Posts Tagged Life Style

Create A Minimalist Home And Take Back Control

Create A Minimalist Home And Take Back Control

minimalist house

NAVIGATION

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

NAVIGATION


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 DATE IDEAS


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?

The Simple Magic Of Setting Intentions

The Simple Magic Of Setting Intentions

how to set intentions

NAVIGATION

You may have heard the term “setting intentions” being tossed around and gotten a mental image of someone doing yoga at 6 a.m., meditating in an open field, or journaling for hours by candlelight.

While all of these things can be ways to actualize your intentions, the process of intention setting does not always have to be so picturesque or time consuming.

Setting intentions can be integrated into your own life in ways as simple as putting affirming sticky notes on your mirror, going on 10-minute walks, or cooking your own meals instead of eating out. It’s all about taking your values — the ones you intend for your life to reflect — and actualizing those values, even in the smallest ways.

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

Over the past decade, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the type of person I want to be and what it means to live a meaningful life. It’s easy to settle into complacency. Even today, I have a tendency to settle, but I’ve built a habit of calling myself out on it when I slip.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

Why Should I Set Intentions?

why should i set intentions

Setting intentions can be scary for some because it feels vulnerable. I think a lot of fear surrounding the concept is rooted in our fear of not living up to our own expectations or setting a goal we don’t achieve.

When we set out to say, I will do X, Y, or Z, but then don’t do any of those things, we often judge ourselves. We also feel like others will judge us, or perceive us as weak. So we stay away from goal setting and dream chasing to combat the fear of failure.

But is that really any way to live? It’s much easier to say que sera, sera, to let whatever happens to us become our life without taking control. But easier doesn’t always mean better, and giving into circumstance without actively working to set intentions and have goals is too complacent for me. I want to live a life that matters.

How Do I Set Intentions?

How Do I Set Intentions

The process of setting intentions can get muddy and take on many meanings in the mindfulness community. For the scope of this post, we’re talking about intention setting as the practice of outwardly declaring the traits you want to adopt in order to allow those traits to shape your life.

Of course, life is always going to bring unexpected hardships — that’s just the nature of the game. We can’t control life’s unpredictability. But we don’t have to coast through our lives like spectators either.

By practicing setting intentions that mirror the values you want to emulate, you are the author of your own story. You have a say in who you want to be and the way you want your life to look.

personal goal setting

Reflect To Set Intentions, Make Two Lists

Reflect To Set Intentions

Intention setting starts with self-reflection. In order to define who you want to become, you must first understand who you are. Evaluate your life as it looks right now and ask if this is the kind of life you want to live.

What elements of your life right now are difficult and draining, and what could you use less of? What elements of a full life seem to be missing from your experience? What are you searching for?

Also consider the traits you could use less of or want to have more of. Could you work on being less angry? Do you want to become more confident?

Get out a piece of scratch paper and make two lists. The first list should contain elements of your life you intend to reduce or traits you want to work on leaving behind.

This list might look like:

  • Less time on social media
  • Less anxiety about my future
  • Less comparing myself to others
  • Less reactionary anger
  • Less self-isolating
  • Less substance abuse
  • Less people pleasing
  • Less judgement of others
too much social media time

Now, make a similar list of things you want to allow more of into your life, or traits you want to see more of in yourself.

This list might look like:

  • More creative expression
  • More peace of mind
  • More time spent reading
  • More empathy
  • More self confidence
  • More risk taking
  • More time spent outside
  • More honesty
spend more time outside

Discover Your Deeper Intentions

Discover Your Deeper Intentions

Now that you have these two lists of the type of energy, traits, and habits you want less and more of in your life, you can use them to set intentions.

discover your purposeObserve the lists and think about themes you see within both sets. Maybe you’ve stated that you want to people please less, have fewer friends that put you down, and stand up for yourself more. This might lead you to the intention: I intend to value myself.

Maybe you’ve listed that you want to spend less time binge watching Netflix or scrolling through Tik Tok and are seeking more creative expression, reading, and time outside. This might lead you to the intention: I intend to be mindful with my time.

See how this works? Oftentimes, the smaller desires we have for what our lives look like are actually connected to bigger-picture themes. We may want to judge others less and stop blowing up so quickly when things don’t go our way. These two desires are connected to the larger theme of empathy: I intend to be more empathetic.

Setting intentions is about discovering the overarching themes that are hidden in our smaller desires. It’s the difference between knowing you like tacos, quesadillas, and enchiladas, and knowing your favorite type of food is Mexican.

When we know these themes and say them out loud, we are more likely to absorb them.

Writing Your Intentions Down Creates Accountability

Writing Your Intentions Down Creates Accountability

The biggest suggestion I have when it comes to intention setting is to actually take pen to paper and write out the intentions you want to set. Don’t let your intentions live in your head.

In a neurological study conducted by Forbes, it’s explained that the act of writing down our goals and intentions does much more than merely help us remember them. The study explains that people who are able to clearly describe or articulate their goals in words are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to accomplish them.

