ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Minimalism: How To Reduce Spending and Clutter

Updated on April 15, 2007

We live at a time of plenty. Plenty of stuff that is! Reducing the clutter in your lives will also help you to reduce your spending. Most people do not need more stuff in their homes, however they still go shopping and spend money that many times they don't even have. Minimalism is a great way to keep all that clutter under control. Minimalism will allow you to live a simpler life.

According to Websters minimalism means a style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity. If we can transfer this idea to our lives, we can reduce our spending and clutter. Do you need yet another black t-shirt? Another pair of shoes? Another book that you will read once? Do your children need more toys, video games, clothing? Probably not! It is very easy to overdo in these areas, I am guilty of it as well. But if we can reduce the amount of things coming into our homes, this will go a long way in reducing our spending.

When you are going through your children's clothes for the next season, try to reduce the amounts you buy. Does your child need four pairs of jeans, or will two pairs work just fine? If you are like me and do laundry pretty much every day, chances are they only need two or three pairs of pajamas and a few outfits for everyday wear. If you are like my sister and do laundry one day a week, then your family will obviously need enough clothes to last them the week.

The point is, take into consideration your specific needs and think about whether you need ten outfits or if just six will work fine. Four less outfits will take up less space, generate less laundry for you to do (kids like to change clothes frequently) and save you money! If you spent $15 per outfit and only bought six instead of ten, then you just saved yourself $60.

Before you spend money on books, think about how often you will read the book. If it is something you will read once and then it will sit on your shelf, try to borrow it from the library. If it is something you will refer to often, or read over and over again, it will be worth buying. Taking the time to decide how often you will use an item will save you money in the long run. For each book you borrow instead of buy, you will save between $5 and $30.

The same principal applies to other things as well. Do you need to buy a chainsaw to cut down that one tree that needs to come down? Or would renting one for the day work just as well. Renting one will cost between $40 and $50 - but purchasing one will cost upwards of $200. If you rent one, then you don't have to come up with the space to store the chainsaw for the rest of your life.

Minimalism doesn't just apply to new purchases either. Take a look at the things in your home. Go through your closets and pull out anything you haven't worn in a year (aside from the special occasion type of clothing). If you haven't liked it enough to wear it for the past year, it probably doesn't need to be in your closet. The same thing can go for your kitchen and your garage. If you don't use an item regularly, do you really need it or can you do without it.

Will another item take care of the job? Do you need ten different ratchet sets or will one good set that includes all the sizes you need do the job just as well? Do you need to buy something new at all? There might be something that you already own that would do the job just as well. Using what you have is one of the best ways to reduce your spending and clutter. When purchasing something new ask yourself what you are purchasing it for. How many things can this item take care of? If it is a special tool that can only do one thing, it probably isn't a good purchase, unless you will use it often. Try to make wise purchases and buy things that are going to be useful in more than one way. Buy a tool that can take care of many different things. Chances are it will take up the same amount of space, yet do many different things. It might even cost the same amount of money as a tool that can only do one thing.

Simple living is a term that is becoming more and more common in today's society. The more stuff we bring into our homes the farther away from simple living we get. Our lives have become so complicated. There are so many things to spend our money on, so many things that companies try to convince us we need, and so many options of the things that we do need. Reducing the amount of clutter in your home, reducing the number of items you bring into your home and reducing the money spent on said items will allow you to lead a simpler life. Practicing minimalism in your purchases will allow you to reduce stress in your life (things take up space, take your time, etc) and help you to save money.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I love keeping things simple and needed extra encouragement in the purchasing department. Thanks for your blog.

    • anidae profile image

      Anita Adams 

      8 years ago from Tennessee

      I voted up and useful. I like the simple life and I am in the middle of downsizing my "stuff".

      You have given great advice on how go through and use what you own instead of purchasing a new item to add to the clutter.

    • ameliejan profile image


      8 years ago from Alicante, Spain

      I am quite the minimalist - I'm always 'sorting out' things trying to find ways of letting things go.

    • Beverly Stevens profile image

      Beverly Stevens 

      8 years ago from College Station

      Love your hub!

    • Neverletitgo profile image

      Abdinasir Aden 

      9 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      This is great hub Jennifer. It is right practicing minimalism will reduce some stress in our life. Well done.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Bookmooch is a great solution for those who don't want the due dates of the library. You list books you're done with & those that you want. You earn points by sending your old books to people who want them & can spend your points to request books you want. If you calculate postage at home, you can spare yourself the wait at the post office to mail books out or you can minimize the time by arranging to only send out books once a month & do it all at once....

    • ForMomswithLove profile image


      9 years ago from New York

      I agree completely! We need a lot less to be happy! We need to simplify, slow down and learn to be appreciative of what we do have and enjoy it.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Minimizing clutter has always been difficult for me. Clutter looks messy so I tend to shove it into closets or into the garage.

    • Skin Care Beauty profile image

      Skin Care Beauty 

      9 years ago

      I am with you on keeping things simple. The goal is to have enough so you enjoy and get pleasure but not to much that it is a burden. I always try to "shop my closet".

      When it comes to many items, I don't need, instead of storing them I think of the value someone else can enjoy from them.

      Great hub!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      very good article , surely I will follow this....

    • LLWoodard profile image


      10 years ago from Oklahoma USA

      Minimalism is a concept I can get behind, but one that is easier to think about than to do.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      10 years ago from East Coast, United States

      all this adds up to some organization which i have a problem minimalize might be the key...i have a problem with lots of loose papers with odds and ends written on them, all real important til they pile up and slosh onto the floor like a waterfall of drivel

    • kappa022 profile image


      10 years ago from Florida

      I definitely need to follow these tips, thanks!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I agree and disagree wrt books. The local library is a great resource, and I do use it, but libraries often don't carry specialty books. And they purge often, which actually allows me to purchase some really cheap.

    • trish1048 profile image


      11 years ago

      Hi Jennifer,

      Hmmm,,,books.  I buy my books second hand, as I mentioned in another of your hubs.  The problem I have with going to a library is, I am never home when they are open.  I work two jobs, my day starts at 4 am and doesn't end till 8:30 or 9:30 pm. Not to mention, even if I had the time, with the price of gas these days, it wouldn't be cost effective to have to run to the library, plus I don't like knowing I HAVE to make a trip to return them.  I much prefer reading when I feel like it.  I do, as you can see, have every other Sat am off till around 1pm when I have to go in to work.  Which leaves me with Tuesday nights, Sundays and half a day Saturday off, time which needs to be spent on laundry, cleaning, etc.  (and shhh, but checking HP out too :)).

      Thanks again for sharing,


    • profile image

      Marye Audet 

      12 years ago

      We have several bookcases of books but we homeschool and our small linrary in town doesn't carry all we need. However I agree that living with less should be the goal overall! Great hub.

    • Paul Edmondson profile image

      Paul Edmondson 

      12 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      I agree with your point on books. My favorite thing about getting them from the library is that they get returned when I'm through. While it's a good money savor, it's a better clutter savor.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)