Baby Steps To Becoming A Minimalist

Ironically, the idea of minimalist living can be overwhelming.

Faced with full closets and rooms of possessions, we can think that simple and minimal spaces are too far away to grasp. The best advice I know is to start small. As the saying goes,

"Mighty oaks from little acorns grow."

Stop trying to build Rome in a day. Instead, start planting seeds that will help you slowly reap a simpler life.

A few “seeds” to begin with…

1.     Choose a place to start.

“My entire life!!!” is not a reasonable goal. Whether it’s a drawer, a closet, or a room, pick one area of life and begin there and don’t move on until you’re done (even if it takes weeks!).

2.     Give yourself one hour.

Don’t put off working on your one drawer or closet because you don’t have a full day or a weekend. Empty days don’t come around that often but empty hours do. Have a list of spaces you'd like to organize. Then as an hour opens up, you can move down your list and slowly but surely tackle each one hour by hour.  

3.     Try a social media fast.

Try disconnecting for a while from Facebook, Instagram, or whatever your particular social media poison is. Stop reading articles (like this one…) about minimalism and start de-cluttering your life! Come back when Facebook becomes a tool again and not an addiction.

4.     Purposefully replace that social media time with another activity.

Oh, the things we could do if we got off of Facebook! This free time could be your "one hour". Or, just time to do something else, something creative. Because at the end of the day, minimalism isn't just about simple living; it's about good living. I’m no artist, but maybe you are. Go do art. Even bad art will suffice. Or, go for a walk, or pick up a book, or read a little poetry, or subscribe to the Wall Street Journal. Need I go on? Just pick one activity that you’ll go to when your finger slides over the Facebook icon on your iPhone.

5.     Take some time and think about what you love, what you really love.

Maybe your “one hour” per week would be best spent thinking about what you care about, what your goals are—for your life, for your home, for your wardrobe.  And then only decorate, dress, purchase, and live that way. Trust me, this will immediately help you cut down on all those extra purchases and keep your spaces filled with things you love rather than the clutter you couldn’t help but buy.


All this to say, go plant a few seeds. And remember, remember, remember! Seeds take time to plant, care for, and, finally, bear fruit. So don’t get discouraged if you don’t see the fruits of your labor anytime soon. Just begin. One hour, one drawer, at a time. And soon enough, your small seeds will become a mighty oak.