Oftentimes, we get trapped into thinking that the route to happiness is to acquire more stuff.
We think that the more we get, the happier we’ll be. Yet, oftentimes this ultimate desire for consumption can have the opposite effect.
There comes a point in life where the constant pursuit of more can make us feel a little empty. When that happens, it may be time to consider how life might be different if you tried to implement minimalist hacks into your routine.
When most people think of minimalism, they think about the nomad who sells their car and starts biking to work, or the person who lives in a 300 square foot mini-home.
However, the truth is that minimalism is just a way to simplify your life. It’s about removing excess in all areas of your life so that you can focus more attention on what really matters to you.
And the principle of minimizing your life can be applied to just about anything — your productivity, personal goals, social circle, possessions, etc.
In this article, we’re going to discuss a variety of minimalist hacks that will help you simplify your life and reduce stress, overwhelm, and clutter in the process.
9 Everyday Minimalist Hacks For A Better Life
As mentioned earlier, minimalism can be applied to almost any area of your life, and this article will cover the key areas where minimalist hacks can make life easier.
You probably won’t resonate with every minimalist tip on this list. That’s completely fine, as this article is not designed to get you to do a complete overhaul of your daily habits.
However, hopefully after reading this you start to think about some of the ways where minimalism can benefit your life.
Without further ado, let’s get into this list of practical minimalist hacks that will help you simplify and declutter your life.
#1. Build One Habit At A Time
One of the simplest minimalist hacks to implement is a quick mindset shift — only focus on building one habit at a time.
When most of us try to build new habits, we bite off more than we can chew. We tell ourselves that we’re going to start waking up at 6 a.m., working out 4x a week, and meditating/reading every day all at once.
Making these grandiose commitments feels good at the moment. Yet when the time comes to follow through, most of you know it’s impossible to match that initial motivation.
If you really want to achieve personal growth that lasts, adopt the philosophy of building the life you want one brick at a time.
Choose a daily habit that you want to commit to. Put all of your focus into it for 60-90 days. Solidify it as part of your daily routine.
Then, rinse and repeat with other habits you want to implement. You’ll be shocked at how much easier it becomes to build new habis when you narrow your focus.
#2: Cut Out Some Personal Goals
This minimalist hack is essentially the same idea as the previous one, except this time you’re applying it to your goals and not your habits.
Just like trying to build too many habits at once leads to minimal progress, pursuing too many goals adds unnecessary stress and spreads your focus too thin.
Personally, I like to focus on no more than two goals at one time. Anything more than that and I find it difficult to move the needle significantly on any of them.
Prioritize your life by cutting out a few goals and watch how much easier it is to achieve the outcomes you want.
#3: Purge Your Apps
It’s incredibly easy for apps to start piling up on your homescreen. Take some time to go through these apps and get rid of the ones you don’t use.
Removing these unnecessary apps will make it easier to find the essential ones that you need, and ensure that everything on your home screen serves a purpose.
#4: Choose Quality Over Quantity
The quality over quantity mindset is one that’s essential to minimalism.
In order to start living by this principle, analyze the key areas of your life and decide if you’re choosing quality or quantity.
- Are you focused on finding a ton of friends, or finding the right ones?
- Are you focused on buying what you want, or buying what you need?
- Do you feel like you have too many priorities, or just the right amount?
Your answers to questions like this should tell you a lot about where you need to start choosing quality over quantity.
#5: Cut Down Your Social Circle
This isn’t just one of the many minimalist hacks on this list, it’s also a crucial part of progressing and maturing as you go through life.
If you’re looking to achieve ambitious goals, you’re not going to do that by hanging around people who constantly complain and make excuses.
If you’re looking to become a more positive person, you’re not going to change by hanging around people who always have something negative to say.
Your social circle heavily influences your own behavior. So take a step back and ask yourself the question, “Are there people in my life that I should probably be spending less time with?”
You might not like the answers that you get, but here’s the truth — if you’re not losing friends, you’re not growing up.
#6: Do A Social Media Detox
Social media isn’t a problem for everyone, but for some people the overwhelming urge to stay connected digitally is a major impediment to productivity.
