7 Rules of Living A Minimalist Lifestyle

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This is another post in my minimalist lifestyle series. Are you tired of feeling empty, even after you’ve chased things that you thought would make life more enjoyable? You might have even made the mistake that if you have that muscle car or truck, you finally arrived. We have to stop believing things define who we are.

Look around your house right now. Are there toys and knick-knacks that you’re attached to that you just can’t or will never give up? You need to stop and ask yourself why and how you’ve become so inseparable to them. Minimalists live life completely upside down from this. 

7 Rules of Living a Minimalist Lifestyle

Living a minimalist lifestyle has many rewards, including living a better and more fulfilling life. There are no longer financial obstacles holding you back from placing your time, energy and money where you see fit. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?

If you decide to live your life as a minimalist, you’ll be surprised at how many more freedoms and joy you’ll experience. Let’s take a closer look at minimalist living by keying in on 7 rules that will make this possible.  

1. De-cluttering Is Not a One Time Process

Making the decision to live life with less brings you to a crossroads in life, especially if you own a bunch of stuff. Maybe you’re still having a hard time letting go of things, and that’s okay.

Decluttering your home and life is the first rule to live life simpler. Take baby steps by letting go of things that hold no value to you, and move from there. Hit up one room at a time, and don’t try and overwhelm yourself by decluttering your home all in one afternoon.

Decluttering your home one time does not mean you have finally arrived and are now living better. It’s a thought process that needs to be visited repeatedly.

The more times you continue decluttering your home, the easier you will find it to letting go of things you once thought you could never let go of.   

2. Organize Your Belongings

Now that you’ve cleaned, tidied and decluttered your home, you can move on to organizing. Have you ever had to dig through your whole house for something? Everything in your home should have a place, and you need to know where that is. 

If you have magazines, they shouldn’t be piled up on the coffee table. When you’re finished reading them, you can discard them or find a cubbyhole for those you may need to refer to in the future for some important reason. Out of sight, out of mind.

Your tools shouldn’t be in several locations throughout the house. Everything needs to be grouped together and organized in a way that keeps you from hunting for everything. 

3. Stop Pursuing Things

Living with the minimalist approach will keep you from pursuing things to make you happy. There’s nothing wrong with having nice or new things, but our lives should not revolve around adding more things to our collection. With all that wasted time and money spent on possessions, you could use it by pursuing what matters most in life. Relationships. 

4. Detach Your Worth From Things

We’ve established that things might make us happy for a little while, but that happiness will wear off. You also have to find a way to break free from the idea that having those material things help make a better you.

5. Make Smart Purchases on the Right Things

If you’re like me, you might have purchased cases of water bottles for years because your water in the sink is not safe to drink. Purchasing a water filter might cost more money upfront, but it has a lasting reward and will pay for itself quickly.

Take a look at other things that you purchase. If you just spent a little more on the lasting thing, you wouldn’t have to buy the cheaper substitute so frequently, saving you far more money.  

You also need to learn to only make purchases on things that you really need. If you find yourself needing to purchase a tool, and only using it once, consider borrowing it from someone or possibly renting it.

Stop yourself and question, is this purchase a want or a need? This will help prevent you from the majority of your bad spending habits by following this step. 

6. Learn to Say No at Times

Choosing to be a minimalist means to say “no” at times. We already live crazy and hectic lifestyles and can get easily overwhelmed. You don’t always have to say “yes” when you’re invited to that birthday party or yes to going to your neighbor’s daughter’s recital.

If you have a hundred-million other activities and errands to do that day, shoving that event in will just take you over the edge.

Now, if you can cut some of your errands out that can wait, to be able to go to that birthday party, that’s ok. Something is going to have to give.  

7. Be More Generous with Your Assets 

Owning fewer things should free you up to spend your money in a number of different ways. Being able to lend or give to those in need often provides far greater joy than spending your money on things for yourself.

You’ll feel better about who you are as a person. If you don’t feel comfortable with giving your money away, there are other ways to give generously to others. 

Giving your time and energy is another way of helping others. Giving your time by helping in a Boy’s and Girl’s club, spending time with complete strangers at a nursing home, or helping out in any capacity at a homeless shelter are other ways of helping.

Living a life where you are helping those in need is by far the most rewarding life to live.  

Final Word

These are 7 rules to living a minimalist lifestyle that you to may want to follow, so that you live a more rewarding life. If you’ve considered becoming a minimalist for a while, what concerns have been holding you back? If your an all-in minimalist already, tell us what other pointers have helped you live life with less. May God bless this world, Linda

