifestyle might help you get there.
- Perhaps you want to spend less time cleaning up after your kids?
- Or maybe you want to save more money and get out of debt?
- Maybe you are just in love with the minimalist aesthetic and want a clean and clutter-free home?
Minimalism is about creating a life of purpose and meaning, so think about what your true purpose in life may be. You can even create vision boards around this!
LET’S DIY: See the magical dream board I put in my office and how I SUPERCHARGED it for 2021!
2. Declutter your home
There are so many ways to get started decluttering your home!
How you declutter will depend on how much time you have as well as your goals. You could use the KonMari Method and tackle your clutter by category, or you could try to do a decluttering challenge.
I myself started with Marie Kondo’s decluttering program, but then ended up extreme decluttering my entire home to move to Europe with my family – we went way beyond the KonMari Method!
Here are the areas of my life I decluttered:
FIND OUT MORE: You can follow me on YouTube where I share my practical tips to help you declutter your life and start living minimally (yes, even as a family!)
3. Don’t forget mental and digital clutter
Our mental and digital spaces have become just as cluttered as our homes.
We have emails that come in at all hours and social media notifications that never stop. In lives, without clear boundaries between physical and digital, it’s no wonder we are constantly stressed out!
Attention spans are getting shorter and life dissatisfaction is going up, up, up.
When you start decluttering don’t’ forget those sneaky digital spaces hiding clutter, such as your computer files, your smartphone’s contact list, and your unread emails!
This will also help with cleaning up mental clutter so that you can have less stress and more peace of mind.
Take the 30-Day minimalism challenge and free yourself from clutter this year or download this FREE 10-page decluttering checklist. Both can help you tackle the pesky mental and digital clutter that most people forget about.
Or declutter your home and life with this FREE 10-page decluttering checklist, full of helpful infographics and colorful quotes to stay motivated and inspired.
4. Give each item its own special home
When you give each and every item its own place it will return there as if pulled by a magnet.
Everyone in your home will know where that item belongs – it’s a beautiful thing!
Lovely trays like the one pictured below can help keep things tidy on your kitchen and bathroom countertops and it’s best to keep toys contained in your child’s bedroom or playroom.
5. Repurpose Items Around Your Home
Instead of throwing stuff away and then buying new stuff, why not try to repurpose things around your home?
This has helped us save tons of money over the years. It also has the added benefit of reducing environmental waste.
Now, this isn’t permission to keep hoarding things you don’t need!
But if you find yourself looking for something to organize your office supplies, instead of buying a new container first take look around your home and see if you can repurpose something you already own.
FACT: I literally just shared a video on 10 things I am not buying in 2021 with a bunch of cool ways we repurposed items around our house to serve our needs — we saved THOUSANDS!
6. Get rid of your clutter
My personal favorite way to get rid of clutter is to sell it – in fact, we made over $50,000 selling off everything in our entire home when we moved overseas!
Let’s be realistic, though.
Not everything in your home is worth selling. However, as part of your new minimalist lifestyle, you should try to be as sustainable as possible as you get rid of your clutter.
There are so many places to get rid of clutter beyond throwing it in the trash, including women’s shelters, churches, and even Buy Nothing Groups.
Here are fifty ways to get rid of clutter without trashing it.
7. Set a “sell-by” date for your clutter
Reselling things that you don’t use is a way to increase your income and eliminate clutter as well as relieve financial guilt and reduce environmental waste.
If you aren’t careful, however, you can collect a large inventory of things that either haven’t sold yet or that you are still getting ready to sell. This is especially dangerous if you have trouble keeping clutter out of your home because of a tendency to “raid your stash”.
To prevent these things from collecting in your closet or garage, set a time limit, and donate things that haven’t sold by that date.
Donating your “to sell” or “not sold” inventory will make you feel happier because you won’t have the stress of it weighing on your mind.
8. Set boundaries and say “no”
Every single day, learn how to more confidently say no.
Minimalism isn’t just about possessions, it’s also about valuing your time and energy. To do this, you have to prioritize your time.
