Posts Tagged Life Style

Living In A Tent Full Time: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Living In A Tent Full Time: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

living in a tent


As idyllic and hipster as living in a tent full time may look on Pinterest, it’s not something you can just decide you’re ready for overnight. You will inevitably face many challenges when you decide to move into a tent, but the rewards are undeniably worth it.

I’ve found that my friends who have taken the risk to live full time in a tent have grown deeply from it and would not change their experience for anything. I think that’s often the paradox of life; things with the biggest risk often reap the greatest rewards.

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

I’ve lived in a tiny house for the past 10 years and have fallen in love with the freedom, mobility, peace of mind, and financial freedom the lifestyle has gifted me. Living in a tent can give you all of that and more.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

What You Need To Know About Living In A Tent

What You Need To Know About Living In A Tent

There is a plethora of alternative living options out there like a tiny house, van life, a cargo trailer, or even a fancy yurt. A lot of these routes are much less rugged and involved than moving into a canvas tent full time.

If you’re looking for a taste of freedom and adventure without sacrificing some of the amenities you’re used to, you may want to try out a different option before moving your whole family into a tent in the woods. However, living in a tent doesn’t have to be entirely off grid. There are many ways to integrate the amenities you need into your nice canvas tent.

living in a tent full time
full time tent living
tent for living in full time
living in a tent permanently

Living full time in a tent is no joke. Making this move isn’t the same as going camping on the weekend and snapping back to reality afterwards. Moving into a tent as your full-time home means embracing what nature has to offer 24/7. This can be a wildly rewarding and life altering adventure if you’re up to the challenge.

full time living in a tent
moving into a tent to live full time
how to live in a tent full time
living in a yurt

How To Decide If I’m Ready To Live In A Tent

If you’re considering moving into a tent by yourself, with your partner, or even with your family, there are several things I’d advise you to consider before nailing stakes in the ground. When you feel ready to take this leap, set aside some time to ask yourself important questions about your comfort expectations, lifestyle, and what you’re trying get out of this life change.

Before Living In A Tent, Ask Yourself:

  • Are my typical daily life luxuries possible with tent life, and, if not, am I willing to give up those luxuries every day?
  • Do I have a plan to adjust my work life to fit my move into a tent?
  • Or, if I don’t plan to work while living in my tent, do I have the savings to tide me over?
  • Tent life will give me less security (you can’t lock your door). Am I okay with being more vulnerable in that way?
  • Am I okay with facing the elements and making adjustments to protect my home from weather and wildlife?
  • Do I have a plan for integrating utilities into my tent?
challenges to living in a tent full timeI am not posing these questions to talk you out of trying out tent life. I wouldn’t make a whole blog post about something I didn’t think has a ton of value and improves lives!

Living in a tent full time will teach you so much about yourself, your needs, and what you can do without. However, I think it’s super important that you know what you’re getting into before you make a rash decision you end up not being ready for!

Is It Legal To Live In A Tent Full Time?

Another huge consideration when trying to live in a tent full time is understanding where you’re legally allowed to camp. City planning as well as national and state zoning laws prohibit you from being able to pitch a tent anywhere you want. These laws are also going to fluctuate a ton based on where you live.

If you’re wanting to move from campground to campground in your tent, or live in a campground for a long period of time, what’s allowed is going to depend on the rules of the campground or park. The last thing you want to have to deal with is getting fined for pitching your tent somewhere you aren’t allowed.

It’s pretty common for state and national parks to limit you to two weeks at a time in their campground. After two weeks, the camper must move out of the area beyond a 25-mile radius, according to the National Bureau of Land Management. You can find out the exact limitations by going on the park’s website or calling the park directly.

where are tiny homes legalIf you are just wanting to pitch your tent on your own land, you also have to jump through some hoops to make that happen. In the United States, it is illegal to live in a car, tent, or other housing type that isn’t deemed suitable for living via national law.

Unfortunately, these housing laws still exist even if you hope to live in a tent on your own land. While society has become a lot more progressive in the last decade as far as accommodating alternative living styles, national zoning laws haven’t exactly followed suit.

In order to live full time in a tent on your own land, you will need either a structure with a building permit or an existing camping permit. Depending on which state you live in, it may be possible to get a temporary camping permit that can get renewed every month or year so you can live full time in a tent on your land.

The devil is always in the details with things like this, so be sure to contact your local reps to find out the exact rules in your own municipality for living in a tent.

Resources For Finding Free Campsites

free campsite resources

The Benefits Of Living In A Tent Full Time

The Benefits Of Living In A Tent Full Time

If there is so much to deal with before living in a tent, why do so many people love adopting the lifestyle? I have several friends who have tried tent living, and I don’t know a single person who regretted it.

I think there is something about the Walden-esque retreat into nature that reignites a flame in us as people. I’m not a mystic by any means — I tend to focus on the here and now. But I do think there is a lot of value that people gain by forgoing the status quo, whether it’s for a month, a year, or a weekend, while soaking up what nature has to offer.

places to go to clear your head

Living In A Tent Saves Money

While the mental benefits of tent life are also immense, I’d say the advantage people talk about most is the financial one. When living in a tent, you don’t have to worry about paying rent to a landlord or spending a ton on water and utility bills.

The cost of tent living for you will definitely depend on your personal setup and how many amenities you plan into your canvas tent. Still, it’s inevitably going to be cheaper than any apartment.

Tent Living Lowers Your Carbon Footprint

Living in a tiny house for the past decade has taught me a lot about valuing the environment. Living in a tent full time is one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint and protect the earth. When living in a tent, you cut out most of your power and gas usage, which is a game changer for how much energy you’re consuming.

Life In A Tent Brings Freedom And Mobility

One of the most attractive aspects of tent life for people is the amount of sheer freedom the lifestyle provides. Similar to many other forms of alternative living, tent life gives you the ability to pick up everything you own and move to any campsite, park, city, or state you please.

Living In A Tent Forces You To Grow

Personal growth is one of the biggest benefits of moving into a tent. Like I mentioned before, it can be a challenge that isn’t for the faint of heart. However, taking this leap will teach you so much about yourself, your limitations, and what you’re able to handle out in the wilderness. You may truly surprise yourself.

Tent Life Is Good For Your Health

Spending more time outside is medically proven to be great for the health of our minds and bodies. Plants release phytoncides that help your body regulate itself, reduce toxins, and improve your immune system. Studies also prove that spending time in nature increases your mental stability and happiness.

Challenges Of Living In A Tent

Challenges Of Living In A Tent

Of course, living full time in a tent will also present a fair number of challenges to overcome. Here are some of the hardest parts that full-time tent dwellers talk about most often.

You’ll Have To Face Animals And Bad Weather

Being closer to the elements certainly means you’ll feel more of their effects. Living full time in a tent means that you’ll have to take extra precautions to protect your home from bad weather and wildlife surrounding your campsite.

It’s also a harsh reality that, even if you invest in a very durable canvas tent, it might be destroyed by a storm. Your food may be ravaged by racoons even if you hoist it into a tree. There are just some sacrifices you make and risks you take when building a home in the great outdoors.

