People who have mastered the art of living a minimalist life have usually embraced these 7 principles

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In a world overwhelmed by excess, the concept of minimalism shines like a beacon of clarity. The allure of living with less to enjoy life more isn’t something new, but it’s one that has gained a fervent following in recent years.

It is simple yet profound: by stripping away the non-essential, we make room for the truly important. Those who excel at minimalist living don’t just preach simplicity; they embody it through a series of deliberate choices and steadfast principles.

Minimalism isn’t merely about having fewer possessions. It’s finding freedom and contentment beyond the clutches of materialism. It’s a thoughtful approach to life that prioritizes experiences over extravagance, quality over quantity, and peace over clutter.

Below I’ve outlined the key principles that individuals who have honed the art of minimalist living tend to follow. 

Let’s dive in…

1) Embrace the essentials

Reflect on your possessions right now. Your home might be full with items you’ve accumulated over time. Many of them you haven’t touched in months, maybe even years. Yet, they occupy space, both physically and mentally.

To truly adopt a minimalist lifestyle, it’s crucial to understand that less is more. It’s about stripping back to the bare essentials and finding value not in quantity, but in the quality of what remains.

Minimalism isn’t about deprivation. By consciously choosing to keep only what serves a purpose or brings joy, you clear the clutter from your life and allow yourself to breathe, focus, and find tranquility.

Start by evaluating your belongings with a critical eye and ask yourself if each item is essential to your life or if it’s simply taking up space. This goes beyond physical items and extends to activities, relationships, and time commitments as well.

2) Seek the abundance of less

In the pursuit of minimalism, one might expect to focus solely on reduction, on paring down to the bone. Yet, one of the most profound principles of minimalism involves embracing a different kind of abundance—the abundance that comes from having less.

It’s a subtle realization that emerges when you begin to clear away the non-essential items and distractions from your life. You discover a wealth of time, energy, and peace that was previously hidden beneath the clutter.

This isn’t about creating emptiness for the sake of it, but rather about making space for new possibilities. With fewer possessions to worry about and less desire to consume, you find richness in experiences, relationships, and self-growth.

This challenges the conventional narrative that more is better, revealing that the true depth of life’s experiences often becomes apparent only when we remove the excess. As you simplify your surroundings, you’re not left with nothing—you’re provided with a canvas upon which to paint a more meaningful and fulfilling life.

3) Cultivate quality connections

It might seem counterintuitive when considering a minimalist lifestyle, which often emphasizes solitude and decluttering, to then turn your attention to cultivating relationships. But here lies a subtle truth about minimalism: it’s also about enriching the space within our lives.

As you remove the unnecessary from your life, you open up room for deeper, more meaningful connections. Think about your current relationships. How many are built on convenience, and how many are truly nourishing your soul? Minimalism invites you to ask these hard questions.

By valuing quality over quantity in your connections with others, each interaction becomes more intentional. Choosing to invest time and energy into relationships that resonate with your values, that support your growth, and that bring genuine joy.

It’s a liberating aspect of minimalism that often goes overlooked: as you pare down to the essentials in all facets of life, the bonds that remain or those newly formed become stronger and more significant. This principle is not about having fewer friends; it’s about having richer friendships.

4) Practice mindful consumption

As we move in this world that incessantly markets the next ‘must-have’ product, a minimalist approach offers a different standard: mindful consumption. This is not about denying yourself the latest gadgets or luxuries but asking yourself whether they truly add value to your life.

When you start to see through the veneer of consumerism, you begin to understand that acquiring more stuff often fails to bring long-term satisfaction. 

This extends beyond physical goods to the media we consume, the food we eat, and the experiences we pursue. It’s intentionality in every choice—recognizing that each purchase and each decision to consume is an affirmation of the life you wish to lead.

Practicing mindful consumption isn’t just a financial decision; it’s an ethical one too. It’s an acknowledgment that our choices have an impact on our environment and society, and with each mindful decision, we cast a vote for the kind of world we want to live in.

5) Embrace the beauty of simplicity

I’ll never forget the moment I fully grasped the beauty of simplicity. It was a warm, sunny afternoon when I decided to declutter my living space. As I sorted through piles of items, some holding sentimental value, others mere dust collectors, I experienced a mix of nostalgia and overwhelm.

But then something shifted. I picked up an old watch, one that had been tucked away in a drawer, out of sight and out of mind. It was a gift from my grandfather—a simple, elegant timepiece with no frills or fancy gadgets. Holding it, I felt a connection not just to him but to the idea that some things carry more weight because of their history and the stories they tell.

From that day on, I started making more conscious decisions. I swapped a smartphone buzzing with endless notifications for a basic model that allowed me to stay present with people and experiences. I traded fast food for meals made with fresh, wholesome ingredients.

And instead of filling my calendar with events, I began to cherish quiet evenings at home.

By stripping away the unnecessary, life has become richer and more meaningful. The peace that comes from this simplicity isn’t something I could have understood without experiencing it firsthand. Now, I couldn’t imagine living any other way.

6) Limit your choices

The modern era has given rise to an unprecedented level of choice in almost every aspect of life. Yet, this abundance of options can often lead to decision fatigue and a sense of being overwhelmed. Minimalists take a different approach by intentionally limiting their choices.

By limiting choices, they streamline their decision-making process, reduce stress, and find more satisfaction in their selections. This doesn’t just apply to shopping; it’s using the same principle to all facets of life—wardrobe, social engagements, or media consumption.

It makes for a more focused, intentional life that isn’t bogged down by too many unnecessary choices.

7) Plan for indulgence

In a lifestyle that champions austerity and restraint, the idea of planning for indulgence might seem out of place. Yet, those who have truly mastered minimalism know that the occasional, intentional indulgence can serve as a powerful affirmation of their values.

Minimalism is about knowing when and how to enjoy the luxuries of life without becoming consumed by them. It’s the difference between an impulsive splurge that clutters your space and mind, and a well-considered treat that enhances your experience of the moment.

By setting aside time or resources for these mindful indulgences—be it a piece of art that moves you, a gourmet meal shared with loved ones, or a retreat that rejuvenates your spirit—you create a rhythm in your minimalist journey. These moments provide contrast and highlight the joy of simplicity.

Bottom line: It might just resonate with our nature

The principles of minimalism, which guide us to a life less cluttered by the superfluous, may echo an innate human preference for simplicity that’s been shaped by our evolutionary past.

It’s as though we’re wired to respond positively to uncluttered spaces and uncomplicated lives, which might explain the profound sense of peace many report after embracing minimalist principles.

There’s an undeniable elegance in the minimalist approach that appeals to our deeper selves—a harkening back to a time when life was less about possessions and more about the essence of living. 

As we conclude this exploration into the principles of minimalist living, perhaps it’s worth considering how aligning our modern lives with these timeless values might just be the key to unlocking a more contented and focused existence. 

It’s an invitation to ponder not just the physical space we inhabit but also the mental space we cultivate—and how, sometimes, the path to true abundance begins with letting go.

Lost Your Sense of Purpose?

In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.

Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.

Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.

With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.

Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.

 

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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