So grab a piece of paper or your favorite journal and write out a list of the intentions based on the overarching themes that your desires reflect.

This list might look like:

  • I intend to value myself
  • I intend to have empathy
  • I intend to have confidence
  • I intend to maintain calm under pressure
  • I intend to be a leader
  • I intend to have unconditional love
  • I intend to show kindness
  • I intend to see the good in life
write down your intentions

By actually writing your intentions down, your brain is processing, visualizing, and translating your desires into words all at once. You are more likely to see your intentions manifest in your life if you actually write them down.

building good habits

Reinforce Your Intentions Daily

Reinforce Your Intentions Daily

Another suggestion when it comes to intention setting is verbal reinforcement. Our brains thrive on repetition.
Don’t just write your intentions down then leave that piece of paper in a drawer for months. There are many ways to go about reinforcing your intentions daily.

You could thumbtack your list to the wall so you see it every day, or put each intention on a separate sticky note and stick them to your mirror. You could also try saying your intentions out loud to yourself each morning.

sticky note affirmations on a mirror

Are Intentions Different From Goals?

Are Intentions Different From Goals

I had a pretty deep chat with my friend Morgan Southard last week about intention setting. Morgan is a huge proponent of living a meaningful life. She does intention and goal setting work with her students at her acting studio, and has also worked to use intentional living practices in her personal life for the last decade.

We talked a lot about the ways setting an intention is different from setting a goal. I think setting intentions is a lot more about themes we want to see show up in our lives, while setting a goal is about what we want to tangibly achieve.

Morgan Southard
“It’s like a road trip. An intention would be, ‘We intend for this road trip to be a meaningful experience,’ but the individual spots on the map that we are driving toward, those are our goals.” – Morgan Southard, morgansouthard.com

There are many ways this can show up in your own life. For example, an intention might be, “I intend to be a leader,” but the correlating goal might look like, “I want to become the CFO of my company.” I think it’s important to recognize these two concepts as different, yet connected, and work both into your life.

Why Should We Set Intentions And Goals Separately?

Why Should We Set Intentions And Goals Separately

One huge reason it’s important to make the distinction between intentions and goals is to take the pressure off of ourselves. We won’t always see the tangible fruits of our intentions in the ways that we’ve planned. Sometimes, setting intentions will lead to entirely different results than our initial goals predicted.

discover your purposeIf we view these two concepts as synonymous, we run the risk of believing that because the goal we set was not achieved, the intention is not present in our life. For example, we may believe that if we were not chosen to be the CFO of the company, we are, therefore, not a leader. See the problem here? I think this can really mess us up.

I’m not saying goal setting is not valuable — in fact, I think it’s vital. Setting our sights on a concrete result is the best way to keep us driving forward. But I also think that it’s important to identify those abstract themes that find their way into your life over and over again, that you feel connected to, and that define you, and know that those can exist even if the concrete result never happens.

Consider these scenarios: You love creativity, and you’re working toward producing an EP. You are empathetic, and you’re working toward helping your friend feel better after her parents’ divorce. You aspire toward optimism, and you’re working on seeing the good in life when your grandma has just been diagnosed with cancer.

You have not lost your creativity when the EP doesn’t get done, abandoned empathy when you’re unable to help your friend, or lost your ability to see the good because you aren’t optimistic about your grandma’s specific diagnosis. Making these distinctions helps us to have grace for ourselves when we aren’t where we want to be.

Habits To Set Your Intentions Each Day

Habits To Set Your Intentions Each Day

Starting the process of setting intentions is going to look different for everyone, but there are several common practices that can help you kick-start your journey.

Meditate On Your Intentions

Meditate On Your Intentions

Meditation is one big way that experienced mindfulness gurus go about making sure their life aligns with the intentions they’ve set.

meditate on your intentionsWhy is meditation so helpful for intention setting? The art of meditation is highly beneficial for one’s mental state. When you’re able to be mentally grounded, it’s easier to exude the traits you intend to instead of allowing mental clutter to get in the way of who you want to be.

A study from Insider talks about the extensive benefits of meditation, including better focus and concentration, improved self-awareness, higher self-esteem, lower levels of stress and anxiety, and even fostering kindness. If any of these align with the intentions you’ve set, integrating mediation into your daily life is one way to actualize those traits.

The meditation process is pretty straightforward and simple, even for beginners. All you have to do is, well, nothing. Many beginning meditators find it odd to sit in complete silence and be alone with themselves, but as the practice becomes more seasoned for you, it will begin to feel natural.

Morgan Southard
“Just sit down on a meditation pillow and let yourself feel whatever comes up. If you’re open, it’s powerful. Start with two minutes a day, then go up to five, and so on. Lean into the process.” – Morgan Southard, morgansouthard.com

Make Intentions Real With Positive Self-Talk

Make Intentions Real With Positive Self-Talk

There’s a reason why morning affirmations are so popular. The narrative that we tell ourselves on repeat is the one we begin to believe, and the things we believe about ourselves inform the heights we allow ourselves to reach.