If you feel like you spend too much time scrolling, try a one week challenge where you give up social media for good!
Even though it’s a brief break, your self-discipline will be tested. During this challenge, you’ll find it easier to get things done and you’ll have extra time to enjoy other things that add value to your life.
If you want a digital minimalism challenge that’s slightly easier, simply choose the app that’s your biggest vice and don’t use it for a whole week.
#7: Create A Morning Routine
Call this a minimalist hack, productivity hack, life hack, or whatever else you want. The bottom line is that a morning routine brings simplicity and clarity to the start of your day.
When your entire morning becomes one giant habit, that means you can fly through the first hour of your day on auto-pilot, without expending any mental energy.
This will free up more mental energy for you to tackle the cognitively demanding tasks that demand significant focus and attention during the rest of your day.
#8: Unsubscribe From Email Lists
How often do you see useless emails in your inbox that you never open, read, or even care about?
If your inbox is filled with junk like this, it may be a good idea to set aside an hour to unsubscribe from email lists that you aren’t getting any value from.
Even though it’s a little tedious, de-cluttering your inbox is well worth the effort.
#9: Outsource Mindless Tasks
Many times in life, we’re forced to do things that just feel like a waste of our time. Well, the good news is that the modern economy evolved to find a solution to this problem.
Sites like Taskrabbit offer freelancers who can help you with pretty much anything — moving, assembling furniture, planting, home repairs, cleaning, etc.
By getting tasks like this off of your plate, you’ll free up time that you can dedicate to tasks that you enjoy or move your life forward in some way.
5 Minimalist Hacks For Your Productivity
Now that we’ve talked about some general minimalist hacks, let’s get more specific and discuss some minimalism tips that are directly related to your productivity.
One of the biggest byproducts of minimalism is that you free up time and energy. However, that extra time and energy is useless if you don’t put it to good use.
Here’s a simple list of minimalist hacks that you can leverage to improve your productivity.
#1: Shorten Your To Do List To “Non Negotiables”
When you look at your to-do list, the last thing you want is for it to look like a grocery list.
Remember, minimalism is about making room for the essential. So whenever you set up your to-do list from now on, try to keep things simple:
All you need to do every morning is write down three “non negotiables.” These are tasks that must get done regardless of what happens during the day.
Once you’ve identified these three key outcomes, focus on knocking them out before you move onto anything else that requires attention — don’t spend one second on anything else until these tasks are completed.
Getting your high-priority tasks out of the way early will ensure that you’re making maximum progress towards your most important goals, and prepares you for unexpected changes in your daily routine.
#2: Put Your Phone Away
Another one of the best minimalist hacks to boost your productivity is to lose the phone! Each time you stop working to scroll through social media or check your texts, you’re essentially hitting the reset button on your focus.
Constant interruption makes it impossible for you to get into the flow state — the state of intense concentration where you are fully immersed in the task at hand.
Ever been working on a task only to find you’re losing track of time and making huge progress? That’s what being in the flow state feels like.
Smartphones are the #1 reason why people fail to get into flow. So whenever you sit down to work on something important, just hit the power button on your phone.
Better yet, turn it off and stick it in another room — you’ll be surprised at how little you care about notifications when it takes an extra two minutes to check them.
#3: One Task At A Time
This is a simple productivity tip that aligns with the basic goal of minimalist hacks — reduce clutter both physically and mentally.
From now on, you should make yourself a rule — you can only move on to the next task on your to-do list once you’ve completed the current one.
Jumping around and trying to multi-task will kill your focus. Once you get in the habit of starting something and then seeing it through, you’re subconsciously becoming the type of person who finishes what they start.
#4: Choose One Philosophy & Stick To It
There’s so much information about productivity in today’s world that it can be hard to decipher what’s effective/ineffective.
It’s honestly overwhelming the amount of productivity hacks and techniques you can find with a simple Google search.
Here’s my best minimalist advice for sifting through the noise:
- Choose one productivity technique to implement into your life
- Adopt it for a minimum of 30 days
- After one month, evaluate its impact on your productivity
- If it works, continue using it.
