How to be a Minimalist; 5 Easy Ways to Get Started with Minimalism

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Is simplifying your life good, but you want to move onto great? If so, learning how to be a minimalist should be your next step!

You see, it can be difficult to identify what is keeping you from living as simply as you wish, but with my help, you can get there!

What is minimalism?

Before we dive into the how of being a minimalist, it is important to know the what and why of choosing this lifestyle.

Minimalism is a lifestyle that helps you remove distractions so that you can live your best life.

This includes decluttering your physical, digital, and mental spaces so that you can focus on what is truly important to you.

Related Posts: How to Become a Minimalist and Overcome Struggles You Encounter

Why should you want to become a minimalist?

If you’re tired of living a life that isn’t in alignment with your dream life, minimalism is a great lifestyle to help you make your dream life a reality.

It isn’t about deprivation, but rather being honest with yourself about what is truly important to you and creating more space for those things.

Minimalism is living with great intention and purpose, while also putting more value within yourself versus external things.

Related Post: 11 Reasons to Become a Minimalist

How to begin living a minimalist lifestyle

Now that you know what minimalism is and why you should pursue it, let’s talk about the steps to living a minimalist lifestyle.

After I walk you through these steps, I’ll give you five easy places to get started with being more minimal that will help motivate you to really declutter your life!

Are you ready to learn how to be a minimalist?

1 // Establish why it is important to you

Why do you want to live a minimalist lifestyle? Why is it important to you?

Ask yourself WHY seven times to really figure out why this lifestyle is important to you. The reason for this is because the first several answers are surface-level responses that won’t help you when things get a little difficult.

Dig deep and really figure out WHY this is important.

2 // Envision what your life would be like living a minimalist lifestyle

Take some time to envision what living a minimalist lifestyle looks like for you.

Is it decluttering just the excess and creating a home for everything? Is it fitting all of the things you own into a backpack?

What do you want minimalism to look like for you?

The more clear you get with envisioning what you want it to look like, the easier it is to achieve it. So get crystal clear on what you want!

3 // Challenge your ability to minimize your possessions

It can be scary to declutter, so do different challenges to test your abilities. See what you do and don’t like about living so minimal.

Here are a few ideas for you:

There are many different things you can try, so get creative!

4 // Establish rules to follow to help you become more mindful

When you establish rules [or guidelines] to follow, your mindset can shift easier from where you are now to where you want to be.

A few rules I set in place when I started my journey looked a little like this:

  • Think about a purchase for a minimum of 24 hours. The more expensive the item, the longer I allowed.
  • For every item I bring in, I must take something out of my home.
  • Be completely honest and go with my gut feeling when decluttering things.

These were what I called my “baby rules” because I was just getting started and didn’t know what to expect.

Over time, I created more rules to follow and that helped me continue aligning with the person I am becoming.

My advice is to go easy on yourself in the beginning. Make sure you push yourself out of your comfort zone, but don’t be hard on yourself. It doesn’t serve you and only holds you back from moving towards your dream life.

5 // Evaluate and declutter what you don’t need

Decluttering isn’t a one and done thing. As you learn more and more about what minimalism has to offer, your ideas of what is necessary evolves.

Evaluate what you do and don’t need consistently.

I actually have a monthly checklist for decluttering your home in my FREE Resource Library that can help. Each month has different areas for you to focus on decluttering so you don’t have to wonder what area to declutter.

Get access to the monthly decluttering checklist here!

The Tannehill Homestead Resource Library

In addition to going through your things, you need to make sure you’re asking the right decluttering questions. Here are a few I recommend:

  • When was the last time I used/wore this item?
  • Do I find this item efficient/useful/beautiful?
  • If I declutter this item, will I need to repurchase it in 3-6 months and is it worth the reinvestment?
  • Am I keeping this item solely due to guilt?
  • Why do I have this item?

Be honest with your responses and you’ll get through the decluttering process much quicker!

6 // Be honest with yourself

You want to learn how to be a minimalist. Well, friend, the best way to do that is to always be honest with yourself.

Trust your gut instinct and do what helps you move closer to your dream life.

Don’t worry what other people think about you, because it isn’t any of your business. All that matters is what you think of yourself.

5 Areas to begin living a minimalist lifestyle

Now that you know the what, why, and how, let’s talk about where to begin living a minimalist lifestyle that is easy to do right now!

1 // Clean out your purse and wallet

Take everything out of your purse. Toss what is not needed, such as old receipts. Analyze what is left, and decide what deserves a space in your purse.

Put these things back in your purse organized so that you know exactly where each thing is. Do not allow your purse to become the black whole it likes to be!

Declutter your purse weekly to ensure it stays as minimal as possible. It also helps to carry a smaller purse, because it forces you to be more mindful of the space you have for your things.

2 // Clean out your car

If it is not a duster, car insurance or registration ticket, or owners manual; remove it. Once everything is removed, wipe down the inside of the car.

If there are certain things you need to put back in place, such as a car organizer or car seat, do that now. Everything else goes back inside the home where it belongs.

Declutter your car each time you get home. By removing trash, paperwork, mail, or anything else that doesn’t belong, you’re keeping your car a clutter-free zone.

