Effortless ideas for minimalist living. Becoming minimalist can be so freeing, learn how to become a minimalist – and love it!
I never realized I was a minimalist. Honestly, I still feel like I have too much “stuff”, but I’m always purging. I tend to prefer a clutter free home, letting go of things that tend to also clutter our minds.
When I envision minimalism, I think modern. Reflecting on comments I receive and how I feel when our home becomes too cluttered, I realized that you can live a minimalist lifestyle with traditional taste and apparently, I’ve been doing so all along. Becoming minimalist has helped us live intentional lives, only inviting things (and activities) in that we truly love.
“Clutter smothers. Simplicity breathes.” Terry Guillemetes
Some of our minimalist living has sprouted out of need. My grandma always said “waste not, want not” and for years, it was an essential part of our lifestyle as Chris was in medical school and residency. We didn’t have money to spend on extras, like decor.
As years passed and we could, I found myself to be more thoughtful with my purchases. Rather than purchasing something to fill a space, we made a commitment to save and purchase what we truly loved, which means that three and a half years after purchasing our home, we’re still decorating.
Purging is also a constant. It’s how I begin each organization project. There’s a misconception that I don’t have messy closets/spaces. I just might take a photo of what our guest bedroom has become this winter. The difference is, I don’t let it spill over into other rooms (there’s an invisible caution tape over the door and the fear of me screaming “don’t go in there” running through the girls’ heads until I have time to tackle it). You can get my Decluttering Checklist here.
“Organization isn’t about perfection. It’s about efficiency, reducing stress & clutter, saving time and money, and improving your overall quality of life.” Christina Scalise
No need for storage units even if you live in a small home. Decluttering your home give the illusion of additional square feet that you didn’t know existed!
Becoming minimalist can also save you money! Rather than purchasing multiple things you never use, use for a short time and replace, etc, minimalist living will make you thoughtful of your purchases and enjoy them for years to come.
When you embrace a minimalist mindset, it tends to make you spend money wisely. For example if you have a capsule wardrobe, one versatile piece can add an abundance of options.
I have found that when you choose quality over quantity, it makes life easier and less stressful. A quality item won’t need to be replaced again in a year, saving you time and money.
A minimalist life reduces time spent focusing on things and allows for more time with friends and family.
For me, minimalist living is about eliminating excess and choosing wisely. Most items in our home serve more than one purpose. For example, our platters double as decor. Some hang on a wall while others are stacked in our hutch.
Even the hutch is multi-purpose. It visually breaks up a long wall of cabinets in the kitchen and stores a lot of my entertaining accessories. It also stores desserts like pies, cookies, and cakes when space becomes a commodity when hosting dinner for a crowd.
Our drinking glasses double as vases and even our cleaning supplies integrate into our “decor.”
If you want to embrace the less is more lifestyle, there are 5 easy ways to ease into minimalist living.
How to Become a Minimalist
- Start small. This will help you make a lifestyle change.
- Designate a “safe” space for a little chaos. Nothing in our home is perfect. The basement is another example for that. You have to allow chaos to live somewhere when you have children. Or at least I do. The basement is that one place where kids can be kids, get creative, make a mess and I don’t have to repeat myself 9 times begging them to pick it up. In fact, I rarely ask them to.
- Get everyone involved. We try to make de-cluttering and organizing an adventure. Like “girls, you received so many great gifts at your birthday parties, wouldn’t it be fun to give some of our toys to kids who may not have very many?” They get excited to let go of their things. I assign each kiddo a task like “collect all the markers”, “see how fast you can fill this trash bag” or “all dress up clothes in this bin”.
- Start decluttering. Take it one space at a time and ask yourself these questions:
- Does it serve a purpose?
- Do you use it?
- Does it bring you joy?
- if you answered no to any of these questions, let it go. Pare down to the things you really love and need. The rest is just “stuff”.
- Assess how you use the space and how you can use it better. Our bookcases are valuable space that were under-utilized for some time. Rather than decorate them with trinkets, we added baskets which hold household items like batteries, our dvd’s, manuals, etc. The platters were just consuming space in a kitchen cabinet, but can be used when hosting get togethers. We frequently mix drinks at the bar cabinet as well!
- When starting a project, consider how you can blend design and function. I always loved the way a wardrobe looked in a family room, but it consumes a significant amount of space, so it needs to be functional as well. We removed the coat closet in our foyer so in the winter it accommodates coats and in the summer, the same side is filled with throws we’re not using. The drawers hold games, candles, and pillow covers. Another example of this is the lead image – my most frequently used platters and bowls are stored in the hutch for easy access, but also serve as decor. Any time a piece serves multiple purposes, it’s a win in my book, er, home.
- Live minimal. Waste not, want not. Bring your bags to the store, take less home.
I hope you enjoyed these tips to ease into minimalist living. My friend Christina recently sent me a list of questions and paired with reader questions, I have so much more to share!
Questions From Readers About Minimalist Living
- Joely says: “Julie – I’m in love w/your home and minimalist style…I’m trying to pare down but always feel like my home is too bare and cold when I do. We have warmer wood floors, white walls and lots of reclaimed wood furniture, somewhat of a french country look going on. How do you keep the minimalist look but warm it up?” This question inspired an entirely new post! Read on for my tips to keep your home feeling cozy even when you’ve pared WAY down on decor.
Please, if you have any questions or tips, leave them in the comments below. I love hearing from you!
My final tip to embrace a minimalist lifestyle is to realize less can be so much more. If you crave a simpler life, join me on a minimalist journey by sharing your joys and success in Celebrating Simple, a Facebook community!