Archive for the Minimalism Category

How Long Does It Really Take To Become A Minimalist?

How Long Does It Really Take To Become A Minimalist?

 How Long Does It Take To Become A Minimalist


Something I recognized in my pursuit of minimalism is that the most vital resource is time. I think the saying ‘time is money’ has truth to it in the sense that time is valuable.

It makes sense to make sure where time is allocated is worth it. Some of the common questions I’ve seen from people who are interested in minimalism are time based. As a finite resource, it’s important to see how much will be used and how it will pay off.

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

Starting my simple living journey was one of the best time investments I’ve made. By minimizing extra stuff that wasn’t adding value to my life, I was able to live with more purpose and really appreciate what matters most to me. I was surprised at how little time it took to get started.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

How Long Does It Take To Become A Minimalist?

How Long Does It Take To Become A Minimalist

For most people, it takes 1-2 years to fully transition to a minimalist lifestyle. When I started my minimalist journey, it took me 2-3 months to start seeing the benefits of the decluttering, intentionality, and mindfulness.

transitioning to a minimalist lifestyleI notice that people often want something to work toward, an end goal of sorts, but an important thing to note is that minimalism is more of a journey, not a destination.

One of the great appeals of minimalism is that the process itself is extremely rewarding.

For me, I began making the transition to minimalism once I reflected on where I was in life—a young adult in a recession weighed down by debt—and where I wanted to be—financially free and not tied down by my possessions.

While searching for a way to make what I wanted a reality, I saw a picture of a tiny home. I realized that significantly downsizing my surroundings could help make my dream a reality. So I created a tiny home of my own, and shrank the volume of my possessions to match.

Over more than a decade later, I can firmly say that the time I devoted to the transition to minimalism has majorly paid off, both short and long-term. As I minimized my physical items, I could focus more on the relationships in my life, and found more security in my finances.

Becoming a minimalist takes time. It can’t happen overnight, and it is an ongoing process.

How To Become A Minimalist Fast

How To Become A Minimalist Fast

The quickest way to become a minimalist is to just get started. Sure, a lot of planning could go into this process, but the fastest way to get a jump on this journey is to start doing. Grab a box and start filling it up with odd ends that found their way to your kitchen junk drawer or old clothes you haven’t worn in the past six months.

Minimalism is a progressive journey, and the timeline is different for everyone.

how to start a minimalist lifestyle

How to Become A Minimalist in 7 days

How to Become A Minimalist in 7 days

Seven days may feel fleeting, but with focused energy and carefully managed time, a lot can get done. I’m a big believer that actions done with intention produce fruitful results.

This seven day timeline works by tackling a different space each day. Start with the areas that have fewer sentimental items, so there’s time to get into the swing of decluttering without distraction or reservation.

Become A Minimalist in 7 days

  • Day 1: Kitchen
  • Day 2: Dining Room
  • Day 3: Living Room
  • Day 4: Bedroom
  • Day 5: Bathrooms
  • Day 6: Car
  • Day 7: Storage/ Laundry Room
minimalist laundry

Becoming A Minimalist in 14 days

How to Become A Minimalist in 14 days

With two weeks to work with, there’s a little more flexibility that gives the decluttering process some breathing room. Sure, it takes a bit longer and stretches out the initial stage of minimizing, but it gives some leeway for serious organization. Once I’m done decluttering, I like to give attention to what I bring into the home and make sure I create a routine that encourages me to declutter again and again.

Become A Minimalist in 14 days

  • Days 1-2: Kitchen
  • Days 2-4: Dining Room
  • Days 5-6: Living Room
  • Days 7-8: Bedroom
  • Days 9-10: Bathrooms
  • Days 11-12: Storage and Laundry Room
  • Days 13-14: Car and Garage
minimalist bedroom

How to Become A Minimalist In 30 days

How to Become A Minimalist in 30 days

I find that if I take a longer approach to changing habits, the transition feels more natural and less abrupt. The same goes for picking up minimalism and incorporating it into everyday life.

While the big purge can happen in a short amount of time, choosing to take a bit of longer transition into minimalism makes it easier to digest. With more time, it’s easier to break down the decluttering days into more specific sections of the home instead of just general living spaces.

Something I noticed about people who do a 30 day challenge is that they give more attention to their systems and habits, which helps create a realistic way to keep habits from falling back into the way they were before. Outside of the structure of the 30 day challenge, it’s possible to move into minimalism by adding patterns of decluttering in a less structured way.

30 day declutter challenge

Building Minimalist Habits and Patterns

  • Box non-essential items away. Remove and keep items, only as you use them.
  • Create “homes” and identify specific places where all your items go.
  • Track what you use daily, placing those items in more accessible areas.
  • Rethink your storage systems and their practicality.
  • Eliminate the junk drawer all together.
  • Don’t buy items impulsively but think about them for a day instead.
  • Ask introspective questions before purchases. “Does this add value to my life?”

Minimalism While Juggling A Busy Schedule

Minimalism While Juggling A Busy Schedule

The transition to minimalism doesn’t have to happen fast and furiously. Let’s face it, not everyone has an uninterrupted week to dedicate to serious decluttering.

fill one box daily with stuff you dont needI have a friend who took the long route to becoming a minimalist. With a busy schedule between work and side passions, he didn’t feel that he could dedicate a full week or two to really remove all the clutter from his house.

Instead, he decided to fill one bag daily with stuff he didn’t need. Over the course of six months, he was able to clear out a substantial amount of clutter from his home and see how his mindset toward buying things had changed. He realized he wanted peace and less clutter more than impulse purchases.

How To Prioritize Time For Your Minimalist Goals

How To Prioritize Time For Your Minimalist Goals

Making time to work on the minimalist process is essential to progressing in a minimalist lifestyle. If there isn’t a constant motivator or reminder to stay on track during this transition, it’ll be easy to do anything else on your never ending to do lists. Get an accountability buddy to keep you on schedule.

Paths to improvement aren’t always a straight line, so if there is a slip-up or a lull in the process, it doesn’t mean the minimalist journey has ended. What’s important is to keep moving, continue on, and pushing past the difficult stages.

