The beginning of every journey is challenging. You need to build new habits, get uncomfortable and do things you were not used to. This is all true if you’re currently trying to become a minimalist.
I know this sounds cliché, but minimalism changed my life and how I see the world. Today, I’m a completely different person compared to who I was 4 years ago.
I learned so many things. I decluttered thousands of physical things and let go of many commitments, distractions and several friendships.
It was all so worth it! I’m feeling freer than ever, and yet, I know I can minimize even more.
Minimalism is a journey, and the great part is that you can reap all its benefits from the beginning!
To make your transition smoother, here are 19 easy tips to become a minimalist!
Those are tips I wish I had implemented from the very beginning as they made my life SO MUCH simpler.
But those tips can also be applied if you’re a few years down the road on your minimalism journey.
They’re a good reminder of the main steps that help to minimize and simplify our lives.
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Minimalism for beginners: 19 easy tips to become a minimalist
1 – Define what minimalism is for you
You don’t need to follow a set of rules defined by other people.
It’s essential to get inspired, but you also need to do what works best for you. You know better than anyone what you need at any given moment.
You want to become a minimalist for a specific reason.
So define what minimalism is for you, why you’re doing it, and set your own rules. Minimalism is a tool to improve your life, and there is no one way to do it.
2 – Start small
If you don’t know where to start minimizing your home, start small. It could be a small drawer, a cupboard or your handbag.
Maybe you already know exactly what to declutter in your underwear drawer or your under-the-sink cupboard?
Once you’ve simplified a small area, you will feel accomplished and motivated to continue on your journey.
But if you do too much at once, you will get discouraged and lose motivation.
3 – Try a shopping ban
If you are struggling with impulse buying, starting a shopping ban may be the best thing to do.
Decide on how long you want to do it.
Whether that is one month, 6 months or a year, allow yourself to only buy the necessities, like food, toiletries or clothes that need replacing.
It’s not easy to do, but you will save so much money doing so, and you will stop accumulating things you don’t need.
4 – Declutter broken things first
One of the easiest things you can do if you want to become a minimalist is to get rid of all the broken things in your home.
Of course, if you can repair them, try to do it as soon as possible. But if they’re beyond repair, cut your losses, and get rid of them responsibly.
Broken things aren’t useful; they’re only taking up precious space. Let them go and you will gain momentum to tackle other areas.
5 – Quality over quantity
Next time you need to purchase or replace something, invest in quality items instead of cheaply-made products that break after a few weeks or months.
It’s usually more of an upfront investment, but it will be so much more worth it and cheaper in the long run.
You’ll also save time by not having to go shopping to replace poor-quality items that broke.
6 – Go paperless
Paper clutter tends to accumulate quickly, and if you do not tackle it regularly, you can end up with mountains of papers in your home.
That’s why I always recommend going paperless whenever you can.
Say “no” to receipts at the store. Ask your bank and other services to send you emails instead of real mail.
Recycle outdated or useless papers, and digitize papers you don’t need to keep in a physical form.
7 – Write shopping lists and stick to them
When we go shopping without a list of things we need to buy, we risk getting distracted by all the things that seem cool and that would be nice if we had them.
In short, we risk making impulse purchases that we might end up regretting later.
We might spend a lot more money than intended, and add to the clutter we already have at home.
So next time you go shopping, have a list with you and stick to it.
8 – Don’t compare yourself to others
It is so important to remember on your minimalist journey that you should do things at your own pace, and as you want!
If you see someone whose house is clutter-free and minimalistic, don’t compare yourself to them.
Becoming a minimalist can take a few weeks or a few years, and this is not a race.
Each person is at a different moment on their journey, and each journey is different. You don’t have to do things like them.
9 – Use multipurpose and versatile items
Are you using all the gadgets in your home? Probably not!
Gadgets usually have a very specific purpose and can be used in a single way.
To reduce the number of things in your home, switch to multipurpose and versatile items.
Also, buy clothes that can be worn with various other things in your closet.
10 – Get rid of duplicate items
It can be convenient to own duplicates, especially if you have a big house.
