How To Live A Minimalist Lifestyle

If you are reading this there is a good chance that you have a lot on your plate in life right now, and want to start cutting out all of the crap.

This post will go over the benefits of living a minimalist lifestyle and how you can start making the right changes. The idea of a minimalist lifestyle is a trending philosophy, and with good reason.

Most people in modern countries are always gunning for the next toy, the next promotion so they can make more money, the next thing to impress other people.

What cost does all of this have on the average person though? Surely there has to be another way to approach life? That is where adopting a minimalist lifestyle comes in.

What is a minimalist lifestyle?

You probably have a good idea of what it is from reading about it, but maybe you would like a more in-depth explanation.

A minimalist lifestyle is when one decides that they will no longer place the value in their life into material things. They no longer want to spend their hard-earned money on trinkets that lose their novelty shortly after purchase.

There is a psychological application to living a minimalist lifestyle as well. Perhaps you already live a frugal lifestyle but have way too much going on in other aspects.

Changing your philosophy on what you allow in to your life and how you organize your thoughts will also benefit you. You want to “cut the crap out of your life” in a non material sense.

Okay, so how do I start doing that?

We will take two approaches to this, depending on which one is more important to you for the time being. Ideally, you want to work towards implementing both into your life.

Material Things –

The Two Year Rule

This is a very simple concept that you can apply to most things in your house or apartment. If you have not worn, used, or eaten (yikes) something in your house for the past two years, chuck it!

Think about it, if this thing has been laying around for two years untouched do you really need it?

What are you saving it for, a rainy day that hasn’t come? Do yourself and your home a favor and chuck the crap, you don’t need it. You’re just trying to justify hoarding it.

Where Does All The Money Go?

To dumb shit. No really, I’m not trying to be funny here. Most of the stuff you buy is dumb if you have a semi decent job but have money troubles.

Have you ever actually went over your income and where it all goes every month?

I didn’t for a long time. Did you know that there used to be a $600-700 deficit PER MONTH in my finances until I actually tracked and added up where it was going? It went something like this:

  • $150 on macchiatos ($5 a day!)
  • $200-300 on eating out (on a good month)
  • $200 on bars/clubs/etc.
  • $30-50 on a new clothing item (I didn’t need)
  • $40 on cable (That I never watched)

To put that all into perspective, $700 a month is rent or mortgage in some parts of the country (unless you live in New York like me) but can certainly help you pay down bills or be applied to the rent.

This is just my example of where my money was going. I couldn’t possibly evaluate everyone’s situation, but anyone can go over their monthly spending and find waste.

How Long Will It Last?

Another way you can support your minimalist lifestyle is to spend the few extra dollars on quality things (that you ACTUALLY need) instead of buying cheap and having to replace it shortly after.

Think of the things you use every day, and couldn’t live without. Now think about the last time you replaced it. Was it because it broke, or because you got bored with what you had? Either way, this can be resolved by purchasing quality items with the intent of using them for a long time.

One example I like to use is shoes and boots. I HATE having to replace them. So when it comes time, I make sure to spend a few extra dollars on a reputable brand that I know will last me a long time.

Two years ago, I purchased a pair of Red Wing shoes for $200 and they are still going strong. I will probably get another few years out of them because I bought for quality with the intent of using them forever (not literally of course.)

Philosophical Application

Okay, so what if you are already frugal and have your financial house in order? Is that all there is to do? Not quite. A minimalist lifestyle applies philosophy to it as well. There are some great benefits:

  • Lower your stress levels
  • You can prioritize better
  • You’ll more inclined to socialize
  • You will let less things bother you and ruin your mood/ thought process
  • Make better decisions

How Do I Do All That?

It all starts in baby steps. You can not change the entirety of your thinking at once but you can take small steps every day to make it happen.

Start Cutting Toxic People Out

This is one of those touchy subjects because a lot of people feel this moral obligation to keep people around just because they’ve known them a long time. If you dread getting a call or a text from a certain person and try to avoid them whenever possible, CUT THEM OUT!

