Scenic Erie Station Village

Minimalism for Beginners

Sparsely appointed desk. Image credit: Andrew Neel

June 2022


Minimalism can show up in many different ways. You can have a minimalist style of décor in your apartment or townhome. You can wear minimalist fashions. You can even take a minimalist approach to the things you buy. If you’re feeling overwhelmed in life – either by physical stuff or your schedule – then you may want to adopt elements of a minimalist lifestyle. Chances are, if you successfully apply it to one aspect of your life, you’ll apply it to others. To get you started, here are four steps you can take to be successful.

Decide Why

Establishing why you want to embrace minimalism will keep you motivated to stick to it. Otherwise, you can easily become discouraged. But reminding yourself why you’re making this change in your life will push you forward.

Declutter Something Easy

Maybe it’s your closet or your kitchen “junk” drawer. Pick something with items that don’t hold much sentimental value. Take EVERYTHING out. Eliminate duplicates, get rid of things you haven’t used in years, and put the essentials back. Then live with that drawer, closet or whatever for a few days. Enjoy how it feels to have unused space and how easy it is to find the things you need. If minimalism is right for you, you’ll want to keep going with other parts of your life.

Stop Spending

It can be painful to start this one but give the no-spending challenge a try. Pick one area of your life and don’t buy anything for one month. This will force you to 1) stop the inflow of clutter and 2) re-discover what you already own. If you don’t buy cosmetics or toiletries for one month, you’ll use up what you already have. If you don’t buy new clothes another month, you’ll wear something hidden deep in your closet that just might become a new favorite. In a way, you’ll learn to shop at your home. You’ll also begin to see how little you really need.

Practice Gratitude

One reason we accumulate so much stuff is that we’re either trying to keep up with someone else, or we think if we buy an item we’ll be happy. But when we practice gratitude, something in our brain changes. We start to feel thankful for that comfortable old hoodie rather than buying a new one that catches our eye at the mall. Once gratitude is top of mind, contentment follows.