Your Turn!

  • Look around the room, can you find five items you could live without?
  • What can you remove from your schedule to create time for a lifestyle change?

The Many Types Of Minimalism: Which One Is For You?

The Many Types Of Minimalism: Which One Is For You?

types of minimalism


ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

When I first started my simple living journey, I didn’t consider myself a minimalist until a good friend called me out on it. After that, I started to think about what being a minimalist really meant, leading me to discover the different forms it could take.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

What I’ve realized along my journey of minimalism is that there is no one-size-fits-all way to do it. Minimalism isn’t just downsizing — it’s about creating more room for the important things in life. People don’t have to meet certain standards to fit the lifestyle. There is a spectrum of minimalism, and it’s possible to fall anywhere on it based on what’s important to you.

As I was exploring the differences between types of minimalism, I came to the realization that the terms that describe minimalist lifestyles don’t really need to be super constraining.

What Types Of Minimalism Are There?

What Types Of Minimalism Are There

The different types of minimalists often differ from one another based on what a person values and their long-term goals. At the end of the day, any specific minimalist style is about intentionality and using the tools that serve us best.

It’s important to note here that while these labels help define different types of minimalism, they’re still somewhat flexible. We can often identify with multiple minimalist styles or see that our values cross over a few of them.

Essential Minimalism

Essential minimalism is focused on the bare necessities needed for daily activities. This includes physical items we use for daily life, but also how our time and energy is spent. As far as time is concerned, I often pick and choose the extra activities I jump into, which helps me focus more energy on projects that feel most important.

Essential minimalism focuses on necessitiesFor example, if an essential minimalist determines that they love gardening and their interest in crafting is not as strong, they might drop knitting to more effectively pursue their hobby for growing vegetables, devoting more time to enriching that part of their life. that part of their life.

Essential minimalism is all about efficiency and not wasting resources, including time. For this minimalism mindset, quality is extremely important. The essential route to minimalism embraces having less while maximizing the potential of what resources are available.

Eco Minimalism

Eco minimalism is a lifestyle centered around environmental impact and sustainability. An eco-friendly lifestyle and thinking green are key values for eco minimalism.

Eco minimalism is a lifestyle centered around the environmentI’ve seen that minimalism goals in general tend to be good for the environment. What sets this style apart from the rest, though, is that the main driving force for participating in minimalism is a desire to contribute towards a healthier planet.

Resource consumption is very important for this minimalism type, which often extends to the ethics of how products are made and the sustainability of the materials.

Still, the consideration of the environment for eco minimalism doesn’t stop there. It’s also about being cautious when decluttering and downsizing. Often, before donating or getting rid of something, the eco minimalist might try to repurpose items and turn them into things that can be useful.

The eco minimalist may aspire to reduce waste as much as possible and may strive for a zero-waste lifestyle. The zero-waste lifestyle is no easy feat, but there are practical ways to pursue it.

zero waste lifestyle

Extreme Minimalism

Extreme minimalism takes the idea “less is more” to its furthest point, especially when it comes to having physical possessions. Like essential minimalism, extreme minimalism is about owning only what’s necessary for day-to-day life.

extreme minimalist isnt held back by stuffThe difference between the two is that essential minimalism goes beyond physical goods, but extreme minimalism pushes the bounds of what necessary means.

The extreme minimalist owns extraordinarily little, including staple items like furniture. They may be able to fit all they have in a few boxes, or possibly even one.

It’s important to extreme minimalism that there is nothing in excess, providing freedom from attachment to objects.

The extreme minimalist isn’t held back by stuff, and can focus more on comfort, joy, and meaningful experiences in life.

Frugal Minimalism

Frugal minimalism is concerned primarily about money and being economical with resources. This minimalism type is centered on creating a space where less time is spent worrying about financials and more time is dedicated to the areas of life that you care for the most.

Frugal minimalism is concerned about moneyLooking back at my life before simple living, I was way more stressed and paying for way more. After four years on my minimalist path, I was debt free and more secure in my financial situation than I ever had been before.

Frugal minimalism has habits that are geared to help people save money while also maintaining (and enjoying) very few possessions. This type of minimalism encourages affordability and the practice of saving. A frugal minimalist may do this by purchasing secondhand items and may choose to rent items they don’t frequently need.

Other characteristics of frugal minimalism include upcycling resources, selling items before donating them, avoiding needless shopping, and only buying what is absolutely necessary, such as buying clothes only when current clothes become too worn.

Wannabe Minimalism

Wannabee minimalism is a flexible approach that allows for a more mainstream lifestyle than other types of minimalism.

We’ve all got to start somewhere. Wannabee minimalism often indicates the beginning stages of the minimalism process. I’ve seen firsthand how adopting a minimalist lifestyle can affect someone’s life. Wannabee minimalism is about taking those first steps and working it into the present circumstances.

wannabee minimalism is a flexible approachThe goals for this minimalism category align with main ideas of simple living like desiring to be more intentional and decluttering spaces. While wannabee minimalism is about believing less is more, it isn’t super strict and doesn’t place restrictions on the enjoyable parts of life.

For example, the wannabee minimalist won’t feel that it’s necessary to rid themselves of items they enjoy. If they love making art, they won’t get rid of their paint and brushes. If they love fishing, they might keep that second fishing rod and whatever is in their tackle box.

Wannabee minimalism can be more attractive to those who have a busy lifestyle and don’t necessarily want to live in a tiny home, but they regularly purge and make conscious decisions about their purchases. For this minimalist style, it’s about flexibility and considering how minimalism can make a positive impact without compromising your favorite things in life.

how to become a minimalist

Mindful Minimalism

Mindful minimalism is dedicated to the mental work that comes with practicing minimalism. It focuses a lot on action and lifestyle introspection. Each item in the mindful minimalist’s possession is purposefully selected.