Sanitation And Utilities Can Be A Challenge In A Tent

Setting up sanitation and utilities in a tent is a beast of its own. It’s a challenge to navigate plumbing, waste removal, water usage, electricity, and other utilities when you aren’t connected to public systems. Tent users usually have to go the off-grid route when it comes to utility setup.

living off grid guide

Safety Concerns Are Harder To Address In A Tent

One thing many tent life hopefuls forget to consider is the lack of access to medical help in a remote location. If you’re living in the boondocks, it may be harder to get the help you need if an injury or illness comes up. It’s vital that you create a gameplan specific to your personal medical needs and safeguard you and your family against possibly emergencies in your tent.

Tent Life Can be Lonely

I think this is one downside of tent life that campers don’t think about as often. It seems obvious to consider all the technical challenges of living in a tent full time, but people forget the social impact.

Think about your life now and how much your social interactions are dependent on frequency of being in the same location. Tent life can be a social challenge when you’re in the woods alone.

Pro Tips For Living In A Tent Full Time

Pro Tips For Living In A Tent Full Time

As you can see, living full time in a tent comes with many challenges. Here are some tips to help you make this transition seamlessly.

Protect The Exterior Of Your Tent

Since your tent is going to be exposed to the elements, it’s a good idea to invest in a way to give the exterior of your canvas tent some extra protection. I’d suggest buying a fly sheet to overlay across the top of your tent and protect the fabric from harsh sun, wet rain, or heavy snow.

Invest In Comfortable Flooring For Your Tent

Since you’re going to be living in your tent full time, you don’t want to treat it like any regular old camping tent. Invest in some nice carpet or flooring to add to your tent to cover the ground and make your tent feel more like home. This also provides some extra padding and protection between your feet and the hard ground.

flooring for living in a tent full time
living in a tent full time flooring

Keep Your Foodstuffs Sealed Tight

Wildlife finding their way into your home is one if the biggest challenges full time tenters face. To prevent critters form getting into your canned goods and frozen meals, make sure all your food is sealed extra tight.

Invest In Locked Storage To Protect Valuables

There isn’t exactly a simple way to lock your tent, so you’ll want to make a plan for your valuable items to prevent them from being stolen while you’re in the woods. I’d suggest either locking your valuables in your car or investing in some sort of lockbox or firesafe to keep your stuff safe.

Use A Rainwater Catchment System

Most of my friends who live in their tents collect rain water to use for drinking and bathing. This way, you don’t have to rely on the city water supply to have access to clean water. There are many ways to set up a rainwater catchment system and tailor it to fit your needs.

how to set up a rainwater catchment

Educate Yourself On Wildlife And Plants In Your Area

One of the best things you can do for yourself before moving into your tent is to get informed about the animals and plants in your area. There are so many survival books and websites out there that can help you read up on what plants are safe to eat and touch as well as which animals are most common, threatening, or friendly.

Take notes on how to protect yourself from wildlife attacks or health concerns from harmful plants. Doing this will give you that extra layer of knowledge to stay safe in your tent.

homesteading book reviews

Living In A Tent In The Winter: What You Need To Know

Living In A Tent In The Winter: What You Need To Know

Like I mentioned above, if you plan to live in a tent year-round, you’re going to run into some problems with weather. So, what do you do when harsh, frigid winters try to run you out of your canvas tent?

Invest In Gear That Will Help You Survive Harsh Winters

It’s super important that you have the right gear to protect yourself from freezing while living in a tent. Don’t make the rookie mistake of assuming you’ll be fine to save an extra buck — this is how inexperienced campers lose their lives every single year.

I know that’s a little morbid, but the severity warrants a serious response. When doing something like living in the wilderness full time, safety should be your first priority, always.

Necessary Gear For Winter Camping

  • Cold Weather Sleeping Bag
  • Insulated Sleeping Pad
  • Sleeping Mat
  • Cold Weather Clothing
  • Wood Burning Stove
  • Cooking Stove Platform
  • Lamp For Long Nights
cold weather sleeping bag

Buy The Best Type Of Tent

When you set out to buy your tent, consider if you plan to live in it through the winter and let that inform the type of tent you invest in. For your tent to be able to withstand harsh winters, it needs to be durable and able to insulate itself.

It’s also wise to buy a tent that is water repellent to keep unwanted moisture from rain or snow out of your living space. Canvas wall tents are the best type of tents to handle all four seasons because this type of tent is built with durable cotton material that withstands weather damage.

choosing a tent for living full time
what type of tent is best for living full time
the best type of tent to buy for full time living
Buying The Best Type Of Tent

Plan Your Meals Ahead Of Time

In crazy winter weather, it may be more difficult to go out and retrieve the foodstuffs you’ll need to survive. Due to this, you’ll want to put in the extra time to plan your food for the winter ahead of time, like the settlers did back in the day.

Some great options for preserving food through harsh winters are canned goods, because they stay good for a long time and can be cooked over a fire at any time. Dehydrating food and relying on frozen meals are also great options for winter living. Whatever you do, keep in mind that a healthy caloric intake is vital to staying warm, so don’t skimp or try to diet at this time.

minimalist diet

High-Quality Canvas Tents And Where To Buy Them

High-Quality Canvas Tents And Where To Buy Them

If you’re planning to live in a tent full time, you want to make sure your tent is durable, strong, and works with your lifestyle and needs. I’ve compiled a list of some brands that carry wall tents, bell tents, and canvas tents built to last longer than a flimsy nylon tent.

High Quality Canvas Tents
High Quality Canvas Tents for living full time
Best Canvas Tents for living full time

Your Turn!

  • Why does living in a tent full time sound like the move for you?
  • What steps do you plan to take to make living in a tent your reality?

How To Find Contentment: Happiness That Lasts

How To Find Contentment: Happiness That Lasts

how to find contentment


It’s life’s ultimate question, the desire everyone has, and yet it poses no singular solution: How can I become content? How can we learn to find our own version of happiness in this confusing and often unhappy world?

finding contentmentIt’s tempting to go looking for a simple solution to quickly curb unhappy emotions. However, through my own journey with pursuing happiness, I’ve found that there is much more to my joy than my external situation. I’ve had to learn to find contentment within myself by adjusting my habits and mindset.

Finding contentment is about much more than chasing a fleeting feeling. Pursuing deep, genuine contentment means discovering a version of joy that endures all the circumstances life throws your way.

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

Over the last 10 years, I have learned to foster deep-rooted contentment instead of chasing the temporary high of a happy moment. This didn’t happen overnight. It has taken practice, intentional habit building, and self-reflection to get here.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

Trading Fleeting Happiness For Deep Contentment

Trading Fleeting Happiness For Deep Contentment

I think there are so many ways our world gets it wrong when it comes to what it means to be content. We live in a deeply unhappy society that is obsessed with instant gratification. And to that end, there are countless companies trying to sell “solutions.”

Are you hungry? Try our new bacon cheese burger. Feeling lonely? Try our dating app without putting in any real effort. Need to escape? Try our cruise line to pamper you endlessly … for a fee. Feeling lethargic? Here’s an energy drink that will perk you up.

trading happiness for contentmentNot only are we tempted with solutions to the positive feelings we lack in any given moment, but as we’ve gotten smarter, so has technology. Our phones literally monitor our activity to track what satisfies us.

All we have to do is click or scroll, nod or shake our heads, and the system takes notes. Our world feeds us these forms of fleeting satisfaction and trains us to run on these quick hits of dopamine, but these highs are transient.

What I’ve learned to pursue are not the physical hits that temporarily satisfy my cravings for social acceptance, romance, freedom, significance, status, belonging, or any other desire.

What I’m after these days is a much deeper, internal, long-lasting form of contentment that I can access regardless of my tangible situation.

