Minimalism is More than Decluttering

I don’t want anyone to think that I’m not giving props to the people who donated/tossed/sold more than 50 percent of their wardrobe. (Seriously, that is something to celebrate because it’s a HUGE achievement in your minimalism journey.) But, I think it’s equally important to know that your journey shouldn’t end with your closet and your belongings.

At first, I thought my experience with minimalism was going to begin and end with my closet. Once I began to practice minimalism in my everyday life, I realized that I craved to live a more simple life altogether. I wanted to have more time, more happiness and less stress or worries. I wanted to practice mindfulness and simplicity in a busy, hectic life.

It took awhile to learn what would be the best way to achieve my desire for a more minimalist lifestyle that went beyond my closet. Here’s how I took my minimalism journey to the next step:

1| Practice conscious shopping

Stop unnecessary shopping. We have all been in that situation where we haven’t been shopping for a few months, so we treat ourselves after spending freezes on good deals, etc. Instead of treating yourself to a jacket or makeup, treat yourself to an experience like a nice dinner, a spa day or an overnight trip with your friends. These will mean much more than a sweater you found on sale that you don’t need. Also, ask yourself if you truly need that item you’re looking to buy. If you don’t, be strong enough to walk away.

2| Practice saying no

“Ma’am, would you like a free gift with purchase today?” If you don’t need it, say no. If a friend offers an old handbag, say no. If a store is offering free, trial samples for beauty products, say no. The more you practice saying no, the easier it will become. The goal is to be ruthless of what you allow into your home. Your sample-sized beauty products are going to sit in a box and you’ll forget about them within a few weeks. If you truly don’t need it, say no.

3| Practice mindfulness

Instead of rushing with a cup of hot coffee in a travel mug to get your breakfast sandwich, wake up 20 minutes earlier to enjoy your coffee and breakfast at home. Instead of rushing your morning routine altogether, set your alarm for an hour earlier than you normally would. This way, you’ll give yourself enough time to get ready in the morning without forgetting your lunch and presentation information. Enjoy the little moments of each day. This makes a huge difference.

Although decluttering and getting rid of anything non-essential is a huge component of minimalism and practicing a minimalist lifestyle, it isn’t the only component of that lifestyle. It’s about working toward living a simple life where there is less stress and more time for happiness. That is why this lifestyle is appealing to many people.

Are you on a journey toward living a minimalist lifestyle? What has been the easiest or most difficult part of that journey? Make sure to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!

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  • Yes! It definitely makes a difference to not buy so much stuff in the first place–spending so much time on decluttering is certainly not the purpose of minimalism, since a big benefit of it is not having to spend so much time on your possessions in the first place! My shopping rule is, “Will I regret it for the rest of my life if I don’t buy this (pair of shoes, dress, lipstick, etc)?” Unless I can dramatically answer, “Yes! I will dream about this perfect t-shirt for weeks to come, and wish I’d bought it!”….then I don’t buy it. šŸ˜›

    • I love that mindset you mentioned! What a great way to always think about what is essential and what isn’t! I love this and will definitely share with others who ask for advice on how to stop shopping unnecessarily!

  • YES! While I’m not in full-swing minimalism practice, I do think I am when it comes to being mindful and intentional about everything. It’s a process, but I love this!

    • Yes, it is a process! But the journey is definitely worth it and you can learn a lot about yourself in the process šŸ™‚

  • Lauren Jane

    YES! We’re not really “minimalists” with things, but we are with our time and rushing. We love to savor our time and what we own(just need to get the grandparents on board with that.)

    • I understand where you’re coming from! And yes, it can be difficult to express those values and ideals to family members and friends who don’t necessarily live that lifestyle!

  • It’s kind of funny because I have a post coming out tomorrow that touches on the same thing. I was reading The Magnolia Journal and realizing how much more there is to living a simple life than just decluttering!

    • That’s so awesome! And yes, I know many people that only focus on decluttering, but that is only one part of the lifestyle! Of course, there are many other areas I didn’t touch on. I’m glad you brought this up in your own post as well–which I’ll be sure to read šŸ™‚

  • love this!! I especially love the point about saying no! It’s so key!

    • Yes! (Or should I say no, haha!) I agree that once I learned how to say no more often, I knew when it was appropriate to say yes. It’s all about that positive balance in life.

  • I’ve gotten much better at saying no to bringing things home, and I try to be mindful of the little things. However, I still have a lot of things in my home that we no longer need. (It is a lot harder when you have a big family, because so many things aren’t technically mine.)

    • I understand that completely! It’s definitely hard when you know you can’t bring on that lifestyle for other people. However, it can be something you practice as a family to work on this journey together!

  • Lacee

    This is so true. Practice saying no is a great example!

  • I love this!!! Living minimally isn’t just about decluttering. I know I definitely need to be better at saying no, being a more conscious shopper and being mindful of what I bring into my home. With a baby it’s a little more difficult but then again at the same time 9 times out of 10 they don’t really need what you think they do…at least that’s what I hear šŸ˜‰
    xo, Laura

    have-need-want.com

  • Robin

    Conscious shopping is such an important concept. I’ve been so guilty in the past of shopping to drown out my thoughts. I’m trying to go as long as I can right now without shopping, both for my finances and so I can appreciate what I already have – it’s been 6 months so far!

    • That is so amazing to hear, Robin! Congrats on making it to six months! And I agree that shopping consciously is very important when we live in a world where continuous shopping is pushed on us so often.

  • These are all so important! I need to be better about all of these.

    • Thanks so much, Jenny! I know it can seem daunting at first but it truly has helped me in so many ways to practice mindfulness, say no, etc.

  • Those are all such great points but I think mindfulness will really be the best for me.

    La Belle Sirene

    • Yes! It’s something I struggled with, but I have noticed so many positive benefits from as well!