Building A Bias Towards ActionIf you intend to become more confident, tell yourself that you already are. If you intend to become more creative, take a mental note of all the ways you naturally exude creativity and tell your mind that your creative visions are good ones.

Oftentimes, that mean and critical voice in our head is the main culprit that gets in the way of our ability to live out our intentions. It can take years to get good at talking to ourselves with as much love and encouragement as we do to our friends and family.

Start small — simply pay attention to the narrative going on in your mind. Observe yourself. Each time you feel a negative thought or criticism about yourself come to mind, match it with a compliment or an affirmation. Over time, these little changes will become habits.

Morgan Southard
“Give the voice in your head its own name. Identify it as an ‘other’ and separate it from your identity. This gives the negative voice space to be in the room, but allows you peace in knowing it is not who you are.” – Morgan Southard, morgansouthard.com

Vision Boarding To Setting Intentions

Vision Boarding To Setting Intentions

The idea of creating a vision or a dream board is my favorite tool for intention setting. It takes the ideas or feelings in your brain and puts them to paper in a way that is uniquely visual.

A vision board is basically a collage that helps you identify your intentions and manifestations. It can be made out of any medium, physical or digital.

You could use old magazines, book pages, newspaper clippings, calendars with images, scrapbook paper — any kind of paper with pictures. You can also go the digital route and copy and paste images from the web into a word doc to print out. There is no wrong way to make a vision board.

Morgan Southard
“Try creating a vision board once or twice a year to check in with your intentions. Put on a record, get your favorite hot beverage, and leaf through used magazines. Open yourself up to anything you’re drawn to. Nothing is wrong.” – Morgan Southard, morgansouthard.com

The purpose of a vision board is to let your inner world speak for itself, then analyze what it has to say when the project is complete. You may not even know you have the intentions you do until you’re looking at the finished product.

setting intentions with a vision boardGo through whatever materials you’re using and find what speaks to you. Cut out those things — they can be pictures, patterns, letters, words, or anything else. Then, arrange them on a corkboard, posterboard, or newspaper backing and Mod Podge or tape them down.

Now that you’ve made your board, observe its contents. Do you notice any themes arise from your images? Let the things you notice about your dream board help you identify the intentions you want to set.

Maybe you notice your collage is full of calming words alongside images of a peaceful river or someone doing yoga. This might help you deduce you want to pursue peace. Maybe your board seems very zany and full of color, with abstract images and pictures of art. This might help you deduce that you intend to be more creative in the coming year.

Books To Help With Intention Setting

Books To Help With Intention Setting

With Morgan’s insights, I’ve compiled a short book list to help you begin your journey with intention setting. You can also check out my minimalist book list for other similar reads.

The Artists Way

The Artists’ Way

by Julia Cameron

A New Earth

A New Earth

by Eckhart Tolle

The Power Of Now

The Power of Now

by Eckhart Tolle


Big Magic

Big Magic

by Elizabeth Gilbert

unravel your year

Unravel Your Year

by Susannah Conway

Wherever You Go There You Are

Wherever You Go, There You Are

by Jon Kabat-Zinn


Your Turn!

  • What intentions do you want to set for yourself this year?
  • What habits can you start this week to help you set intentions?

Homesteading Book Review: The Best Books To Help You Become Self Sufficient

Homesteading Book Review: The Best Books To Help You Become Self Sufficient

homesteading book review

The practice of homesteading can find its way into one’s life in many different ways. For some, being a homesteader looks like producing your own food, making your own clothes, managing a small hobby farm, or generating your own power. For others, the journey towards self-sufficiency might be as simple as adding a vertical garden of climbing peas to your apartment balcony.

I started out by adding chickens next to my small raised bed, then integrated other versions of homesteading into my life gradually. The process was a slow one, but that made it fun and manageable.

Start small. Take baby steps to start your homestead. Pick a skill you’re wanting to learn and engage with a book from that list, then see what happens. Happy reading!

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

Homesteading can be life changing if you give it the chance, but, like anything, the first step is to learn. I’ve compiled a list of what I feel are the most helpful books for those looking to get into homesteading, and sorted them by category.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

Homesteading Books For Beginners

Homesteading Books For Beginners

Homesteading entails many different areas of work and varieties of DIYing, which can all seem a little overwhelming to a beginner. This booklist includes guides that are broken down simply, ideal for someone who wants to start a self-sufficient life but is looking for some guidance on how to get started.

The Encyclopedia of Country Living

The Encyclopedia of Country Living

by Carla Emery

If I had a friend who was getting into homesteading and asked for my advice, this is likely the first read I’d recommend. Carla’s encyclopedia includes detailed instructions for a plethora of important homesteader skillsets, including canning and preserving food, gardening, growing your own food, beekeeping, cooking on a wood stove, raising livestock, milling flour, tapping maple trees, and much more.


