Daily Practices for Minimal(ish) Living

Here’s the deal: while I consider myself a decently successful aspiring minimalist, you won’t find me fitting in with the extreme minimalists you may see online. I fit in more with the minimalish crowd, focused on life with less for the sake of joy and peace and more time and energy, rather than focused on life with less simply for the sake of less. My stuff makes me happy, and I’m okay with that. My counters aren’t completely empty, my coffee table is covered in borrowed books, and this is exactly how I like it.

What we often lose track of is that minimalism is a tool, not a set of rules. Whether you’re minimalist to the extreme, minimalish, or just dipping your toes into the topic, I believe that a minimal lifestyle can improve nearly anyone’s quality of life. From transitioning from fast food to slow food and really choosing to savor your meals, to spending time with loved ones more and shopping less, living slowly can bring so much peace, joy, and energy – and who doesn’t need more of that?

I haven’t always been a fan of this mindset, and my growth into minimalism and slow living as a lifestyle have been pretty recent. I finished up my first big purge about 8 months ago, when I went from experiencing apartment living in a large space and essentially alone to a much smaller space with a partner. I had been consistently decluttering before that, really ever since I moved out of my parents’ place, but something about a deadline and losing 500 square feet really got me motivated!

We got rid of a lot of stuff, but I still find that daily decluttering on some level is an important part of living a minimalist lifestyle. So, whether you’re just starting to learn about the slow movement and minimalism or you’ve been following minimalists like Joshua Becker and Matt D’Avella for ages, I hope you can get something out of this list of daily practices for minimalish slow living.

  1. Donate your stuff, often. Don’t wait to feel motivated, to go through everything, or until it just makes you uncomfortable to look at it. From clothes, to furniture, to media, if you have stuff in your home that just doesn’t spark joy or serve a purpose, don’t wait ages to donate it. Keep a bag or box near the door to your home to put donate stuff in, and whenever it’s full, swing by your local thrift store or schedule a pickup time.
  2. Remember that, even though you may be pursuing minimalism and slow living, people live at a fast pace all around us, and it’s easy to get sucked up into it. Take a little bit of time each day to embrace going slow, whatever that looks like for you. Some of my favorites include meditating, doing yoga, walking my dog, and reading a physical copy of a book, but yours may look very different. Whatever works for you is perfect!
  3. Try to declutter or organize one small area every day. Declutter by checking for worn out, used up, expired, or otherwise not needed or wanted items, and if there are none of those, focus on organizing it in a way that is more appealing and helpful for you. Good places to start include pantry shelves, bathroom drawers, and paperwork piles.
  4. Get outside. There is so much to enjoy and experience out there! Try to go above and beyond where you can to get some extra time out in nature. Whether that looks like exploring a nearby park or path, taking your pet to a park, or just sitting outside instead of inside for a little bit, being in nature does a body (and brain) good.
  5. Write out your gratitudes. While this may seem like wasting your time to some people, physically writing out things that you’re grateful for each day can be a game-changer as you start to live in a way that truly reflects less is more. From little things like a book or a piece of chocolate, to bigger things like relationships and a roof over your head, there is so much to be grateful for.

Whether you’re overwhelmed with where to begin or a seasoned minimalist, I hope these daily practices for slow living can help you continue to learn, grow, and achieve the kind of life you want for yourself. I know they’ve helped me!

3 thoughts on “Daily Practices for Minimal(ish) Living

  1. Great points about embracing minimalism! I’ve been making the transition to minimalism for the past year. I don’t think I’m a full on minimalist, because I still like the things that are considered clutter. But I’ve donated, given away, or thrown away stuff I or my family don’t need. What got me motivated was always losing things and not being able to find them. And trying to stop getting duplicates. I don’t want to get bogged down by it, but apply it enough to make my life better.
    Hope you are well and have a great weekend!


    1. That’s a wonderful reason to get started! Losing things is definitely a common way to get motivated… when you have 6 pairs of scissors and can’t find one, everyone’s ready to start throwing some things out! lol and yes, my weekend was lovely, thank you! I actually talk about liking things that some minimalists consider clutter here: https://painandprogress.com/2019/10/21/minimalist-but-stuff-makes-me-happy/

      At the end of the day, there will always be someone who thinks something you love or deem essential is clutter. There are people living without furniture for that reason, and I can tell you right now I’m never going to be that person! I think that’s part of what makes approaches like Marie Kondo’s so appealing, that they focus on less random stuff to make room for all kinds of things that spark joy, rather than less simply for the pursuit of less.


      1. I still lose things though. But that keeps me motivated to streamline things. Thanks for the link idea for decluttering. I will check it out.
        Minimalism is a lifestyle, and I agree it doesn’t work for everyone. Take it to the extreme and really you will have no furniture.
        So here I go to declutter one drawer at a time…
        Have a great start to the weekend!


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