How to Begin Living a Minimalist Lifestyle

The only way to begin living like a minimalist, I’m convinced, is to throw away all the junk,—everything, all of it—in one swift, violent move. It all goes in the trash.

Maybe 3 pairs of clothes you keep, a pot, a skillet, a wooden spoon, a fork, a knife, a plate, a cup, a computer, your phone, a couple toiletry items, soap, a towel or 2, a razor, deodorant, nail-clippers, tweezers. Everything else goes in the trash. Just do it, or you never will.

Or else you make compromises. Well maybe I can just keep this chair instead of this chair. At least I threw away one of the 3 couches. And I can’t just pitch this outfit. Grandma gave it to me that one year for Christmas. It has so many memories attached.

But that’s the problem with junk, you see. Once you have it, you become attached. But it’s just stuff. Once it’s out of sight, it will be out of mind. You’ll see.

This is the best part anyway, tossing everything you own into the dumpster. It does hurt a bit however, physically and mentally. Lugging all that stuff outside and tossing it over into the dumpster hurts the old bones a touch. And then too, some of that stuff is just difficult to part with, you’ve had it so long. You maybe shed a tear. But instantly you feel better, I’m telling you, the second that stuff hits the dumpster like a gong.

Like you took too much cough medicine, you feel like, Robitussin cough and cold perhaps. Fifty pounds lighter you feel. You can jump straight through the moon. All that stuff is gone, just like that. You peel off all the layers of clothes you’re wearing in the winter, outside in that wind, once you’re inside, safe and warm. You throw them on the floor and it makes an audible noise, the layers are so many and so heavy. You’re 10 pounds lighter. You have nothing more to weigh you down.

You have only one option here. Throw everything away at once.

But you don’t like that. It’s not what you wanted to hear. It’s the most difficult thing. You’re scared to do it.

But that’s how you know it’s right. That you’re scared. Well, run to what you fear. So that you’ll fear it no longer. And then you can move on to the next issue, the next fear, finally, peeling back another layer and another layer, like an onion.

The most actionable advice is often the most simple. Only a few words are required, one simple suggestion. But it’s the most difficult thing to do too.

But that’s how it goes. If you want to live like a minimalist, then lose the junk. Or don’t.

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