minimalist lifestyle
Lifestyle,  Simple Living & Minimalism

11 Minimalist Lifestyle Tips (For A Simple And Happy Life)

A minimalist lifestyle goes beyond decluttering. It means a rejection of a consumerist mindset and the belief that bigger is better.

Minimalism is a huge trend with decluttering books on the bestseller lists and thrift stores overflowing with donations.

But it’s also become a cliche and a victim of its own popularity.

Minimalism has been warped into an aesthetic that includes neutral beige furniture and labelled spice jars.

So I can declutter my home and invest in beige-colored sofas, if I want to buy into that aesthetic.

But if I still feel that yearning to shop, to display the latest brand on my handbag and to spend my vacation in the destination du jour, then I haven’t really embraced a minimalist lifestyle.

And decluttering remains just a tool to make space for new purchases that will eventually end up in another landfill.

Because unless there’s a rejection of consumerism, then minimalism is just an aesthetic.

Living a minimalist lifestyle

minimalist lifestyle

A minimalist lifestyle is both anti-capitalist and anti-consumerist.

In a world where the economy only functions with constant growth, minimalism goes against the established norm.

The driving force of a minimalist lifestyle is a rejection of consumerism and the marketing that claims possessions make us happy.

A minimalist lifestyle is about being grateful for what you have and knowing how your purchases impact the planet.

But a minimal lifestyle doesn’t have to look Instagramable.

It’s about making do with what you have. Patching up a hole in your leggings instead of buying another pair. Buying fair trade even when it’s more expensive. Saying no to work projects when your schedule is already full.

And it’s embracing less, right now. Not waiting for that day when you’ll ride away into the sunset in a chic converted van.

How to live a minimalist lifestyle:

If you want a more minimalist lifestyle, here are my top tips to make the crucial lifestyle changes that will give you more freedom and less anxiety.

They’re based on my years of living a slower and more intentional life – with all the lessons learned along the way.

Use these tips to quieten the digital noise and curb your spending habits (regardless of your sofa color).

1. Turn off your phone

minimalist lifestyle

Spending less time in front of screens (whether that’s TV, smartphone or laptop) is the single most powerful change you can make towards a more minimal life.

We all have to check our email. But it’s all too easy to get sucked into the vortex and spend hours online telling ourselves that it’s our way to “relax.” In reality, screen time is anything but calming.

You probably don’t realize just how many hours you spend scrolling social media, binging on TV series and browsing the headlines.

And awareness is the crucial first step towards curbing your screen time.

Most platforms (like Instagram and TikTok) have tools that tell you how many hours a week you spend on their sites. Use those to monitor your screen time, or jot down your rough daily routine in a paper notebook.

Then train yourself to limit your screen time. You’ll see an almost immediate drop in your stress and anxiety, and you’ll get hours of spare time that you didn’t even know you had.

2. Forget the aesthetics

minimalist lifestyle

Don’t get caught up in the Pinterest aesthetics of the minimalist movement.

Your home doesn’t have to be stacked with neutrals and well-labelled jars. You can embrace color in your home decor and still be a minimalist.

Why is it so important to reject that Scandi minimal aesthetic?

Because it’s really just another trend – and another marketing tool to get you to shop.

The aesthetic is designed to be aspirational and get you clicking that “add to cart” button to replace all your riotous and mismatched accessories with shiny new objects.

But if you already like your home, then what’s the point?

3. Practice gratitude

journaling tips

Start a gratitude journal and count your everyday blessings.

Remember what you have instead of comparing your ordinary life to social media influencer feeds.

Gratitude is a powerful tool that helps you curb your spending, lower your anxiety and know your worth.

When you’re grateful for what you have, you’re less likely to spend money you don’t have to fill a void or boost your self-esteem.

4. Buy quality

minimalist lifestyle

Invest in well-made items that will last years when you’re making essential purchases.

Though quality doesn’t always have to cost more.

A time-proven sweater from a thrift store (that’s held up well despite its age) is sometimes a better investment than a new piece from an aspirational brand.

So do invest in quality. But don’t fall for that marketing lie that says quality has to be pricey.

You don’t have to “invest” in quality “timeless” pieces.

Those are often just catch phrases to justify overpriced items that are made in the same factories as their cheaper counterparts.

5. Get a library card

minimalist lifestyle

If you’re a big reader, a library card lets you read widely (and try out new genres) without adding to your overflowing bookshelves.

You’re also far less likely to get stuck with a book you don’t enjoy. And you can dive into different interests without having to commit to buying an entire new collection.

Use books, magazines and art albums as your main source of entertainment.

Put your phone away for an evening and flip through some magazines. Follow your interests and read about whatever inspires you – not what you feel you should be reading.

Reading more books increases your attention span, lowers your anxiety and serves as an escapist meditation that does wonders for your mental health.

6. Declutter in regular sessions

minimalist lifestyle

Keep your home organized and clutter-free with regular decluttering sessions.

Piles of disorganized junk are known to cause physical stress and anxiety. And nobody functions well in an environment filled with ill-fitting clothes, broken appliances and useless knick knacks.

But don’t get carried away in the pursuit of that minimalist aesthetic.

Clutter is bad. But it’s OK to surround yourself with beautiful objects, colors and collections.

A minimalist lifestyle doesn’t have to mean a sparse and monastery-like home.

William Morris once said, ”Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

And we all have different tastes and definitions of beauty.

Make your home truly yours – and not an imitation of the minimalist trend.

7. Use storage baskets

minimalist lifestyle

Keep your living room and work space clutter-free by storing away all non-essential items that you don’t use everyday.

The more breathable your home feels, the less anxious you’ll feel.

Storage baskets can also be a first step to getting rid of items.

Storage lets you put items aside for awhile with the security of knowing they’re still there if you need them. And you can donate or get rid of those items later when you find that you hardly miss them.

8. Buy experiences not things

experiences not things

Whether it’s birthday gifts or Christmas presents, give your loved ones tickets to experiences that you can share instead of material gifts.

It’s easy to go wrong with gifts – especially if they’re bought in a rush.

But you can’t really go wrong with museum tickets, memberships to a botanical garden or spa vouchers.

9. Don’t spend above your means

how to live a more minimal life

Don’t spend what you don’t have to give off the illusion of success.

Peer pressure (even for adults) can be immense to own a big car, designer handbag or the latest smartphone.

If you carry around an outdated phone and generic handbag, you’ll be seen as eccentric at best. Friends and family might even react with scorn and ridicule when you decide to go more minimal.

That’s why it’s important to have like-minded friends and to surround yourself with supportive people who don’t judge you based on your possessions.

That can mean setting new boundaries and even distancing yourself from people who regard friendship as a passive-aggressive competition.

10. Be yourself

how to live a more minimal life

Cultivate the kind of self-awareness that gives you more clarity on what you value in life.

Pursue your passions instead of spending money to keep up with social expectations and obligations.

When you really know and accept yourself, it doesn’t really matter what others think of your lifestyle.

But it’s not always easy to get to that point of self-acceptance. Practice self-care, be kind to yourself and do plenty of gratitude journaling to keep things in perspective.

11. Build a capsule wardrobe

capsule wardrobe

Feel comfortable in your clothes and don’t waste another morning digging through piles trying to find something to wear.

A well-curated capsule wardrobe gives you time-tested basics that work in countless combinations.

Though the capsule wardrobe concept, like minimalism itself, has turned into a cliche that’s all about aesthetics.

If you’re scrolling Pinterest boards looking for inspiration, you’ll be convinced you need a striped t-shirt, a beige trench and black ballerina flats to complete your capsule wardrobe.

But that simply isn’t true.

You don’t have to buy a beige trench coat if that’s not your style. And you don’t have to fill your wardrobe with beige neutrals either.

Here’s how to build a realistic capsule wardrobe that works for you:

  • Clear out your wardrobe and get rid of any items that don’t fit you well. Donate anything that you don’t feel comfortable in. Clearing out your closet from these unwanted items makes it a lot easier to get dressed – it’s easier to locate items you really love (and that you forgot you had).
  • Be mindful of how you feel in your clothes. After a long day, ask yourself if your clothes made you feel better or got in the way.
  • Know your style. If you love loose-fitting linen skirts, then buy more of them in various colors and styles to fit different occasions. Don’t be tempted to buy items to diversify your wardrobe that you’ll end up never wearing.
  • Shop secondhand for an easy and low-cost way to experiment with new styles.


how to live simply

It’s easy to get pulled into that minimalist aesthetic and believe you have to go neutral and sparse to live simply.

But a minimalist lifestyle isn’t about personal style or color schemes. It’s about rejecting materialism and building a life for yourself that doesn’t revolve around spending money.

Take some time away from the dizzying scrolls of social media. Clear your calendar of social obligations that you’re not really looking forward to. Declutter your closet and fill it with more items you really love.

Find your own style of minimalism for a simpler life and calmer mind.

I would love to hear from you. What’s your version of a minimalist lifestyle?


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