Mindful minimalism is dedicated to the mental workThe mindful minimalist is likely to keep resources that help them maintain a mindful lifestyle, such as journals, incense or candles, and self-help books. When deciding what goes, they get rid of old paperwork that adds clutter to their life, outfits that have been saved for that “one occasion,” or home décor that no longer adds to their space in the way that it used to.

Decluttering to achieve mindful simplicity gives the current moment meaning. Focusing on the present moment is one aspect of mindfulness that can help to look at life more objectively.

I’ve learned that mindful minimalists put a lot of thought into maintaining their minimalism through actions. Monotasking is one example of mindfulness at work within a minimalist lifestyle. By focusing on one task, you’re able to think about the process and increase your sense of purpose.

intentional living

Enoughist Minimalism

Enoughist minimalism combines the two mindsets of enoughism and minimalism. The core parts of this minimalism type are having just enough, believing in self-restraint, and being careful when it comes to adding more items to one’s posessions. The goal is to have just enough.

One friend of mine considers herself an enoughist, and she first started minimalism because she realized she no longer wanted to consume as many products.
For her, it was about learning to discern the balance between what she needed and what she wanted. So, if she wants something new, she’ll consider whether she actually needs it and then if she does, she’ll be careful about choosing that item.

how to find contentment

Slow-Living Minimalism

Slow living minimalism is about taking ownership over one’s timeline and focusing on not letting time be in control. This is a type of minimalism that emphasizes slowing down and soaking up all of the meaningful moments of life.

Slow living minimalism is about timeSlow-living minimalism takes on an approach to life that challenges fast-paced work environments and hustle culture.

Learning to say no to those awkward, obligatory events is vital for slow minimalism. Freeing up our schedules allows us to revel in our relationships and passions. I’ve noticed that freeing up my schedule creates space for me to focus on what and who is important to me.

By declining a distant co-workers bridal shower to respectfully rejecting to see a concert of a terrible band with friends, the slow-living minimalist prioritizes their free time.

Slowing down also allows for more deliberate shopping and more intentional purchases as opposed to quickly cashing out.

Because there is more time to think about it, slow-living minimalism makes it easier to examine how things are manufactured and comprehend how they provide value to our lives. This method of minimalism focuses on participating in less, doing things more slowly, and living the journey intentionally.

Digital Minimalism

Digital minimalism is about putting barriers on technology, simplifying the tech space, and making sure that technology becomes more of a tool instead of a distraction. Digital spaces are complex, and decluttering these spaces leaves more room for purpose and productivity on and off screen.

Digital minimalism is about putting barriers on technologyI’ve noticed that digital minimalists partake in social media detoxes and practice helpful habits like inbox zero to optimize their digital efficiency.

Also, I’ve found that most digital minimalists choose to use dumb phones over smart phones. This is a simple swap that makes a significant difference in the amount of time and energy spent using digital devices and technology.

Nomadic Minimalism

Nomadic minimalism is about owning very few possessions in order to go on adventures, travel, and experience the world at a moment’s notice. Traveling essentials are a must for the nomadic minimalist — things such as a first aid kit, digital and tech equipment to work remotely, a backpack or suitcase, and a sturdy pair of shoes.

Nomadic minimalism is about owning few possessionsThe ability to pick up and go requires light packing, which means it isn’t practical for an adventurer to carry collectables or memorabilia besides maybe a few photos.

The nomadic minimalist moves frequently and might embrace temporary housing for short periods of time rather than committing to long-term leases or home ownership that holds them in place.

Some nomadic minimalists do have a homebase, or participate in van life, but they’ll often have no fixed home or car by choice.

Luxury Minimalism

Luxury minimalism is about appreciating quality over quantity, more so than any other type of minimalist. This lifestyle frequently entails owning fewer but higher quality products that last a long time. Durability is important, even if that sometimes comes at a price.

Luxury minimalism is about appreciating quality over quantityLuxury minimalists want to make sure that what they put their money and energy into is going to last and is enjoyable. They may invest in traveling, dining out, and other social activities they can share with the people they care about most.

So that they can save on what’s more important to them, they might cut out smaller purchases that add up like fast food or the daily $5 coffee before work.

The luxury minimalist opts out of cheaper clothing, shoes, and home items that will wear out easily. They are committed to acquiring only what will last a luxurious lifetime.

Boho Minimalism

Boho minimalism is a free-spirited approach to minimalism that incorporates self-expression into a minimalist lifestyle. Inspired by bohemian influences, this minimalism type can be environmentalist and nature focused.

Boho minimalism is a free-spirited approach to minimalismI’ve noticed that there’s also a desire to detach from emotional ties to physical items for a boho minimalist, as well as a desire find value in relationships and creative endeavors like art, music, and literature.

As for how a boho minimalist might decorate their home, they enjoy having less and often want to incorporate a bit of greenery and a modern bohemian style. They invest in décor for their living space, such as macramé, florals, patterned rugs, and wooden furniture, to help create a comfortable home environment.

The boho minimalist cares about having uncluttered spaces and carefully selects the pieces they bring into their home.

Homesteading Minimalism

Homesteading minimalism is focused on keeping up with minimalist values while also increasing self-sufficiency. The homesteading minimalist is engaged with growing their own food, simple ways of living, and self-reliance.

Homesteading minimalism is focused on self sufficiencyOften homesteader minimalists have farms, gardens, or animals (like chickens) that enhance their homestead.

I’ve found that the materials and equipment required for homesteading can cause a homesteading minimalist to accumulate more belongings than other minimalists because of the resources used to cultivate their own food.

If you’re gardening, you’re going to have more gardening tools like a rake, shovel, and pickaxe. For food preservation, you may have a dehydrator, a pressure canner, and a good amount of mason jars.

Aesthetic Minimalism

Aesthetic minimalism values simplicity and design, including surroundings that reflect the minimalist mindset.

Aesthetic minimalism values simplicity and designI’d say that the appeal for people pursuing this type of minimalism is creating the right living environment. The visuals for aesthetic minimalists are important — they love the aesthetic of having very minimal surroundings and adopting simplicity into their home.

