Less is More: Guide To Becoming a Minimalist

Are you interested in becoming a minimalist? Or, maybe you just want to get rid of some clutter and extra nonsense in your life? Whatever your reason may be, cutting back on the number of things you own can help you in many ways. Related: 8 Items To Sell Around Your Home For Extra Money Here…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: December 28, 2023

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

Are you looking to become a minimalist and start minimal living? This blog post will help you manage a minimalist wardrobe, a minimalist house, and more!Are you interested in becoming a minimalist? Or, maybe you just want to get rid of some clutter and extra nonsense in your life?

Whatever your reason may be, cutting back on the number of things you own can help you in many ways.

Related: 8 Items To Sell Around Your Home For Extra Money

Here are some interesting facts about how clutter impacts our lives:

  • The average house has 300,000 items.
  • Nearly 10% of households also rent a self-storage unit.
  • The average person spends 12 days per year looking for things they can’t find.
  • Every day the average office worker spends 1.5 hours looking for things (when a simple filing system like one of these would solve this problem!).
  • In a recent survey, 55% of consumers stated they would save anywhere from 16 to 60 minutes a day if they were organized.
  • 23% of people pay bills late and have to pay late fees because they are unable to find their bills.
  • In the last few decades, the average home has nearly tripled in size.

Related: The Less You Own, The Less That Owns You

If you’re looking for blog posts on how to become a minimalist and becoming a minimalist, then you’ve come to the right place.

The articles in this guide will help you to start living a minimalist life, teach you how to declutter, have a minimalist home, maintain a minimalist wardrobe, and have minimalist finances. Enjoy!

Here is how to live a minimalist life and start becoming a minimalist:

 

How to start minimal living.

The average person has a lot of extra stuff in their life. Too many clothes, electronics that have been tossed to the side, useless furniture, books and papers you’re never going to read again, and more.

Why not get rid of some of this extra stuff?

Whether you’re looking to make extra cash, save more money, or if your primary objective is to declutter your home, there are many items around your house that you can probably get rid of.

Here are a few posts to get you started with your minimalist life.

Related money tip – If you have trouble eating at home, then try out $5 Meal Plan. They send meal plans directly to your email. It’s a service that I personally use and me and my husband love it!

 

How to have a minimalist house.

The average home size in 1950 was less than 1,000 square feet. Fast forward to 2013, the average home size has increased to nearly 2,600 square feet, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

There are many benefits to downsizing your home. You can possibly save more money, have less clutter, spend less time on maintenance, and more.

If you’re interested in downsizing your home and/or becoming a minimalist, I recommend reading the blog posts below.

 

How to have a minimalist wardrobe.

Clutter sucks, that’s for sure. Clutter can cause you to lose things, it can cost you money, and more. Plus, clutter always seems to get in the way.

A lot of the time, clutter comes from having too many clothing items. The average person has way too many clothes, and this can hold you back. You may spend too much money on clothing or maybe you just spend too much of your time thinking about clothes. Here’s something to think about, the average successful person has a minimal amount of clothing.

Related money tip – Sign up for a website like Ebates where you can earn CASH BACK for just spending like how you normally would online. The service is free too! Plus, when you sign up through my link, you also receive a free $10 cash back bonus

 

How to have minimalist finances.

Between managing retirement, paying bills, handling credit cards, saving for things in life you want, and more, managing your financial life can be difficult.

Due to this, I am often looking for ways to make managing my financial life easier, because there are times when handling everything can seem so hectic and stressful.

Making everything simpler and easier means that I can have more time to spend on other areas of my life, while worrying less about what I may be forgetting.

Related tip: I recommend that you check out Personal Capital (a free service) if you are interested in gaining control of your financial situation. Personal Capital is very similar to Mint.com, but 100 times better, as it allows you to gain control of your investment and retirement accounts, whereas Mint.com does not. Personal Capital allows you to aggregate your financial accounts so that you can easily see your financial situation, your cash flow, detailed graphs, and more. You can also connect accounts, such as your mortgage, bank accounts, credit card accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts, and more.  Plus, it’s FREE.

 

How to be a minimalist and live in an RV or tiny home.

Have you ever thought about living in an RV? If not, you should!

I didn’t really start my minimalist lifestyle until I started traveling full-time. If you want to travel full-time, becoming a minimalist is pretty much a given!

Check out these blog posts to learn how to become an RVer and a minimalist.

Related money tip – There are plenty of ways to make money while traveling. Read 75+ Ways To Make Extra Money to learn about some of them.

Are you interested in being a minimalist and minimal living? Please share the URLs to your favorite minimalist articles in the comments below!

