I close my eyes and picture a tiny home on the beach. I imagine my simple life and my easy schedule and I breathe a deep breath of joy that I am finally here in my simple life. Then I open my eyes and I am living a minimalist lifestyle, but I’m not on the beach yet.
That’s because minimalism is a journey and you have to start somewhere. I have come a long way and I feel closer than ever to my dreams but I’m not there yet.
Maybe you too dream of a simple life but know it will take some work to get there. Don’t know where to start? Do you need a guide to minimalism to get started? Let’s discuss some easy steps you can take right away!
Why Do You Want to Know How to Start a Minimalist Lifestyle?
You are obviously on this website because the minimalist lifestyle appeals to you. You want to simplify your life but sometimes minimalism can feel more like a dream than anything you can actually achieve in real life.
I don’t want you to feel that way! The minimalist lifestyle, even when applied to your life just a little bit, can help you in so many ways. It has helped my husband and I pay off debt and save money.
Minimalism has helped us balance our schedules so that we have time and energy to do things we enjoy.
The minimalist lifestyle has also helped me manage my anxiety and A-Type expectations so that my husband and I can build a strong partnership.
When you start living the minimalist lifestyle your goal is to simplify your life, not make it harder! That’s why I want you to feel empowered to start simple and that is what this post will help you do.
This post is a beginner’s guide to minimalism.Take these 10 action steps to start feeling the benefits of the minimalist lifestyle before you get rid of tons of stuff or completely change your life. I promise, it’s really not as hard or scary as it sounds.
This post contains affiliate links which means I get a small commission from purchases made after you click them. This doesn’t cost you any extra but helps me to continue making great content for Doable Simplicity! Thanks for reading!
Beginners Guide to Minimalism Step 1: Get Rid of 10 Items
If you want to start living a minimalist lifestyle the first thing you need to do is make some room to breathe in your home. That means decluttering.
That can sound overwhelming but for now, we will just start with baby steps. My challenge to you is to get rid of 10 items out of each room, except the closet. At first, you will feel like you can’t do it but once you get started you will be surprised how many things are sitting around that you do not need.
Find a minimum of 10 items in each room you don’t care about and put them in a box. Remember, once they are in that box you can’t take them back. They are on their way out of your life because you probably didn’t even remember you had them.
Guide to Minimalism Step 2: Clean Out Your Closet
Get a big bag! It’s time to get rid of clothes. Most of us have way too many clothes and most of us only really wear a few favorites.
I am not going to tell you a certain number of clothing items to get rid of or keep. I am not going to tell you to even cut your closet in half. We are just taking baby steps right now.
Your assignment today is simply to let go of clothes that are worn, torn, faded, pilled, don’t fit, or you just don’t like anymore.
For more help to let go of the sentimental ties that bind you to your clothes read this article about how to clean out your closet.
Guide to Minimalism Step 3: Look for Duplicates
The third step in your guide to minimalism will take you a little further in your decluttering process. What will you need to do?
Look around your house for duplicates or even triplicates that you do not need. Many of us have more than we need of certain items. Maybe we bought a certain item again for backup because we loved the first item so much. Perhaps we bought a new item but didn’t want to throw the old one away. Maybe you bought something you forgot you had already. Or maybe you just couldn’t find the one you already had.
In any case, I am sure you will find some duplicates in your home. If you don’t need that second toaster, that seventh black skirt, or that third ski jacket then it’s time to let it go.
It is there for backup but more than likely it is just contributing to a chaotic state in which you don’t know what you have in your house. You don’t want chaos or confusion. That’s why you want to start living the minimalist lifestyle!
4: Think About How Your Abundance Can Help Others
Believe it or not, when you start living the minimalist lifestyle, you start thinking of others more. If I were to name one thing that is pivotal to simplying in my guide to minimalism this. Start thinking of your abundace as a way to contribute to someone’s lack. Thinking of others and how to help them will help you simplify!