This take on minimalism hones in on creating simplistic beauty throughout the home, creating a practical living space with lots of clean, organized space with limited furniture and décor. The furniture and décor tend to be monochrome, neutral tones, and soft textures to produce a calm atmosphere.

Finding The Right Type Of Minimalism For You

Questions To Help Determine Your Minimalist Type

  • Why do I want to participate in minimalism?
  • What motivates me to pursue minimalism?
  • What do I value most?
  • What do I want to accomplish?

Getting Started With Minimalism On Your Terms

Getting Started With Minimalism On Your Terms

One of the first things I did when inspecting my minimalist lifestyle was analyzing how I wanted minimalism to help me in my life. To start up your minimalism lifestyle, take a look at what in your life you want to expand and what you want to eliminate.

Once you figure out your goals and motivation toward minimalism, you’ll be able to start decluttering and reaping the benefits of mindfulness and intentionality.

Your Turn!

  • What type of minimalism resonates with you the most?
  • How would adopting a type of minimalism affect your life?

Is Extreme Minimalism Too Extreme For You?

Is Extreme Minimalism Too Extreme For You?

extreme minimalism


ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

As a minimalist, I’m often asked about what it would look like to push the boundaries of this lifestyle to the extreme. With less than 1,000 items to my name and a mindset that now aligns with my values, I’ve never been more content. While there is no single way to be a minimalist — or an extreme one — I hope my experiences will help you decide if extreme minimalism is for you.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

What Is Extreme Minimalism?

What Is Extreme Minimalism

Extreme minimalism is a lifestyle in which a person chooses to simplify down to the bare essentials. It differs from the “typical” idea of minimalism in that it radically defies social norms and pushes the boundaries of comfort.

Although extreme minimalism usually refers to the number of physical possessions one owns, I quickly realized that the philosophy behind it often extends to other aspects of life.

What Is An Extreme Minimalist’s Mindset?

Like any minimalist, extremists desire to focus their time and energy on the things that matter most to them. They feel burdened by decision fatigue and the responsibilities that come with ownership, so they streamline their lives in hopes of feeling free and light. To them, the perks of paring down far outweigh the pitfalls.

Extreme minimalists often apply their mindset to areas of life beyond physical ownership. They may strive for inbox zero, a simplified diet, or regimented routines. These changes, coupled with limited possessions, help extreme minimalists remove as much clutter as possible from their lives.

What Are The Benefits Of Extreme Minimalism?

What Are The Benefits Of Extreme Minimalism

Extreme minimalism requires sacrifice, which I think is a big reason why the lifestyle is not necessarily “mainstream.” However, the many benefits of this simplistic lifestyle makes the decision to downsize seem extra appealing.

Extra Money

I’m not sure if I would consider myself an extreme minimalist, but I’ve found that taking great measures to downsize has completely transformed my finances.

save extra money in the bankAfter losing my first “adult” job during the 2009 recession, I had to rethink my approach to money. When I examined my budget and discovered that half of my income was going toward rent, utilities, and insurance, I made the decision to build my own tiny home.

Through this process, I was able to cut my cost of living from $1,500 per month to just $15 per month (yes, you read that correctly). Eventually, I paid off all my debt!

Even without debt, having extra money in the bank can help people achieve goals they had never imagined before. Once I paid off my debt, I found myself with a surplus of money to use however I wished — for travel, novel experiences, charity, or retirement.

More Time

With fewer possessions to manage, extreme minimalists generally experience an influx in freedom. With less surfaces to wipe down, less clothing to wash, and fewer items to organize, they have more free time to explore their passions, pursue their health, and invest in relationships.

A 2018 study conducted by the American Cleaning Institute reveals that the average American spends six hours cleaning their home each week. Whereas a non-minimalist probably considers this number “normal” or necessary, an extreme minimalist might beg to differ.

more time to enjoy life

Less Stress

More money and more time don’t guarantee less stress, but they certainly help.

extreme minimalists can spend more time relaxing
When people stop spending money on excess, they can rest assured knowing they’ll have more than enough to pay for what they actually need. They won’t experience buyer’s remorse because they can no longer afford a bill after making a fun purchase.

Instead of worrying about all the clutter that needs to be tidied over the weekend or at the end of the day, extreme minimalists can spend those hours relaxing and engaging in activities that bring them joy.

the purpose of stuff

What Are Some Examples of Extreme Minimalism?

What Are Some Examples of Extreme Minimalism

Extreme minimalism looks different for everyone — it will manifest itself in a unique way depending on who you are and what your goals are. Below are three examples of extreme minimalism.

An Extreme Minimalist’s Wardrobe

After taking a popular money management course, minimalism vlogger Madisun Gray decided to reevaluate her wardrobe. She carefully chose a few pieces and discarded the rest (about 90% of her clothes). Once described by her husband as an “aspiring fashion blogger,” her miniscule wardrobe now fits on a small rack in her bedroom.

madisun gray

“I feel like paring down, simplifying, limiting my options is what actually gives me the most freedom and fulfillment in my life.”

– Madisun Gray, Content Creator

A few years ago, I decided to opt into an incredibly minimal wardrobe as well. Most days, you can find me in a gray T-shirt and khaki shorts; I call this my “minimalist uniform.” Getting dressed each day has become so easy that I can’t imagine returning to a more diverse wardrobe.

Deciding which pieces to hold onto can be tough — especially for those who like variety. I used these guidelines to assist me in the decision-making process.

An Extreme Minimalist’s Home

Even people who have larger homes can still practice extreme minimalism.

Take Anja of Anja’s ArtWorld, for example. Although she has a decent amount of space in her home, she doesn’t enjoy doing housework and is easily distracted by visual clutter. Because of this, she has intentionally chosen to keep only the essentials.

Her home decor is limited to a few items, including a mirror, a rug, and a key ring holder. Most of her items are purely functional, such as her mattress and her singular bar of soap.

anjas artworld

“This is working out fine for me, so there is no need for me to own any more things. In fact, I’d rather minimize more.”