 

If you are new to my blog, I am all about finding ways to make and save more money (and learning about ways to start becoming a minimalist as well!). Here are some of my favorite things that may help you out:

  • Start a blog. Blogging is how I make a living and just a few years ago I never thought it would be possible. I earn over $100,000 a month online through my blog and you can read more about this in my monthly online income reports. You can create your own blog here with my easy-to-use tutorial and even join my FREE How to Start a Blog Course. You can start your blog for as low as $2.75 per month plus you get a free domain if you sign-up through my tutorial.
  • Answer surveys. Survey companies I recommend include SwagbucksSurvey JunkieVIP VoicePinecone Research, and Harris Poll Online. They’re free to join and free to use! You get paid to answer surveys and to test products. It’s best to sign up for as many as you can as that way you can receive the most surveys and make the most money.
  • The $20 Savings Challenge is an easy way to save money without noticing! All you have to do is save $20 each week for a year, which easily adds up to a savings of $1,040. Sign up for The $20 Savings Challenge here.
  • Look for coupon codes. I search for coupon codes for everything. I have a $20 Airbnb coupon code that may be great for your next vacation!
  • I highly recommend Credible for student loan refinancing. You can lower the interest rate on your student loans significantly by using Credible which may help you shave thousands off your student loan bill over time.
  • Know your credit score. Your credit score can affect whether or not you are approved for a loan, whether you are hired at certain jobs, your interest rate, and more. It’s relatively easy to raise your credit score, so you should start doing so today! Plus, with Credit Sesame you can check your credit score for free.
  • Try InboxDollars. InboxDollars is an online rewards website I recommend. You can earn cash by taking surveys, playing games, shopping online, searching the web, redeeming grocery coupons, and more. Also, by signing up through my link, you will receive $5.00 for free just for signing up!
  • Find a part-time job. There are many part-time jobs that you may be able to find. You can find a job on sites such as Snagajob, Craigslist (yes, I’ve found a legitimate job through there before), Monster, and so on.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post on the many ways to start becoming a minimalist. Have a great day!


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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Mustard Seed Money

    My wife and I are trying to become minimalist. She has a policy of anything we bring in something must go out. So the one in, one out policy 🙂 It’s really helped decluttering the house and gotten rid of a ton of unnecessary stuff in our house.

  2. I love having a minimalist wardrobe and how it simplifies dressing.

  3. I think you have one of the downsides of clutter slightly out of date.

    Very few utility companies send bills these days (or at least they send them via email).

    As a result, they prefer to sign you up via direct debit – that is – they just help themselves to your money from your bank account. Bad right?

    First thing I do when I get something via email is to print it out. You could give most people (me included) the keys to a nuclear submarine via email and they would lose them.

  4. Mrs. Picky Pincher

    I do think it’s important to minimize your possessions to streamline your life. I’m not a minimalist, though. I do think holding onto things is important–and it actually can save you money. For example, I’ve stored old tin cans for the last few months without a purpose for them. It sounds like a minimalist’s nightmare, but I did use them to make candles and toys for my nephew (a toy bowling pin set). Anyhoo, there are benefits to hanging on to things; it’s about knowing what to keep and what to toss.

  5. I think minimalism is a personal preference. I feel that we all lean one way or another to our ancestry genes as either a hunter/gather or a farmer.

    A modern person who still holds hunter / gather tendencies, will be the extreme minimalist, and will make do with very little stuff and stay very mobile. Think Colin Wright.

    Someone who has assimilated to more of the farmer genes, will be the person who saves items, reuses, repurposes and nests or homesteads… like the Frugalwoods.

    Then, of course, you have all the people in between and the consumerists. 🙂

    1. Good point. I definitely think that the farmer genes you described you still make someone a minimalist though 🙂

  6. Go Finance Yourself!

    We live in one of those average sized 1950s homes at about 925 square feet. There have definitely been things we wanted to buy but ended up not pulling the trigger because we didn’t have the space. Honestly I can’t think of one of those items that would have made our lives significant better. It is amazing how much stuff you accumulate over the years so I don’t doubt the 300,000 household items. We’re constantly purging be it old clothes to charity or appliances we thought it would be a good idea to register for but have never used in 10 years.

  7. Even though we downsized three years ago to about half the square footage of our old house, my wife and I are already talking about a further downsize. Not sure we’re ready to move into the RV fulltime yet, but we know we can make do – quite happily – with a lot less than what we have right now.

  8. I like the idea of minimalist living, but I don’t know if i’ll be able to handle it. I don’t think we can live in tiny house as a family of 4, but we do live in a small-ish house as it is, plus a very small backyard. I want to one day own a plot of land that we can grow vegetables and live “off the grid” and just have enough space that we need. I like this article of a family in canada “roughing it” as we say.. http://www.cbc.ca/2017/truenorthcalling/a-tiny-yurt-two-small-kids-organic-farming-in-whitehorse-1.3994097

    1. Yes, that’s my dream as well for when we’re done RVing! 🙂

  9. ReachingTheCrest

    yes, if you have less, you can save more! I also just think that all that extra stuff won’t make you any more happy.
    There is a good documentary on Netflix called Minimalism that is worth a watch.