New Complete Book Of Self Sufficiency

New Complete Book Of Self Sufficiency

by John Seymour

With the newest version published in 2019, John’s Complete Book Of Self Sufficiency is full of comprehensive information about life as a homesteader. The guide also includes detailed instructions for various elements of the lifestyle, like how to create an urban organic garden or how to harness natural energy.


The Homesteading Handbook

The Homesteading Handbook

by Abigail Gehring

I know firsthand that life can quickly become noisy, chaotic, and overwhelming. This read delves deeper than the mere process of minimization — it’s about what that process can do for you.

Dana elaborates on the reasons why decluttering can often feel difficult. She writes about the ways our emotions get in the way of creating a clutter-free life for ourselves, and ways to combat these mental roadblocks.


Mini Farming On Quarter An Acre

Mini Farming On ¼ An Acre

by Brett Markham

If the self-sufficient lifestyle of homesteading is appealing to you, but you don’t have a ton of land to work off of, this book is for you. Brett walks you through ways that having less land doesn’t have to limit you when it comes to homesteading.

Even if you have never been a farmer or a gardener, this book covers what’s essential for beginners to know, like buying and saving seeds, crop rotation, farm planning, seasonal gardening, crop rotation, and many other basic farming need to knows.


The Backyard Homestead

The Backyard Homestead

by Carleen Madigan

With several different editions including an all-inclusive guide to raising livestock, growing your own food, kitchen know-how, building projects, and a seasonal planner, Carleen’s The Backyard Homestead series is one of the best guides for beginner homesteaders. Each guide includes step-by-step instructions for the topic it covers, along with pictures and diagrams for you to follow.

Homesteading Books On Buying And Managing Land

Homesteading Books On Buying And Managing Land

Owning, managing, tending to, and working off of your land is the first step to becoming a successful homesteader. Without your own land, it’s hard to maintain a self-sufficient life. These homesteading books will help you locate quality farmland and gain tips for keeping it up on your own.

Finding Good Farmland

Finding Good Farmland

Larkin Hansen

Finding Good Farmland covers every aspect you should consider before buying your own farmland, including government regulations, residential concerns from the surrounding area where you’re searching, soil conditions, and ways to budget. This read is a great self-checker if you’re looking for quality farmland and want to ensure you’ve thought through the basics and the details.


Five Acres and Independence

Five Acres and Independence

by Maurice Grenville Kains

Maurice provides an easy-to-understand view of what small-scale farming entails practically. This read helps you evaluate land economically and agriculturally, guiding you in making an informed purchase. You’ll learn suggestions for land management like draining the land or improving soil quality, suggestions for when to grow seasonal crops, tips for raising goats, chickens, and bees on a small-scale farm, as well as marketing tips for farmers.


Land Buying Tips From the Pros

Land Buying Tips From the Pros

by Pat Porter

Pat’s book will give you specific information about different types of land and what to watch for when thinking about investing. No two types of land are the same, and purchasing a plot comes with a lot of need-to-knows about that specific land type.

The bulk of this book is a compilation of tips from experts on budgeting for rural land based on phone calls Pat had with these eight different experts.

Gardening Books For The Homesteader

Gardening Books For The Homesteader

Growing your own produce from a garden is a huge aspect of homesteading. For me, working in my yard and garden is super cathartic, but it’s also a huge undertaking. Wisdom from expert authors about the best times to plant each crop, tilling and fertilizing methods, tips for crop rotation, and much more will be extremely helpful when creating your first garden.

Organic Gardening For Beginners

Organic Gardening For Beginners

by Lisa Lombardo

Organic Gardening For Beginners opens with an overview of the most popular types of organic gardening, as well as the benefits and setbacks to each. This section is helpful for beginner gardeners to decide which method works in their space.

Lisa also provides explanations to several natural growth methods like controlling pests without chemicals, and a crop-by-crop inventory that tells beginners what they need to know about each plant and vegetable to start growing.


Growing Vegetables The First Time Gardeners Guide

Growing Vegetables:

The First Time Gardeners Guide

by Jessica Sowards

Jessica’s YouTube Channel, Roots and Refuge Farm, is filled with wisdom for the first-time gardener, and so is her book. I would recommend this quick read to anyone who is looking for the most basic information when it comes to growing your own food in a garden. Conversational in style, Jessica delves into common questions like where to put your garden, how to prep your soil, and how to keep pests and critters out of your home garden.


The Flower Gardeners Bible

The Flower Gardener’s Bible

by The Flower Gardener’s Bible

The ultimate flower gardener’s handbook, Lewis walks readers through everything from what to think about when choosing your growing site to increasing the lifespan of your flowers. The books includes many helpful tips on how to improve soil, fight off pests, make informed decisions about seasonal planting, and specific information about each type of flower.