My Favorite Organizing Containers: Plastic Dividers

How To Live On A Minimalistic Budget

How to Avoid Getting Attached to Material Belongings

19 thoughts on “7 Rules of Living A Minimalist Lifestyle

  • September 9, 2019 at 8:55 am
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    I’ve been working on a more minimalist style for what we eat. Basing it more on nutrition and fiber, not taste alone. Our society could be sooo much healthier if we just refused the HUGE over abundance of refined foods. Taste is very important, but TASTES CAN BE CHANGED, and right now most of us eat for an tastes that are making us sick not healthy. This is an ongoing process: choosing one item at a time, working on it for months, giving taste a chance to change. Such as changing to whole grains (wheat, oatmeal, brown rice, etc.) and giving up refined grains (white flour, etc.) Eating less meat and cheese and using more eggs and beans/lentils for protein needs. Cutting out sugar and using honey, molasses, etc. Giving up pop and fast foods, etc. Adding more vegetables and fruits: so many people now eat very little of vegetables, instead relying on French fries as a vegetable and juice as a fruit (juice puts too much natural sugar into body all at once unless keeping the amount at about 4 oz. per serving)
    So what does that leave to eat?
    Choose it by: How nutritionally dense is this food? How much fiber does it have? (Fiber is a key to health as the insoluble fiber sweeps intestines like a broom, and soluble fiber wraps around toxins and pulls them out of body).
    I feel much healthier when I eat this way and it saves me a TON of money not only on food but on Doctor bills. Striving to choose this way brought me to a ‘rule’ that I made up for making out menu: one meal a day based on whole grains, one meal a day based on dry beans/lentils, one meal a day based on vegetables. And use meat sparingly in only one meal each day.

    It is easy to interpret……
    Grains:
    oatmeal and fruit or
    wheat pancakes topped with applesauce

    Beans:
    lentil tacos
    burritos

    Vegetables:
    beef stew and whole wheat rolls
    chili and cornbread

    As far as desserts go: making them with LESS sugar and a basis of fruit or vegetable or beans, and using all or part unrefined flour. This could be pumpkin bars, pinto ‘pecan’ pie, apple crisp using oatmeal in topping, black bean brownies (no flour at all). And having a lovely piece of fruit for dessert more often.
    If choosing a refined food such as white rice or biscuits: pair it with a nutritionally dense food. Such as: black beans with sausage over white rice or homemade vegetable soup and biscuits. If we have pasta, such as spaghetti (since pasta is refined), we don’t have bread with that meal, we have more veggies (spaghetti, salad, green beans) and save the yummy garlic bread for another meal such as Italian bean stew with garlic bread. If we want pancakes, we have whole wheat or my recipe for oatmeal pancakes.
    And yes, we have an occasional donut, or make cinnamon rolls, or fast food, or a soda pop. But these are exceptions not rule.

    Reply
    • September 9, 2019 at 9:28 am
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      Oh Janet, I LOVE LOVE LOVE your comment! There are so many ways we can eat healthier, and you nailed it today! Thank you! It’s about living with less and eating less refined or processed food. AND less meat. I think I’ve finally convinced my husband how unhealthy eating meat every night for dinner is. I buy the meat on drastically cut sales but it’s soooo unhealthy. We have to but our grocery bills, things are going to be way more expensive in the coming months and years. Great tips, Linda

      Reply
      • September 9, 2019 at 9:41 am
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        Linda, my husband was willing also. But he asked that we have a roast every so often, or a meat based meal….so I’d load up that kind of meal (meat and potatoes) with whole wheat rolls, extra vegetables, salads….this helped us eat less meat but still enjoy that kind of meal.

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  • September 9, 2019 at 9:24 am
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    Not only do I live a minimalist lifestyle, but I live tiny as well. I can’t tell you how wonderful this feels, to be free, not only of material “things” I used to believe I “needed”, but to be free of debt as well. Over the past three years, I have relieved myself of, I’d say, 80 % of “things” I thought I “needed” and couldn’t live without. Boy was I wrong! I haven’t missed a thing. My rule is, if I haven’t worn it or used it in 6 months, I wasn’t going to, so out it went. I can’t believe the amount of closet space I gained by getting rid of clothing I never wore but maybe once or twice. I narrowed everything down to a couple of mix match outfits and about 3 pair of jeans, a few t-shirts, and about 3 sets of sweats for winter wear. I just did another closet purge and got rid of shoes I had not worn in two years. Cleaning takes me maybe 5 minutes a day to tidy up. I vacuum maybe once a week (depends on how much my dog is sheading) and dust, maybe 30 minutes and that also includes cleaning the bathroom. Laundry takes awhile because I have a tiny washing machine (normally about 3 loads because of the size of my washer), but when I do laundry, it’s washed and line hung well before noon. Drying can take a couple of hours, but then I fold everything as I remove it and put it away as soon as I come in the house. Yes, I have some, dust collectors as I call them), but most of it was my mom’s before she passed. I have a small collection of bears and Old World Santa’s. Everything has it’s place. All in all, living this lifestyle has given me nothing only financial freedom, but freedom to do what I want, when I want. My only regret, I wish I had done this years ago. I will not go back to the way I used to live, full of rooms I never used, clothes I never wore, things I never used. Plus, I cook from scratch (including my dogs food), very seldom do I eat out, and I eat much healthier that I ever have. The key to my success, I not only wanted a simpler life, but I needed it as well.

    Reply
    • September 9, 2019 at 9:43 am
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      Pam, thank you! I learned a lot from your ideas. I’ll be applying them.

