16 Ways to Minimalize Your Life

1) Minimize your wardrobe

Stick to basic colors and clothing items that go with anything, that you can create multiple outfits with (3 items, 5 styles sort of deal). Having these staples as a base along with a couple of accessories and colorful/patterned staples will make your mornings more efficient and help you fill your closet with things that you’ll actually wear.

2) To-do lists

Unless you see using to-do lists as an added stressor in your life – i.e. “I desperately need to complete everything today on my to-do list, and if I don’t, I’ll be super disappointed it myself”, to-do lists can be really helpful! They are a great mind dump that can guide you towards a productive day where you aren’t constantly feeling like you’ve forgotten to do something important.

3) Read some great books on minimalism

Learn about how people live with less – some in their closets, in their pantry, in their work life, school life, or even minimizing the number of things they have overall (some even down to just 50 items!). This might influence you to start living a more minimal life, whether it be something small like getting rid of that porcelain dog you don’t need on your desk.

4) “The Minimalists” podcasts

My favorite podcast of all time is run by the Minimalists – Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, two 30-something year olds who help people live meaningful lives with less. In their podcast, they talk about minimalism and the five areas of importance in their lives – health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution. These are the five precise things that are most important in my own life as well, and they encourage everyone to make these theirs too.

5) Focus on one task at a time

I’m extremely guilty of multi-tasking, and have been successfully trying to change this by changing the places where I sit down and work. The more I change the environment I situate myself in, the more I’m able to truly focus on one task and one task only. Multitasking is both a blessing and a curse – it allows you to complete multiple things at once, but also decreases the quality of what you’re doing and takes away from your experience with it.

6) Start realizing that worth isn’t based on productivity

The more you believe that being productive is what will make you happier, the more you inhibit actually engaging with the present and having time to stop and smell the roses. Productivity will become an endless loop with no end goal or seeming satisfaction.

7) Take some time off – aka “me” time

Don’t forget to relax and clear your mind. Meditation can be great, but if that isn’t your thing, find something where you can simply do nothing- bird watching, laying out on a field, walking down by the lake, listening to a couple of songs on your bed. Regularly having “do nothing” time will help you re-focus.

8) Quality over quantity (belonging + experiences)

I personally learned this one the hard way, by spending way too much on clothing from cheap brands like Forever 21 to save money. Not saying never to shop there, but be sure to know how to pick things that aren’t terrible quality (*ahem* thin knit sweaters). Purchase good quality items for a little more, and you’ll realize that you’ll have fewer items in your home but ones that will last longer. Look back at the quality of your experiences with your friends – are you just barely paying attention or are you immersing yourself in the plans you made and actually committing yourself to making the experience profound in some way?

9) Donate/sell things you don’t need!

There are most likely things in your home that you don’t find value in anymore that someone else might find value in. Donating your items will ensure that they find a great new home and be put to use rather than have them sitting in the corner of your bedroom collecting dust.

10) Unsubscribe from email lists

I can’t stress how much satisfaction having 0 unread emails on my mail app on my phone brings to me. Most of those notifications that you’re getting are probably auto-subscribed newsletters from things you signed up for or from orders that you’ve placed in the past. Take some time out of your day right now and declutter your inbox from here on out.

11) Follow people on social media that add value

Back when I had Instagram (goodbye!), I only followed accounts that posted picture to do with things that I valued and made me happy to look at – travel, animals, beautiful homes, influential people doing great things, and startup ideas. This allowed me to scroll through Instagram without having to think negative thoughts such as “I wish I had that material item,” and focus my energy on things that didn’t really matter.

12) Spend time with positive, supportive, simple people

Choose who you spend your time with wisely, because time is crucial. Surrounding yourself with people important to you that have a positive impact on your life in some sort of way – maybe they make you laugh or you can talk with them about anything, have fun with them, confide in them, and share similar interests– these are the people you want to cherish and dedicate your time with. Don’t make other people’s consistent problems your own.

13) Spend on things that make life easier

Spending money on things that will make your day-to-day life easier in the long-run will benefit you in spending less time on tedious tasks that you don’t really want to do. 

14) Stop overcommitting yourself

Know you have too much on your plate already? Don’t overcommit yourself – do less, but do what you’re doing better than you think you are.

15) Buy less

Just in general, go shopping less. There are probably better and more exciting things you can do with your time.

16) Turn off notifications

This one might seem a little crazy – no notifications? How am I supposed to know if so-and-so tagged me in something, or if there’s something new trending on twitter, or if my best friend posted a new Instagram picture? Dedicate a couple of minutes to check all your socials if you feel the need to - avoid that constant knee-jerk reaction to open apps when you don’t really need to.