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Looking to Try Minimalistic Living? Try These 10 Ideas.

Updated on April 28, 2017

This quote sums up the basics of the minimalistic lifestyle and while it sounds really simple it is a major life change that can be very rewarding and free up time and money for most people. A minimalistic approach is also the first step to moving forward with a tiny house life choice.

Here are ten ways you can test drive the minimalistic approach and see if it is right for you. Try some, or all, of these and see if your life is simplified, and less stressed when you are done then you can move on to bigger steps.

Reassess Sentimental Value

Going minimalist doesn't mean parting with everything that has strong sentimental value, however, you need to take a hard and honest look at those items. Many items that we hold onto and say they have sentimental value are really items that we do not need to have physically to hold that memory. Try using items of true sentimental value in a different way. Do you have a bunch of shirts, sweaters, quilts, tablecloths that have family history? Try remaking them into a comforter or blanket that uses pieces of these items rather than boxes of full items. What about postcards, letters or photos? Try creating an art piece that combines these pieces together. There are many great ideas on Pinterest and Etsy that can inspire you just remember the key is to keep those items that really matter.

333 Challenge

Time to look at that closet and try the 333 Challenge. You can find the "rules" for this detailed online but the essential idea is you put together 33 items of clothing, jewelry, accessories and shoes and that is all you have for your closet for 3 months. Wedding rings and sleepwear don't count but this challenge will force you to reconsider the different combinations you can create with the clothing fundamental pieces. Box up everything else and you will be surprised at how much room you have in your closet and how much less laundry there is to do! You can find ideas, tips and encouragement from others trying this challenge online as well.

Just Sell It

So now you should have started to create a large pile of boxes of items you realize you don't need and it's time for another radical approach. First take a look at everything around you and if each item does not spark joy in you then out it goes.

To make sure these purges stick you have to get rid of the items and the best way to do that is to sell, sell, sell. Not only will you free of space and clutter and surround yourself with only the things that really bring you joy you can make a nice little pile of cash along the way! There are many ways to sell from Ebay to Etsy to Craigslist and resale shops. You can then use that cash to pay down debt or start a nest egg!

100 Item Challenge

This challenge is pretty straight forward and is just what it sounds like. You can find details for this challenge as well as support and tips online just search for 100 Item Challenge. You are challenging yourself to life with only 100 personal items. This does not include household items so you don't have to choose between you boots and the refrigerator! This is a fairly extreme challenge but you will find out pretty quickly that you can really live, and be happy, with much less than you think you can.

Go Paperless & Control The Gadgets

This step is important to controlling the incoming clutter and managing the tangle of cords. First you need to go paperless for everything possible from bills, banking statements and magazines. If the mail is not something you actually need to have to handle business don't even bring it in the house. After you finish with the mail dispose of it as soon as possible and don't allow it to build up into a pile!

The second step of this decluttering is to take a look at the electronics you have accumulated in your home, and office, and assess what you really need. As you eliminate electronics (and their cords and chargers!) you will be able to recycle or sell these items and clear out unused and unnecessary tech from your home and office.

Eliminate Duplicates

This is a big clutter saver, especially in the kitchen, you only need 1 of each item not 3 or 4 measuring spoon sets. Go through the kitchen and eliminate anything you have two or more of and try keeping an all-in-one type appliance and eliminating all others that can be done with this one appliance.

Another big place to find duplicates is the bathroom and vanity. You don't really need that many hairbrushes, shadows and foundations, do you? Take a hard look at what you have and pair down to what you rally need and actually use.

One In/One Out & Closet Purge

You should have a pretty clean closet if you have been employing these steps so far but now there are two things to do to make sure it stays that way. First is to make one in and one out a part of your life. If you buy a pair of shoes then a pair has to go and the same with everything from clothing to makeup to dishes and lamps. Also, you need to make sure you have done a full closet purge and are not holding onto clothes you don't wear or need. The purge might be a little painful but you will feel better after it is done.

Double Duty

To really embrace the minimalist or tiny living lifestyle you need to start thinking in terms of dual purpose items. This is especially true for furniture and when you replace items think if each piece as needing to have at least two purposes or uses. Murphy style beds, ottomans with storage and benches that convert to tables there are so many great looking and creative options on the market that you can find items that you will love!

Get Rid of Food Packaging

Save space and food waste by getting rid of food packaging and utilizing easy to stack and store food packaging. You will have better visibility of the foods in your pantry and refrigerator and the foods will last longer when stored in air tight containers and jars. This is an organization tip that will save you money by not wasting food and it will be make a clean and visually appealing pantry and shelves.

Ditch the Fridge

It costs a lot of money to run that big full-size refrigerator in your home and you know that you end up with wasted foods that get lost in that big cold box. So this step is all about ditching that big refrigerator and replacing it with a dorm size refrigerator. You can find a nice one with a separate freezer that actually freezes but it will force you to think about your food purchases the way you are now thinking about your clothes, furnishings and accessories. You will find that you eat fresher foods and actually save money since you will not be wasting foods that spoil or you just never eat. You don't have to sell that big refrigerator right away just try unplugging it and living with the smaller version and give yourself time to adjust and get creative. This step will also help you save time because there is a lot less to clean out and sanitize every week!

Congrats! You should have a leaner more minimalistic lifestyle after using these ideas and maybe you are ready to try the big step of a tiny house lifestyle. Once you accept that you can live with much less than you thought you can ditch the big mortgage or rent payment and enjoy life even more. If tiny isn't your goal hopefully you have cleared out your clutter, surrounded yourself with only those things that spark joy and actually banked a little extra cash along the way.


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    • Kara Skinner profile image

      Kara Skinner 

      17 months ago from Maine

      Great ideas. I really like the idea of getting a dorm fridge because so much food ends up getting wasted because it just gets lost in the fridge.

    • profile image

      Tamara Moore 

      19 months ago

      I am a minimalist! Your article is perfect! I love your ideas, and your advice about dual purposes. I also love this bed set-up that you have, and want one just like it! Thank you for this post!



    • patchofearth profile image

      Rebecca Long 

      19 months ago from somewhere in the appalachian foothills

      Great article. 333 challenge reminds me a little of a TED talk I watched about the 10 piece wardrobe. I'm a big fan of downsizing. Great article.


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