Look at the boxes of things you have decided to get rid of. Is there anything someone else may be able to use? Put it in another box or bag to take down to the thrift store or appropriate charity location.
Now take another sweep through your home and see if you have anything else that others could use. Knowing that your little-used items could be just what someone else needs can be a great motivator. Thinking of others will help you get rid of stuff you don’t use or need.
If you need a role model let me tell you about one of my little friends. At four and a half years old his mother asked him if he needed all his toys or if maybe he could get rid of a few he no longer played with. At first, he was hesitant and only agreed to let go of a couple of toys. But when she mentioned that the toys could be taken to children who had no parents or were in the hospital he decided he could rid of quite a few more toys. What a good little example he set for us!
5: Take the Trash Out
This is the part where you throw away old pieces of mail, clothes with holes in them, and empty shampoo bottles. No, you can’t count any of those things in your ten items for each room. These are things that need to be thrown away anyway. Take them out and while you are at it throw away any items in your boxes from decluttering that are not going to be useful to someone else(no one wants your old undies).
Once you have taken out the trash you should have all your decluttering stuff gone. Stop and revel in the beautiful feeling of letting go!
6: Sell Anything You Feel You Want Money For
One of the hardest things we deal with when decluttering is buyers’ remorse. But will buyers’ remorse that this item was “worth something” change the fact that you don’t use it and haven’t even thought about it for who knows how long? No. Keeping something just because you spent money on it once will do nothing but fill your house with ill-fitting clothing, outdated electronics, and more!
However, if you want to, you can sell it. If it’s worth the effort to sell it that is. I would highly recommend you don’t waste a weekend on a yard sale. Go ahead and sell it using Facebook Marketplace! It’s easy, can fit into your busy schedule, and is usually pretty fast! I wrote an article on how to do it. You can read that here.
7: Tidy Up the House:
By now your home should contain only things you feel you need and love right now. Good for you! I am proud of all your hard work!
But now you are looking at your home and wondering why things still seem a bit messy around the house. Don’t worry. You just need to follow the next step in your guide to minimalism.
You need some organizational solutions to make things you need accessible and appealing to the eye.
Check out this post for some great small space hacks that I personally time tested in my little studio apartment. Look around the blog some more to find out how to organize your home in a way that’s easy to maintain and how to declutter some trouble zones. It’s not too hard I promise.
And the best part is once you have found the right organizing solutions for your space your home will look amazing and be more functional than ever! You will also become one of those annoying people whose homes are always tidy (without even trying).
8: Fight The Urge to Shop
Now that we have decluttered our home and it is looking bright and spacious like we always dreamed, we may actually feel the urge to fill it again. We have lived in a cluttered home for so long it feels normal. So how do we fight back?
You are now getting to the more important step in your guide to minimalism. You have done a lot of output but now you have to adress your input. If you keep buying stuff you don’t need you are never going to achieve a minimalist lifestyle.
One of the biggest temptations for me is my inbox. When I see that all my favorite stores are running “AMAZING SALES” “JUST FOR YOU” I feel like it couldn’t hurt to run by or shop it online. Then I get pulled into buying more than I meant to so that I can meet the qualifications for the offer.
What can I do about that? Did you know that all e-mails from stores and services have an unsubscribe button either on the top of the email or at the bottom? I would highly recommend you run through your inbox and unsubscribe to the stores that tempt you all the time.
When you need to shop you know where you like to shop and when you need a deal you know you can find one. You don’t need to be sucked into every sale they have.
Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean you are saving money if you wouldn’t have bought it anyway. Become very intentional with your shopping so that you don’t bring more clutter into your home!
Also, you can fight the urge to shop by finding other ways to entertain yourself. Shopping shouldn’t be a hobby. Instead of shopping, there are tons of creative, productive, healthy, and fun things to do! Check out this article so you see what kind of things you might want to try!
9: Downsize Unnecessary Bills
Another step in your guide to minimalism is to take a look at where you can simplify your finances.