But the thing is, we always tend to use our favorites and the other items sit in storage or a drawer unnecessarily.
Maybe you had to buy a duplicate item because you couldn’t find the original item in your home? Or perhaps someone bought you something you already had?
Decide what number is best for you, and declutter all the extras.
11 – Eliminate distractions
When you’re decluttering, it is essential to eliminate distractions to make sure you’re making the right decisions.
However, this also applies to your life in general. Minimalism isn’t only about reducing the amount of stuff you have.
It’s about clearing ALL the things that do not serve you, including non-material things that do not matter.
Eliminate all the distractions from your life to have time and energy to do what’s important to you.
12 – Say no more often
This goes hand in hand with the previous tip. One way you can eliminate distractions is to get used to saying no to the things you do not absolutely love.
This includes physical belongings, like freebies, but also commitments.
If you’re invited to an event or a party you don’t want to attend, politely decline.
This is one of my favorite time-management tips! You’ll save so much time and be a lot happier if you only accept the things you truly love.
13 – Borrow or rent instead of buying
Reducing the amount of stuff that enters our home is crucial if we want to keep things minimal.
One of my favorite things to do is to borrow or rent things instead of buying them.
This is especially true for things that I might only need once a year, or even more rarely.
The perfect example of that is tools, such as drills or ladders, and outdoor sports gear, like skis or a kayak.
These things take up so much space, so you might be better off renting or borrowing them. And doing so will be so much more sustainable and better for the planet!
14 – If you haven’t used it in a year, out it goes
One of my favorite rules that helped me become a minimalist is to declutter everything I haven’t used in a year.
Of course, there can be some exceptions for things that you need but only use once every other year.
But you probably won’t ever need most of the things you didn’t use in the past year, let them go.
Boxes of stuff you haven’t opened in 5 years are the perfect candidates for decluttering!
15 – Have a donation box
If you don’t have much time to declutter, an easy way to still be minimizing your home is to have a donation box in your home.
That way, whenever you come across something you don’t want anymore, you’ll be able to immediately put it in the box instead of placing it back in the closet.
Once the box is full, donate it to people who need it, and your home will be simplified without much time or effort on your part.
16 – Find a home for everything
After you declutter, put back the things you kept in their respective closet, shelf, drawer or cupboard.
Everything should have a designated home in your house.
Otherwise, random stuff will pile up on your counters, and this is not ideal if you want a tidy and minimalist home.
If something doesn’t have a home, make space for it somewhere or consider letting it go. You deserve to have a peaceful and clutter-free home!
17 – Declutter regularly
Minimalism is not a destination, but a journey. It means that you will always need to declutter your home to maintain it.
Things will always come into your home, so if you don’t go through your possessions every once in a while, clutter can accumulate again.
Even if it’s for five minutes on the weekend, remember to declutter your things regularly. This is an essential habit to have to keep a minimal home!
This list of 70 things to declutter in your home will help you with that!
18 – Get inspired
Like with everything, we sometimes lose motivation or get overwhelmed.
There are many things you can do to get out of a decluttering rut. My favorite is to find inspiration from other people living a minimalist lifestyle!
When I know I need to declutter because I own too much, I always go watch Youtube videos about minimalism or read quotes about simple living.
19 – Remember that things are just things.
Sometimes, we struggle with emotions and memories attached to stuff.
Other times, we have a hard time letting something go because “what if we need it someday”?
When this happens, remember that things are just that: things.
They are replaceable, especially now with all the things that are available to us. And remember that physical things won’t bring you happiness.
While you may be attached to some things, the memories are within you, not in your things.
There you go! I hope you’ve learned something, and that these 19 easy tips to become a minimalist helped you simplify your life and home.
Each person and each minimalism journey is different, so apply what will work best for you. Every life change is challenging, but these tips should ease the process for you!
Simplifying your life thanks to minimalism will bring so much value to your life!
You will feel freer, lighter, tidier. You will save tons of money and be more mindful with your time.
What are you struggling with the most on your minimalist journey? Let’s share it in the comments so that we can help each other!