– Anja, Anja’s ArtWorld

An Extreme Minimalist’s Travel Pack

Some extreme minimalists choose not to have a permanent residence at all.

Over the span of a decade, Rob Greenfield of Exploring Alternatives has decreased his possessions to 47 items — all of which he carries in his backpack. He travels from place to place, enjoying temporary lodging in each new location.

exploring alternatives

“Living with everything in my backpack and not having anything anywhere else has given me a much deeper form of presence. I don’t have things pulling me in different directions.”

– Rob Greenfield, Exploring Alternatives

Are There Any Downsides To Extreme Minimalism?

Are There Any Downsides To Extreme Minimalism

Before discarding items left and right, it may be helpful to consider some potential downsides of extreme minimalism. It’s important to note that it’s not always smooth sailing.

It Can Be An Emotional Roller Coaster

Although downsizing might feel liberating, it can also be emotionally taxing. Letting go can be quite challenging for those who are especially frugal, social, or sentimental. There are plenty of good reasons why people keep things — security, belonging, and remembrance are just a few.

Extreme minimalism may stir up fears of isolationExtreme minimalism has the potential to stir up feelings of fear, isolation, and grief. Once minimalists discard valuable items, they might worry they’ll need them again. Friends and family may ostracize them for their unconventional lifestyle. They may mourn the loss of possessions that meant a lot to them.

These feelings are part of the process, and some people are willing to endure them to experience the benefits of minimalism.

I had no idea how difficult it would be to eliminate certain items from my life when I began my minimalism journey. I don’t regret downsizing, but it didn’t come without an initial cost.

It Can Be Inconvenient At Times

The truth is, extreme minimalism isn’t for the faint of heart.

extreme minimalist lifestyle can be hardHaving a limited number of items can be wildly inconvenient when hosting others. Imagine not being able to give a guest a glass of water because the singular cup is already taken. That would be rather awkward.

This lifestyle can be vexing even without hosting others. If extreme minimalists fall ill but don’t have medicine, get hungry but don’t store much food, or catch a chill without an extra blanket, they could end up suffering more than they have to.

Either that, or they have to make a special trip to acquire supplies. Extreme minimalism requires a great deal of forethought.

It Could Inadvertently Harm The Environment

Decluttering might sound wonderful in theory, but it’s important to remember that just because people no longer own certain items doesn’t mean those items cease to exist.

The irresponsible disposal of unwanted items has the potential to harm the environment. Becoming an extreme minimalist usually involves some level of landfill waste, but the more people can do to reuse and recycle, the better. Items can be listed on a variety of apps, and whatever isn’t sold can be donated to secondhand shops.

Tips To Become An Extreme Minimalist

Tips To Become An Extreme Minimalist

Identify Your Goals

What do you want your life to look like at the end of this journey? How do you want to feel?

Sort And Declutter Your Possessions

Many people assume there’s an ideal number of items extreme minimalists should own, but it’s not about the number — it’s about your individual aspirations. Decluttering can be extremely overwhelming without an organized approach. A 30-day challenge can help keep you on track.

Exercise Mindfulness When Shopping

Try to avoid shopping in general, but when you must, consider purchasing sustainable, high-quality products. The best way to avoid impulse shopping is to keep a running list of wants and needs. Require yourself to wait for a designated period of time before making a purchase.

Adopt New Habits

It’s tempting to fill free time with consumption. Instead, when you feel restless, experiment with new practices like yoga, meditation, reading, or hiking.

Regularly Re-evaluate

Our needs and desires change over time. Part of maintaining an extremely minimal lifestyle is noticing and responding to those shifts. Be cognizant of which items no longer serve you, even after your initial decluttering session. Discard or replace them to avoid the gradual accumulation of unwanted possessions.

how to become a minimalist

Is Extreme Minimalism For You?

Is Extreme Minimalism For You

Although extreme minimalism may be beneficial for some, it is definitely not for everyone. At the end of the day, only you can determine if extreme minimalism is for you.

There is no perfect way to practice it, so you can choose to adopt certain aspects of the philosophy while disregarding others, just as I have.

Regardless of what “level” of minimalism you wish you achieve, the lifestyle should be adopted gradually to avoid feelings of oppression and decrease the likelihood of backsliding.

determine if extreme minimalism is for you

Your Turn!

  • What most appeals to you about extreme minimalism?
  • What are your hesitations about becoming an extreme minimalist?

Five Gift Rule: Something You Want, Need, Wear, Read

Five Gift Rule: Something You Want, Need, Wear, Read

the five gift rule


If there is anything that I have learned being a part of the minimalism community, it’s that quality matters more than quantity, especially when it comes to giving gifts. The ethos of the want, need, wear, read research is to create a meaningful holiday focused on more than just giving or receiving gifts alone.

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

I stumbled into the minimalist community about 10 years ago when I truly started to analyze my values. When the holidays roll around, I base my gift giving for my loved ones on what they value and focus less on material items.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

Something You Want, Need, Wear, Read: Five Gift Rule Christmas

Five Gift Rule Christmas

When the holidays roll around, minimalist ideals can be hard to stick to! Living as a minimalist isn’t that insane in daily life because you don’t need to buy a ton in the day to day.

giving christmas giftsHowever, gift giving around Christmas is a true challenge that many minimalist families run into every year. One thing I really love about the minimalist community is that we are always trying to come up with new strategies to tackle some of the more challenging aspects of minimalism, like giving minimalist gifts.

One of my favorite approaches to gift giving around the holidays is giving clutter-free gifts centered on experiences. Another approach that I’m into is the five gift rule that’s been circulating in the minimalist community as of late.

What Is The Five Christmas Gift Rule?

What Is The Five Christmas Gift Rule

The five Christmas gift rule is making its appearance in the minimalist community as families start shopping for the holidays. Basically, each family member is allowed to ask for and receive five gifts total each holiday season.

Four of these gifts should fall under the categories of one thing you want, one thing you need, one thing you can wear, and one thing you can read. The fifth gift is based on a special experience you can share with your loved ones.