I don’t care how you think that sounds. Do you not respect YOURSELF enough to do something beneficial to your mind? This person clearly doesn’t, otherwise you would like being around them.

One type in particular that I’ve mentioned in my last post is people who complain about problems they fail to ever fix.

Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

Some people are genuine go-getters. They have the capability of sleeping four hours, crushing it at work all day, and then pursue their outside goals and dreams.

This is the exception rather than the case. Most of us simply take on too much responsibility and try to do it all when we simply can’t.

We try to multi-task and end up with a bunch of mediocre or poorly done things. What you should do is pick one or two things you are good at doing and master them.

When you do that, THEN move on to the next thing you want to learn. You don’t need to learn French while taking karate lessons before learning the history of ancient Egypt.

You are human and can’t do it all at once. Accept that, and you will be happier.

Give Yourself “Me” Time No Matter What

If you chug through every day of the week with no period of relaxation in sight, you will burn or. I don’t care how “determined” you think you are, it will happen.

How do I know? It’s happened several times. I would try to get as much done as possible and put off relaxing over and over. “I can do it later” I would tell myself.

If you don’t give yourself free time to do something you like, (even if it’s doing nothing) you will start to stagnate and your work will suffer.

You’ll become more easily frustrated when things don’t work out. Everyone from the cashier to the CEO of a Fortune 500 company needs to set aside time for themselves, it’s how we are able to keep going.

Conclusion

A minimalist lifestyle is not for everyone. Some people truly value material things more than their happiness.

Some people enjoy crazy, hectic, over-the-top schedules. Good for them, you don’t. Start taking steps today to change your life philosophy and actions towards minimalism and you will be happier.

We have so many unnecessary distractions we place upon ourselves and sometimes the things we really want from life are cast aside.

Get rid of it all, material and mind wise. You don’t need it, you won’t miss it, and you’ll be better for it.

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7 thoughts on “How To Live A Minimalist Lifestyle

  1. I started striving for a minimalist lifestyle during college. I was moving every one to two years and I really just got sick of hauling junk around.

    During high school my step-dad is a hoarder of “neat stuff” so I also wanted to collect “neat stuff.” I didn’t recognize him as a hoarder until I lived away from home for a few years. Then I watched a few episodes of Hoarers and realized the truth.

    I still have a lot of stuff because I love books and I love art and crafting but I’ve significantly cut down on the amount of trinkets around my house and got rid of craft stuff I know I’ll never use.

    1. One of the best feelings is throwing away things that you don’t use and take up space…you have so much more room afterwards! “Neat stuff” sometimes turns into “too much” stuff!

  2. Love this post TSB. Because I am a minimalist. Not by choice originally. But by necessity. But…as I pared down all things by necessity, it has become a choice of mine from day to day. I have circled the globe for the past 6 years as a digital nomad. Unless I wish to drop some decent change on storage I need to be a minimalist. Only way to go, to keep sane. Letting go tons of stuff simplified my life and also gave me peace of mind too.

    1. Thanks for reading Ryan, that sounds like an awesome way to live! Traveling is one of the greatest benefits of minimalism.

  3. I just recently began decluttering my apartment, and I love how far I got in just a month. I have huge medical bills and emotional baggage from chronic illnesses, and I just don’t have the time, energy, or physical ability to deep clean my apartment all the time. By being able to have inventory of everything I am running out of allows me to shop only for what I need (I can’t carry much), and also save money by not wasting perishables that I can’t consume in a timely manner. There is also less to clean because there is less clutter, and I feel so much lighter when my apartment doesn’t resemble a warehouse. Space is an expensive commodity in NYC, and I need to make the most of it by not letting unnecessary things eat it up!

    1. Thanks for commenting Hiro! NYC is absolutely a trying experience to afford living here. Minimalism really helps cut down on waste so you aren’t stressing over multiple monthly commitments. Downsizing is a great option to have when rents are high and space is low!

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