How to Be a Minimalist At Home: Declutter & Form Habits

Minimalism is more than decluttering — it’s a lifestyle that brings intention to your home decor, closet and so much more. Choosing minimalism allows you to reduce distractions and direct your time and energy to the things you genuinely care about. Here are a few tips on being a minimalist at home for an eco-friendly decor style.

By Cora Gold, Editor-in-Chief of Revivalist

Part of a series on Minimalism:

Adopt the Minimalist Mindset

Right now, you might be living in a sea of things. Minimalism works to calm the clash of color, shape and forgotten objects by reducing excess in your home. Before you can declutter, you need to decide what excess looks like for you.

An excellent place to start is by asking yourself why you’re interested in minimalism. What benefits will this lifestyle change bring? Here are a few sample reasons you might want to adopt minimalist habits:

  • You want to save money.
  • You want to find happiness outside your possessions.
  • You’d like cleaning to be easier.
  • You want your home to feel peaceful.
  • You want more time for family.

Discover your why and you’ll have the motivation to complete this process from beginning to end.

How to Be a Minimalist At Home: plant, lamp, and clock

Declutter Your Space

It will take a while to declutter if you’ve been collecting things for years. That’s okay! The most important thing is to pace yourself so you don’t get burned out. Start with small goals so you can see and feel your progress, motivating you to keep going.

How to Start

Minimalist expert Mari Kondo suggests decluttering by category. For example, you would gather all your clothing into one room and sort it all at once. Other categories include paperwork, memorabilia, books and decor. According to Kondo, starting with less sentimental categories is easier because they’re faster to organize.

If this sounds too overwhelming, you could start with one area of your house. Decluttering a single kitchen drawer is still progress. If you’re persistent, you can declutter your entire home over the course of a few weeks.

Tips for Color

You may have noticed many minimalists decorate their homes with neutral colors. However, you don’t have to give up color if that’s something you love. The goal of minimalism is to remove distractions so you love what’s left. If you want your home’s feeling to be quieter, choose a few favorite colors and use them consistently.

Many minimalists decorate with plants for pops of color. Although they all belong to the same category, plants come in many different sizes, shapes and textures. They purify your air and add natural beauty to every room. If you want to bring nature’s calm to your desk, start with a few plants and see how your indoor garden grows.

Make the Most of Everything

One aspect of minimalism that people often overlook is functionality. Making your home minimalist doesn’t mean getting rid of items just because they don’t “look minimalist.” For example, you might like the clean and simple look of a white couch, but there’s no sense in throwing away your green couch if it’s still in good condition.

If you do need to buy all new furniture, look for multipurpose pieces that can serve different roles in your home. An entryway bench that opens up for storage, for example, serves two purposes. With pieces like that, you can cut down on the individual number of items in your home.

What About Sentimental Items?

Some things are worth keeping, even if they don’t serve an obvious purpose — you may have your grandmother’s sewing kit in a box under your bed when you don’t even sew. If an item makes you happy and reminds you of people you love, it’s worth keeping.

Minimalists correctly state objects aren’t memories. You don’t have to hold onto something to love and treasure its original owner fully. However, objects do have the power to trigger memories you may have forgotten. It’s up to you to decide which sentimental items are worth keeping in your home.

How to Be a Minimalist At Home: desk and chair

Build New Habits

After you declutter your home, you need a plan to keep it that way. Your home could quickly fill up with new items unless you change your habits and expectations. Although shopping is fun, true minimalism isn’t about buying matching baskets or kitchen appliances — it’s about spending less and repurposing what you have instead.

Why Do You Shop?

It’s okay to admit shopping is fun. It can relieve stress, add excitement to your day and make you feel like a new person. Unfortunately, the emotional side of shopping can make it easy for you to overfill your home. Unless you set some limits and change your shopping habits, you won’t be able to live minimally and sustainably.

Take some time to think about how you shop. Why do you go, what do you look at first and what stores do you frequent? Is online shopping a problem for you? If you want to reduce your belongings, you must set boundaries preventing you from impulse buying or shopping for a “dream life.”

Think About Budget

One of the many benefits of minimalism is you can save money by living with less. If you want to make minimalism a habit, it’s worthwhile to consider your relationship with finances. First, remember minimalism doesn’t call deprivation a virtue. It doesn’t mean you can never eat out, buy new clothes or take a special trip.

Instead, minimalists are intentional about what they spend their money on. They form healthy habits to reach their personal goals for saving, spending and enjoying everyday life. Consider your priorities and rethink your relationship with money. How can you handle your finances more intentionally?

The Value of Minimalism

Minimalists believe getting rid of excess will allow you to live a more fulfilling life. The goal isn’t to own nothing, but to be intentional about what you want to own. Every item in your home should serve a purpose and enrich your life.

Minimalism is all about prioritizing what matters to you and creating a space free of distraction. Use it as a practice to teach you more about yourself and help build a life you love.

Cora Gold

About the Author

Cora Gold has a passion for writing about life, happiness and sustainability. As Editor-in-Chief of women’s lifestyle magazine Revivalist, she loves to share her insights and find inspiration from others. Follow Cora on FacebookPinterest and Twitter.