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A Beginner’s Guide to Minimalist Living (The Bits We Like Anyway)

Interior living room designed by a minimalist

Despite what the internet might have you believe, minimalist living doesn’t require exclusively wearing monochrome colours and getting rid of everything you own. Believe it or not, minimalists still have piles of laundry they have to put away and dishes they need to do. They just make the whole experience of being a living, breathing human look a lot nicer than the average person. 

Do you want to live like a minimalist… but you’re a beginner and you actually have stuff? Don’t blame you. We all need stuff, but don’t worry, you’re in luck. You can live more minimally without joining a cult. All you need to do is pick up a few healthy habits, that encourage you to be more clutter-free. Here’s a few of our personal favourites.

Ease Into the Purge

You’ve just watched a Netflix special about minimalist interiors; it’s your instinct to get rid of everything you own, stat. We get where you’re coming from – we also prefer to make more space and have less stuff here at TAXIBOX – but try to resist the instict.

Get started on the decluttering process while you have the urge, sure, but try not to get rid of everything you own just yet (you’ll regret it later). Instead, do your initial declutter, and set aside everything you’re thinking about getting rid of.

Keep in mind that some things you can let go of without having to second guess yourself, like:

  • Low quality items 
  • Clothes you haven’t worn in years
  • Excessive stuff that’s not functional (bye-bye, fake plants)

Anything you’re umming/ahhing about, you can revisit once your more-minimalist lifestyle is in full swing (we’ll get to that). 

Don’t Use It? Lose Store It

If there’s one way to achieve minimalist living and make your day-to-day lifestyle feel a lot simpler, it’s this: keep your cupboards tidy, your garage clear, and your under-the-stairs storage organised. Wondering how you can actually achieve that in your studio apartment, surrounded by piles of stuff you don’t really want or need anymore? Here’s how. 

Stick anything that’s not serving you functionally – i.e. anything you don’t needin a TAXIBOX. Let some time pass, and come back to it, like we said earlier. If there’s anything that you haven’t missed after a few months have passed, you can get rid of it (aside from the seasonal stuff, like winter coats and holiday decorations you’re going to need when that time of year rolls around). 

Need less?

Anything you don’t need in your day-to-day space? Stick it into our storage calculator.

Ignore [Minimalist Influencer]

Don’t model your minimalist lifestyle off of what influencer’s lives look like. Say it with me: Instagram isn’t real. Every minimalist living room you see on the internet is hiding a pile of stuff to take to goodwill, sneakily sitting just out of frame. 

There’s nothing wrong with taking some advice off the internet (*cough* this blog post *cough*) but you shouldn’t live and die by someone else’s rules. Exhibit A: if the cheap shampoo you buy from the supermarket doesn’t spark joy, that’s okay. You don’t have to surrender it and admit to your maximalist sins. 

If you want the stuff in your life to look nicer and more minimal without breaking the bank on expensive “minimalist” products –  because not all minimalists can afford to buy all their skincare from Aesop just because the packaging looks nicer – there’s a way to do it.

Try simpler replacements, like plain, reusable shampoo and conditioner bottles you can put your cheaper products into, or opting for a simple laundry hamper you can’t peer inside. A design choice here and there can do wonders for the overall feel for your minimalist home.

Keep It Simple

Switching to a minimalist lifestyle is a big change. To actually achieve minimalist living, you need to swap out more than just your interior decor. To actually upkeep minimalism, you need to set simple, realistic goals.

Live with a Little Less

Try minimising the stuff you need in your life by making a few changes that will keep you accountable for living simply:

  • Set up a capsule wardrobe. With some good quality staple pieces, you won’t feel the need to buy as much clothing, and you’ll have to really consider any new pieces you do purchase, because of the opt-in opt-out system (there’s a max number of items in a capsule wardrobe).
  • Invest in the things you do own. That way you won’t have to buy a new version of the same item every time it breaks.
  • Choose items that serve more than one purpose. Buy one, good quality (albeit a bit expensive, but arguably worth it) Kitchen Aid, and you won’t have to have a thousand different kitchen appliances cluttering up your counters.
  • Try meal planning. When you think about minimalism, you don’t tend to think of food, but hey – by planning your meals, you won’t have to buy as much excess food you don’t end up eating. Less is better, even when it’s food waste.

By trying a few of these lifestyle changes, you won’t just maintain minimalist living; you’ll actually save money by buying less in the long term, too.

Set Goals for Yourself

Try setting a few weekly or daily goals so you can check in on your own progress. 

Aim to have your surfaces – like your dining table, desk, kitchen bench and bedside tables – clear at the beginning of every week. Tidy space, tidy mind. Something this simple can really do wonders for your productivity.

Another thing to try? Writing down every item you used over the course of one week, and aiming to have less and less items in that list as the weeks go by. This kind of gradual progress allows you to maintain your new habits, but in a way that’s actually realistic. This way, you can maintain your new habits and goals.

How you choose to set your goals depends on what you imagine your minimalist lifestyle to look like. Keep in mind that that’s different for everyone – your version of minimalism might be different than [redacted minimalist influencer].

Remember: It’s Less About the Stuff and More About the Space

Minimalism isn’t about buying more to make your life look tidier. True minimalism is about actually living a life that’s tidier. True minimalists don’t feel the need to fill their life with nice stuff, they live with what they need and keep the not-so-nice stuff out of sight and out of the way.

Living with less stuff in your space is way better for your headspace. On top of that? It’s way better your physical space, too. Your home won’t just look better with less stuff in it, it will feel better, thanks to all that extra space. 

What’s in your way of achieving minimalism? Thanks to TAXIBOX, you can make it happen without getting rid of your stuff forever – so you can try the minimalist life out for size before you bite off more than you can chew. Make space with a TAXIBOX so you can see what living with less stuff really feels like.

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