If you’re feeling overwhelmed in life – either by physical stuff or your schedule – then you may want to give minimalism a try. Here are my best “minimalism for beginners” tips to get you started.
Minimalism for Beginners
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- If you’re sick of moving things in your home from one room to another…
- Or if you’re tired of feeling like you can never get your house clean.
- If you worry about inviting people over because your house is “a mess.”
- Or if you can’t find anything when you need it.
- If you crave a home that feels peaceful and spacious (without adding square feet…)
Then you may want to give minimalism a try.
At its core, minimalism is about removing excess in your life (but particularly your home) to better focus on what’s most important.
By removing clutter from your home and excess from your calendar, you can better focus on relationships, hobbies, your faith, and even rest.
But the thought of going “minimalist” can be overwhelming for many…maybe even you.
You’re not sure where to start. Or if it’ll be overwhelming. You’re worried that people will say you have to get rid of stuff you love or paint your walls white. Well, I’m happy to tell you none of that is true and it’s easy to get started today! Your home doesn’t have to be perfect to call yourself a minimalist either. If you desire that slow, simple, uncluttered lifestyle and, start making steps toward it today, then you’re a minimalist!
Before I break down how to get started, let’s look at some scary statistics. The rise of consumerism and America’s “bigger, better, more” mentality has left us with a clutter problem.
- 54% of Americans are overwhelmed by the amount of clutter they have, but 78% have no idea what to do with it.
- Americans spend an average total of 2.5 days a year looking for misplaced stuff.
- Women’s’ stress levels are directly proportional to the amount of stuff in their homes.
And getting rid of clutter eliminates 40% of housework in the average home according to the National Soap and Detergent Association.
But let’s remedy that.
Minimalism for Beginners Step-By-Step
1.) Find Your Why.
It can sound like such a cheesy phrase but it’s important. Finding your “why” will keep you motivated to pursue a life of less. Otherwise, with any goal or resolution, you can easily become discouraged. But constantly reminding yourself of why you want to make this change in your life will push you forward. For me, it was because I was sick of wasting so much time “managing” my stuff throughout the day. I also wanted my home to feel peaceful and not chaotic.
So figure out your why. I want to pursue minimalism because_________________.
2.) Start decluttering something easy.
For many people, this is their closet. Mainly because it’s in one place, doesn’t hold much sentimental value, and you already know what you wear and don’t wear. However, if you’re a fashionist this may not be the best place to start. If you hate cooking, perhaps start in your kitchen or elsewhere. Then when you’re ready to tackle it, take EVERYTHING out. This way you can easily see duplicates or similar items, making letting go even easier. Check out my “5 stress-free questions to ask when decluttering” post for more help.
3.) Stop Spending.
This one can be painful but I highly recommend trying a no-spending challenge. It forces you to 1. stop the inflow of clutter and 2. re-discover what you already own. If you don’t buy new skincare one month you’ll use up what you already have. If you don’t buy new clothes another month, you’ll wear something hidden in the back of your closet that can become your new favorite outfit. In a way, you’ll learn to shop your home.
You’ll also start to see how little you need and soon that one-week no-spending challenge can stretch to one month or even longer. If you’re reading this post then I can almost guarantee you already have everything you need. It’s just a matter of starting to see that what you thought you needed was really a want.
4.) Practice gratitude.
One main reason we accumulate so much stuff in our life is that we’re either trying to keep up with someone else, or we believe a lie that if we buy this magic item we’ll find happiness. Both are fruitless endeavors. But when we practice gratitude something in our brain changes. Our eyes are opened to how many blessings we already have. And quite frankly, as I mentioned above, how much stuff we are blessed with. You start to feel thankful for that warm sweater in your closet instead of convincing yourself it’s not new enough to wear to brunch with your friends. Once gratitude takes hold in your hold contentment is soon to follow.
5.) Start a “maybe” box.
When you start decluttering there is a fear you will get rid of something you need down the line. If you are truly on the fence about an item put it in what I call, a “maybe” box. Keep that box for a month (or longer if it makes you feel more comfortable) and if you find you didn’t need it – donate it guilt-free! While you may pull one or two items of the box again, I’m willing to bet most of the stuff you won’t.
6.) Give yourself grace.
Minimalism isn’t a one-size-fits-all lifestyle. Give yourself grace if it doesn’t look like someone else’s life. And give yourself time too. After all, it probably took years to collect the stuff in your home and it may take that long to fully free yourself of it. Minimalism is a process and a life-long pursuit, not a race.
And although I think everyone can benefit from minimalism, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention one thing. Minimalism will not make you happy. Clutter or the lack of clutter in our homes cannot get to the root of our life’s happiness. But I truly do believe freeing ourselves of material clutter (and in many cases mental clutter) can open new doors of opportunity and bring calm into our lives and homes.
For more resources to get you started, check out these books: