Slow Living

Minimalism in the Time of Quarantine

What can this quarantine time teach us about minimalism? Here’s what I’ve learned about the bare necessities of life during the pandemic.

This post was originally sent to my newsletter subscribers and many people found it helpful so I thought I’d post it here. If you’d like to get stories like this fortnightly in your inbox, then sign up for my newsletter here.

If this isn’t the perfect time to embrace minimalism, then I don’t know when is.

We’re home a lot now. And we’re confronted with piles of clutter and the realisation that the one place that’s supposed to provide sanctuary only offers overwhelm and a long to-do list.

We’re not going out as often. Events, get-togethers and conferences across the world have been cancelled. And it’s left us thinking: did we really want to go anyways?

Minimalism and Quarantine

This pandemic has freed up hours of time we’d once spend stuck in traffic, attending meetings or running semi-important errands.

These hours now stretch out before us and, judging from social media, many people don’t know what to do with them. Unleashed from the chains of the school bell or the 9 to 5, instead of giddy freedom many people are finding only boredom.

Many others, however, are rediscovering some long-lost loves.

Old hobbies are emerging from dusty shoe boxes. Cakes are baked across Instagram Stories. Goodreads reading challenges are at last being met – even without the help of easy YA novels to boost the book count.

minimalism and quarantine


These times of uncertainty have left many people re-evaluating what’s really important in their lives.

Much of the superfluous has fallen away and hours have been added into our days. We’re now wondering: are we making the most of them? Did we ever?

The bare necessities of life

Pre-corona, the rush of our daily routines left us little time to think if we’re living a meaningful life.

But we now have time.. It’s quieter outside and we can better listen inside as our hearts tell us what they really need.

Because minimalism isn’t about getting rid of your possessions and re-doing your home in the Scandi chic style.

Joshua Becker said it so well:

“Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.”

It’s the distractions that often take up so much of our headspace – whether that’s office politics, daily annoyances or other storms in teacups.

And what do we most value? For some of us, it’s things we haven’t done since we were teenagers.

Years have passed and we focused on work while those once-valued things became rare weekend indulgences or rusty knickknacks in the garage.

minimalism and quarantine

These past few weeks I’ve had more time. I’m no longer going out for my freelance work or attending any of my usual get-togethers.

Instead, I read more than ever and it reminds me how books have always been a constant in my life. I’m also picking up my journal again.

And it’s that simple – reading and writing are my priorities. The things I must make time for above all other distractions if I want to feel happy and fulfilled.

So as we head into more weeks, if not months, under lockdown, let’s ask ourselves: where are we going for comfort? Where do we find stability in times of crisis?

And when this lockdown is over, and when the meetings and traffic jams are back, let’s not forget those things in the daily maelstrom.

They are the bare necessities of life.

I would love to hear from you. What are your views on minimalism and quarantine?

Read more about how to stay productive during quarantine in 24 Tips for Working from Home

Pin it!

minimalism and quarantine


  • Tracey Bacic

    There are so many things to love about this time. The gift of time. For years I’ve been telling myself I want to ‘do nothing’, stay quiet, learn calmness. Finally, it’s happening. Because I have been forced. But I will keep up with some of these new rituals. Daily meditation and a gratitude journal. Stay safe.

    • Dee

      Yes it’s unfortunate that it’s happened this way, but it is indeed a lesson on how much is possible when we slow down.. I hope you’ve been well and safe, Tracey.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *