5 Subtle Ways to Incorporate Minimalism in Your Everyday Life

Almost everyone has heard the term “minimalism”—whether in art, design or lifestyle. In the most general sense, people interpret its meaning as being free from clutter with only the most essential components included.

There are also seems to be this unwritten rule stating that being a minimalist involves owning less than a hundred items. In truth, it’s really more about simplifying your life and freeing yourself from the desire to consume and possess.

Owning a hundred items or less is really irrelevant. Minimalism is all about focusing on what really matters by living intentionally.

Even the most subtle minimalist habits can go a long way. If you’re looking to live more purposefully and gain control of some of the most chaotic, frivolous habits you may have developed, then some of the following tips could be of great use to you.

1. Start by getting rid of duplicate items.

The thought of having to declutter an entire home can seem pretty daunting. To start, focus on tackling maybe just one or two rooms every weekend and simply getting rid of the duplicates you have.

This could include clothing, bedding and towels, cosmetics, food items, decorative items or electronics. Ask yourself, “do I already have this?” If the answer is yes, you don’t need it.

2. Have at least one clutter-free zone in your home.

Pick a place in your home that you love to spend time in, and designate it as the one spot where clutter can’t reach it. It could be your bedroom, your desk, the kitchen table or the comfy chair you love to sit in.

If you have relatives or roommates who share that space with you, let them know your plans to keep stuff from piling up around it.

3. Stop saying “yes” to everything.

One of the biggest issues many of us struggle with today in our modern, busy lives is over-commitment. People-pleasers are especially prone to this, subconsciously believing that saying ‘no’ to anyone would certainly let them down.

Start scheduling some regular down time and learn how to politely refuse to take on more commitments when you simply can’t or shouldn’t. Chances are most people who give you the respect you deserve won’t be offended at all.

4. Save more of your money to spend on experiences rather than things.

It seems logical to spend money on things because physical objects last longer than experiences. Things that we buy often do make us happy at first, but our minds tend to adapt and eventually that happiness high you got from that new thing you bought has completely worn off.

Start being a little more mindful when you’re out shopping, and consider implementing a savings strategy to plan for fun experiences—like adding a five-dollar bill to a jar every time you get one back in change. Even though that museum outing may only last a day or that trip down south may only last a week, these experiences will have a greater effect on your lasting happiness than material items do.

5. Be intentional with your online browsing and activity. 

The entire online realm revolves around distraction and impulse. Read this, click this, like this, watch this, buy this. Everything that exists online is designed to suck you right in.

Don’t spend time online just to distract yourself and shut out the rest of the world for as long as possible. If you’re seeking knowledge on a specific topic, stick to that task only. If you’re on a break and could use a bit of online entertainment, give yourself a time limit to indulge a bit.

You don’t have to give up 99 percent of your possessions to practice minimalism. A lot of people already incorporate minimalist habits in their life without even knowing it. If it involves seeking simplicity and clarity in life, then you’re doing it right.

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Photo Credit: Didriks

74 comments

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus1 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill1 years ago

Taking a few more things to the consignment shop today.

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill1 years ago

Thanks. I have been getting rid of a lot of stuff in the last few months. I have recycled, thrown away, given away, and even sold some. I have a long way to go though. I have always been a bit of a pack rat.

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara1 years ago

Some things you don't need two of. However, some you do. It saves time and mental effort having a good-sized scissors in more than one room. It saves time having a pliers in the kitchen that never gets used outdoors or on oily things. Once I had a fifth-hand electric cooker in the kitchen and had replaced a few rings as they failed. I was offered a free second-hand cooker. I accepted as it was newer and more efficient than the one I was using, and it stood in a spare ground-floor room for two weeks. Then the oven failed on the original cooker. I had the replacement cooker just in time.

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara1 years ago

If I hadn't followed a link at the bottom of the earlier post to this post, I would not have seen the line that tells me not to follow links.

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Karen Ryan
Karen Ryan1 years ago

Good ideas.

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Jim Ven
Jim V1 years ago

thanks for the article.

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Fi T.
Past Member 1 years ago

Let's build a better life and world through our daily practice

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Kamia T.
Kamia T2 years ago

My mother's stint as a military wife being moved every 18 months taught us how to live with much less. We packed everything up before a move, and only unpacked what we needed when we got there. Whatever hadn't been unpacked after 6 months went to the thrift shop, consignment store or garage sale. I'm remembering that when I get rid of stuff now. No sense is being loaded down by what "owns" you.

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Joanna M.
Joanna M2 years ago

Great advice!

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