What will you agree to do? Who will you agree to do this for? Anything that doesn’t match your values or priorities can be declined.
It might be uncomfortable to say no if you are afraid of letting someone down, especially if you aren’t used to saying no.
The more often you do it, the more confident you will become!
Practice turning small things down at first and then you’ll eventually be better able to stand up for your values better in the future.
When you say no to something every day, you’ll be more confident and so much happier!
9. Embrace empty space in your home
Next, embrace the empty space around your home and resist the urge to fill it up.
This is also called negative space or white space (even though it doesn’t really have much to do with the color white itself).
This clean and simple decorating philosophy will give you a feeling of overall calm. In fact, studies prove that too much clutter negatively impacts your brain health and ability to think clearly.
It’s easier to keep the clutter down when you try to maintain empty spaces around your home. Make it a daily habit to keep these spaces empty, and resist any urge to fill them up with more stuff.
10. Clean as you go
Instead of saving all the cleaning for the end of the day or even the end of your workweek, pick it up as you move through your home.
- pick up the things that are lying around as you pass them
- wash dishes while you make dinner
- hang up laundry right away
Part of minimalism is living in a clean space, as well as an uncluttered one.
This one habit will give you so much more free time in your day. You’ll be able to focus on the other things that fill your soul with energy and happiness.
If you have already created a space for each item for your home to “live” this will become even easier!
11. Keep surfaces free of clutter
Another minimalist living habit that will help you discover more happiness is to discipline yourself to maintain clean surfaces.
This means that as soon as you place something on a countertop or table, you make it a point to put it where it belongs.
It seems like the longer something sits out, the more it attracts clutter to itself.
When you are focused on keeping things cleared, you won’t have to spend time sorting through massive piles of clutter every week.
12. Maintain an attitude of gratitude
Living a life where you are thankful for what you already own will prevent you from buying things you don’t need.
There is a true connection between gratitude and overall wellbeing.
Every single day, take some time to intentionally reflect on the things you are thankful for in your life.
Tell your family how much you appreciate them and what they do. Find ways to act on your gratitude and you will be happier with what you already have.
13. Stop buying things you don’t need
If you don’t want your home to go right back to being cluttered, you need to change the habits that lead it to become cluttered in the first place.
That means buying mindfully and spending less money on crap you don’t really need or want.
When you want to buy something, make sure you know why you are buying it and whether it is going to add value to your home and life. Not only is this a habit of frugal people, but it helps you stay within your budget too.
Lots of people go shopping as a way to blow off steam or as a reward. They look at it like they are “treating themselves”.
After that initial purchase, however, the good feelings wear off fast and they are left with something they probably didn’t need in the first place.
Practice intentional buying habits and think about your wants versus needs – your home and your wallet will thank you!
#14 Value quality over quantity
If you follow minimalism, you already understand the value of quality.
Instead of buying something cheap, that will fall apart fast, invest in something that is higher quality and will last longer. If it’s too expensive to buy brand new, you can still look at shopping second-hand at thrift stores.
Another way to look at this is to buy something that can do the same thing as multiple products.
For example, invest in a high-quality processor that can be used as a blender, food processor, and juicer.
I use my Ninja food processor almost every day to make things like meatballs, smoothies, breadcrumbs, soup, and so many other things!
READ MORE: 10 Best Minimalist Purchases of My Entire Life!
#15 Surround Yourself With Inspiration
Finally, the best way to embrace minimalist living and give yourself the gift of happiness is to surround your mind with inspirational thoughts and images.
You may even want to share your love with others!
With minimalism, even the smallest tasks — like folding laundry or planning your baby registry – can become a study in mindfulness.
Minimalist Living: Final Thoughts
Minimalism is a lifestyle that can help you awaken your happiest self! When you let go of things that are cluttering not only your home but your mind as well, you will feel freer and happier!
The best way to take advantage of the emotional benefits of minimalism is to make small changes to everyday habits.
These 15 small changes will enhance your happiness and help you get the most out of your family’s values and priorities.