This effort will spill over into other areas of your life, which makes it even easier to become a minimalist.

3 // Clear off all counter tops & only add back what is necessary

Take everything off your counter tops and clean them. Replace what you have to keep on your counter tops, such as a microwave or coffee maker.

Sort through everything that remains and make decisions on what to do with it. You do not need decorations on your counter tops, as this will only encourage clutter.

Go to bed every night with clean counter tops in your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and anywhere else there is a horizontal surface. You’ll sleep better, I promise!

4 // Minimalist cleaning spree

Allow yourself 30 minutes to go through each room and grab everything that does not belong and return to its designated home.

It is the key to keeping your home as clutter-free as possible!

Related Post: Minimalist Cleaning Routine

5 // Sort through your mail pile

Yes, I can see into your home, and yes I can see your mail is piling up in a beautiful unorganized pile! [I used to be the same way!]

Sort into two stacks: important mail and junk mail. Recycle the junk mail, and deal with the important mail accordingly.

Do this daily and your mail pile will be completely manageable. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about forgetting to pay a bill, because you’ll be on top of things!

Related Post: How to Organize Paperwork in Your Home the Easy Way

The Tannehill Homestead Resource Library

Final thoughts

Getting started with minimalism is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It’s helped me align with focusing on my dream life and helping others do the same.

I cannot wait to hear how your journey goes with getting started and living more minimally. Remember to give yourself grace, be honest with yourself, and most importantly, enjoy the journey!

This is a marathon with an ever evolving destination, so take your time.

Challenge yourself and see all the different ways you can be a minimalist that you didn’t think were possible.

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52 thoughts on “How to be a Minimalist; 5 Easy Ways to Get Started with Minimalism”

  1. Love your posts! I definitely want to simplify. #3 hits home as our counter is a mess no matter what I seem to do. Currently, I have an old pile of mail/papers that I hid in a drawer the last time I tried to de-clutter when a guest was coming over. ha ha! I am trying to create a system. Somehow those papers always seem to multiply.

    1. Haha! I love your honesty! I have done the same thing many times. The only system I have set in place now is to deal with it the same day it comes into my home. I do not always accomplish this, but it is better than the piles I used to have before I set this system in place.

  2. Love this! I am constantly overwhelmed but how much crap I have and how little storage space to boot. Today I cleaned out my car and vacuumed it for the first time in forever, threw out all my receipts I was saving for god knows what, and it felt AMAZING. I am going to tackle my bedside table when I get home!

  3. Taking control of yourself starts with stepping back and analyzing what you don’t need ! I love cleaning out my purse and having clear counters! Makes my life so much easier to take that extra 15 mins at night to get ready for the next day !

  4. I love this! I have so much trouble with the counters having so much on them. I really need to spend some time working on clearing them off more often. I always feel so much better when they are cleared.

  5. Love these tips! Especially number 3! I try to this every month or two just to clear away all the clutter that just piles up when I’m tossing stuff down and forgetting about it–which happens more than it should haha.

    1. I know exactly what you mean! I have had to make a conscious effort to keep everything cleared on a daily basis. With gardening season here, it has definitely become a challenge.

  6. Love this post. I go on cleaning sprees, though, and a few days later there’s MORE stuff! It just appears out of the void…. πŸ˜‰

  7. That mail pile really annoys me. I do agree that cleaning out your purse regularly simplifies life. I feel less stressed when I can find things easily in my bag. Nice tips!

  8. Love your tips, as always! I want to be more of a minimalist so I appreciate what I have more – and to make cleaning the apartment easier!

    1. Aww! Thank you, Sarah Jean! I could not agree more with your statement. I have found a great amount of peace by becoming a minimalist, and I could not see myself living another way.

  9. Cleaning out my car sounds like the worst thing ever right now, but it really needs to be done. I have a collection of I have no idea what in the trunk. I also REALLY need to declutter my mail pile. I bought these adorable binders to sort my bills out in but I have yet to use them.

    1. I know early how you feel, KP! I have tried the organizer, but I found that electronic credit card statements and check duplicates were far easier to work with. I just put everything I need for taxes in an envelope and I am done! You have to find what works best for you, and when you do, celebrate! πŸ™‚

  10. I’m so glad I incorporate most of these in my daily schedule because it’s so helpful! I say most, because I’m bad for letting my purse become a black hole lol. I’ll try to do better on that one! πŸ™‚

  11. Great tips for keeping the clutter down. I find that I need to do these pretty frequently lol.

  12. I am striving to be more of a minimalist, but it’s hard with a large family. I will vow to work on my diaper bag/purse and car today though, those places are clutter magnets!

  13. I am constantly going through my purse and make it a point to go through the mail every day when I get it. If it’s junk, trash it, if it’s important or something to check out, I do it right away or put it in my planner to deal with asap.

  14. Kiara Catanzaro

    These are great tips, Erin! I make it my mission to sort mail every single day so nothing piles up. I also make sure that nothing is out of place in my home by “cleaning as I go.” So no dishes in the sink, the bed is made when we wake up each morning. Everything is in place for the day!

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