If I've said it once I've said it enough to sound completely like a broken record (but I really believe this, so I'm going to say it again)— minimalism doesn't happen overnight.
Good things take time, as they say, and you certainly can't expect to rid yourself of excess belongings and curate a perfect capsule wardrobe right this second. As much as I wish the process were faster, I think there is such beauty in giving yourself the time to really simplify intentionally.
BUT, lest you get impatient and decide to give up on the idea all together, there are some ways you can start applying simple living to your life right this instant. In fact, you can use these tips every day to gradually move towards a more minimalist lifestyle, and slowly, you'll be able to look back and see all of the progress you've made through simply making a few tweaks to your mindset and lifestyle.
1. Stop buying things:
Obviously, not forever, and not everything, though many people do have success with temporary spending freezes. The key here is to stop buying things you don't need. Are you spending money on that photo just to fill a space on your wall? Are you going shoe shopping just because you haven't been in a while or you think you need yet another pair?
Analyzing your motivations behind spending money will help you not only spend less but ensure that when you do spend money it's on things you truly love or need.
2. Purge your closet:
You all know how much I rave about capsule wardrobes and the way they've pushed me into minimalism more than anything else. But you absolutely don't have to have a capsule wardrobe to live simply. As always, your motivations are what will truly make lasting difference, so if you change your mindset about your clothes, your life (and your closet) will reflect it.
Get rid of the clothes you don't love and don't wear and slowly replace them with pieces that make you feel amazing. Start with our free guide to simplifying your closet to get a leg up- because getting rid of clothes, or knowing where to start, can feel like a daunting task.
3. Limit your screen time:
Social media dominates our lives. Part of living simply is focusing on the moments right in front of us, something technology has a way of distracting us from. Give yourself a few rules, like no checking your phone an hour before bed, or certain hours for being on social media, and stick to them.
If you want a boost in simplifying your digital life, sign up for our free 7 day e-mail course Simply Disconnect, which is packed with actionable tips, freebies, and ways to de-clutter your online presence.
4. Simplify your kitchen:
Do you really need three different sets of dishes? Or 47 coffee mugs? (I'm the guiltiest of all on that one).
Get rid of the tools you don't use regularly and the ones that don't serve a purpose, and you'll be amazed at how un-cluttered your kitchen will become.
5. Practice mono-tasking:
It's pretty common for us to be doing 100 things at once. Whether you're a mom juggling a toddler, dishes, and 100 different messes, a college student trying to study and maintain a social life, or anything else, chance are you already have other browser tabs open right now or are doing something else besides reading this post.
In fact, studies show that multitasking not only decreases your performance, but it damages your brain and can even lower your IQ.
Though this one may take some time getting used to, start out small. Focus your energy on the task at hand, even if it's only for 10 minute stretches at first. Your performance (and your energy levels) will thank you.
6. Practice saying no:
Being a minimalist doesn't mean that you automatically turn into an antisocial scrooge (even if you may feel like it some days ;). It does, however, mean saying "no" more often so that you can say "yes" to the things that really matter to you. It is not feeling obligated to sign up for every space where there's a need. It's learning the difference between commitment and over-commitment. It's realizing what makes you tick and saying yes to those things.
7. Sell the things you don't need:
I'm still in the process of this one— paring down our belongings to only the essentials. Though it can't happen over night, you can start making a list, putting things up for sale, donating them, or hosting a yard sale.
Small steps are powerful. Take a few today.