      Reply
      • September 9, 2019 at 11:05 am
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        Janet, I have found it’s really easy ONCE you get started. My problem is, getting started, lol

        Reply
    • September 9, 2019 at 10:05 am
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      Hi Pam, I LOVE LOVE LOVE your comment! I wish I had started this minimalistic journey many many years ago. I get it now, why did it take me so long? Your comment will inspire so many people, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. One thing I learned, it’s not that HUGE, but the more stuff you have, the more stuff you have to take care. Duh, yes indeed. I love a simpler life, Linda

      Reply
      • September 9, 2019 at 11:03 am
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        Linda, I’m sorry my reply’s are always so long. I guess I just have a lot to say, lol.

        Reply
      • September 9, 2019 at 1:35 pm
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        Hi Joe, are you talking about my recipe for dog food? Or Pam’s recipe? My recipe is 6 cups chopped cooked chicken. 2 cups cooked rice, 2 cups cooked carrots, and 2 cups cooked peas. I use a processor to cho[p it up fine and dish it out equally in little bowls with airtight lids. I freeze all the little bowls until I need them. I always have 2 small containers in the frig, thawed. I hope this is what you were looking for, Linda

        Reply
        • September 9, 2019 at 2:16 pm
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          Linda, thank you for your recipe. I would love Pam’s also. I’m a complete beginner in what to feed my dog that is healthy & nutritious…the more suggestions, the better!

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          • September 9, 2019 at 6:03 pm
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            Hi Joe, I’m new to this as well. Let’s see if Pam sees the message. The more suggestions, the better, Linda

      • September 10, 2019 at 12:05 pm
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        Hi Joe. Here is my recipe. I use two pounds of either hamburger, or 1 lb each of: hamburger & ground lamb, or ground turkey & ground chicken. I have a med. size dog (Border Collie/Aussie mix). Each week it’s a different meat choice. To the meat, I add at least 3 of the following frozen veggies (sometimes it’s a whole bag, sometimes it’s a half bag depending on my mood, lol), Spinach, Chopped Broccoli or Florettes, Sweet Potatoes, Butternut Squash, Pumpkin, Peas & Carrots, Green Beans, Mixed Greens, Cut Okra. (my dog loves veggies). I cook the meat combo, usually together until the pink is gone. The veggies, because they are frozen, I will boil until they are good and thawed and somewhat done (all in the same pot). I also add to all of that, 2 packages of two packages of Minute Rice: Wild Rice/Quinoia blend and sometimes I will add in a little extra white rice. I also dice up a med size regular potatoe sometimes. I mix all that together is a rather large bowl I have, then I fill up 8 ZipLock containers that hold approx. 2 cups each. I keep out two and rest go in my freezer, then as I use the second one kept out, I pull one out of the freezer. He also gets a scrambled egg with diced potatoe and cheese every morning for breakfast and because of his size, he gets two Milk-Bone, Good Morning, Total Wellness vitamins just to make sure he gets everything he needs. He also gets his daily “junk food” (milk-bones, or His favorite, Dino Chews, or what-ever else I’ve bought him as a treat. ) He also loves, honeydew melon, wattermelon, pears, strawberries, and peaches, but he hates blueberries. Hope this gives you some ideas.

        Reply
          • September 10, 2019 at 12:22 pm
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            Linda, You are most welcome. Happy to help out if and when I can. You have helped me out a lot with your survival posts.

  • September 9, 2019 at 10:58 am
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    I have a 1 in 1 out technique for my clothing closet. If I purchase a new clothing item, an old clothing item has to go for donation. It keeps my closet to a minimum! I have been doing this for the last 10+ years. Also, I noticed that the first 8-10 hangars in my closet are the items I wear the most. I do still have a couple of dresses and fancy tops that I keep for church and going out but other than that, I am a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal.

    I read a lot but now, instead of physical books, I read on my Kindle or my Kindle app on my laptop. It saves SO much money in the long run as Kindle/E-books are so much cheaper. I also use the public library for e-books. My daughter and son-in-law are minimalists but they gave me a 6 month subscription to Book of the Month club – YIKES – 6 physical books!! I enjoyed that but suggested instead to buy me a 6 month Kindle Unlimited plan!!

    I also minimalize my eating by using meat as a side dish to my veggies. I only eat meat 2-3 times a week and use an Asian inspired technique where the veggies are the highlight and meat is the side. Saves me a ton of money and freezer space!! I also shop for my fruits and veggies at the local farmer’s market or a local fruit/veggie stand. I try my best to eat in season but that is more challenging in the winter when many fruits and veggies are out of season. I still like my salads no matter the time of year.

    My biggest downsizing/minimalist living is in my sewing room! But I am trying to use up my fabric stash by making a lot of small, fast projects. My addiction is to fat quarters! I have found a couple of easy projects and am using up that fat quarter stash. I mourned the closing of our last quilt shop! But it saves me money as I am not purchasing more and more fabric.

    Reply
    • September 9, 2019 at 1:32 pm
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      Hi Leanne, oh the fat quarters and jelly rolls! I love all of them. The pancake ones are awesome too! I love that they are all coordinated. Life is so good when I have some fabric in my hands! Linda

      Reply

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