Want, Need, Wear, Read Gift Ideas For Kids

Want Need Wear Read Gift Ideas For Kids

Instilling minimalist ideas in your kids from an early age is honestly one of the best ways to help them understand the value of what they own while they are little.

I don’t have kids of my own, but I have seen my friends who raise minimalist kids use challenges like this with their families around the holidays. It really does have an inspiring impact on the overall spirit of the season.

Something You Want Gift Ideas For Kids

Something You Want Gift Ideas For Kids

Of course, there is plenty out there that kids desire to get their hands on around the holidays. The “want” gift should definitely be centered around something your child truly loves. This is a great opportunity to choose gifts that reflect your child’s most favorite hobbies and passions.

10 Want Gift Ideas For Kids

  1. Art Set
  2. Puzzle Or Riddle Book
  3. Board Game
  4. Camera
  5. Guitar Or Keyboard
  6. Scooter Or Bicycle
  7. Sports Equipment
  8. Blocks Or Legos
  9. Slide Or Swing Set
  10. Playhouse
want gift ideas for kids

Something You Need Gift Ideas For Kids

Something You Need Gift Ideas For Kids

The “need” gift should be something useful to your child. Think about gift ideas that could improve their daily lives or items that could be put to use at school or in their weekly activities.

My friends who do this usually think about what needs their kids have had in that year leading up to Christmas. Maybe their daughter or son wanted to redecorate their room that year, so they might get them paint or wallpaper. If their kid is starting school, they might choose a backpack or water bottle for the year.

10 Need Gift Ideas For Kids

  1. Backpack
  2. Lunchbox
  3. Umbrella
  4. Water Bottle
  5. Pencils And Pens
  6. Journal Or Notebook
  7. Photo Album
  8. Cozy Blanket
  9. Headphones
  10. Bedroom Furniture
start a journal

Something You Wear Gift Ideas For Kids

Something You Wear Gift Ideas For Kids

The “wear” category is pretty self-explanatory — anything your child can actually put on counts as a wear gift. When thinking about this category, try to imagine what clothing your kids might actually get the most use out of as the year progresses.

Don’t just buy the clothes that look nice and flashy. Spend some time thinking about the life and quality of the article of clothing you’re choosing and how your kid could get the most use out of their wardrobe.

10 Wear Gift Ideas For Kids

  1. Pajama Set
  2. Winter Coat
  3. Rain Jacket
  4. Slippers
  5. Tennis Shoes
  6. Wool Or Fuzzy Socks
  7. Mittens Or Gloves
  8. Sunglasses
  9. Cotton T-shirts
  10. Shorts Or Jeans
wear gifts for kids

Something You Read Gift Ideas For Kids

Something You Read Gift Ideas For Kids

Stimulating the minds of your little ones is one of the best ways to give them a quality gift around the holidays. There are tons of ways to engage your kids in the world of literature and stimulate their minds around the holidays.

10 Read Gift Ideas For Kids

  1. Picture Books
  2. Chapter Books
  3. Series Or Book Set
  4. Logic Or Puzzle Book
  5. Kindle Or Reading Tablet
  6. Kids Magazine Subscription
  7. Sheet Music Or Score Book
  8. DIY Activity Book
  9. Sticker Book
  10. Cookbook
read gifts for kids

Want, Need, Wear, Read Gift Ideas For Adults

Want Need Wear Read Gift Ideas For Adults

This minimalist gift challenge doesn’t just help kids. It can also be extremely beneficial for adults, especially around the holidays.

I’ll spare you the mushy gushy true meaning of the holidays speech, but as a guy who loves what the minimalist community stands for, I really have seen this kind of thinking change people and help them grow towards being more appreciative, more conscious of what they own, and more thankful for what they have.

Something You Want Gift Ideas For Adults

Something You Want Gift Ideas For Adults

I think it’s easy in adulthood to start thinking of the holidays as a way to ask for those things you need to clean, cook, and get through your day. While that’s all well and good, I think it’s important to remember that you’re allowed to play even as a grown up!

For the want category, consider asking for things that make you smile and represent your passions and joys, not just what you need.

10 Want Gift Ideas For Adults

  1. Easel Or Art Set
  2. Vinyl Records Or Record Player
  3. Board Games
  4. Camera
  5. Guitar Or Drum Set
  6. Bicycle
  7. Spa Essentials
  8. Crafting Supplies
  9. Cooking Supplies
  10. Puzzles
Want Gift Ideas For Adults

Something You Need Gift Ideas For Adults

Something You Need Gift Ideas For Adults

Ideas for a “need” gift work best when you think about what items could really enhance your daily life. Maybe you are trying to start working out more, so a workout set is a helpful need. Maybe you could use some new furniture in your living room — there are so many ways to tackle this category.

10 Need Gift Ideas For Adults

  1. Workout Gear
  2. Laptop
  3. Office Supplies
  4. New Furniture
  5. Luggage Set
  6. Cleaning Supplies
  7. Meal Kit Subscription
  8. Sleep Aid Device
  9. Hair Styling Tools Or Bath Supplies
  10. Wireless Charging Device
Need Gift Ideas For Adults

Something You Wear Gift Ideas For Adults

Something You Wear Gift Ideas For Adults

Focus the “wear” category on clothing items that you think will improve the quality of your daily life or complete your wardrobe. It’s all about quality over quantity when it comes to this category, so spend some time evaluating the longevity of the items you’re considering purchasing.

10 Wear Gift Ideas For Adults

  1. Dress Suit
  2. Winter Coat
  3. Rain Jacket
  4. Slippers
  5. Quality Tennis Shoes
  6. Wool Or Fuzzy Socks
  7. Mittens Or Gloves
  8. Sunglasses
  9. Cotton T-shirts
  10. Shorts Or Jeans
Wear Gift Ideas For Adults

Something You Read Gift Ideas For Adults

Something You Read Gift Ideas For Adults

As an extremely avid reader myself, the “read” category is my favorite one on this list. I love thinking of ways I can engage my mind more each holiday season.