I had the privilege of chatting with a fellow creator, Helena Woods, about her own journey towards contentment. During our chat, she shared a lot of valuable insight on what kind of work it takes to become content in your own life.

helena woods

“I use the stoic philosophy that nothing is good or bad in life, it just is. Seeing life through the lens of neutrality, seeing everything as a challenge or a lesson, and every person as a teacher, has really helped me.”

– Helena Woods, Slow Living Blogger

Being Content Verses Being Happy

Being Content Verses Being Happy

Long-term contentment has a different root than fleeting happiness. Happiness is an emotional response to an external situation while contentment is an internal stance that stems from building a life around what truly matters.

contentment is internalHappiness comes and goes as occurrences happen to you. You become happy because X, Y, or Z occurs or is given to you, and when you lose that thing, you are inevitably more unhappy in its absence.

Contentment, inversely, is internally rooted. Contentment is not dependent on your external situation; it sustains itself inside of you regardless of what you have or do not have. Thus, your source of true contentment cannot be lost as your life inevitably changes.

I have found contentment to be a kind of invincibility; it is my secret superpower. When you aren’t dependent on external things as your source of joy, you are able to hold onto that joy within you when the external things fade away.

Can A Person Choose To Be Happy?

Can A Person Choose To Be Happy

People have argued for centuries about whether or not happiness is something you choose to adopt or something that happens to you. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about whether or not happiness is a choice. It just doesn’t sit right with me to say we have no control over our ability to have joy.

can a person choose to be happyThere is too much evidence that suggests otherwise. Sure, you ultimately don’t control your circumstances. There are many hardships we experience that are simply out of our hands. Our parent gets cancer, we lose our job, our loved one passes away, our spouse is unfaithful.

However, there are just too many direct examples of people with deeply unfortunate situations who have found their own joy and, inversely, deeply unhappy people with seemingly picturesque lives. To me, this alone makes it safe to say that happiness is, at least in part, one’s own choice.

I’m not going to sit here and spew a bunch of woo-woo mystical advice or Hallmark card phrases about how happiness and positivity is an easy choice. I’ll cut to the chase, being happy is a challenge and life is very hard. I think recognizing this as true is a huge part of what it means to choose joy.

For the last decade, I have worked to build intentional habits that have helped me maintain deep contentment despite hardships in my life. But this doesn’t mean I don’t feel any negative emotions.

When my loved ones have passed, I felt deep, deep sadness. When the company I used to work for closed its doors suddenly, I worried. When money was tight, I dreaded the end of the month.

Yet, I wasn’t entirely unhappy either. I had put in the work to maintain a version of deeper joy within me that sustained itself through these obstacles. Contentment is not mutually exclusive from sorrow, fear, loneliness, anger, and other undesirable emotions. In fact, I’d argue the opposite.

Putting in the work it takes to remain content while you are simultaneously experiencing difficult and heavy emotions is, I think, the key to mastering joy. It’s the real trick to having lasting contentment instead of fleeting satisfaction. Yet, that’s much easier said than done.

a simple guide to what makes you happy

Why Am I Not Happy?

Why Am I Not Happy

The fact that you clicked on this blog post means you are likely seeking some kind of deeper contentment and are looking for some help getting there. I don’t claim to be a therapist or psychologist, but I do believe I’ve put in the work over the years to learn the practice of choosing contentment.

My best advice to finding long-lasting contentment is to start by addressing the root of your discontentment. What is holding you back?

The root of your unhappinessIf you want to eat healthier, you start by cutting out junk food. If you want to be more present, you start by taking away things that distract you from the moment, like your phone. If you want to become content, you have to put in the work to remove the root of your discontentment.

The root of your unhappiness is inevitably dependent on what you have faced and experienced. Figuring out where your unhappiness is stemming from and learning to become content with your own life takes time. It’s not something you learn to fully master.

It’s much easier to settle into complacency with being unhappy than it is to put in the work it takes to truly become content. Facing your own vices can be vulnerable and painful, but to me, it has been more than worth it. The payoff is huge.

helena woods

“Imagine your brain like an iceberg. The top part of the iceberg is only five percent. The other 95 percent is beneath water. That is your subconscious, what we’re working on. Undoing the undesirable programming in our subconscious mind.”

– Helena Woods, Slow Living Blogger

In my life, finding contentment looked like accepting what I perceived as my failures as part of my journey, letting go of unmet goals, and learning to have grace with myself regardless of the tangible results I could track.
I’m a goal-oriented and efficiency-minded guy, but as I learned to not depend on external results for my happiness, I was able to find more real joy. This doesn’t mean I no longer set goals, work to improve myself, or dream big.

For me, this just means I have underlying contentment despite results. I work to position my joy to not be dependent on an outcome. That is easier said than done sometimes, but working to make space between them has been helpful.

How Do I Become Content In My Own Life?

How Do I Become Content In My Own Life

What is holding you back from finding your own version of contentment that endures? Finding your own version of contentment certainly depends on who you are, what you struggle with, and what you need. But, for all of us, it starts with a long look in the mirror.

How To Feel Content With What You Have

How To Feel Content With What You Have

A common culprit for feeling discontent is feeling like you aren’t enough. Maybe you feel like you don’t have enough, looking next to you at the huge house, high paying job, or seemingly perfect family that your neighbors have.

You might feel like you aren’t enough in your talents, abilities, or personality. Maybe you wish for the skillsets of your friends, coworkers, or peers.

Comparison is such an easy way to kill contentment. It’s easy to feel like the grass is always greener, but have you even wondered if that grass is actually synthetic turf? Your neighbor’s grass may appear greener, but that doesn’t mean it is, in actuality.

Some of the richest people are the most unhappy people in the world. There is no shortage of extremely successful people who wish their own lives turned out differently. The best way to stop thinking about other people’s grass is to focus on watering your own.

level 10 life

Spend less time on social media, looking at the lives your friends have chosen to present. When your brain starts to wonder about how much money others are making, shift your focus to ways you can improve your own financial security. If you’re feeling sad about not having a specific talent, stop focusing on your peers and go try something you are good at and love.

How To Feel Content When You’re Alone

How To Feel Content When Youre Alone

As an introvert myself, I tend to thrive on alone time. However, I have a lot of friends who have struggled to learn how to be content when they aren’t getting positive stimulation from other people. Learning to be content alone is a challenge for many.

finding contentment when aloneI think the secret to feeling content alone is learning to accept who you are when you’re by yourself. In order to do that, you have to get to know yourself. Getting to know yourself can be treated the same as getting to know any friend.

When you’re getting to know someone new, you do activities you enjoy. You eat at places you both love. You ask each other questions that help you know more about the way the person thinks, feels, and the ins and outs of their life experiences.

Try treating yourself the same way. Plan some time each week to take yourself out and hang out with yourself one on one. Intentionally spend time on activities that refuel you, your passions, and hobbies that make you feel most like you.

Take the time to get to know yourself and learn to be your own companion. Ask yourself the same kind of get-to-know-you questions you might ask a potential romantic partner: What was your childhood like? What makes you happy? What does your ideal future look like? Write your answers down for you to read back to yourself.

places to go to clear your head

Learning To Be Content With Your Job

Learning To Be Content With Your Job

You are likely to spend the majority of your day working. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, it’s easy to become deeply discontented. Being unhappy at work is one of the most common reasons Americans cite for being unhappy in their lives overall.

