Beginner Minimalism Techniques For Simplifying Your Life

February 23, 2015
Chalkboard on grass that reads "Live Simple"

Let’s be honest, life isn’t simple. Between our daily to-do lists, shopping lists and bucket lists life can become very complicated, stressful and chaotic. Sometime the only way to combat this is to lighten your load and simplify your life. Here are 10 effective ways to start simplifying your life.

De-clutter your virtual life

If your inbox is constantly at maximum capacity, along with your computer’s memory space, it’s time to do some virtual spring cleaning. To make your computer, desk, iPhone, or whatever technologies you use feel less cluttered, delete apps, e-mails and old documents that you no longer have use for or need. While you’re at it, organize your remaining files to eliminate digital chaos.

De-clutter your home

If your home has been feeling a little chaotic or stifling, de-cluttering can help. Making an effort to purge your home of items you don’t need (think tchotchkes and holiday decorations) or those that you never use (excess kitchenware or old appliances) will help you to live more minimally at home. Letting go of these items can breathe new life into your home, making it easier to live, think and be productive in your space.

Simplify your wardrobe

If your closet is so full that you can’t see just how many tops and shoes that you have, simplifying your wardrobe is essential. To do this, get rid of any clothing, shoes or accessories that you haven’t worn in the last year, that don’t fit or that you simply just don’t like. Next, evaluate what’s left and only keep what you will actually wear at this point in your life. (For example, if you just entered the real world and have a professional job, you probably don’t need all of the yoga pants and t-shirts that you wore in college.) Finally, the next time that you purchase clothes aim to only buy timeless pieces of good quality to ensure that your wardrobe additions are worthwhile.


Image source:  Robert Benner

Simplify your goals

Oftentimes we fill our lives and to-do lists with tasks and commitments that don’t align with our goals. This can often be due to forgetting what is truly important to us or having too many life goals. To simplify and refocus your daily life, pare down your big-picture goals, and only focus on attaining 4-5 of those goals. By doing this, you will begin to notice that your daily to-do list is more meaningful and maybe even a little smaller.

Only maintain positive relationships

Relationships can be one of the most fulfilling parts of life and spending time maintaining friendships is often rewarding and effortless. However, relationships aren’t always positive and these less rewarding friendships can cause emotional exhaustion and stress. While it may not be easy to let go of negative relationships, you’ll be so glad you did when you realize your life is filled with only positive relationships.

Buy less

In a society obsessed with spending money it can be easy to blindly buy into consumerism. However, this constant need to spend is both time-consuming and wasteful. Instead, appreciate everything that you have and only buy things that you absolutely need.

Stop people-pleasing

If you’re a self-proclaimed people-pleaser you likely have a nasty habit of saying “yes” more than you should, committing yourself to favors, tasks and events you aren’t interested in all for the sake of being nice. To simplify your time, give thought to the request before you say “yes” and only accept if you feel like what you’re being asked to do is rewarding or meaningful.


Image credit:  Emma Jane Hogbin Westby

Life a healthy lifestyle

While choosing nutritious meals other less-healthy options and exercising instead of being sedentary may feel like a swap instead of a simplification, it pays of. By making choices to live a healthier lifestyle you can enhance your body’s immune system and overall wellness. This can save you from chronic illness, doctors visits, prescriptions and procedures down the road, simplifying your live now and in the future.

Stop trying to keep up

In a society that thrives on consumerism and having the newest technology, clothes and cars, it’s hard not to feel inferior if your belongings are a little outdated. However, keeping up is downright exhausting and can cause stress and excess spending. Instead of feeding into consumerism, appreciate what you have, because it’s likely all that you need.

Be present

With the advent of smartphones, data plans and Wi-Fi it seems as if there’s no excuse not to be connected and available at all times. While connectivity can be convenient, it has a tendency to make your world-view the size of a tiny screen, and everything else just background noise. However, by disconnecting from technology and being present where you are, you will appreciate your surroundings more, and the stress that comes with being constantly available will disappear.

If your life is feeling stressful and complicated, it’s time to simplify. By letting go of obligations, relationships and possessions that are adding unnecessary burdens to your life you can begin to live with less. Once you start to live a simpler, less complicated life, you will begin to realize that less really is more.


Main image credit:  Katie Brady

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