As minimalism continues to be a popular movement, I thought I would put together a nowhere-near-comprehensive list of tips for living a minimalist lifestyle. Keep in mind that minimalism means something different for each person, so remember why you are choosing to live this type of lifestyle and what is plausible for you. These are only suggested tips, and some tips may work better for you than other tips. Also, always remember to recycle, sell, and donate what you can.
- Borrow books, movies, and CDs from your local Library.
- Get rid of books, movies, and CDs you don’t totally love. Donate them to your local Library.
- Read newspapers online. (Usually, you can donate some money, if you would like, and subscriptions are fairly cheap, NYTimes being only $4 per month)
- Clean out your email inbox(es).
- Unfriend/unfollow people, boards, and pages you don’t really love on your social media.
- Clean out your bookmarked internet pages
- Unsubscribe from junk emails or emails from people you don’t love or are no longer interested in anymore
- Digitize your files (CDs/music, ebooks, photographs, etc.)
- Reduce your wardrobe to things that actually fit and that you love and wear more than once a year—if ever.
- Repair your clothes and take good care of them. Also, only buy quality items when you do buy clothing so that they last longer.
- Get rid of your sentimental items and only keep the things you can display or fit in a small box. Keep only the things that really give you joy (I, for example, got rid of a ton of old cards and ticket stubs that don’t really give me joy anymore).
- Get rid of cosmetics you don’t really use or that are old.
- Don’t buy more than you need
- Donate things you don’t use (Like curling irons, headbands, perfume, etc.)
- Try to simplify your hygiene routines (if you don’t really need five different products to put in your hair, don’t use five different products in your hair)
- Get rid of expired food and donate food you don’t really eat.
- Donate or sells dishes you don’t use
- Get rid of duplicates (do you really need 5 whisks? 10 coffee mugs? 3 can openers? 2 toasters?)
- Get rid of broken items (too chipped glasses, bent beyond repair forks, broken hand mixer, etc.)
- Make a list before going shopping, and buy only foods that you will use
- Digitize your statements and pay online
- Unsubscribe from junk mail lists
- Try to refrain from buying more office stationery supplies than you need—and use what you already have (journals and notebooks are so alluring, but fight the temptation and use the twelve notebooks you already own)
Again, this is not a comprehensive list. It’s also important to note that living a minimalist life can save you money. You do not need to go out and buy incredibly expensive, high-quality clothing (thrifting is incredible, folks) or repaint your home interior white and buy a bunch of plants. Live a minimalist lifestyle that fits you and where you are at. The focus is often on breaking with addictive consumerist habits and a throw-away mentality.
If you’re interested in learning more there are plenty of blogs and Youtube channels out there. I recommend Madeleine Olivia on Youtube, Janell Kristina on Youtube, and Exploring Alternatives on Youtube. These are fairly strong minimalists, but you don’t need to give away all your belongings and move into a tiny home to be minimalist. Make the little changes that work for you and enjoy living a simpler life.