I’ve definitely been there. When I was furloughed from my job in human resources over a decade ago, it ended up being a huge blessing in disguise. At first, I was nervous for my financial situation.

how to build a better lifeHowever, in the end, being let go gave me a lot of clarity around how burnt out I was and how much I needed a change. I wasn’t happy at work, and I deserved to find a way to create that happiness for myself.

Since work is likely what you spend most of your day doing, you don’t want to get yourself stuck in something you hate. Money, status, and “doing what you’re supposed to be doing” just aren’t worth spending most of your day in a miserable state.

However, it’s unrealistic to say you will be happy in your job all the time. If temporary happiness isn’t what you’re chasing but long-term joy is, I think there has to be an understanding that the main source of that joy may not be your work.

We’re fed a narrative when we’re younger that our work is the most important thing about us. Over the years, I’ve learned that letting go of my job as my identifier was one of the best things, I could do to find my own contentment.

After being furloughed, I took time to analyze what I really hoped to gain from my work. From this self-analysis, I found myself starting The Tiny Life.

To Find A Job You Enjoy, Ask Yourself

  • What are my non-negotiables at work?
  • Is my passion separate form my work?
  • What work environment do I thrive in?
  • What kinds of stressors do I handle well?
  • What stressors debilitate me?
  • What do I hope to get out of my work?
  • How does my work help others?
  • Do I work better alone or on a team?
  • What kind of work lights me up?
  • What type of work feels difficult?
  • What type of work feels natural?
find work that makes you happy

I feel like it’s easy to get stuck in a job that makes you feel miserable, but you have autonomy over your own life. If you’re miserable, make a move in a new direction. I truly believe we have more freedom and control over the reality of our lives than we often believe we do.

Of course, I also understand that not everyone is given the privilege of being able to change jobs at the ready. If you’re stuck in your job for the time being, consider ways you can alter your current work experience to make it more enjoyable in the present.

Overall, a great recipe for finding contentment that lasts in your work life is to ask yourself if what you do reflects your gifts and passions, helps others, and helps the world. I love this Venn diagram for finding your purpose.

finding your passionIf you work from home, try spending a day in a new location like a fun coffee shop. If you work in an office, add some photos of loved ones to your desktop to inspire you. Integrate a few breaks into your day to take a walk, listen to your favorite song, or read a chapter of a book you love. Find little ways to reduce the monotonous feelings working often brings us.

Another way to feel more content at work is to consider the purpose behind what it is you do. Your job might not fill you up every day, but are there ways your work helps others that can bring satisfaction?

When I have hit my lowest lows in life, I have often found that helping others curbs those darker feelings. My favorite aspect of my work at The Tiny Life is the ways my work helps others. Knowing that even one person was impacted for the better by what I do truly keeps me going each day.

Finding Contentment In All Circumstances

Finding Contentment In All Circumstances

Ultimately, we are not in control of the outcomes of our lives. Bad things will always come and get in the way of our pursuit of happiness. How do we learn to protect our joy and contentment even when trials come our way?

helena woods

“For me contentment looks like immense trust and peace in life. No matter what terrible curveball comes my way, I believe I’ll be able to ride it out with ease. I developed this trust by following my inner voice above all.”

– Helena Woods, Slow Living Blogger

Everyone copes in a different way, but over the years I have developed a favorite coping mechanism for learning to deal with hardship while also keeping a tight hold on my joy. For me, it’s all about perspective.

Oftentimes, I think friends and family take the wrong approach for helping those who are struggling with grief, hardship, and sorrow. While they mean well, telling friends to stay positive and feel less of the bad feelings isn’t usually the right approach.

finding contentmentSaying things like “just stay positive” or “try not to be sad” isn’t a healthy approach for holding on to happiness during the hard times. Psychologists say that feeling your feelings, even the darker ones, is vital for being able to feel joy to the fullest extent.

However, you don’t want to get stuck in the negatives. If you allow yourself to get buried in the darker, more negative emotions, it’s easy to lose sight of your joy altogether.

In my own life, I’ve learned to cope with the inevitable ups and downs by reminding myself that I am a tiny piece of a very large puzzle. My trials and tribulations may be important to me, but I am just one of billions of people in the world, each with their own experiences.

When I think of it this way, it’s easier to stay content and realize that, while my problems matter, there is so much more out there that is much, much bigger than me.

helena woods

“Any time I am going through a hard time, I zoom out and see life in the big picture. I imagine myself floating in space, and watch the hard experiences I’m going through from above the earth. It helps me remember this too shall pass.”

– Helena Woods, Slow Living Blogger

Expert Tips For Feeling Content

Expert Tips For Feeling Content

There is no one recipe to get closer to deep contentment and inner peace — it’s going to be different for every single person and their individual life. However, I am a huge proponent of action items. I love direct solutions and discovering tangible strategies that can work for anyone.

Practice Gratitude

Practice Gratitude

Practicing gratitude and thankfulness is simple, but can be so impactful in helping us to become more content. It may seem cheesy at first, but if you actually take the time to address the reasons you are grateful each day, it can help you keep your focus on that which uplifts you, not what brings you down.

Every day, find a way to practice gratitude. Write 10 things you’re thankful for in your journal. Say your blessings out loud. Count things you cherish. Whatever method works for you, contentment will come much more easily is you prioritize gratefulness.

helena woods

“The more we develop those positive habits like walking, breathing, meditating, gratefulness — the more ingrained within us they begin and the easier they are to rely on when we’re really struggling.”

– Helena Woods, Slow Living Blogger

Identify What You Value, Chase That

Identify What You Value

I often say my own journey toward joy looked like identifying what I valued most and doing more of that, while also identifying what I valued least and doing less of that. It’s that simple.

For me, those values are my important relationships, flexibility, freedom, independence, free time, creativity, and self-improvement.

In my own life, these have continuously shown up as core themes embedded in the kinds of choices I make, the things I love, and the type of work I pursue. What do you value that you’re unwilling to sacrifice? If you chase those things, you will always feel deep and rich contentment.

setting intentions

Practice Being Present In The Moment

Practice Being Present In The Moment

Being present within each individual moment is huge when it comes to pursuing contentment. Worry and rumination on the past are top culprits that keep us from our own joy.

Instead of truly focusing our minds on what our friend is saying to us at dinner, we’re drifting off into tomorrow’s to-do list. Instead of noticing the gorgeous sky and lovely greenery on our walk, we’re going over our last conversation with a coworker and analyzing how they responded to our words.

Presence is a hard thing to master, oftentimes because the ways we aren’t present are not so much conscious decisions but unconscious habits. However, working to break this habit can reduce our worry and anxiety and help us to become happier.

helena woods

“The minute you are able to get out of the mind and put yourself in your body, in the sensory experience of your physical environment, you immediately leave your spiraled thoughts.”

– Helena Woods, Slow Living Blogger

Practice paying attention to your senses to be present in the moment. When you’re at dinner with a friend, notice the color of their shirt or the expression on their face.

When you’re in the shower in the morning, pay attention to the way the water feels. Connecting to our senses can help snap us back to the present moment.

guide to living in the moment

Chase Growth Instead Of Happiness

Chase Growth Instead Of Happiness

I saved the best for last with these tips. The value of a growth mindset is one of my favorite topics. I am such a firm believer that this simple mental switch alone can help you find rich joy in your own life.

meditate on your intentionsLike I said at the beginning of this post, chasing happiness means you are chasing a fleeting feeling. Happiness fades, because it is contingent on the external.

