What is Minimalist Living?

Minimalist living is an all inclusive lifestyle – having a minimal, clutter-free environment is a large part of it, but it’s so much more than that. The minimalist lifestyle includes looking at the way you spend your time, your money, and even the way you think.

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1. Owning less stuff is a large part of it…

Keeping your environment as minimal as possible will ensure a less cluttered mind. I’ve noticed that I tend to focus better in a clean space, with just a few necessary items. Even when I’m not working, I feel more calm in a minimalist environment. When I am in a cluttered or crowded environment, I tend to feel anxious and unproductive. When you don’t have a lot of clutter, your mind is freed up for other, more important things to think about.

2. …But minimalist living doesn’t just apply to your house

minimalist homeI’ve started taking a more minimal approach to the way I structure the desktop on my computer, to the way I plan my days and even the foods that I eat. With less clutter on my desktop, I can look at my computer and focus on what I need to do, instead of getting distracted by photos and documents that are scattered around. With a more simple diet, my body functions at a more optimum level, and I have to think less about what I’m going to eat that day. Life becomes more simple, easier, and much more intentional.

3. Mindfulness and minimalism

Minimalist living can have a wonderful effect on the mind. When you are living a less cluttered life, you will have much more focus and intentionality in everything you do. Instead of seeing clutter and thinking about how you need to clean it up, you’ll have a clean environment, a clear head, and the ability to focus more clearly. Instead of living reactively, you’ll have the opportunity to think about what you want to do, and focus completely on that.

4. Freedom

Minimalist living has given me something that I will be forever grateful for: freedom. Through living simply, I’ve been able to create a life in which I feel completely free. I’m free to spend my time how I’d like, I’m free to pursue passions that I want to explore, I’m free to go to a cafe in the middle of the day on a Tuesday.

Before I took the journey to minimalism, I was working in a 9-5 job. I was making a salary, but I still was required to be there from 9-5 PM, whether I had already finished my work for the day or not. It started to feel like I wasn’t in control of my life anymore. I was looking for meaning in a career, but I found meaning in minimalism and pursuing my passions.

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5. Quality Relationships

Minimalism has led me to create even stronger friendships and relationships than I had before. Because I spend my time in a more intentional way, I am able to connect with people on a deeper level. Instead of just “hanging out,” I now only spend time with people who inspire and motivate me, which brings great value to my life.

Minimalist living has changed my life and helped me accomplish so many goals. I’m now focused on actually living instead of just keeping up with the Jones’. To learn more about minimalism, see my post on what defines a minimalist (link to post when published).

Your Turn!

  • What does simple living mean to you?


  1. Amanda,

    Some great points here. Seems we get to a stage in life, that after a while you don’t own things…they own you.

  2. I think as you get older, or more mature, some people really start to reframe what’s important, or what their long-term goals are. I used to be so sure of things and my plan and what I wanted to accomplish 25 years ago. Things totally changed for me, especially as we spent several years going through the Great Recession. Bankruptcy, deed in lieu of foreclosure, career annihilated, cancer, tearing up roots and relocating 1000 miles trying to restart everything – the only thing we came out with on the other side was each other (which actually I am very proud of). Now we live in 450 sq ft and wish we could stop paying for the two storage containers that are still back in our home state, because after 4 years we obviously don’t need all those things we couldn’t give up. We don’t want to recreate our old life. We’re trying to be better. And we already know we’re not going to be able to afford to retire in the USA, even if it is 20 years away. I am looking way forward, and everything else is just temporary. I am going to learn Spanish so I can move to South America, where they have affordable health care and clean air.

  3. Simplicity. The necessary items for daily living. To live life to your fullest. Riches to me are defined as the ones I love, not my bank. Stuff is just that, stuff!

  4. We just came back from my 50th class reunion. Possessions don’t matter. Relationships and experiences do. You can empty the storage lockers by making one trip back. Or just stop paying and they will auction off the stuff. My son cleared out his uncle’s storage unit. I get rid of stuff all the time.

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