- If it doesn’t improve your productivity, just stop implementing it.
Where most people run into trouble with productivity is information overload. They read one time management book and then get motivated to completely restructure their productivity routine.
When sticking to all of these changes becomes too overwhelming, most people fall right back into the same productivity habits they started with.
This act of choosing one technique and making it your sole focus for 30 days will allow you to tweak and experiment without feeling overwhelmed. Additionally, you’ll be able to realistically evaluate whether a certain technique is useful because you’re only changing one variable at a time.
#5: Use Your Work Breaks To Get Some Sun
Getting out in the sun has a re-charging effect on our energy levels because it triggers the release of a chemical in our brain called serotonin.
When serotonin is released we feel more calm, positive, and focused. So the next time you’re looking for a break from work, try going for a quick walk outside before getting back to the grind.
5 Minimalist Hacks For Your Home
Luckily, you don’t need to adopt extreme minimalism and sell all of your possessions in order to minimize your home.
With a few simple adjustments, you can create a living space that’s more organized, less cluttered, and filled with things that you actually value.
Here are some of the best minimalist hacks so that you can simplify things within your own home.
#1: Create A Minimalist Closet
Do something about all of those extra clothes that you don’t need by creating a minimalist closet!
The jacket you’ve only worn once since you bought it, the shoes that you bought impulsively but have only been on your feet twice, etc.
These items are simply taking up unnecessary space. If decluttering your closet is something that you’ve wanted to do for awhile, the article below will walk through how to get it done step-by-step.
- Related Article: The Minimalist Closet: How To Fall In Love With Less
#2: Have A Garage Sale
Here’s one of the minimalist hacks that actually puts some money in your pocket! A garage sale is an excellent way to minimize your possessions and pocket a little extra cash.
It’s a bit tedious and time-consuming to set up a garage sale, so the next tip on this list accomplishes the same goal with a process that’s a little more straightforward.
#3: Donate Everything You Don’t Need
Don’t wanna deal with the prep that goes into a garage sale? Fair enough, then simply donate items that you no longer need to people who do.
#4: The 1:1 Exchange Rule
No matter how many minimalist hacks you begin to implement, it’s inevitable that you’re still going to have things you want to buy.
When you do splurge, make sure to apply the 1:1 exchange rule — whenever you buy something new, you must swap something else out.
The 1:1 exchange rule is a simple way to maintain equilibrium with your possessions, and it’s a rule that you can apply for the rest of your life!
#5: Give Everything A Home
Oftentimes, our living spaces can appear cluttered due to stray items that don’t seem a set resting place.
Make a rule for yourself that everything needs a home. Nothing is allowed to simply sit on the counter or table — each item has a designated space where it belongs.
When everything in your living space has a home, the space as a whole will appear far less cluttered and chaotic.
5 Minimalist Hacks For Your Health (Physical & Mental)
So far, we’ve covered minimalist hacks that you can apply to your everyday life, your home, and your productivity.
This next set of minimalist hacks will revolve around helping you live a more healthy lifestyle. Let’s dive in!
#1: Enter The Grocery Store With A List
Each time you enter a grocery store, you should have a list of exactly what you’re going to buy.
Having a point of reference means that you’re less likely to start buying things that you didn’t come there to buy — a.k.a. the fatty, sugary snacks that sabotage your fitness goals.
If you come to the grocery store with a specific list and keep trouble items of it, you’re less likely to suffer a lapse in willpower.
#2: Sign Up For A Meal Delivery Service
If you want to take all of the thought and effort out of what goes into your fridge, then signing up for a meal delivery service is a great option.
There are tons of companies that will deliver highly-nutritious, ready to eat meals directly to your home.
Not only will your diet improve, but you’ll also save loads of time. You won’t have to think about what to eat or spend time cooking it, which will allow you to spend more time on other pursuits.
This is definitely one of the minimalist hacks that’s made the biggest impact on my life in turns of the time that I get back throughout the day.