Pursuing growth is much richer. When you work toward things that grow you at your core instead of things that satisfy you in a temporary sense, you are fixing your gaze on the long game. Drive, purpose, and a sense of mattering are all attributes of human desire that make us feel more joyful. Adopting a growth mindset naturally brings us all of these.

Overall, contentment looks different in every circumstance and isn’t so easily quantifiable. However, when we are truly willing to take a look inside ourselves and put in the work to stop chasing what temporarily satisfies, that’s when we unlock real, unwavering joy.

Your Turn!

  • What are the main culprits in your life keeping you from joy?
  • What habits can you try to help you find contentment in your own life?

Create A Minimalist Home And Take Back Control

Create A Minimalist Home And Take Back Control

minimalist house


The way you decorate your home matters; it’s an extension of yourself. When you walk into a room, you’re met with colors, trinkets, furniture, art, and décor that speaks volumes about the person who lives there. Your home gives you a feeling, and you want it to be a good one!

A minimalist’s house, in particular, is meant to deeply reflect the person who lives there and increase positive feelings in their life. And who doesn’t want that?

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

I wanted my house to reflect what I truly value, which led me to move into a tiny house about a decade ago. Today, my home and everything in it is intentionally designed to mirror who I am.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

What Is A Minimalist Home?

What is a minimalist home

When you think of a minimalist home, what comes to mind? A stark house with bare white walls? While this look has its aesthetic pros, a minimalist home does not necessarily have to mimic a particular look or vibe.

A minimalist household is simply any home that has been intentionally designed to support the lifestyle of its owner. Turning your house into a minimalist home means evaluating your clutter, furniture, color scheme, and décor to identify if the feelings they bring you are the ones you want. It’s about creating a holistic space.

what makes a minimalistic house

A Minimalist House Is Clutter Free

A Minimalist House Is Clutter Free

Decluttering is one of the first things people think of when it comes to creating a minimalist house, and it’s often one of the first steps you should take when trying to make your house a minimalist one.

A messy home leads to higher levels of cortisol, harming your emotional health, and puts a strain on family life at home. This doesn’t sound like a peaceful, holistic home to me.

I’ve found that getting rid of clutter reduces my stress and gives me freedom to focus on things I care about. The beginning of creating a minimalist home that fosters a peaceful environment is to get rid of your stuff.

30 day declutter challenge

Minimalist Homes Give Each Room A Purpose

Minimalist Homes Give Each Room A Purpose

The art of minimalism and essentialism is about eliminating the excess and only leaving room for the things that add value to your life. You can apply this same mindset to every room of your household by evaluating the purpose that each serves.

minimalist designed rooms have a purposeI’m pretty ruthless in my tiny house; I don’t keep much around. I’m a practical guy, so I’ve designed my home to match that. Each room has just about enough space to live comfortably and have access to all of the essentials — bathroom, kitchen storage, and the like.

I don’t feel the need to add flashy décor or unnecessary furniture to my house, because that isn’t me. I’m perfectly content to live a simple life, and my house matches my personality in that way. That doesn’t mean that someone who fills their space with ornate artwork or vibrant colored beanbag chairs is inherently less of a minimalist, as long as those things have purpose in their home.

Analyze the purpose you want each room to serve — that purpose could be practical as “I shower here” or as abstract as “I want this room to foster an inviting feeling.”

Ask yourself

  • How do I want to feel in this room?
  • How do I want others to feel?
  • What adjectives describe this room?
  • What activities will take place here?
  • What is the purpose of this room?
  • What items will aid that purpose?
  • What do I like about this room?
  • If I could change one thing it would be?
  • Does the furniture match the purpose?
the purpose of stuff

Minimalist Homes Support Your Hobbies And Passions

Minimalist Homes Support Your Hobbies And Passions

In a minimalist house, not only does each room of your home have a purpose, your stuff has a purpose as well. There are many methods out there in the minimalist world for decluttering your belongings and nailing down the things of value.

To simplify this, the stuff you keep around should support your hobbies, passions, and who you want to become. For me, that looks like a huge bookshelf in my tiny house where I keep all the books I’ve read and hope to read in the future. My books are a staple in my minimalist household, as they’re my most favorite hobby.

Fill your home with things you love. Keep the guitar you always play, add photos of your friends to your wall, or add a desk to support your love of writing. Whoever you want to be, let your belongings echo that.

tiny house book reviews
minimalism book reviews
homesteading book reviews

A Minimalist House Reflects Your Personality And Style

A Minimalist House Reflects Your Personality And Style

Minimalist homes do not have to be void of style and personality. In order to truly create a holistic space that mirrors you, it’s important to match the color, décor, and general vibe to who you are.

Timeless Furniture For Your Minimalist HomeThis comes down to all elements of style: color scheme, the placement of things, posters and wall art, photographs of family and friends, and more. As mentioned before, it’s a pretty common misconception that a room has to be plain to be considered minimalist.

I’m a huge proponent that any room that has been stripped to its most true elements and is not excessive or overbearing is a minimalist space. Fill your room with color, art, or handwritten quotes that uplift or inspire you. Just don’t let your décor be absent of purpose, and make sure it mirrors who you are at your core.

A Minimalist Home Is Cozy And Warm

A Minimalist Home Is Cozy And Warm

Minimalists can sometimes get a bad rap for creating spaces that are barren or bleak, but I don’t see minimalism like that at all. I am a firm believer that our lives should be comfortable, so much so that I wear the same outfit every day just because its comfortable for me!

Pursuing comfort in big and small ways has greatly improved my quality of life. Minimalist houses can easily be made into cozy, warm, intimate havens. Each room of your house has the potential to foster warmth and comfort if you’re intentional with how you fill it.

Make your house cozy

  • Add soft blankets
  • Add cozy throw pillows
  • Light candles
  • Use essential oils
  • Add house plants
  • Opt for brighter wall tones
  • Play with low lighting
  • Curate an outdoor hangout
  • Hang photos on the walls
  • Set out a favorite book
the basics of hygge

Five Tips For Creating A Minimalist House

Tips For Creating A Minimalist House

I took this opportunity to chat with my friend Mia Danielle about everything that goes into creating a minimalist space. What’s awesome about Mia is that she really understands that there is more to creating a minimalist house than how much stuff you get rid of.

Here are five solid tips for to help you curate a home that isn’t just minimal, but that holistically serves you in all areas of your life:

Purchase Timeless Furniture For Your Minimalist Home

Purchase Timeless Furniture For Your Minimalist Home

Ostentatious pieces aren’t the move in a minimalist house, as they quickly become unusable. Trends come and go, and flashier items will go out of style more quickly. One way to make the most out of what’s in your home is to target timeless pieces of furniture and décor.

classic timeless furnitureLike I said before, this doesn’t mean your home needs to be bland or plain. There are many timeless pieces that have color, flair, and character. It simply means that when making a purchase, think through the longevity of the piece more so than its immediate use.

Imagine the life of the new couch you are getting for the living room: A cream or beige couch may outlive fads longer than a green couch would. When furnishing your space, consider the way each piece can be used if you move, if styles change, or if you change. Invest in pieces that can change with you.

Journal About Each Room In Your Minimalist Home

Journal About Each Room In Your Minimalist Home

Writing down your thoughts can be helpful when curating your space. Spend a few minutes in each room, grab a clean piece of paper, and write down how the room makes you feel.

