Simple Minimalist Lifestyle? 7 Things to Ditch

Creating a simple minimalist lifestyle takes time and patience. There are many ways to start and hundreds of places to focus your energy. If taking care of the environment was is one of the reasons that minimalism appeals to you, this article may motivate you to begin (or continue) building your simple minimalist lifestyle.

Minimalist Lifestyle Ditch #1: Disposable

If I broke this category down into all the different disposables most of us live with, the list would be really, really long. In fact, just take a look around your kitchen and count all the different disposables that live in the heart of your home.

If being environmentally friendly and having less waste to deal with are things you value, consider ditching disposables…or at least some of them. Here are some alternatives to common disposables we use:

simple minimalist lifestyle

Keep in mind that the most difficult part is getting into a new habit—remembering to bring a water bottle instead of buying bottled water, for instance.

To Get Started: Pick just one disposable item to replace. After you’ve gotten into your new habit, you can choose another disposable item to replace.

Minimalist Lifestyle Ditch #2: Social Media

Technology Minimalism
Photo by Thought Catalog

We’ve grown so accustomed to using social media on such a consistent basis that we don’t always realize the effect it has on us or the time we spend involved with it.

You may not choose to give up all social media but consider taking a break from your least favorite. See how that affects your mood or if you have more time to spend on other activities.

With so much information coming our way, it’s important to actively choose what sites we spend our time on.

To Get Started: Choose one site to abstain from for a week. Notice how you feel.

Minimalist Lifestyle Ditch #3: Cable TV and/or Subscription TV

This is the toughest one for me. I love Netflix and can always find a show I want to watch (hello, Cobra Kai – I’m talking to you!). It’s great having instant entertainment but if we aren’t intentional about what and when we watch, it can become easy to fall into the trap of turning to TV constantly.

Remember the world before Nextflix?

Remember when watching TV sometimes got boring?

To Get Started: Put a subscription on hold for one month. Notice how this affects your daily life and your TV watching habits.

Minimalist Lifestyle Ditch #4: Shopping at Particular Stores

Minimalist Tips
Photo by Fu Shan Un

There’s a particular store in my town, let’s call it, W Store. Every time I go into this store, my mood plummets. Everything about this store depresses me—from the layout to the lighting to the hoards of people there. And the few times I’ve had to get help or return something it was a serious hassle.

So I finally decided I just wasn’t going to shop there. If I needed something that I’d usually buy there I’d

a.) get it somewhere else

b.) do without

c.) ask my husband to go

This is a good strategy to adopt if you want to become more intentional about how you spend your money.

Want to support local businesses?

Ditch Amazon for gifts and try a local place.

Big on fair wages?

Support a company that values the same things you do.

This is one of my favorite ways to build a simple minimalist lifestyle because abstaining from places that make me feel bad feels like the best kind of freedom.

To Get Started: Pick one store that’s relatively easy to give up. Brainstorm alternative places you can shop or, if possible, just give up what you would usually buy there.

Minimalist Lifestyle Ditch #5: Fast Food

how to be a minimalist
Photo by Isaac Taylor

When I was a kid I remember reading a Ramona the Pest book where Ramona got so excited when her family took their monthly trip to the fast food joint. It was such a treat to her because it was so rare.

Because fast food is so fast and so convenient, it’s easy to fall into the trap of using it when you get too busy to cook something. Or, you use it as a treat for yourselves or your kids.

Of course you know that fast food isn’t healthy and it also trains your taste buds to desire high sodium, high fat food. But to ditch an overuse of take-out food, you have to have a plan.

To Get Started: Buy some family-friendly frozen meals that you can throw in the oven or microwave for a better “fast food” option.

Minimalist Lifestyle Ditch #6: Decorations

minimalist decorations
Photo by George Milton

I know, I know. Some people love, love their knick knacks. But if you are intrigued by the idea, hear me out.

Since our surroundings oftentimes influence our mental state, decorations take up more than just room on your counter tops. They also take up room in your head.

Some people don’t mind this but others feel overwhelmed when their space is filled with stuff—no matter how lovely or how special that stuff is.

You don’t have to get rid of anything; simply take down the decorations, pack them in a box, clean the area where they were displayed, and sit with empty space. See how you feel after a week of this.

To Get Started: Try removing decorations from one small room or even one part of a room. Just notice how you feel after living with that space empty.

Minimalist Lifestyle Ditch #7: Judgement

This is by far the most difficult “thing” to give up. And I believe it requires mindfulness to do this consistently. But the relief that comes with surrendering judgement is worth the effort.

Here’s how it works. When you have a judgement thought or say a judgement statement, acknowledge it by silently saying to yourself, “judgement.”

Don’t get upset or frustrated when there is judgement—after all, then you are judging yourself!

Instead, go into this knowing that judgement will come up. You aren’t trying to “give it up” as much are you are trying to notice and acknowledge the times you are judgemental. After a while of being aware of your judgement thoughts, see if you naturally become less judgemental.

Start Today

And see how mindfulness can change your life.

To Get Started: Just notice and acknowledge judgement statements.

Try getting started removing some of these from you day-to-day living and notice how it feels. Take a second to be mindful. If it feels right, you know you’re on the right track. If not, notice that as well.

Continue playing around with getting rid of these things and see if you feel more freedom. Notice if you feel as if you are building the simple minimalist lifestyle you envision.

Interested in learning more about starting or maintaining a minimalist lifestyle? Check out these articles:

Why Minimalism Matters

9 Family Habits for Minimalists

WAY Too Much Stuff & No Idea How to Purge?

How Minimalism Helps Me Deal With a Chronic Illness

Minimalist Toys–How to Prevent Toys From Taking Over Kids’ Spaces

Simple Minimalist Lifestyles–7 Things to Ditch

Begin Living a Minimalist Lifestyle–A Starter’s Guide


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