10 Read Gift Ideas For Adults

  1. Novels
  2. Self Help Books
  3. Series Or Book Set
  4. DIY And How To Books
  5. Kindle Or Reading Tablet
  6. Magazine Subscription
  7. Informative Books
  8. Poetry Book
  9. Memoir
  10. Cookbook
Read Gift Ideas For Adults

In a nutshell, this challenge is an awesome way to remind your friends and family that consumerism isn’t really what holidays are about. Limiting yourself to five gifts helps you to ensure quality gifts that won’t just sit around and collect dust and keeps the true reasons that you celebrate at the forefront of your holiday.

Your Turn!

  • What five gifts will you choose this season?
  • How can the five gift rule help you remember your values?

Get Ahead Of The Game With A Sunday Reset Routine

Get Ahead Of The Game With A Sunday Reset Routine

sunday reset


Having a simple checklist of things to do on Sunday in order to start my week off right has been a game changer for me. A Sunday reset routine sets the tone for the week and doesn’t take a lot of time, helps keep my house tidy and clean, and lowers my stress levels.

Knocking out those pesky things like cleaning, groceries, or cooking earlier in the week means the simple things have been taken care of so you can give all your attention to living your life.

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

I call my Sunday reset routine my “Sunday sweep.” I’ve created a short list that tackles problem areas in less than 30 minutes, even if it’s just me doing it. My checklist takes thinking out of the process so I can just grab my cleaning supplies and knock it out.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

Why A Sunday Reset Matters

Why A Sunday Reset Matters

I think the concept of a Sunday reset works so well because it is a routine or practice that helps bring some ritual to starting the week off right.

I know I am not alone in this, but when I get stressed, I often find myself cleaning my space. It helps me feel a sense of control when life gets a bit crazy and I can say, “I might not be able to control that part of my life, but I can control this part.” I’m sure a therapist would have a field day with that one.

Regardless, I do feel that there is merit to setting the tone of your week with a tidy space. This ritual also helps bring a healthy close to the weekend so you can begin easing into the work week in a productive way.

The trick with any good habit is to make it easy to do, reduce the friction of the process, and, where possible, make it fun.

building good habits

Why Do Sunday Resets Work?

Why Do Sunday Resets Work

In addition to setting the right tone, there is a fair bit of science that has come out regarding what we need to be more effective in our daily lives. Rest and relaxation make up a big part of that, as well as getting oriented in the right way.

rest and recalibrationMovements like the quiet quitting movement that challenge unfair work environments and salute those who take care of their workers first are finally being praised on a macro level. We are beginning to voice something that we should have been voicing all along: Human beings need rest and recalibration to take care of themselves well and, thus, do higher quality work. The priorities should go: human first, work second.

Biology, neurology, and psychology all agree that the human body is an organism that needs to be recharged and refueled in order to function. Numerous studies reveal that putting in extra time on the front end to prepare your body, mind, and space, and simply recalibrating is not only good for your soul, but it improves productivity, too.

Taking that extra step on Sunday to clean or organize your office, prep some healthy batch-cooked meals, take a long warm bath, or go on a relaxing walk will set you up for a far more successful week than if you neglect all of your personal needs. Your body and mind are the most valuable tools at your disposal to help you be the person you want to be and create the work you want to create, so take the time to care for them.

ways to declutter your mind

A Sunday Reset Routine Reduces Decision Fatigue

A Sunday Reset Routine Reduces Decision Fatigue

Decision fatigue has been a core inspiration for many of my decisions as a minimalist. It has led me to start wearing a personal uniform, adopt a basic minimalist diet, and declutter most of my belongings.

getting a grip on a busy scheduleWhy? Many studies including one by Medical News Today reveals that limiting the number of choices you make in one day improves your mental clarity and cognitive capacity.

Reducing the number of trivial choices made in a small amount of time gives you more brain capacity for depth, creativity, theorizing, problem solving, analyzing information, and relating to loved ones.

Starting a Sunday reset routine will reduce the number of decisions and open doors for other things. When I started doing my Sunday sweep every week, it took cleaning, cooking, organizing, decluttering, and sorting entirely off my mind during my work week. This gave me more brain space to use on things that were important to my life and my work.

You Gain Time When You Reset On Sunday

You Gain Time When You Reset On Sunday

Choosing to be strategic with how I use my “off” time has been one of my most helpful tools in managing tasks while also feeling at peace and content in my own mind.

Instead of spending my Sunday mindlessly scrolling on TikTok or watching reruns, I ask myself how I can use my time to take care of me. Going that extra mile to prep meals or tidy up my office on Sunday saves me time throughout my week.

A Sunday Reset Routine Gives You Peace Of Mind

A Sunday Reset Routine Gives You Peace Of Mind

The best aspect of implementing a Sunday reset routine is the peace of mind it brings you. I can be pretty cynical about things, and I often look at trendy routines like this and think about how they’re not a magic fix. And while that’s true — a Sunday reset routine isn’t a magic fix to solve all your problems — it has genuinely helped me get my mind ready to dive into my work week.

Put simply, my reset routine just gives me less to think about during the day. When I know I have my fuel in the fridge, my tools in their right places, and a clean and cozy house to work in, I can conquer the week with ease.

tips for simple living

My Personal Sunday Sweep

My Personal Sunday Sweep

I wanted to share some of the things I do in my own Sunday sweep routine to get everything in order for the week. However, before I get into it, I want to say that self-care is going to looks different for every single person based on the things that they value most.

You want your Sunday reset routine to align with the goals you have for the week. I don’t personally participate in the more artistic or self-reflective parts of self-care, but if your idea of resetting means painting a self-portrait with classical musical blaring on vinyl behind you, definitely go for it.

Like I said, your Sunday reset routine should reflect you above all else. I’ve shown you the things I do below!

Ryan’s Sunday Sweep Check List

Ryans Sunday Sweep Check List

Like I said, I start off each week with a Sunday sweep routine that helps me to be more efficient, make fewer trivial decisions, and increase the quality of my day by having a nice, clean space.

Most of the tasks I go through each Sunday are about cleaning and preparation, because I know that’s what I need to do to start my week off right.

