Radical Simplicity and a Beautiful, Messy Life

8 Ways to Start Your Minimalist Journey Right Now

a guide for beginner minimalists

So you've decided to seek a simpler life of less.  But where do you start?   I get it.  It can be overwhelming.

Minimalism is about so much more than just decluttering.  It's not about the number of items you own.  It's about letting go of the hold that stuff has on our lives and finding joy and contentment without the cost, upkeep, and burden of too much. 

Minimalism is about finding your "enough".

And it is a journey.  It's not always easy and comfortable. Undoing decades of unhealthy attachments to stuff is sometimes going to take some work.   But friend, you don't need to do it all today.  Or this week.  Or this year.  Let it unfold in your life at a pace that is right for you and your family. 

Here are some easy places to start your minimalist journey today. (Like, now)

1. Declutter your cooking utensils.  You don't need two can openers.  In fact, you don't need two of most items. And while you're at it, get rid of that ancient, cracked, stained-the-colour-of-spaghetti-sauce wooden spoon. Getting over the keep-it-just-in-case attitude is a big step towards a minimalist life.  And that one tidy, uncluttered kitchen drawer will make you smile everyday and inspire you to get on with the rest of the kitchen. 

2. Rid your closet of five pieces of clothing that don't fit or don't suit you.  We've all bought stuff that we later regret.  And we think that because we spent a pretty penny on it we need to hold on to it.  But it isn't serving you at all by hanging unused in your closet.   Sell it or donate it and enjoy the simple beauty of having a closet only stocked with items you enjoy wearing. 

3. Get rid of one decorative item that doesn't make your heart sing.  Empty walls are always more satisfying than a piece of art that doesn't speak to your soul.   Knick knacks and decorative vases just fill space.  Keep them if they make you smile.  But if they are just visual clutter, something to fill the space, let them go.

4. Throw pillows.  Nobody needs throw pillows.  

5. Get rid of magazines and catalogues.  Most of them are designed to make you want more than you need. Besides, they are taking up space.

6. Give away 3 books you aren't going to read.  The ones you got as gifts and don't like, or the ones you have because you think you should read them, or the books you bought but could never quite get into.  It's okay to let them go.

7. Clear off your night stand.  This is the first thing you see each morning, don't let it be bogged down under a pile of books and crosswords and snack wrappers.  Turn it into a minimalist delight!

Give yourself a huge pat on the back! As you progress on your journey of less you will go deeper into these areas to purge and declutter.  But this was an amazing start.

I have one last step for you...

8.  Donate your box of recently decluttered items to a thrift store pronto.  Put it straight into the trunk of your car if you can.  Until it's out of your house, you haven't actually decluttered anything, you've just moved the clutter!!

Are you new to minimalism?  Which step is hardest for you? Let me know in the comments below. 

p.s. Like this post?  Sign up for my weekly newsletter, follow me on twitter or connect with me on facebook.  And thanks for reading, I'm honoured!


  1. Good morning, Kelly. Great reminders for all of us. I do what I call "a box and a bag" at least monthly (it used to be weekly but i don't have enough to get rid of any more)- the box goes to thrift store, the bag into the trash. Great feeling to get rid of the excess. I cancelled all my magazine subscriptions (they were getting out of hand), and work with what is in my closet. Can't rid of throw pillows though - IKEA has way too many nice pillow covers! Although I don't buy the insert, just the cover, so that justifies it. :)

    Have a great day - so nice to see you posting again !


  2. Hi Kelly, I've been following you for years and it's so, so lovely that you are back on the ether.

    I am most definitely a minimalist. The hardest thing for me is wanting to spoil guests, and others in general. I can easily blow more than a week's worth of grocery budget on a single dinner I am hosting because I HAVE to be able to offer my guests absolutely everything they could possibly ask for or want.

  3. The hardest part for me is starting! It seems monumental so I just distract myself and say I'll do it later. I need a magic pill! ;]