Minimalism tips

Cut back on technology

It controls all of our lives. From our phones to our laptops, we just can’t seem to get away from it. But in 2021, you can decide to do that. Don’t spend so much time browsing social media or watching the latest Netflix show. The more you avoid it, the more you’ll realize you’re really not missing out on much being off of social media. There’s a whole world out there filled with physical people. Sit down and have a cup of coffee with a friend. Get more of that human interaction in your life again. You might be surprised how much that changes your mood.

Discover what’s meaningful to you

In the daily struggle of school, work, and other responsibilities, we tend to forget what matters to us. Taking the time to re-discover what your priorities are is essential. Think about what makes you happy. What ideals are important to you? What events in life matter to you? Knowing the answer to that might not be as hard as you think. It could be just as simple as realizing what you think about most of the time. This is one of the more necessary tips for starting minimalism.

Live with more purpose

Similar to discovering what’s meaningful, you should live with more purpose too. Once you know what’s meaningful, make it a point to live out your life in that way. Follow the ideals that you believe in. Make more time for the events in life that matter to you. Living with purpose is about doing things that you believe make a difference in the world. What’s something you think you were placed on this planet to do? If you don’t know the answer to that question yet, 2021 could be your year to find that out.

Be in the moment more

You either worry too much about the future, or you regret too much of the past. But none of these things do anything to make you happy. Unless you really like worry or regret, which I haven’t met anyone that does yet. So instead, why not just try being in the moment more in 2021. Take a moment to enjoy what you have around you. A comfortable bed, a roof over your head, and a lot of other things you can think to be grateful for. Be still for a moment, and just breathe in slowly. Notice the things you feel around you. When I’m present in the moment, I’m always more relaxed, and less frustrated with life. Try it out, it might make you feel that way too. 5 Great Ways to Start Living in the Moment

Have a support group

There are a variety of communities out there you can turn to for advice and support in becoming a minimalist. One of the best ones out of there is the Reddit subreddit r/minimalism. There, you'll find people talking about a variety of topics related to simple living. Feel free to post a topic on your mind or comment on the discussions going on. You can also search the web for any local minimalist groups in your area, or perhaps even start your own.

Look for resources

There are many resources that can guide you in your journey of minimalism. The first resource you could turn to are The Minimalists. There are also many other blogs and YouTube videos that offer information that might help you. I wrote a list of the 7 best minimalism blogs to read in 2021. All of these tips may not have focused on decluttering or organizing, but they do focus on the purpose of minimalism, which is to help you have more happiness. Just take small steps each day, and see how much happier you are by the end of next year. In fact, feel free to comment again on this post in December of next year. I’ll be happy to hear how your year went. If you like, you can try these simple living tips. They'll also help you have a more simplistic lifestyle.

Prioritize your well-being

You say it every year. "I’m going to exercise more." "I’m going to lose weight." Well this time, mean it. I know, easier said than done. But you can design your life in a way that keeps you committed to the journey this time. Write out a plan you’re going to follow. Find people who are willing to hold you accountable to that plan. Speak affirmations to keep you focused and motivated on what you want to accomplish. Use images to inspire you to keep pursuing that ultimate dream body or good well-being you want to have. You have so many tools around you to make this work. Use all of these tools, and see how it helps you stay in the gym past January. Related: A Simple Guide To a Minimalist Exercise Routine

Never stop decluttering.

Unless you never leave your home and never receive mail and never make a bad purchase and never plan on having children (kids are clutter magnets), clutter is going to reaccumulate in your home. It’s pretty much as certain as death and taxes. Even if you stop mindless and emotional shopping, clutter is everywhere! People give you unwanted freebies, the mailbox is a paper clutter nightmare, and every organization on the planet seems bent on giving us stuff we don’t want or need. If you believe that decluttering is over after the first go around, you’ll quickly become disillusioned with minimalist living. But if instead, you view decluttering as a life-long habit and set up systems in your home to support that habit, you’ll set yourself up for minimalist living success. A few simple systems for ongoing decluttering are:

  • Establish an “outbox” – a bag or bin where you and family members can put unwanted items that need to leave your home.
  • Do a deeper decluttering every 3-4 months.
  • Put a “maybe” box in storage – somewhere you can put the question mark items, things you think you can live without but want to wait six months before decluttering. I’m not joking when I say that it’s taken me five years – round after round of deep decluttering and ruthless maintenance – to get to where I am today: [almost] perfectly content with the amount of stuff in our home. The “almost” comes from the fact that I have five kids and a non-minimalist (though relatively frugal) husband, so there will likely always be more stuff than I prefer. But I love them, so… Side Note: My all-time favorite decluttering book is this one. I’m a firm believer that you don’t need an expensive course to declutter. Related: The 12 BEST Deluttering Books for a Clutter-Free Home

Be generous.

Five years ago, I saw all the bags of donations and thought I’d try to get some of my money back for all that clutter. I quickly realized, however, that trying to make money selling clutter doesn’t go so well when you mostly have only valuable to you, more than gently used clutter. (If you happen to have the unused, but brand-new appliances, books, and gadgets, you might have more luck!). Only recently have I discovered the joy of giving things away to people who actually need them and will appreciate them. There’s nothing like handing two bags of barely used baby clothes to a friend and seeing her eyes light up. Because I’m the same way. When free things come my way right when I need them, I’m beyond thrilled. The more I’ve tried to be intentional with decluttering, doing my best to make sure those unwanted items get to someone who does want and need them, the more easily I’ve been able to let go of things I think I might need…one day in the very far future. Generosity gives you the courage to look the fear of, “What if I need this one day,” in the face, and say instead, “But this person needs it more…and they need it right now.” This is coming from someone who’s struggled with giving all her life. The more you give, the easier it becomes, and the more you trust that the things you need will come your way when you need them. Related: 8 Tips for Decluttering on a Low Income (from a mom who’s been there)

Read about minimalist living regularly.

Every minimalist is different. They all live very different minimalist lifestyles. I’ve read pretty much every book on minimalism and minimalist living that’s been released, and I pick up something new with each book I read. Even when I don’t get something new, I am inspired all over again to live a minimalist lifestyle. And you are definitely going to need inspiration. Our consumer culture’s siren call is bound to lure you back in at least a few times. When that happens, you need to remember why you’re trying to live a counter cultural lifestyle. You can find several of the best books on minimalism and slow living HERE.