I have my own personal Sunday sweep checklist that helps me to stay on track. It includes a section for decluttering, dusting, doing laundry, cleaning the bathrooms, cleaning the kitchen, and other general cleaning.


sunday sweep bucket

Sunday Sweep Check List

Ryan’s Sunday Sweep Cleaning Caddy

Ryans Sunday Sweep Cleaning Caddy

I actually built a specific cleaning caddy for my Sunday sweep routine which only holds the things that I need to complete my specific checklist and nothing else. That way, when I am ready to start my reset, I can grab my checklist and my caddy and knock out all the work in under 30 minutes!

Sunday Sweep Cleaning Caddy

Ryan’s Sunday Sweep Cleaning Items List

Ryans Sunday Sweep Cleaning Items List copy

Over my years of resetting on Sunday, I have filled my caddy with some of my favorite cleaning products that have passed the test of time.

OXO deep cleaning brushesI love using my Swiffer, which has been a game changer for me and my personal cleaning routine. The magic eraser is great for tough stain spots and I really could not live without it.

When it comes to odor removal, I use Mrs. Meyer’s air freshener because it doesn’t have any sketchy ingredients and smells so good. Sometimes I’ll light a candle or two. Plink’s drain deodorizers also smell great, and I haven’t been able to find a cheaper generic version that matches them in quality.

I would highly recommend OXO deep cleaning brushes for removing grime around sink and faucets. I also like to keep a large box of baking soda and a gallon jug of white vinegar with my caddy, which isn’t shown in the image. I have some items that I rotate in and out of my cleaning caddy, but for the most part, these items are my weekly go tos.

create a minimalist house

Building Your Own Sunday Reset Routine

Building Your Own Sunday Reset Routine

When building your own personal Sunday reset routine, ask yourself what kind of reset routine will be most helpful for the way you operate: what do you need to do or have to help get you through your week?

meal prepping for sunday resetI know my good friend Tessa likes to spend Sunday away from all notifications, emails, text messages, social media, and looming work tasks to read something enlightening or write in her journal. For her, resetting her mind needs to come first in order to tackle the rest.

For me, having a sense of control over my physical surroundings helps me feel prepared enough to dive into the rapid influx of tasks and work that comes with being a small business owner. For some of my other close friends, meal prepping for their huge family or tackling long forms and business phone calls early on in the week helps them feel less anxious.

Your Sunday reset routine should match who you are and what you need. Here are some simple ideas of things you could do to reset on Sunday:

1Give Your Home A Deep Clean

Giving my entire house a deep clean is an awesome way to help me reset my space and mind to prepare for a long week. Not only does having a clean space help you mentally prepare for a busy week, but it can also be great for your body and physical health to have clean sheets, clothes, and air.

Ideas To Clean Your House And Reset Your Sunday

  • Change your sheets
  • Clean sinks and counters
  • Mop and sweep
  • Vacuum
  • Wash towels, hand towels, and bathmats
  • Sanitize shower, sinks, and soap dispensers
vacuum cleaner

2Knock Out Other Household Chores

It can be super difficult to find time in the middle of my busy week to do basic household chores. That’s why I like to include household chores in my Sunday reset to-do list, as it helps my hectic week run much more smoothly!

Chore Ideas During Sunday Reset

washing dishes

3Organize And Declutter Your Rooms

Taking the time to organize and declutter my bedroom, bathroom, and work space helps me set myself up for success amidst a hectic week. Knowing everything is in its place can save you from decision fatigue and help you find what you need faster in the middle of a long work day.

Organization Ideas During Sunday Reset

sorting clothes

4Running Errands

Running errands and buying groceries are two of the best tactics to set yourself up well for a busy week, so this is something I prioritize getting done before my week gets hectic. Think about what you might need for the week or what errands you may not have time to get to after a long workday, and try to knock those out during your Sunday reset routine.

Ideas For Errands To Run During Sunday Reset

  • Buy groceries
  • Get gas
  • Pick up or drop off laundry
  • Clean or vacuum the car
  • Pick up prescriptions
filling the car with gas

5Meal Prep This Week’s Lunches And Dinners

Meal prepping has gained a ton of popularity in the past few years as one of the best time savers for those with hectic schedules. I do a lot of meal prepping for my lunches so I can eat quickly between meetings.

Whether you are a mom with school-age kids or an adult with a full-time job, cooking lunch and dinner every day may not be in the cards. Help yourself get ahead and cook meals during your Sunday reset routine.

Meal Prep Ideas

  • Prep mason jar meals
  • Prep freezer meals
  • Prep sack lunches
  • Chop or prepare ingredients
  • Decant food
  • Cook meals ahead of time
prepped meals stored in fridge

Sunday Reset Routine Checklist

Sunday Reset Routine Checklist

Go through this checklist to tackle all of these Sunday reset ideas! I’ve put them all in one place for easy access. Of course, don’t feel like you have to address them all — choose what works for you.

Sunday Reset Routine Checklist


  • Sort mail and email
  • Put away clothes
  • Organize desk or workspace
  • Sort bathroom and medicine cabinet
  • Sort shelves in fridge
  • Declutter yard or garage


  • Change your sheets
  • Clean sinks and counters
  • Mop and sweep
  • Vacuum
  • Laundry
  • Wash dishes


  • Buy groceries
  • Get gas
  • Pick up/drop off laundry
  • Wash/vacuum the car
  • Pick up prescriptions
  • Item

Meal Prep

  • Prep mason jar meals
  • Prep freezer meals
  • Prep sack lunches
  • Chop or prepare ingredients
  • Decant food
  • Cook meals ahead of time
There are so many ways you can reset on Sunday beyond what I’m suggesting. Journaling, setting intentions, or giving your room a new ambiance are just a few ideas of other ways you can reset on Sunday. Matching your reset routine to your needs is the best way to help you feel empowered to take on a crazy week!

Your Turn!

  • What steps will your Sunday reset routine include?
  • What reset ideas can you implement on Sunday to make your week easier?