Vertical Gardening

Vertical Gardening

by Derek Fell

Don’t let space limit you from becoming a homesteader. Derek’s book on vertical gardening is made for those who want to start a garden but don’t have a ton of space. The growing up and not out method is not dependent on having land to plant on, anyone can do it! With over 100 colorful pictures and diagrams to help with the process, Vertical Gardening showcases ways to grow perennials, shrubs, vegetables, flowers, and fruits no matter where you live.


A Seasonal Gardeners Handbook

A Seasonal Gardener’s Handbook

by Donna L. Long

The biggest key to knowing when to plant each crop without wasting seeds is to pay attention to seasonal crop patterns. Take it from Donna, knowing when to plant what is an intricate process. Her guide will have you creating your own seasonal gardening calendar and planting by the natural signs of the Earth in no time.

She teaches you everything you could ever want to know about seasonal gardening, including when and when not to prune, creating a simple compost pile, hardening off, tips for plant’s chilling hours, planting by the phases of the Moon, and when to plant each type of annual.

Preserving Food On Your Homestead, Best Books

Preserving Food On Your Homestead, Best Books

Preserving, canning, cooking for yourself, managing your food storage – these are all key aspects of the homesteader’s life. These books will take you through what you need to know to bake, save, and store all your own food stuffs.

The Ultimate Guide To Preserving Vegetables

The Ultimate Guide To Preserving Vegetables

by Angie Schneider

Angie’s ultimate guide gives readers access to charts, colorful pictures, and step-by-step instructions for all kinds of preservation methods like canning & pickling, fermenting, freezing, and dehydrating food. It’s a very helpful book for beginners because the instructions are highly detailed.

Her book also includes many of Angie’s family recipes to try on your homestead, like canned dilly asparagus, fermented corn salsa, dried scalloped potatoes, and dried pumpkin pie.


The Ball Book of Canning And Preserving

The Ball Book of Canning And Preserving

by Ball Test Kitchen

The Ball Book of Canning And Preserving is a classic for homesteading and food preservation. It shows up frequently on best of lists when it comes to food prep. Why? It includes over 350 recipes for the beginner to the experienced homesteader, ranging from jams, fruits, butter, jellies, jerkies, pickles, and salsas.

The instructional section of the guide covers water bath and pressure canning, pickling, fermenting, freezing, dehydrating, and smoking with detailed instructions and step-by-step photos to make the process simple and efficient.


The Complete Guide To Pressure Canning

The Complete Guide To Pressure Canning

by Diane Devereaux

Pressure canning is one of the most popular methods for preserving cooked meals. Diane’s The Complete Guide To Pressure Canning is a step by step resource to teach you the art of pressure canning, so you can preserve your favorite low acid foods for you and your family.

Covering everything from soups and stews, jar meals, broths and beans, and game and other meats, this guide will introduce you to everything you need to know about canning through colorful pictures and diagrams.


A Year Without the Grocery Store

A Year Without the Grocery Store

by Karen Morris

This book is geared towards food preservation to prepare for times when grocery stores may not be accessible. Homesteading is all about self-sufficiency, and these tips from Karen will teach you what you need to know to have enough food for you and your family at the ready, no matter what.

Complete with tips for economically storing food your family wants to eat, simple recipes for baking basic comfort foods from scratch, how to safely store and use water, and common mistakes homesteaders make when storing food with ways to do better.

Books on Off-Grid Living and Alternative Energy

Books on Off-Grid Living and Alternative Energy

Becoming self-sufficient with your energy sources is freeing because it cuts out the middle man. Plus, using alternative energy is great for the environment. Many homesteaders go off grid entirely, so let’s take a look at some books that can educate you on how to make off grid living a reality for you.

Off Grid Living 2022-2023

Off Grid Living:

Back to Basics Guide To Become Self Sufficient

by Small Footprint Press

This updated, 30-day guide to go from energy dependance to an entirely off grid life is extremely worthwhile for the new off gridder who wants to adopt the lifestyle as quickly as possible. This guide includes information on living off the grid without giving up any of your luxuries, how to use solar, wind, and geothermal sources, how to install different types of water systems in your home, the best US states for living off grid, and more.


Off Grid Solar Power Simplified

Off Grid Solar Power Simplified

by Nick Seghers

The most popular method of alternative energy on the homestead is solar power. Many people have asked me about putting solar panels on my own tiny house because I’m one of the few out there that is totally off the grid. Let me be the first to say the process isn’t easy and there is a lot to learn!

Nick is an electrical engineer who specializes in solar power design, so his tips are definitely backed by experiences. This manual delves into things like a comprehensive tool list for installing your own panels, tilting, cleaning, optimizing solar input, types of photovoltaics, and much more.