Do the dark walls in your living room make you feel claustrophobic? Do the hard chairs in the kitchen feel uninviting? Do the stacks of papers in your office bring you stress?

Identify your culprits. Then, take some time to read back what you wrote and begin coming up with ways to alter that feeling. Start with small changes, then let your ideas grow from there.

bullet journal challenge

Use Heat Mapping In Your Minimalist House

Use Heat Mapping In Your Minimalist House

Heat mapping is a fairly easy trick for creating a minimalist home. The way it works is that every time you use an item, say a product in your bathroom or a kitchen appliance, you set that item aside from the rest of your things. Eventually, your most used items will all be set aside, making unused items easy to identify.

In this way, you begin to clearly see the distinction between what is essential in your life verses the things you never touch. This is a valuable way to begin to control clutter in your minimalist home and fill your space primarily with the things you need.

mia danielle

“With heat mapping, I’ll have all of my bathroom products in one group, then as I use something, I move it to the side. I do that for about a month. At the end of the month, I see the things I haven’t grabbed and throw them away.”

– Mia Danielle, Podcast Host

Listen To Your Gut When Creating A Minimalist House

Listen To Your Gut When Creating A Minimalist House

Listening to your inner voice for guidance is key when creating a minimalist home. If your goal is to foster a space that makes you feel good, then you want to stay in tune with yourself and gauge when you feel good or when you feel bad.

After you’ve decorated in the ways you see fit, walk into each room of your home and observe how you feel. If you feel a sense of emptiness or overcrowding, or if the room isn’t giving you the positive feeling you were hoping for, listen to your gut about making a change.

mia danielle

“Whenever you feel at peace in your space, when you feel happy, and you get that moment when you look around the room and just smile, that’s when you know you’re at the right place for you.”

– Mia Danielle, Podcast Host

Add Personal Touches To Your Minimalist Home

Add Personal Touches To Your Minimalist Home

A minimalist house is not complete without personal flair. Integrate items that represent who you are into your minimalist look. You can decorate with memorabilia and embed small touches of sentimentality into an aesthetic base of simplicity.

This might look like

  • Creating a photo gallery
  • Adding art to your wall
  • Displaying family heirlooms
  • Framing letters or cards
  • Hanging maps where you’ve lived
  • Displaying sheet music you like
  • Decorating with travel mementos
  • Framing family recipes
  • Display kids artwork
adding personal touch to minimalist home

The Best Way To Make Your Home Minimalist: Use Your Five Senses

Best Way To Make Your Home Minimalist

One of the best ways to create a fully minimalist, holistic home is to incorporate all five of your senses into your space.

This means thinking about your home as more than where you put your furniture and as a holistic experience that brings all of your senses to life. Let’s break down each of your five senses and learn how they can be used in a minimalist home.

What Does A Minimalist House Look Like?

What Does A Minimalist House Look Like

Naturally, visual aesthetic is the first things people think about for a minimalist space. As mentioned before, a minimalist house does not necessarily have to abide by particular colors and tones, but these elements do often help with the mood of the room. There’s a reason the experts repeatedly do what they do.

Visual elements of a minimalist house

  • Accent with warm or cool tones
  • Use consistent materials
  • Negative spaces contrast tones
  • Buy large furniture, not small
  • Use concealed storage
  • Leave trinkets off of tables
  • Add house plants
  • Opt for multipurpose furniture
  • Lead with white tones
  • Incorporate splashes of color
minimalist homes look cozy

What Does A Minimalist House Feel Like?

What Does A Minimalist House Feel Like

Consider how you want your home to feel — what textures and tactile elements can help you curate a household that is pleasing to your sense of touch? Add things to your minimalist house that evoke a cozy, homey, restful feeling.

Tactile elements of a minimalist house

minimalist homes feel inviting

What Does A Minimalist House Smell Like?

What Does A Minimalist House Smell Like

Science says that our memory and sense of satisfaction is directly linked to our sense of smell. Fragrance is powerful, and filling your home with rich, ambrosial scents can make it feel like a far more peaceful space.

Aromatic elements of a minimalist house

  • Light candles
  • Diffuse essential oils
  • Use a wax warmer
  • Roast coffee beans
  • Hang dried herbs
  • Boil cinnamon sticks
  • Boil lemon rinds
  • Use cleaning products
  • Absorb odors with baking soda
  • Clear trash regularly
  • Utilize activated charcoal
minimalist homes smell nice

What Does A Minimalist House Sound Like?

What Does A Minimalist House Sound Like

You can also use sound to curate a peaceful, minimalist household. Music, relaxing noises, and reducing excess chaotic noise can help you to create a fully holistic house.

Euphonic elements of a minimalist house

  • Open windows to hear sounds
  • Spin your favorite vinyl record
  • Display musical instruments
  • Use a sound machine
  • Encourage conversation
  • Make time for silence
  • Eliminate background noise
  • Invest in quality insulation
  • Reduce echos with rugs & pillows
  • Grease squeaky hinges
displaying musical instruments in minimalist home

What Does A Minimalist House Taste Like?

What Does A Minimalist House Taste Like

Taste might seem like a wild one to address when talking about your house, but it can actually play a big role. There are many small food details that you may not think about that can make your house feel more like home.

Flavorful elements of a minimalist house

  • Keep quality food in the fridge
  • Set candy or mints on coffee tables
  • Brew fresh coffee in the morning
  • Healthy snacks
  • Bowl of fruit
  • Afternoon tea
  • Carafe of water
  • Meal prep for simple meals
  • Cook healthy dinners
aroma of fresh brewed coffee in minimalist house

Your Turn!

  • How do you hope to feel in your minimalist house?
  • What will you change to curate that feeling in your home?

12 Ways To Tame The Chaos And Declutter Your Mind

12 Ways To Tame The Chaos And Declutter Your Mind

simple ways to declutter your mind

12 Tips To Declutter Your Mind

Does your brain feel chaotic and weighed down day in and day out? A cluttered brain is a core source of stress, distraction, overstimulation, disorganization, and an inability to be present in your own life.

Mental clutter prevents you from making decisions, staying focused on your goals, being productive, and setting direct priorities. Let’s look at 12 easy tips to declutter your mind and get back to yourself.

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

Mental clutter can be just as disruptive as clutter in your physical spaces. Getting in the right headspace can pay dividends for your mental wellbeing and in your ability to live mindfully.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

1 Set Priorities To Conquer Your Day

Figuring out what matters most to you is the first step in removing the unessential noise. Setting clear priorities can help you declutter your mind by helping you separate important tasks from the ones that don’t quite matter as much.

make a to-do listGet a piece of paper and a pen and list out your top priorities. What matters to you? What long term goals do you want to set? Getting these priorities written down on paper is the first step to bringing them to fruition.

You can also apply this tactic to your daily workload. Prioritize your to do list each day by importance in order to finish high-value tasks.

I try to do this every morning before I start working on anything to get my head in the right place. Since I’ve already identified a reasonable amount that I know I can take on, there’s less shame when I don’t make it to the lower items on the list.

2 Start A Journal, Experience Catharsis

Journaling is a cathartic practice that allows you to organize your thoughts and explore your feelings. Get a journal in a style you love, crack the spine, and just start writing — it’s that simple.

start a journalThe habit if journaling is proven to help manage stress, decrease mental clutter, combat intrusive thoughts, and be therapeutic for those who suffer from depression and anxiety.

