How To Become A Minimalist: The No Nonsense Guide

How To Become A Minimalist


I’ve never met anyone who has become a minimalist and found that it didn’t immediately simplify their life. When I made the jump into minimalism over a decade ago, I went from a cluttered home and a busy schedule to traveling the world out of a single backpack, carefree. I got out of debt and saved more money than ever in my bank account. Here’s how I made the shift.

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

Becoming a minimalist has given me more time for what I love, freedom to orient my life towards things I care about, and resources to use on my true needs.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

How Becoming Minimalist Improves Your Life

How Becoming Minimalist Improves Your Life

At first glance, the idea of living a minimalist lifestyle may sound difficult, restrictive, or even boring. But I’m here to tell you that the lifestyle is anything but that! I was a bit skeptic when I first decided to take on minimalist living, but doing so has given me a life I genuinely love living.

Reasons I Became A Minimalist

  • Financial freedom was appealing.
  • Spreading myself thin wasn’t working anymore.
  • Clutter was making me crazy.
  • I sought a life that matched what I cared about.
  • The daily grind was exhausting; I sought rest.
  • I desired more peace of mind.
  • My focus on quality relationships was lacking.
  • I wanted life to feel simpler and easier.
wanting life to be simpler and easier

what is minimalist living

How To Be A Minimalist: It Starts With Your Mindset

How To Be A Minimalist It Starts With Your Mindset

It’s pretty common for beginners to think that minimalism starts with rigid, constraining, hard-to-manage habits and rules. This couldn’t be further from the truth!

Minimalism is an ideology that moves from the inside out. It starts with your mindset, the lens through which you are viewing your life, then moves outward from there to become actionable habits and steps.

ways to declutter your mind

Becoming A Minimalist Means Making Space For What’s Important

Make Space For Whats Important

Another big misconception when it comes to living a minimalist life is that the main goal of becoming a minimalist is to get rid of as much stuff as possible. Wrong again!

The main goal of minimalism is not to get rid of as much as possible, but to get rid of the things that don’t contribute to the value of your daily life, so you can have more brain space and physical space for what’s most important to you.

are you living a level 10 life

Identify Your Values As A Minimalist

Identify Your Values

In order to make more space for the things you value, you first have to identify what those things are. Ask yourself what your life could use more of and what you could use less of in your day to day. Don’t skip this step — it’s a major aspect of becoming a minimalist!

For me, my values at the time looked like more financial security, more time with loved ones, more time for hobbies like reading and camping, and more freedom to use my time as I please in my daily life. It also looked like less overworking myself, less spending money on what I don’t need, and less time given to things that don’t serve me and help me grow.

building good habits

Fix What Bothers You To Simplify Your Life

Fix What Bothers You To Simplify Your Life

Fixing the small things quickly turns into fixing the big things. If something is bothering you in your day-to-day life, it’s common for a lot of people to continue along your merry way without addressing it. However, it’s typically pretty easy to fix these things once you look them in the eye and keep them from dragging you down further.

Just Start Simple And Realize Becoming A Minimalist Is A Journey

Just Start Simple

Like I said, minimalism is a mindset, but it doesn’t have to be a complicated or rigid one. When you’re getting started, don’t fixate on the end result or on the most difficult things to change.

Start with the easiest things to change and work your way up from there. Making small amounts of progress can help improve your motivation and inspire you to keep going.

8 Ways To Become Minimalistic In Daily Life

Ways To Become Minimalistic In Daily Life

Like I said before, minimalism can easily be integrated into many different areas of your daily life. The minimalist lifestyle isn’t limited to one specific avenue. There are so many ways to become a minimalist and integrate minimalist living into the day to day!

how long to become a minimalist

Declutter First, Then Organize

Declutter First Then Organize

The decluttering process is the easiest way to kick start your journey toward living a minimalist life. I’ve learned that doing this slowly and over a few sweeps seems to be the most efficient way to start out. I did about three or four sweeps of decluttering before I was completely satisfied with everything I got rid of and everything I kept.

When you go through the decluttering process at a reasonable pace (for example, don’t do it all in one day or even in one month), the transition will be a bit easier. If you go from a full house to a mostly empty house overnight, it will be a much harder adjustment.

Many people like to declutter by the room, so if that works for you, start there. After you declutter, you can jump into the organization process and provide a new home for every item that you have left. I always recommend decluttering first, then organizing. The inverse will just create extra work for you, because you’ll end up organizing things you ultimately get rid of anyway.

30 day declutter challenge

Minimize Your Wardrobe

Minimize Your Wardrobe

Adopting a minimalist wardrobe is a major facet of living the minimalist lifestyle. A capsule wardrobe is designing a wardrobe from the ground up so that every item in your closet can be mixed and matched to every other piece of clothing.

Many people have embraced a minimalist wardrobe, even if they aren’t a minimalist already, because this allows you to maximize the number of outfits you can create while minimizing the items you own. Typically, people choose one or two main colors and then add in a few pieces that are complimentary colors.

Keeping styles and fits classic allows you to avoid seasonal swings in fashion trends and lets you have only the clothes that you love. Accessories, scarves, jewelry, and jackets let you mix up your looks too — just don’t hold on to too many of those.

how to embrace a minimalist wardrobe

Boost Productivity With Minimalist Work Habits

Boost Productivity With Minimalist Work Habits

Becoming minimalist also applies to the office. We spend a lot of time at work, so it’s important not just to have a minimalist home, but also a minimalist office.

