These minimalist living tips will address any potential concerns you might have about paring down. We’ll do our best to answer any questions you may have. We also highlight other minimalists and their approach to living with less stuff.
Our hope is that by giving you a better understanding of what minimalist living is all about you’ll feel inspired to try it out for yourself. We’re probably not doing ourselves any favours by kicking off with books (it’s a notoriously touchy subject), but we figured it would be better to rip the bandaid off early.
What About My Books?
The thing about books is that the savouring is in the reading. The story will remain with you long after you’ve turned the last page. So knowing that, what’s the point of hanging onto a book you enjoyed but in all likelihood won’t ever read again?
Why not spread the love? Donate your books to your local library, school or old age home. If appropriate, of course. (The biddies might not appreciate 50 shades of Gray.)
We have a two-pronged approach to reading. For those lazy Sunday afternoons on the couch we take books out at library. Self-improvement books we buy on our Kindle, because those we invariably revisit.
What About the Sentimental Stuff?
Memories reside inside of us, not in the things we own. One of Ang’s favourite ways to remember her Mom is to stop whenever she sees a bakery. Her Mom had a sweet tooth and a fondness for cream cakes and doughnuts. Staring at the display and guessing which ones she’d have chosen always makes Ang smile.
While there’s nothing wrong with keeping a small memory box, holding onto things you don’t use, don’t necessarily like and don’t really have the space for, just because they remind you of a loved one doesn’t make any sense.
You more than likely remember the person in a million other ways. Why not use those memories to keep them alive in your heart. See if you can come up with something similar to Ang’s bakery story.
Do I Have to Sell Everything?
No, absolutely not! Just ditch the stuff that doesn’t add value to your life. Follow William Morris’ advice and “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
Minimalism is different for everyone. Don’t try to shoehorn yourself into someone else’s idea of what the lifestyle looks like. Find what works for you, but be open to the idea of changing as you go. Nothing is cast in stone.
Is Minimalism Possible With Kids?
There are lots of families living a minimalist lifestyle. And no, their offspring aren’t dreadlocked and barefoot (not all of them, anyway). Most of them live regular lives with jobs and houses and cars. They’re mindful people raising mindful kids.
The Art of Simple by Tsh Oxenreider
Tsh spent a year travelling around the world with her husband and three kids (all under age 10). I reckon it’s safe to say she’s honed the art of simple. Read more >>
Read: At Home in the World
Becoming Minimalist by Joshua Becker
Joshua and his family embarked on their minimalist journey after a conversation he had with his neighbour. He and his wife are doing a superb job of raising mindful kids. Read more >>
Read: The Minimalist Home
Zen Habits by Leo Babauta
Leo is married with six kids, which is kind of the antithesis of a minimalist lifestyle, but clearly it works for him. His journey along this path kicked off when he quit smoking in 2005. He’s achieved a phenomenal amount since then, making him the poster boy for the “If he can do it, anyone can!” mindset. Read more >>
Books, Blog Posts, Courses and Whatnot
We’ve put together a list of books, blog posts and courses that speak to the how of living a simpler life. They cover a range of topics here, because minimalism isn’t not just about owning less stuff.
Get Uncluttered (and Discover the Life You Actually Want) | Mostly Mindful
Are you completely overwhelmed by your stuff? Has the stuff in your house got a life of its own? If you want to get uncluttered in 2020 (and beyond), keep readin’!
11 Experts Explain the Minimalist Principles That Help You Maximize Life | Apartment Guide
This roundup from Apartment Guide has some great tips for living with less stuff. From being intentional and resisting the temptation to just shove stuff in the closet to living furniture-free (yup, that one’s from us), you’re sure to gain some valuable insights.
25 Lessons When You’re Ready for a Simpler Life | Marc & Angel Hack Life
Simplicity is ultimately a product of focusing on what matters. Identify what’s most important to you. Eliminate as much as you possibly can of everything else.
Parenting Spoiled Kids | Julie Suratt
We’re lavishing our kids with unwarranted praise, trying to be their BFFs instead of their parents, and giving them anything they ask for. Where have we gone wrong?
20 Questions for a Minimalist | Joshua Fields Millburn
The answer to question three is especially helpful for those of you just embarking on this journey. I found the idea of a packing party particularly ingenious.