I’m more analytical than contemplative myself, so I’ve found the practice of bullet journaling to be extremely helpful for my own mental clarity.

It combines those left and right brained functions into one reflective yet highly productive habit. But there are endless types of journaling and reflective writing that can help you declutter your mind.

3 Learn To Meditate And Breathe

The act of meditating and focusing intentionally on your breathing can serve as a stress reliver, increase concentration, reduce confusion, improve focus and attention, and reduce distractions.

Meditation and breathwork are different from one another. Meditation involves observing your breathing and your mental state without manipulating them, whereas breathwork is the practice of altering your breathing with the goal of improving your mood.

Both meditating and working on your breathing can help you declutter your mind and bring increased tranquility into your life.

building good habits

4 Get Quality Sleep Every Night

Not getting enough sleep is one of the biggest culprits of a cluttered mind. Lack of sleep keeps you from being able to think straight, increases brain fog and inattention, and negatively affects your memory.

In order to think clearly, restful sleep is a must. Seven to eight hours of quality sleep each night is recommended to improve memory and focus during the day.

I try to make a habit of prioritizing my sleep even when it feels impossible because I know my mental clarity depends on it. Even though I’m the founder of a company and sometimes work 80 hours or more in a week, I know it’s important to get rest and put my health first!

try to get enough sleep

5 Declutter Your Home and Work

When your home or work environment is cluttered, it affects your clarity of mind, ability to focus, and productivity and efficiency levels.

Decluttering the chaos in your physical surroundings can help you declutter your mind. Get rid of non-essential items, organize your work space, declutter your bedroom, and give each of your items a proper place.

I’ve found this to be extremely true in my own work life. Employing simple organization practices each day doesn’t only give me a clean environment to get work done, it genuinely improves my mental clarity and empowers me.

30 day declutter challenge

6 Practice Being Decisive Each Day

We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with options, and this can easily lead us to the psychological trap of decision fatigue. Putting pressure on ourselves to make perfect decisions weighs on us.

Typically, the possible backlash from making a decision is pretty low risk, so why let small choices weigh you down?

Imagine you’re standing next to a door, and that door swings both ways. You know that the cost of being wrong isn’t fatal and is a low-level risk, so just go through the door.

The key to removing mental clutter is to stop procrastinating decisions. Take action and just start.

practice being decisive

7 Work To Limit Your Media Intake

It’s no secret that overconsumption of media can increase depression and loneliness in one’s life and cause mental clutter. The trick is to stay informed while not being consumed by the news cycle. From time to time when I’m feeling out of balance, I’ll take a break from social media to help me get back to feeling grounded.

Like many, I have people constantly vying for my attention, so I have to be conscious about my online presence. I try to do simple thigs like take breaks, automate where I can, establish strong boundaries, and block off time in my schedule for focused work.

dopamine detox

8 Exercise Increases Mental Clarity

I know it’s what all the doctors say — exercise regularly! But the benefits of exercise really are abundant. Exercise increases endorphins, reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression, and helps you declutter your mind.

It’s hard to stay motivated to move, but the trick is to find a style of exercise that works for you. I like to take a walk in the middle of the day or at night before I get ready for bed. It helps me clear my head and move my body.

good habits exercise

9 Take A Break, You Deserve It!

relax and recharge
Time and space to unwind is key for decluttering your mind. With all the stimuli that fills our day, we need to incorporate ways for our brains to recharge.

Turn off your phone and laptop, put down your pen and paper, and step away from your to do list for a bit, even if you can only afford to do so for five minutes.

Take time to do something that makes you feel happy and fulfilled. Maybe that’s painting, spending some time in the sun, doing stretches, or curling up in bed and reading your favorite book. There are many easy ways to incorporate satisfying breaks into a busy day.

10 Spend Time In Outside With Nature

Nature is directly associated with mental health and lifestyle benefits. Many studies have presented reasons why soaking up the sun or being amongst the trees is healing for your mind and body.

Time outside is a natural relaxer, decreases mental clutter and anxiety, benefits physical health, improves mood, and increases mental clarity.

Take some time each day to go on a walk in your neighborhood, ride your bike, or simply sit outside. Your brain will thank you!

living in the moment

11 Learn To Say No, Be Kind But Firm

We live in a YES culture. But the secret no one tells you is that you don’t actually have to do it all — you can say no. Learning to say no and drawing boundaries demonstrates maturity and self-awareness.

Practice screening against these criteria:

  • Will doing this bring me closer to my goals?
  • Will this bring me energy or sap it?
  • If I say yes, what else am I saying no to?
  • Do I have time to take this on?
  • Does this activity represent what I value?
  • Do I like the people I would do this with?
learn to say no

I get a lot of requests for my time, and I often say no. My go-to phrase is, “I can’t give this the time and attention it deserves, so I need to say no.” This shows that I gave the request genuine consideration and value the other person’s time as well as my own.

People often worry about saying no and making others mad, but I’ve found that if you are kind yet firm when declining, people are usually understanding.

destress your life

12 Know Your Limits And Act On Them

Knowing your limits can help you maintain mental clarity. As an introvert, I have to identify when my social battery is drained. I also have to know how much bandwidth I have for monotonous verses creative tasks, and how much emotional baggage from others I can take on before I hit a wall.

Knowing your limits in all capacities is key to ridding yourself of that non-essential mental baggage.

Your Turn!

  • What tips can you try to declutter your mind?
  • What is bogging down your mind that you can address in your own life?

A Minimalist Approach To Modern Dating

A Minimalist Approach To Modern Dating

minimalist dating


ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

As if it weren’t complicated enough, dating apps work to draw your attention away from real life and play into a need for instant gratification with a seemingly endless list of love interests. Maintaining a purposeful and intentional approach to dating will keep you sane and more likely to find fulfillment.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

Thanks to the connectivity of the internet, it seems to me that dating is both more accessible and more exhausting than ever. For minimalists, dating is all about being simple and intentional.

One of the first things I learned about being a minimalist is that dating requires a lot of introspection. Whether you consider yourself to be a full-fledged minimalist or are just looking to simplify your love life, knowing yourself and being comfortable with who you are is the best place to start.

Which Are You?

Choose The One That Fits You Best, Click The Box Below

i am a minimalist
they are a minimalist

Minimalist Dating Quiz

Minimalist Dating Quiz

Everybody approaches dating a little differently, and being intentional in a relationship starts by understanding yourself. I put together a short quiz with some simple dating questions to help you decide what role minimalism plays in your romantic life.

How To Date Like A Minimalist

How To Date Like A Minimalist

The first thing to keep in mind is that not everything will be perfect. It can be easy to get caught up in the Hollywood version of dating where everything is a fairytale, but I’ve found that the best things happen when you let go of expectations and allow things to unfold naturally.

When it comes to dating, my main focus is simplicity and connection. Minimalist dating is an excellent way to simplify your love life so it is less daunting and more focused on finding something meaningful.

Intentional Dating: Identify Your Values

Intentional Dating Identify Your Values

When I first started dating as a minimalist, I was skeptical about how I’d be perceived. The metric of success seems to be a big house, a fancy car, and expensive clothes. I worried about how my minimalist uniform and way of life would be perceived by non-minimalists.

