Hmm, just what does a day in a life without things consist of? Surely it doesn’t look like the average person’s typical day. Not just because minimalists only possess what they need, but because minimalists are generally more mindful of their time.
Minimalists only have 24 hours in a day and they spend them doing things that matter. They can be found getting some work (or extra-credit) done, doing some mindful activities, exercising, exploring, spending time with loved ones, meal prepping, lost in a hobby—engaged in whatever enriches their lives.
Best Everyday Minimalist Habits to Follow
When you become a minimalist, that naturally means (following the decluttering of your home, social circles, and planner) that you’re going to open up a considerable amount of space in your schedule.
It’s also inevitable that things (events, activities, people, etc.) are going to fill that void. Minimalists use this opportunity to fill these spaces with daily habits that are conducive to success, mindfulness, and joy.
The potential of a minimalist’s day is endless because they’re present in the moment, undistracted, and have their minds set firmly on their goals. They take actions that lead to where and who they want to be.
But the key is to keep it simple—that allows them to take on a variety of things manageably in one day. They’re also careful to balance attracting their goals with taking care of themselves. No minimalist habit is for naught. Every habit they adopt adds to their life in some way, even if it just helps them keep the house tidy.
Merging these minimalist habits into your day have a similar effect to the benefits of living the full minimalist lifestyle. Minimalist’s greatest rituals save them money, time, exertion, clean up, and distraction tolerance.
Because there’s a good reason minimalists use the time and resources to perform any task, you can bet that each habit on this list has a worthwhile benefit and outcome. Sprinkle some of these throughout your day.
1. Regulate social media time
Extended exposure to social media has a notoriously adverse effect on mental health, self-confidence, and self-image. Social media is a highly creative and inspiring place.
But people also use artificial means to set unrealistic expectations that make the average person feel as though they’re under-performing. Social media can also be a distraction that pulls us in with its alluring, entertaining, high definition content that keeps people from accomplishing tasks.
It’s a common occurrence: we look down at one video on Instagram then by the time we look back up, 20 minutes has passed. Minimalist’s schedules are organized—they don’t have that time to spare.
Social media networks can also be pretty negative places. News of violence and controversy are always being pushed, superficial values are praised, and online bullying is commonplace.
With all these things considered, you might want to limit your use of social media throughout the day, or don’t use it at all, to keep a healthy distance between your social networks and your social and emotional wellbeing.
2. Avoid spontaneous purchases
Minimalists don’t spend an unplanned dollar.They’re masters at dodging sales racks and clearance sections. For a minimalist, if it’s not a planned purchase—in other words, if it’s not on their list of necessities (or an emergency)—then that means they don’t need it.
This saves them tons of money on things that usually just end up sitting around people’s houses because they got it for less money than they would have; but not as little money as they could have, had they not bought it.
Spontaneous purchases are the #1 contributor to reaccumulating things as well. You can’t hope to maintain a tidy, sharp minimalist home when you continue to bring random stuff into it. For the sake of your wallet, your focus, and your house, it’s important to be conscious of your purchases.
3. Keep decluttering
Decluttering isn’t a one-off event. Decluttering continues over time, little by little. Minimalists, since they almost exclusively possess things that they need, are very aware of their possessions as a result of their small selection of things.
Ergo, they’re more conscious of their interaction with their things, and take mental notes. Over time, they continue to get rid of things that they notice they’re not using or don’t want.
Take similar mindful steps. Over the course of a week, note things that you notice aren’t moved, aren’t interacted with, and are just sitting around the house.
Also acknowledge the condition of your things, and recognize what you’re hanging onto for sentimental purposes only. As you go around your house and spot a random thing, ask yourself why you have it.
You don’t have to get rid of something every single day, just practice a deeper awareness of what you use.
4. Regularly clear off surfaces
Everything has a place, hence nothing (but decor) should be out on any of your flat surfaces. Flat surfaces include tables, T.V. stands, cabinets sets, dressers, and countertops.
If you set a cup on the T.V. stand at night, make sure you grab it the following morning and put it in the sink. Before you leave a room, put everything that’s laying out on a flat surface away and take any trash with you. This also helps you keep your possessions organized and put away.
5. Allot personal time to yourself
With its considerable mental health benefits and its simplicity to execute, it’s a wonder why our personal, quiet time isn’t a more prioritized event. Minimalists allot time to unwind at the end of the day before bed, early in the morning before the day starts, or (somehow) somewhere in between.
It’s worth it though. That time is crucial for keeping your head on straight, checking in with yourself, and reflecting on the day and what could have been done better.
If we just constantly move through life, always doing something, never stopping and reflecting, then our days are thoughtless and life becomes stagnant or cyclical.
When you reflect on your day, it allows you to assess yourself and celebrate what you did well, and figure out where and how you could do better.
6. Make your bed in the mornings
Making the bed is the formal declaration that your day has officially started! And there’s nothing complicated about it. It’s refreshing and it sets a productive tone for the day—it makes a noticeable difference to the atmosphere in your room.
Also, you feel so much better flopping into a nicely made-up bed at the end of the day.
7. Sort the mail right away
Why are we so content to go to the lengths to get our mail from our mailbox, just to flip through it on the way back to the door, then throw it on the counter and proceed on with our day?
Either way, we can attest to the fact that it accumulates fast. Don’t give it a chance to accumulate at all. Take five minutes to open your mail and sort it away right after you get it out the mailbox.
8. Return items from whence they came.
When you’re done using something, immediately put it away in its appropriate place. You’ll forget a pair of scissors in a heartbeat if you put them down and walk away.
Think about it: you’ll never have to spend hours searching for missing items again if you just take a few seconds to return the item to where it belongs when you’re finished using it.
9. Declutter devices
Minimalists keep all areas of their lives clean. That includes cleaning out their devices to get rid of everything that’s unnecessary or a distraction. Do a sweep of your phone, tablets, laptops—especially devices you work on.
Delete apps that are distracting, don’t contribute to productivity, or that you just don’t use often or at all. Go through your pictures and messages and delete extraneous ones you don’t need. Clear your spam folder on your email and organize your email box if necessary.
Clear your laptop’s trash can and delete downloads and documents you don’t need anymore that are taking up space. This process has the added benefits of allowing your device to run faster (attributed to the lightened memory load) and making room for pictures, people, and information that’s more important.
Driving everywhere puts miles on your car, uses up gas (which is only getting more expensive!), and negatively impacts the atmosphere. Primarily, it’s just unnecessary to do if you don’t have to. So minimalists don’t!
If your destination is within a 20-minute walk (or whatever is comfortable for you) then walk there instead. Take that walking time to practice being aware of your surroundings and reconnecting with the world around you. And you get your light exercise in for the day.
Minimalists take measures every day to lead meaningful and efficient lives in ways that are small but make a big difference. It’s said famously: “…watch your habits, they become your character.”
Well this is especially true as minimalists thrive in simple and clean environments because they’re more efficient, which is perfect for these goal-oriented people.
The best part about these minimalist sprinkles is that they’re not hard to implement into your day. They don’t cause any big changes or demand that you go too far out of your way. But these small actions merely lay the foundation for principles that help you restore your independence, manage your time, and increase your overall satisfaction with life.