Minimalist Tips For Beginners (The Simple Guide)
If you are looking for minimalist tips for beginners, then this is the post for you!
Before we get into these tips, I just wanted to let you know that I started my minimalism journey a while back and gathered some tips that will be really beneficial for beginners!
It’s an area I’ve been focusing on to have the opportunity to simplify my life.
I am decluttering both the physical and mental side through some minimalism tips, so I can best focus on what provides value.
What I found was the potential benefits of simplifying your life extend across your finances, relationships, health, general wellbeing, and so much more.
Before we get into the minimalist tips for beginners, let’s first explore the idea of minimalism.
What Is Minimalism?
To help us define what minimalism is, let’s turn to Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, or as they’re commonly known, The Minimalists.
Their website, books, and documentary have reached 20+ million people in an effort to help them live meaningful lives with less.
On their Pitch page, Joshua and Ryan give us this:
“Minimalism is a lifestyle that helps people question what things add value to their lives. By clearing the clutter from life’s path-, we can all make room for the most important aspects of life: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution.”
That sounds like an amazing concept, right?
Clearing the path so you can focus on the areas of life that create the most happiness, value, and results for YOU.
So, where do we start?
Well… here are nine minimalist tips for beginners that will help you on your minimalism journey…
Determine Your Vision For A Minimalist Lifestyle
As with anything new you introduce to your life aimed to change or better, you need to know what you’re trying to achieve.
This could be defined as finding your why.
The vision might be as simple as decluttering your home and packing lighter when traveling or as holistic as shifting your entire lifestyle or downsizing your residence.
The point is you have a vision in mind and base your decisions around it.
Asking yourself the why, what, how, when, and who can help steer you in the right direction.
- Why do you want to bring elements of minimalism into your life?
- What benefits are you trying to get?
- How does the ideal state look when you picture it?
- When do you want to start, and how long will it take to reach that state?
- Who else will be part of this process and shift?
For me, the vision is just simplification by reducing clutter (physically and mentally) in order to free up my time and energy to focus more on what brings value to my life.
Remember Minimalism Is More Than Just Physical Items
The first thing that often comes to mind for many (including myself) when you think of minimalism is likely a modern apartment with limited furniture.
Probably white walls, two chairs, a small table, one framed picture, and a plant.
That’s obviously a generalization.
It’s a mindset, a change in lifestyle, a shift in habits, a new outlook, and so much more. There can be environmental, economic, social, and mental health benefits.
It can be whatever YOU want it to be.
Parting of unnecessary physical items to reduce clutter is, of course, part of the equation, but it’s more than just that.
Realizing that minimalism is a mindset is one of the most important minimalist tips for beginners.
Do A Minimalism Audit
In order to start the change and shift your lifestyle, it’s helpful to know what you’re dealing with as a whole.
Enter the minimalism audit.
Of all the minimalist tips for beginners, this is at the top of the list due to its importance!
This could include an audit of either one or both of the physical goods and the mental side of what’s making your life more complex or complicated.
The key is it’s connected to your vision above and what YOU want.
Potential areas to consider with your audit:
- Subscriptions & Services
- Digital Activity
Basically, if you’re looking to simplify your life, you need to consider all aspects of it.
Audit your current situation to best understand the opportunities available to reach your goals.
Another tactic to support auditing your life is to perform a time track of everything you do from the moment you wake up until you go to bed.
Toggl is a service that helps you do just that with its simple (yet powerful) time-tracking app.
Toggl gives you a holistic understanding of where your time is being spent with its reporting features. It’s a paid platform, but they offer a free 30-day trial.
Be Honest & Embrace Minimalism
One of the most effective minimalist tips for beginners that I’ve learned over the years is, to be honest.
This is especially important when you’re just starting to attempt to simplify your life!
This applies at as high of a level as your overall vision with minimalism and down to the granular level of “do I really need this jacket?“.
Whether you just want a cleaner, more organized living room or to downsize your SUV, honesty will play a key role.
Given the potential changes coming could be a drastic shift, you’re going to want to embrace it.
What better way to do that than learn from others and connect with others pursuing a minimalist, simpler lifestyle?
- Books: Essential Essays by the Minimalists and The Joy Of Less
- Blogs: Be More With Less and Zen Habits
- Podcasts: The Art Of Simple
- Communities: /r/minimalism/
Hundreds of thousands of people online are looking to declutter, simplify, remove stress and live a more balanced life.
It comes down to simply being honest with yourself to see if you really need the things you want to keep.
Be honest, embrace it and connect with like-minded individuals to help you on your journey.
Start Small (An Essential Minimalism Tip)
In the same vein as a new diet or fitness routine, starting slow with your minimalist mindset is generally the best practice.
Diving in head first can be effective and fast-track the success you’re trying to achieve. However, it can also lead to mistakes or getting burnt out.
The last thing you want to do is sell everything you own or change too much and realize this wasn’t the lifestyle you wanted.
- Pick one habit to implement that supports your vision
- Fill one tote bag of clothes to donate
- Alter one or two elements of your daily routine
- Start with one room in your house
Simply take small steps towards minimalism, celebrate small wins, and keep moving forward!