At first, I thought it would hurt my chances at finding someone, but I quickly realized that it was one of my best tools — a natural filter to identify a woman who aligned with my values. I kept my minimalist status close to the vest when I first started dating, but quickly started talking about it out of the gate, turning off women who weren’t a good match anyway, saving me from fruitless interactions.

Start by asking yourself:

  • Which of your values are most important?
  • What are your must-haves in a partner?
  • Where are you willing to compromise?
  • What clues do past relationships give you?
  • What work do you need to do first?
write down your intentions

Simplify Your Dating Life

Simplify Your Dating Life

If you’ve adopted a minimalist mindset, then you know the value of keeping things simple. Here’s a couple of things I’ve learned along the way to help you date purposefully:

Keeping Things Simple:

  • Focus on one person at a time
  • Don’t force something that isn’t there
  • Take your time and be mindful
  • Enjoy yourself and have fun
  • Trust your instinct if it feels off
keep things simple in a relationship

I like to suggest coffee as a first date idea. It’s simple, low-pressure, and allows you to get to know each other without spending a lot of money. Another benefit is that, if I’m enjoying the date, I could nurse my coffee to have more time to connect and if it wasn’t a good fit, I could finish my coffee quickly.

How To Be A Minimalist When Your Partner Isn’t

How To Be A Minimalist When Your Partner Isnt

If we all lived our lives the exact same way, the world would be a pretty boring place. That being said, it’s still important to have a significant other whose values complement your own.

values that are most important to youThe big thing I focus on in relationships is communication. I want to understand my partner’s core values and have them understand mine as well. Compromise is the name of the game here, and being honest with each other to ensure your lifestyle is compatible. This minimizes arguments and helps us respect each other.

Find joy in learning about each other. The great part about being different is you get to engage with a fresh perspective on the world. Take into account the points where you stand strong and the places you are willing to compromise.

Knowing how to support your non-minimalist partner can be difficult, especially if you’re cohabitating. Trust me when I tell you that forcing someone to adapt to your way of life is a recipe for disaster. Instead, consider some of the tips below to help your relationship flow smoothly.

  • Start With Yourself: Don’t pressure your partner to declutter, start by simplifying your own life.
  • Talk About It: Keep an open mind and have judgement-free conversations about your lifestyles.
  • Find Compromise: Instead of a full declutter, find ways to neatly put everything in its place.
  • Be Patient: Some things are sentimental to your partner, talk about minimizing gently.
  • Be Accepting: Being different people is okay, the important similarity is your love for each other.

how to become a minimalist

Tips For Dating A Minimalist

Tips For Dating A Minimalist

If you are a non-minimalist, dating a simple man or woman is a great opportunity for fun and personal growth. It can also be challenging if you don’t understand their behavior and way of life.

Maybe your boyfriend or girlfriend lives in a tiny house, or maybe they just value simple living. Either way, there are a few things to understand about dating a minimalist.

  • Sharing: Be prepared to receive lots of articles about van life, tiny homes, and minimalism.
  • Organizing: If you live together, there will be a place for your things and everything in its place.
  • Décor: Expect paint colors to be simple, no knick-knacks on tables, and a focus on a tidy aesthetic.
  • Gifts: You will need to re-think gift-giving, see suggestions below.

Learn About Their Lifestyle

Learn About Their Lifestyle

Show that you care by taking an interest. Even if minimalism is not for you, we all can benefit from learning new things. The best way to make your boyfriend or girlfriend feel supported is to participate in things they care about. For minimalists, that can look something like this:

  • Ask your partner to help you declutter your kitchen.
  • Find a minimalism article and discuss it with them.
  • If you live together, establish a clutter-free zone.
  • Have a sit down to discuss decluttering shared items.
  • Have an honest conversation about your differences.
  • Schedule regular times to clean and declutter.
Decluttering Rooms and Storage Spaces

What To Buy A Minimalist Partner

What To Buy A Minimalist Partner

Since they aren’t big on material things, shopping for a minimalist person can be a challenge. Here’s a few things to note when showing your significant other you love them:

  • Minimalists appreciate experiences over gifts, so plan something fun to do together.
  • Ask before buying any gift, even if you think they need it.
  • Choose vacations carefully, as minimalists aren’t big on spending money.
  • Discuss fun ways to spend the holidays that don’t involve a lot of consumerism.

gifts for minimalists

Benefits Of Dating A Minimalist

Benefits Of Dating A Minimalist

In the long run, we are all just looking for a meaningful connection, and dating a minimalist can be a great way to find that. Here are some reasons why dating a minimalist is the way to go:

  • Minimalists Are You-Focused: We are more interested in relationships than material things.
  • Minimalists Are Affordable Dates: We prefer quality time to expensive outings.
  • Mindfulness Means No Games: We value simplicity and clear communication.
  • Financial Simplicity: We tend to be frugal and debt free, avoiding unnecessary spending.
  • Minimalists Are Happy: Living simply means a life of gratitude and low-stress.
living a level 10 life

Dating Green Flags

Dating Green Flags

Before you go all in, it’s important to know if the direction you’re headed is a healthy one. I wish I could tell you there’s a magic way to know for sure if your date is “the one,” but unfortunately, there’s not. There are, however, a few green flags to keep an eye out for early on:

  • Positivity: They have a generally positive outlook on the world.
  • Responsibility: They admit to their mistakes and take ownership.
  • Respect: They treat others kindly, especially service staff.
  • Actions: They show up and do what they say they’re going to do.
  • Boundaries: You feel comfortable taking time for yourself.
  • Laughter: You have fun together and drama is at a minimum.
  • Listening: You feel heard and appreciated.
happy and positive

Dating Red Flags

Dating Red Flags
It’s good to know when things are going well, but equally important to be honest with yourself if things are heading south. Finding a true connection is only possible when you take care of yourself first. Have your own back and look out for the things below before it gets too serious:

  • Financials: They have poor money management.
  • Energy: They don’t match your investment level.
  • Vision: They don’t have much of a plan for their future.
  • Criticism: They are more negative than positive.
  • Interest: They have little to contribute to the conversation.
  • Lifestyle: There’s a major mismatch on big things: religion, kids, etc.
relationship red flag
setting intentions


Minimalist dating may be focused on simplicity, but that doesn’t mean it’s boring. On the contrary, minimalism is all about creativity. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a good time together. Planning low-cost, mini-adventures is a great way to get to know someone while keeping things simple.

Winter Dates

  • Holiday movie night
  • Snowball fight
  • Skiing/snowshoeing
  • Cookies and cocoa
  • Ice skating
  • Decorating gingerbread

Summer Dates

  • Lay out and stargaze
  • Take a nature hike
  • Campfire and s’mores
  • Wine and cheese picnic
  • Jam out at the beach
  • Take artsy pictures

At Home Dates

  • Homemade spa night
  • Board game competition
  • Make a gourmet meal
  • Invent a TV drinking game
  • Wine and paint night
  • Favorite band karaoke

First Dates

  • Coffee and library
  • Rollerblading
  • Visit a farmer’s market
  • Go to the zoo
  • Bar trivia night
  • Go to a museum

Active Dates

  • Go for a bike ride
  • Take a dance class
  • Geocaching
  • Bowling
  • Work out together
  • Start a garden

Long Distance Dates

  • Learn a language
  • Play a virtual board game
  • Watch a movie
  • Send each other take-out
  • Play truth or dare
  • Read together

Your Turn!

  • What traits do you look for in a potential partner?
  • What values are most important to your lifestyle?
  • How does minimalism play a role in your dating life?