Wind Energy for the Rest of Us

Wind Energy for the Rest of Us

by Paul Gipe

Not as popular as the solar power method but still accessible for the average homesteader, wind turbines are another way to access alternative energy off the grid. Paul’s Wind Energy for the Rest of Us moves through many different methods for harnessing wind energy on your own homestead, including small and large turbines, water-pumping windmills, and multimegawatt wind turbines.


The Complete Guide to Water Storage

The Complete Guide to Water Storage

by Julie Fryer

Learning to store water is a vital for the life of a homesteader. But properly storing your water so its genuinely useable is a learned process, and this read is a great guide for getting started. Using tanks, ponds, and other means of water storage to maintain a safe and viable source of drinking water has become popularized in prepper and homesteader circles. Other water-saving techniques such as rainwater harvesting and gray water collection are also valuable and are explained throughout this guide.


Wood Stoves How to Make and Use Them

Wood Stoves:

How to Make and Use Them

by Ole Wik

Ever considered cooking with a wood stove? This quick read goes over everything you need to know about using and tending to a wood stove, including information about types of wood and stovepipes, how to actually use the wood stove once its going, how to cook with a wood stove, and general safety tips to consider when using an open flame in your own home.

minimalism book reviews
tiny house book reviews

Homesteading For A Living: Books On The Business Side

Homesteading For A Living

Homesteading goes beyond self-sufficiency – it can also be a business, that, when maintained well, can bring you abundant rewards and financial freedom. Agricultural financing isn’t easy, but with a little guidance you can create the space to sell your tomato harvest, goat cheese, or homemade bar soap and make a substantial profit.

How to Make Money Homesteading

How to Make Money Homesteading

by Tim Young

This simple guide examines an array of skills that are crucial for turning your homestead into a business. Follow along with Tim and learn how to insulate yourself from financial collapse by monitoring which risks you take, manage your finances as you sell your crop, plan for retirement on the farm, and generate livable income from your own homestead. This book features interviews with 18 homesteaders and farmers who share intimate stories of their own journeys toward a fulfilling and financially freeing life on their homestead.


Starting & Running Your Own Small Farm Business

Starting Your Own Small Farm Business

by Sarah Beth Aubrey

Another great source for those who want to start homesteading but don’t have a ton of space to work with. Sarah Beth’s Starting And Running Your Own Small Farm Business is chalk full of savvy skills to help you get started, like planning your budget, web design to self-promote, and food service wholesalers.


The Organic Farmers Business Handbook

The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook

by Richard Wiswall

After working for twenty-seven years at Cate Farm in Vermont, Richard knows the ins and outs of running a farm like a business. In his book, Richard shares advice on how to make your vegetable production more efficient, manage your employees, create a budget, and turn a livable profit on your homestead.


The Future Is Rural

The Future Is Rural

by Jason Bradford

You might want to give yourself a minute to take this one in. Written by Jason the biologist and farmer, this book gives a very meta-assessment of what we know about our modern world and why that analysis can benefit the rural community.

Jason explains why, sociologically as well as economically, the decline of rural areas and dependence on fossil fuels will reverse entirely in the coming decade. This will greatly elevate the importance of self-reliance. If you’re looking for a high brow evaluation of why turning your homestead into a business and independently oiled machine is worth it, this is the book for you.


Farm Record Keeping Book

Farm Record Keeping Book

by Exocet Journals

Staying organized is crucial for running a successful farming business. Writing everything down in an all-inclusive journal can help with that. This record keeping journal is one smart way to log your daily farm routine, livestock care, seasonal crop rotations, repair operations, budget, and more – all kept in one place.

Books On Homesteading Skills, Tools and Supplies

Books On Homesteading Skills Tools and Supplies

Repairs, updates, and maintenance work is required for maintaining a successful homestead. Knowing which tools get the job done and understanding how to perform basic repairs can help you keep your farm in tip top shape and keep you from having to call for backup.

The Tool Book

The Tool Book:

A Tool Lover’s Guide to Over 200 Hand Tool

by Phil Davey

Phil’s tool book is basically an encyclopedia for common household tools. Leaf through this guide to find pictures of common tools from every imaginable angle, detailed patent drawings, zoomed in diagrams, and step-by-step illustrations of each tool being used with expert advice on how to use each tool best. The book covers different types of hammers, spades, chisels, and more.


Woodworking The Complete Step-by-Step Manual

Woodworking: The Complete Manual

by DK

This step-by-step carpenter’s manual includes guidance for a wide range of skillsets. New carpenters will learn the ins and outs of basic design techniques, how to use essential tools, and basic carpentry techniques like woodturning, furniture restoration, and wood joints.

More experienced carpenters can use their skills and follow the steps in the 28 different DIY woodworking projects the book provides. There’s something here for everybody wanting to learn more about woodworking.


Do-It-Yourself Plumbing

Do-It-Yourself Plumbing

by Max Alth

Another essential skill to get good at is plumbing, especially if you aren’t wanting to hire out on your homestead. This DIY guide includes over 500 photos, diagrams, and drawings to teach how to fix leaky faucets, balky toilets, clogged drains and traps, and even how to install hot-water and steam-heating system on your own.


