I first found minimalism 15 years ago.
And it’s true, trying to declutter the possessions for a family of four is no easy task. The entire process took us about nine months.
But since then, I’ve learned that the challenge doesn’t end with the last box of donations shuffled out the door. It requires consistent vigilance and intentionality to maintain simplicity and freedom in the long run.
To that end, no matter where you find yourself on the minimalist journey, here are ten practical tips to help keep your life clutter-free and focused on what truly matters:
1. Set clear boundaries.
Decide which items are necessary for your lifestyle and happiness, and set firm boundaries for what you allow into your space. This can be accomplished numerically (33 articles of clothing, for example), but I’ve found physical boundaries to be the most helpful.
2. Embrace empty spaces.
Don’t feel the need to fill empty spaces in your home. Let the empty space serve as a reminder of the calm and peace that minimalism brings.
3. Find ideas to specifically overcome consumerism.
For example, implement a 48-hour rule for non-essential purchases. Note the item down and revisit after two days. Also, question every ad you see, identifying the need it’s claiming to fill.
4. Declutter as you go.
To live is to consume and almost certainly things will continue to collect in your home. Stay ahead of the clutter and keep your home minimalist by decluttering as you go. Whenever a space starts to feel full, remove the unnecessary—before it feels normal.
5. Buy experiences, not things.
Becoming minimalist doesn’t mean you’ll never spend money again. Prioritize spending on experiences rather than material goods. Travel, concerts, meals with loved ones—these create memories and joy without cluttering your home.
6. Start a gratitude journal.
Appreciate what you already have by jotting down three things you’re grateful for each day or listing them during times of meditation or prayer. Keeping focused on the good things we already have takes our mind off all the things we don’t have.
7. Experiment with time-limited challenges.
Even if you feel good about progress you’ve made, continue to test out living with less experiments in your home. Try living without a certain item or category of items for a set period, like 30 days. You might find a better way of living. Even if you don’t, challenging your assumptions will help keep your home and life minimalist in other areas.
8. Reflect regularly.
Take time to remind yourself why you chose minimalism. What benefits has it brought to your life? Reflecting on these questions can help you stay motivated and committed.
9. Clutterfree habits.
Implement small, daily routines to keep your environment clean and orderly. This might mean making your bed every morning, cleaning up after each meal, or doing a quick decluttering sweep before bed.
10. Find consistent minimalist inspiration.
Having like-minded people around you provides motivation and encouragement. If you don’t have friends or family inspiring in this pursuit, look for inspiration online. In fact, I send out two articles every week focused on intentionality, simplicity, and owning less. Sign up here to receive them.
Just like it’s a choice to not let physical possessions overtake your life, it’s a choice to not let old habits pull you back into a cycle of accumulation. You began your journey into minimalism with a desire to live a life less encumbered by things and more focused on experiences and relationships. That’s amazing! Keep it up!
Minimalism, to reach isn’t fullest potential in our lives, isn’t just a phase.
It’s a brand new way to live for the rest of our lives—helping us make the most of it.