Choose one focus area first based on your vision and initial audit. Start small and master that before moving on to the next priority or opportunity.
Turn Clutter To Cash
In terms of the physical side of minimalism, an often overlooked benefit of implementing some minimalism into your life is turning your clutter into cash.
One of the best minimalist tips for beginners is to make money from your clutter!
You most likely paid for all the clutter at one point, so it only makes sense to get something back for these items!
When I decided to put taking control of my money and life as a top priority, one of the first easy financial wins I had right off the bat was selling $1,400 worth of “stuff”.
That money immediately went towards my savings and investments!
These were items that accumulated in my storage unit, in the closet, under the bed, on the shelf, etc., over years and years of accumulation.
They were rarely if ever, being used or providing any value to my life!
Most of the people I talk to have had a similar experience or cache of “stuff” built up.
Whether it’s a one-time cleanse to start simplifying your life that then becomes an annual audit, turn that clutter to cash and use those funds towards your financial goals.
Here are a few platforms I recommend using to turn your clutter into cash easily…
Decluttr is a free app and website that allows you to turn the “stuff” you’ve accumulated into cash.
Its specialty is electronics, tech items, video games, DVDs, etc., and even LEGO.
You simply scan the barcode (ISBN) of the item with the Decluttr app, and Decluttr gives you an immediate offer.
They then send you a prepaid shipping label and finalize your payments after they’ve received your items.
No auctions, no fees, and an easy-to-use app (or web) platform. Plus, you can access free shipping and insurance coverage on your items.
Sign up to Decluttr today for free to start turning your clutter into cash.
A great app you can use to turn your clutter into cash on your minimalism journey is OfferUp.
With OfferUp, you can list all the items you want to sell, and you can make money when someone purchases your items.
It’s mostly geared toward selling locally, but there is the option to sell to people around the U.S and ship the items to them.
It’s definitely worth checking out to make some extra money from your clutter.
Another great platform to use to make some extra cash from your clutter is Facebook Marketplace.
Facebook is a huge platform, meaning your listings can get in front of many people.
You can sell items locally or ship items nationwide on Facebook Marketplace.
It’s a great option to consider due to its popularity, so I recommend checking it out.
Perform A Digital Cleaning
Decluttering doesn’t need to only include the physical materials you possess.
The digital world we all frequent so often provides several simple ways to bring minimalism into your life too.
What areas of your online habits and smartphone usage actually deliver value?
Which are more time and mind wasters than beneficial? Can you simplify the digital world’s role in your life?
Some popular solutions depending on your situation, might include:
- Reduce email subscriptions
- Limit browser tabs open
- Keep a minimal number of bookmarks
- Set a specific time for checking email
- Disconnect from electronics at select times
- Delete unnecessary apps from your phone
Certain things won’t be feasible depending on your career, family, and living situation. You need to find what works and benefits you.
A digital cleanup is just as helpful as a physical cleanup, and that’s why it’s one of the best minimalist tips for beginners.
Work On Being Paper Free
To continue the digital cleaning theme above, becoming paper free as best possible is an opportunity provided thanks to the digital world.
Whether it’s magazines, newspapers, books, bills, documents for work, or other mail and paper goods, it’s pretty easy to fill space around the home and office.
However, most of those have a digital solution to help minimize the physical clutter.
- Kindle (or other e-readers) to house your books and magazines
- Turning all bills, statements, and key communication to email over paper mail
- Schedule paper purges, similar to our minimalism audit, to help keep it a priority
- Digitize your documents with photos on your phone or tablet and then save them digitally
- Encourage coworkers to print fewer documents and be a leader in that space
- Rethink how many paper towels, napkins, and toilet paper you’re using
The hardest part of this paper-free mindset for me is definitely the books.
I’ve always loved adding new books to the shelf. Whether it’s the conversations they can start, the opportunity to lend to others, or just an innate hoarding mentality, this will be the toughest of the minimalism tips for me to fully implement.
Value Experiences Over Materials With A Minimalist Lifestyle
A common beginner minimalism tip is to value experiences over materials. Use your resources, whether time or money, to enjoy “living” over collecting.
In the world of simplifying your life, valuing experiences over materials can have numerous benefits – for your mind, wallet, lifestyle, health, and more. Under 30 Experiences covers the science of travel and happiness that highlights a collection of those numbers.
Build new skills by taking courses and classes.
Organize experiences for you, your family, friends, and loved ones.
Maybe it’s a balance of experiences and things. Maybe it’s heavily tilted to experiences.
You need to ask yourself what delivers more value to your life.
I’m looking forward to continuing to look for effective ways to simplify my life. Slowly and surely, I want to truly focus my time and effort on what matters most to me.
We will close this out with one more quote from The Minimalist’s Pitch page:
“Even though everyone embraces minimalism differently, each path leads to the same place: a life with more time, more money, and more freedom to live a more meaningful life.”
The minimalist tips for beginners above are an initial framework to get started and find what works best in your life.
Simply start with small steps, and you’ll see how your life will change for the better!
If you like this post, then I recommend checking out my posts on Decluttering Before Moving and Money Wasters To Get Rid Of.
Do you have any other minimalist tips for beginners to share? What do you think about minimalism? Let me know in the comments!