Farm and Workshop Welding

Farm and Workshop Welding

by John Seymour

With over 400 step by step photos and tons of tips and suggestions for beginner to experienced welders, this comprehensive welding guide has it all. Learning to cut and shape metal will help you keep your homestead up to par and give you the freedom to create endless projects on your own.

Flip through Andrew’s comprehensive guide for detailed descriptions of specific types of welds like arc, MIG, gas, TIG, and plasma cutting. It also includes advice that extends into the wider workshop with advice on drill use, cutting threads, and blacksmithing.


Tools A Tool-by-Tool Guide to Choosing and Using 150 Home Essentials

Tools:

Guide to Choosing and Using 150 Home Essentials

by Steve Dodds

Knowing which tools to use and how to use them is the first step in keeping up with repairs around your homestead. This quick read chronicles 150 power and hand tools with explanations on how to use them.

Steve informs readers in three clear cut sections. The first covers where you can go to find quality tools and what specifically to look for to ensure years of dependable use. The second section explains how to use eight basic tool kits, and the third section is a tool-by-tool inventory of virtually every power and hand tool you could need.

Homesteading Books On Raising Livestock

Homesteading Books On Raising Livestock

A homestead isn’t complete without livestock. If the goal is to be as self-sufficient as possible, producing your own food with as few outside sources as possible, raising animals is the best way to make that happen. This booklist will provide you with all the know-hows you need to reduce your dependance on big agriculture and learn to produce your own dairy and poultry.

Raising Chickens and Goats

Raising Chickens and Goats

by Jason Howard

Chickens and goats are the most popular choices for raising animals on a homestead, especially if you’re getting into agriculture for the first time. Jason goes over how to know if your chickens and goats are healthy when you purchase them, how to keep them from getting sick, and ways to protect your livestock from predators.

For chickens, he talks about how to build a chicken coop, tips to raise robust chickens, and how to choose the best chicken breed on a budget, and more. For goats, he goes over the best places to buy a healthy goat, common mistakes homesteaders make when raising goats, tips to keep your goats from getting diseases, and more.


The Homesteaders Natural Chicken Keeping Handbook

Natural Chicken Keeping Handbook

by Amy Fewell

Pretty much anything you’d want to know about raising chickens is likely found in the little guide. Amy provides detailed explanations of everything from understanding why chickens do what they do, creating your very own poultry or egg business, preventing and treating ailments with herbal remedies, setting up your property, coop, and brooder, and hatching new chicks.


Keeping A Family Cow

Keeping A Family Cow

by Joann S. Grohman

Keeping A Family Cow was originally published in the early 1970s as The Cow Economy, and has been reprinted many times with updates and edits. If you’re wondering if you should get a cow but aren’t sure where to begin, this is the book for you. Joann goes over cow knowledge essentials, like the health benefits of untreated milk, how to easily milk your cow, details on calving and breeding, and the ins and outs of making butter, yogurt, and cheese.


Raising Pigs

Raising Pigs:

The Ultimate Guide to Pig Raising on Your Homestead

by Dion Rosser

Learn the ins and outs of raising pigs with detailed instructions in Raising Pigs: The Ultimate Guide To Pig Raising. Dion’s ultimate guide covers how to choose the type of pig that will best suit your needs, how to build proper housing and fencing for your pigs, how to properly care for your swine, how to feed your pigs well, and tips for pig reproduction and breeding.

Books On Bees And Beekeeping

Books On Bees And Beekeeping

Beekeeping is not as difficult as it might seem at first glance. There are extensive benefits that come with adding beekeeping into your self-reliance skills on your family’s homestead.

The importance of bees often gets overlooked, but they are actually one of the most necessary creatures to sustaining humankind. Their role as pollinators is essential to our food chain and the longevity of society.

By beekeeping, you can do your part to help keep bees from going extinct. And the honey is a major plus! Check out this booklist to kickstart your journey as a beekeeper.

Beekeeping For Beginners

Beekeeping For Beginner’s

by Amber Bradshaw

If you’re new to beekeeping completely, I’d definitely recommend this read. Follow along with Amy, a homesteader and experienced beekeeper, to learn the basic fundamentals of modern beekeeping. This book will walk you through picking the right hive, bringing your bees home for the first time, surviving winters with your bees, the basics of collecting honey, and more.


Beekeepers Problem Solver

Beekeeper’s Problem Solver:

100 Common Problems Explored and Explained

by James E. Tew

It’s easy for things to go wrong when learning the art of keeping bees. This book explores 100 common problems for all beekeepers, from the beginner to experienced level. Then, it provides several methods to solve those problems directly. Each issue is addressed in detail with photographs and diagrams and tangible solutions from highly experienced beekeepers.


