How To Become a Minimalist

By Jordan Fabel •  Updated: September 24, 2021  •  8 min read  •  Life
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When you think of a minimalist, you might think of someone that doesn’t own much. However, as you discover how to become a minimalist, you will realize this isn’t a correct definition. Minimalists are not people that necessarily live without.

If you decide to become a minimalist, it doesn’t mean you have to give up everything you own. However, it will be a big change. Let’s look at some of the top tips for those seeking minimalism in their lives.

How To Become a Minimalist

8 Tips to Help with How to Become a Minimalist

1. Start by Decluttering

One of the fastest ways to move into the world of minimalism is to declutter your home and your life. A minimalistic lifestyle doesn’t include clutter. Go through your things and remove the extra possessions you don’t need, use, or want.

You don’t have to do the decluttering all at one time, however. Decluttering your entire home is a rather large process. You want to take it one step at a time.

The decluttering process may take you several weeks or even months to complete. This is a huge step, however. If you want to become a minimalist, it will usually start with decluttering your home.

Most minimalists take their time working through the process. When you decide to become a minimalist, this will be one of the common steps. It’s not common to start with a cold-turkey approach where you give up everything all at once.

During the decluttering process, you will split things into categories. These usually include:

However, you can also add a “decide later” category for items you cannot make a quick decision on right now.

2. Start with Your Clothing

While decluttering your entire home is a great way to start, you can also start with your clothing. The wardrobe is an easy category to tackle for many. Plus, it’s an area where many own far more than they need.

Becoming a minimalist can easily start with your clothing. However, once you get through your clothing, the minimalist practices will likely feed into other areas of your life.

Many people that start with their clothing will find creating a capsule wardrobe to be a good strategy. This strategy includes featuring several classic pieces within your closet. These pieces should be interchangeable and very versatile. You should be able to create many different outfits without a large number of different pieces.

3. Choose a Number

If you’re struggling to let go of things, you can use a very popular strategy. This strategy will make it a bit easier to get rid of several things over time.

It starts with deciding how many things per day, week, or month you want to eliminate. Some use a strategy where they will give away one thing on day one, two things on day two, three things on day three, and so on for 30 days. This strategy may work for you, but some might find it hard to get rid of 30 things on day 30 after going through the other 29 days first.

You can modify this strategy and get rid of 3, 5, or 7 things per day for 30 days. Pick your number, and by the time you finish 30 days, you will have fewer things in your home that you don’t use or need.

4. Create Your Own Minimalism Rules

Becoming a minimalist isn’t a straightforward process. There are different ways to practice a minimalist lifestyle. You get to set your own rules to ensure you’re happy with the way you live.

Some may design rules to ensure they don’t end up with huge closets full of clothing. Others may decide to live in a smaller space to ensure they cannot own as many things. Maybe you want to minimize the groceries you buy and use. This can be a part of your rules.

For some, decluttering is enough. For others, minimalism goes quite a bit further. It can include the things you own, the TV/movies you watch, and so much more. Create your own rules, and you can start downsizing your life in a way you love.

5. Apply a Use it or Lose it Rule

There are many ways to get rid of things, and a, use it or lose it rule is a great option. This type of rule can help you get rid of things you simply don’t use.

This rule can be applied to anything you own. However, the best example is found in the closet. You can take all your current clothing and apply the rule. Just turn all your hangers backward in your closet. Then, when you wear something, turn the hanger around. After a month, three months, or a year, any hanger you haven’t turned around are pieces of clothing that you should eliminate.

You can also do this with other items. Shoes, for example, can be put in a shoe rack upside down or backward. Then, when you wear them, turn them the right way. If time goes by and you haven’t turned around a pair of shoes, it’s time to let them go.

6. Categorize What You Own/Keep

As you go through the minimizing process, categorize the things you own and want to keep. This ensures you can get a serious look at what you own. For example, maybe you keep towels in three places in your home right now. Putting them all in one place might show you that you own far too many towels.

7. Digitize as Much as Possible

Old photo albums, paperwork, and other items don’t need to be stored in boxes as a hardcopy. You can digitize many items and store them on a disc, USB drive, external hard drive, or even a cloud account.

A good rule of thumb is that it can be digitized if you don’t keep the document or picture in a safe. Your most important documents do need to be in a hardcopy and likely in a fireproof safe. However, anything else can be digitized to eliminate plenty of clutter from your life.

8. Practice Replacing

Once you’ve completed some of the minimalism processes, you want to start a new practice in your home. Instead of just buying new things, practice replacing things. Using one item in, one item out strategy can ensure you never go back to living with too much stuff.

Creating this type of habit can help you to embrace the lifestyle of a minimalist. It will also help you think through your purchases. You only want to own things you absolutely need or enjoy. A one thing in, one thing out strategy can help keep you from going back to old habits.

How to Become a Minimalist: A Quick & Easy Plan

Step #1 – Closets First

Start with your closets. Go through everything in your closets and get rid of anything you don’t need, want, or that doesn’t work anymore.

Step #2 – Vehicles Next

After your closets are done, tackle any vehicles, you own. Go through the trunk, glove compartment, and any other storage area. Make sure to check under the seats, too.

Step #3 – Declutter Bathrooms and Your Kitchen

Next, you want to tackle the bathrooms and the kitchen in your home. This can take a bit of time, but we tend to collect a lot of clutter in these areas.

Step #4 – Time to Tackle Your Schedule

Your schedule can likely be minimized, too. Look at what you take on every day, every week, and every month. Get rid of unnecessary commitments and declutter your entire schedule.

Once this step is complete, be careful with new things being added to your schedule. Also, make sure it’s a commitment you want to take on.

Step #5 – Tackle the Garage

If you have a garage, it’s time to tackle this area of your home. With a decluttered garage, you can start to see what you own and what you need.

Step #6 – Cancel Memberships and Subscriptions

You likely have memberships and subscriptions you don’t need. It’s time to go through all your memberships and subscriptions. Get rid of those you don’t use and consider cutting back on others.

Take the time to consider each subscription and membership you have. Some are likely things you’re paying for and barely using. Others you may use but don’t need.

Step #7 – Create a Plan to Move Forward

The first six steps will get you started with becoming a minimalist. Now, you can figure out what you want your minimalistic lifestyle to look like. Then, create a plan for the next 30 days to set new habits and get rid of even more things you don’t need or want.

With these tips and how to become a minimalist plan, you’ll be well on your way. Minimalism is more than just getting rid of things. It’s a lifestyle. Make sure you do plenty of research to figure out what you want your minimalistic lifestyle to look like.

Jordan Fabel

Jordan Fabel

Covering different 'paths' that people's lives can take. Creative, foster parent, ticket dismissal, you get the idea. Exploring the requirements, certifications, exams, and obviously, approved courses along each path.