Four Tips for Going Minimal This Year

Words by Kelsey Tidball | Photo by Sierra Pedro

We’ve all heard that old adage, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” But what if emptying our cups a little bit is actually the key to living a more healthful, rewarding life? Now, I’m not saying you should deplete your emotional or mental resources. But what if that cup had less useless stuff in it? Imagine it: fewer pairs of jeans we have never worn. Fewer pieces of furniture that make our apartment feel cramped and congested. Less clutter, chaos, and calamity. If the sound of that made your heart rate slow a little and your over-saturated brain went quiet, minimalism might just be your move for the new year. If you are thinking about living a more minimalistic 2018, here are some of our favorite minimalism tips and resources.


  1. Read some books. There’s no better way to start adopting the minimalist lifestyle than by buying one of the many new books on the topic. My favorite is the classic, Minimalism: Live A Meaningful Life by the original minimalists themselves, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. The book is a perfect, concise introduction to the minimalist lifestyle, and helpful tips aside, it’s a fun and entertaining read.
  2. Donate your clothes. One of the most significant steps forward in the minimalism lifestyle starts in your closet. True minimalists focus on tailoring their wardrobe until they only have a handful of classic, staple pieces, but my favorite tip? Comb through your closet and get rid of anything you haven’t worn in the past year. If you haven’t worn it this year, odds are you never will. Bring those items down to Goodwill, the Salvation Army or bring your nicer items to Buffalo Exchange for cash or trade.
  3. Clean out the kitchen. Have you ever opened your kitchen cabinets and had what felt like a mountain of pots, pans and dishes pour out on top of you? Here’s a little newsflash: you don’t actually need six saucepans or 18 bowls. Odds are, you only really need one saucepan, one medium-sized pot, and four or five bowls. I can guarantee that having all that extra cookware in your drawers is stressing you out, and the dishes are piling up every few hours because you have too many options. Imagine having to wash the pan every time you use it because you just don’t have another one. Wouldn’t that be so much cleaner, nicer and less cluttered?
  4. Keep a journal. If you’re really going full on into the minimalism lifestyle, it might be smart to record your thoughts and experiences on paper. Buy a journal and make a point to sit down every evening to sort out your day, reflect on your thoughts, and empty your brain of the clutter it inevitably accumulates throughout the day before you go to sleep. Minimalism doesn’t stop at things. The lifestyle is also all about keeping you sane, peaceful and productive.