Honey Bee Biology And Beekeeping

Honey Bee Biology And Beekeeping

by Dewey M. Caron with Lawrence John Connor

This extensive and heavily researched beekeeper’s guide is for those curious about the science and history behind the art of beekeeping. This deep dive into beekeeping concentrates on the why, how, and when of beekeeping both today and in the past. Dewey and Lawrence explain bee basics in a manner meaningful to people who lack an intensive background in biology, covering colony management, basic bee biology, and more.

Helpful Reads On Permaculture

Helpful Reads On Permaculture

The practice of permaculture is all about managing your land and life in a way that is harmonious with the natural world. Getting started with permaculture begins with your thoughts then moves into your habits and lifestyle.

It means designing your land in a way that does not harm the earth, using your resources with environmental caution, decreasing your waste and your consumption, and creating an ecologically sound life on your homestead.

Permaculture A Beginners Guide

Permaculture: A Beginners Guide

by Graham Burnett

This is a valuable read if you’re entirely new to the lifestyle and mindset of permaculture. It’s a generalized beginner’s guide, so I don’t go this route if you aren’t actually a beginner – you might be frustrated by the level of simplicity! However, if you’re looking to learn the very basics of what permaculture is and how you can take baby steps to adopt the lifestyle, this is your book.


Earth User's Guide to Permaculture

Earth User’s Guide to Permaculture

by Rosemary Morrow

This is a slightly more detailed and extensive guide to permaculture than the one above. Rosemary talks a lot about the principles behind living a life built around permaculture: to care for people and the earth wherever possible.

Practically, she also provides detailed tips and instructions for the following practices: seed-saving, integrated pest management, domestic and rural water usage, dealing with weeds and wildlife in an ecologically friendly manner, and designing land to withstand natural disasters.


Permaculture Design a Step by Step Guide

Permaculture Design

by Aranya

This book is specifically geared toward land design and management under the umbrella of permaculture. Aranya explains the design process in extensive detail from beginning to end, covering designing frameworks, site surveying and mapmaking, placement and integration, and working with clients. There is an abundant use of flowcharts and diagrams throughout to help you learn the practice.

Prepping And Survival Skills

Prepping And Survival Skills

A prepper is an individual who focuses on training themselves in both urban and bushcraft survival skills to be prepared for all situations. Learning prepping and survival skills is a great way to prepare for all circumstances and make sure you have everything you need on your own homestead, should you be disconnected from civilization. These books go over basic and advanced survival skills for preppers and homesteaders alike.

Prepper’s Long Term Survival Guide

Prepper’s Long Term Survival Guide

by Jim Cobb

This step-by-step survivalist guide is full of advice, techniques, strategies, and skills to learn from the perspective of a lifelong prepping expert. Jim gives insight on preparing for the worst with skills like water collection for drinking and hygiene, storing water, growing food, hunting game, foraging in the woods, first aid and home remedies, and tactics for fortifying and defending your home.


SAS Survival Handbook

SAS Survival Handbook:

How to Survive in the Wild, in Any Climate

by John Lofty Wiseman

John’s handbook specifically addresses ways to survive unforeseen situations as they arise. John provides strategies and tactics for surviving in any type of situation, from accidents and escape procedures to adapting to various climates like polar, tropical, or desert, to identifying edible plants, to creating fire. The is an all-inclusive how to for surviving anything, complete with detailed descriptions, illustrations, instructions, and diagrams.

Natural Medicine And Remedies

Natural Medicine And Remedies

For some, being entirely self-sufficient without using outside sources includes medicine. Many homesteaders engage with herbal remedies like tinctures, teas, syrups, and salves to calm anxiety, heal wounds, or help with ailments like headaches or the common cold. These easy reads will give you some basic advice for beginning the world of herbal medicine.

The Homesteaders Herbal Companion

The Homesteader’s Herbal Companion

by Amy Fewell

This book is the go-to guide for those wishing to start their journey with home remedies. Amy covers everything from incorporating herbs and essential oils around your home, the basics of herbalism, and how to properly use each type of herb around your homestead. Whether you are new to homesteading and herbal medicine or you know the basics already, there is much to gain from this comprehensive guide.


Medicinal Herbs A Beginners Guide

Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide

by Rosemary Gladstar

In this beginner’s guide, Rosemary goes over 33 common healing plants and their uses. She also includes advice on growing, harvesting, and preparing each plant along with tips for using herbs in healing tinctures, oils, and creams. This is a valuable read if you’re looking for an in-depth inventory of useful medicinal herbs with pictures and tips for usage.


Be Your Own Doctor

Be Your Own Doctor

by Rachel Weaver

This book is specifically geared toward creating safe, high quality, in-home medical care. Rachel divides her book into sections: essential household remedies with which includes remedies for common issues, first aid, and immunity boosters, then health hormones and pregnancy, and, lastly, planning ahead and getting supplies. I would recommend this one to anyone thinking about trying herbal medicine in their homestead.

minimalism book reviews
tiny house book reviews