Taking control over all aspects of your life will lead to less stress, better time management, increased income, and a better work-life balance. The biggest increases in my income and contentment with my work all stemmed from being intentional in my life.

I’ve tried integrating lots of work habits into my life over the years that have helped me boost my productivity, like monotasking, planning out my tasks the night before, working toward inbox zero, or allowing myself to take breaks throughout the day.

monotasking mindfulness at work
Building good habits is much easier as a minimalist because it means doing one important thing that most people don’t do: taking the time to understand what’s important to us and making intentional changes to live a better life. That puts us way ahead of most people, and the rewards are reaped in our personal lives and in our career.

Simplify Your Calendar Like A Minimalist Would

Simplify Your Calendar

A simpler calendar leads to a less complicated life. I used to schedule meetups with friends back-to-back, and I would always be late to one because I didn’t want to leave my first rendezvous so soon. I was never able to truly live in the moment because I was constantly thinking about what I needed to do next.

Since I’ve become a minimalist, I have worked less than I ever have in my life and have been able to build a schedule that matches my needs. Yet, I still have more money in my bank account, since I don’t spend like I used to.

getting a grip on a busy schedule

Try A Minimalist Diet

Try A Minimalist Diet

A minimalist diet doesn’t mean a bland diet or eating the same thing over and over again. For me, becoming a minimalist in the kitchen started with getting a handle on my kitchen clutter and identifying my fridge and pantry staples. Once I slimmed down the key essentials, I found I enjoyed cooking even more.

Like everything with minimalism, it’s important to figure out what is right for you and optimize things to that end. Identifying what works best for you is extremely important when it comes to building a minimalist diet.

Some people have an extremely simple diet of rice and beans, others find a plant-based diet or minimalist raw vegan diet to be right for them. For me, I start with my favorite dishes and determine a base set of ingredients to always keep on hand. Take some time to identify your dietary staples and go from there.

minimalist diet
It’s important to be careful and mindful whenever you’re altering your diet. Don’t oversimplify so much that you forgo essential nutrients. Consult a doctor or dietician if you’re not sure how to adapt this concept to fit your individual needs.

Become Debt Free With Minimalist Finance Tips

Become Debt Free With Minimalist Finance Tips

One of the biggest perks of minimalism (and the one that draws a lot of people to minimalism) is the amount of money you are able to save with a minimalist lifestyle. By spending money only on the necessities, you’ll end up accidentally saving loads of money down the line.

It wasn’t until I saw my bank account balance steadily increasing that I realized that I can really do anything I want. I could look into potentially purchasing a house, buying my next car in cash, or traveling long term, the way I was going.

When you start saving on accident and stop thinking about the material possessions that you want, you’ll be able to really focus on your genuine passions, and even donate to charities that you are involved in.

where to donate your unwanted belongings

Minimalist Living Resources For Beginners

Minimalist Living Resources For Beginners

In a nutshell, minimalism has altered my life for the better — I’d never go back now. Another aspect of minimalist living that I’ve loved is plugging into the minimalist community itself. I’ve linked some resources to help you to take the next steps in becoming a minimalist.

Take The Next Steps To Become A Minimalist

rules minimalists live by

Your Turn!

  • Which area of your life could you apply minimalist ideas to?
  • What minimalist habits can you start tomorrow?
  1. There isn’t a way to get the declutter checklist. It said no email was set up :/

  2. I have an image of Ghandi in my mind – what he seemed to be quite content with at the end of his life was a book and a pair of glasses. I would like to live contentedly with perhaps my Kindle, laptop (I already have the glasses!) The main idea here is to be CONTENT with having a little and this is what I am trying to work towards. I am a beginner – I have made a start and I am hoping this website will help to inspire and motivate me.

  3. Do you have any suggestions on how to be intentional with my time, when I have 2 elementary aged children, and the school frequently asks for parent volunteers (something I really don’t like doing, but feel obligated to take my turn) once or more a month?
    My reason for wanting to start living minimally is to be more present and involved in my children’s lives…

    • There is no chance to go “minimalist” with 2 children:)

      • whaaat? why not? MAYBE not the Youtuber Minimalist style, but still, minimalism isnt a movement with rules to follow. Its about have what you use, dont be so close to material things, and know that you use a thing and its done. You dont have to keep it forever.

        Minimalism isnt about dont consume anything, its about consuming what you want and need, learn what you can about it and move on.

    • It all begins with slowing your mind down. As you do that the rest will follow

    • Amanda, you can do it. There is nothing wrong in not doing voluteering. Ask your kids os it is important yo them. The other parents don’t matter, your kids do. So if they ask you to do stuff, do for them, because will be good memories for them, but dont sacrifice your time doing because the other parents do. Maybe the majority of them feel the same and struggle with the same “i don’t like it but i feel obligated to” 🙂

  4. It sounds nice in theory but also very selfish. There is value in sacrifice and being a self giving person. It’s not all about “us” and how we feel. “Cutting out the things that aren’t serving us”, why would expect everything to serve me? While there is good in being a minimalists, I question the application to all areas of life.

    • I understand your thought process, but I saw it more like being a little bit more selective in who you interact with and what you do, focusing on the things that bring you positivity instead of settling for the things that don’t.

    • The application in theory would be to keep it as simple as possible …

    • You’re missing the point of being a minimalist. Consuming less is being considerate to all living things.
      NEVER post here again!

  5. Hello sir how are you
    i need a gest post on your site
    i send you article

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