  10. Lindsey Mozgai

    This is a great help to anyone who is wanting to start living a minimalist lifestyle!

  11. This is my favorite post! I just started my own professional organizing business called Mind Your Mess and I plan to start a blog soon. I bought your course too 🤗
    I love the minimalist lifestyle. I don’t except everyone to be like this though. Living in Houston, Tx, it’s hard to find people who believe in that lifestyle. EVERYTHING’s bigger in Texas!

  12. Such a great post! I find it crazy on how many people can not even park in their garages! I have slowly putting together items to get rid of that we do not need or are just distractions. This post has really ignited the flames to stop dragging my feet. Plus, this will help us pay off our car loan A LOT quicker!

    – Adam

  13. James

    Love this post and love how you broke out the different ways to become a minimalist – from starting a minimalist lifestyle to downsizing one’s home.

    I don’t think I can be a true minimalist, but I definitely do follow certain minimalist behaviors and have benefited financially. Something is better than nothing!

  14. Travis

    Over the last couple weekends I have been purging my stuff since I’m getting ready to sell my house. I have a tiny fraction of what most families have nowadays, but it still added up. The worst part was the paperwork that I still had from years ago. I ended up bringing a bunch of it to Steamroller Copies where they’ll shred it for $0.50/lb.

    After sorting everything between donations/recycling/trash, I am now at the point I can probably fit all my small stuff (clothes, kitchenware, etc) into the back of my Tacoma in one load. Add in a few more loads for my bed, desk, washer/dryer, etc. and it should be a pretty easy move once my house sells.

    I’m so looking forward to downsizing!

  15. Adriana @MoneyJourney

    We’re also trying to adopt a minimalist lifestyle.

    We downsized about 5 years ago and got rid of a lot of stuff we never even used!
    I still have to gather the courage to get rid of more clothes and things I’m attached to, but in the meantime it’s been years since I stopped shopping for fun or bought clothes just because I liked them!

    Becoming a minimalist is difficult for many. Most of my friends give me a weird look when I tell them I won’t buy something if I don’t absolutely need it. Everyone is so used to spending money left and right, if you start talking about minimalism people think you have serious money problems!

  16. We (my wife and our 1 yo girl and myself) lived and traveled in a 133 square foot travel trailer for 9 months.

    One thing I’ll always remember is that we only brought one knife. ONE KNIFE.

    And guess what? We were fine. We survived.

    One knife.

    1. We have two knives in our RV. We need more!

  17. I am trying to be a minimalist! I have cut back on buying, but getting rid of the things I already have (mostly stacked up in the basement) is difficult and time-consuming. I was chipping away at it for a few weeks and then got off track. Need to get back to it. Thanks for the tips!

  18. I’ve recently discovered the term “lagom” and feel like it’s the perfect word to evaluate ones life and know where to start if you’re interested in living with intention. Here’s the link: http://settingmyintention.com/defining-lagom/

  19. Brittany @ Pennies Into Pearls

    Okay! I am completely inspired by this article! I now have a to-do list of minimizing my clothes and decluttering every inch of my house. The biggest seller for me on this minimalist strategy is the fact that I can save time! I am willing to be that the time I spend looking for things is right there with the average! Thanks for the motivation to get moving on this!

    I am a HUGE believer of minimalist finances! When you keep things simple it does allows you to CHOOSE how you want to spend your time and money. Using a minimalist cash envelope system has been one of the biggest game changers for our family sticking to a budget!

  20. Becky-Jo

    Hi, you say that you personally recommend Credible for student loan refinancing. Do you have any specific reasons why you’d recommend them?
    Thanks!

  21. Hey Michelle!

    I’m a little late to this post but I’ve been doing a lot of reading about Minimalism and it resonates with me so much.

    Check out my post on Alternative Living (RV Life included) – I think these lifestyles totally encapsulate a minimal attitude.

  22. Janita

    Currently trying to get my husband on board for minimalist living! He is a hoarder, I’m pretty sure we have 4 sets of the same pack of tools in our garage. He’s been way better since we met but not there quite yet. Thanks for all the great tips 😊

  23. DNN

    As you mature, you realize that having less is good. When we are in our 20’s and 30’s, most people have a mindset to go broke trying to look rich by buying up designer clothes. Having less clothes and more money in your bank account as a minimalist is good not only for maturing into your golden years as a senior citizen, but also growing up in your mind and realizing being a minimalist is better than hoarding some expensive items that possibly and sometimes depreciate over the years.