#3: Try HIIT Workouts
If you’re looking to get the biggest bank for your buck from a workout perspective, then you owe it to yourself to try HIIT training.
This fitness regimen aligns perfectly with the principles of minimalism. It’s quick and intense, so it doesn’t take up too much of your time. Additionally, many HIIT workouts can be done in the comfort of your own home/backyard.
This article from the Daily Burn offers three different beginner HIIT workouts that can get you started.
#4: Daily Meditation
This is more of a life hack than a minimalist hack, but it’s worth mentioning simply because of how powerful of a habit it is.
Meditation reduces stress, increases focus, and improves well-being. Start with 3-5 minutes of meditation per day and slowly work your way up.
It’ll feel challenging and frustrating at first, but as you get better at staying locked into the present moment you’ll notice an improvement in your ability to block out mental chatter.
#5: Practice Daily Gratitude
Gratitude is one of the key tenets of a minimalist lifestyle. If you never appreciate the things you have, you’ll go through life convinced that the next milestone/goal/purchase will bring you happiness.
Prioritize your mental health by writing down three things that you’re grateful for every single time you wake up.
It’s a small, simple exercise that’s been scientifically proven to boost self-esteem and improve happiness levels.
5 Minimalist Tips To Manage Your Finances
Last but not least, we have minimalist hacks for your money. Hopefully, the following minimalism money tips inspire you to switch up some of your spending habits to save a little more money.
#1: Spend More Money On Experiences, Not Things
Spending less money isn’t the only answer to adopting a more minimalist approach to your finances — simply adjusting where you spend your money can do the trick.
If you are going to spend money, try to emphasize spending it on experiences — concerts, comedy shows, social dinners, etc.
These events are more fulfilling than a trendy pair of pants. You’ll feel more joy, more gratitude, and more positivity when your money actually goes towards doing stuff than buying stuff.
#2: Try A 30 Day Shoestring Budget Challenge
See just how frugally you can live by attempting a 30 day shoestring budget challenge!
Start by setting a budget for the upcoming month that’s significantly lower than what you usually spend.
Then for the next 30 days, do everything that you can to stay under it. Even if you fail to stay under it, the very act of trying will force you to get creative about how you can manage your money better.
#3: Set Up Autopay On All Of Your Bills
If you haven’t done this yet, it’s a quick and easy way to save time doing that one thing that we all love to do — pay bills.
Nothing revolutionary here, but just a quick tip that will save you time if you don’t have autopay set up already.
#4: Download A Budgeting App
A budgeting app is a great tool for staying on top of your finances. They tend to make life a little easier simply by consolidating all of your financial information in one place.
Additionally, most apps allow you to set budgeting goals and easily track your progress as you go about your day to day life.
I’ve used several personal finance apps in the past, and my favorite overall has been Mint. The download links for Iphone & Android below:
#5: Try To Build A “No Spend” Days Streak
If you’ve been getting a little loose with your money lately, “no spend days” are one of my favorite minimalist hacks.
The rules for no spend days are simple — you can’t spend any money unless it’s a fixed expense like rent, subscriptions, utility/internet bills.
Start off by trying to go one day without unnecessary spending. Once you’ve made it past one day, see how long you can keep things up! The goal of this challenge is to reduce the habit of spending money when you don’t have to.
For example, one of my poor financial habits is buying food at a restaurant when I have plenty of food at home (getting a burrito bowl for Chipotle 3x per week adds up pretty quickly)
However, if I’ve been able to string together a couple of no-spend days, I’m much more inclined to keep the streak alive by eating at home.
No spend days will force you to find creative ways to save money. Additionally, you’ll become more aware of when you’re spending money when you don’t have to.
Try this challenge and see how many days you can make it!
I hope that you enjoyed this extensive list of minimalist hacks, and more importantly that you apply a few of them successfully and see measurable results.
The ways in which you can apply minimalism to your life are infinite. Hopefully, this article gives you a good starting point and opens the floodgates to a simpler, less stressful life.
Because at the end of the day, we all feel our best when we have ample time and space for the things that matter most.