This may sound like a big move. Maybe you are thinking, I’m not ready for that! I’m still taking baby steps. That’s ok. I am talking about the kind of bills that are easy to drop.
How many subscriptions do you have? You know what I mean, Netflix, Disney, Hulu, Pandora, CBS, ABC, and the list goes on and on. We live in a wonderful time where we can get the shows we want when we want them but it can be a trap because they are all on different services.
Take a minute and think about all the subscriptions you have signed up for. Do you regularly use all of them? Maybe it is time to drop a couple of them. You will be surprised how all those little subscriptions add up to big amounts monthly. Money that could be used for gas, groceries, and more!
Do you have a car you never drive or another type of vehicle you purchased for recreation? Could you maybe get rid of it and drop the insurance you pay every month?
What about gym memberships you aren’t using or nail appointments you don’t really need? Could you sacrifice your Starbucks run half the days of the week or even entirely?
There are hundreds of little bills we take on, not thinking much about them. They add up. Try dropping them and see your life get simpler and your wallet get fatter!
Guide to Minimalism Step10: Experiment with the Rest!
Now that you are feeling great about all the amazing progress you have made you will feel excited to start living a minimalist lifestyle even more fully! You will feel lighter and brighter and you will want to tell your friends! That is wonderful!
However, you may look around and see that you could get rid of more things or even downsize in bigger ways but you just aren’t ready. That is totally ok. It takes time.
One thing you can do is experiment. This was a great recommendation from Joshua Becker’s book, The More of Less. You can actually experiment with whether or not you should keep an item by putting it away somewhere for a set period of time, like 1 month. If you need it during that time then you should probably keep it, but if you don’t you should probably get rid of it!
This can apply to clothes, kitchen gadgets, books, tools, and even cars. Try it! It’s an easy way to see how much you really need and ease out of ownership of items you are having a hard time getting rid of.
Start Living a Minimalist Lifestyle Today!
Why do I write about the minimalist lifestyle? What makes me want to pursue minimalism?
This goes back to the very heart of why I started this blog. As a cleaning lady, I saw tidy homes and I saw cluttered homes. I could see the stress level of the people living in these homes was in direct proportion to the weight of the things they owned.
I want to help people! My goal is to help everyone find that simplifying their life can help them to get what they really want out of it. I want to make that simplicity doable for you and I want minimalism to fit your life! It should not feel impossible or strange. It should feel freeing. Minimalism should always, and only, be applied to your life in ways that make your life easier!
The 10 steps I just gave you are easy to do and yet they will most assuredly make a big difference in your home, finances, and life.
When you have accomplished these 10 action steps you will feel better for it. You will not wish to go back. Whether or not you wish to simplify more is up to you but I promise you will feel lighter and happier if you just try it!
When you are ready to simplify more just repeat these 10 steps until you reach the level of minimalism that works for you! The most important thing is that you start. Start living a minimalist lifestyle, a little bit at a time, today!
If you want to simplify your life but the big bad word MINIMALISM scares you let me help! I wrote the ultimate guide to minimalism that serves your life. Doable Simplicity (Minimalism For Normal People) to help you get the inspiration you need to simplify your life and then take solid steps that make simple living doable for you!
Want to learn more about Minimalism?
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- Appreciation is The Key to Minimalism and This is Why
- Can Minimalism Help You Clean House?
- How Do Minimalists Shop With Intention -8 Great Tips
- 5 Great Reasons You Can Be Minimalist Even If You’re Broke
- 10 Reasons You Might NEED to Become a Minimalist
- What Are The Benefits of Living the Minimalist Lifestyle -5 Powerful Reasons to Simplify Your Life
- 8 Amazing Books on Minimalism That Have Guided Me In My Journey
- Make the Best of It -6 Ways Minimalism Can Help
- 20 Great Quotes About Living Simply That Will Inspire You!
- Cultivating Contentment -The Secret to a Happy Simple Life