What is Minimalism?

A guide to living with less

Ellie Daforge
4 min readOct 23, 2021

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Photo by Simona Sergi on Unsplash

“If the stuff you own is not helping you create the life you want, then let it go.” — Peter Walsh

Minimalism is a movement of living with less. It is hard to pin down exactly what minimalism is, because the concept is so fluid. Every person who practices minimalism does it a little differently.

Many guides on minimalism show extremes: people living in tiny homes, or giving away almost all of their possessions. But I’ve found that a moderate approach is much more realistic. When you buy less and giving away what you don’t need, you can still drastically improve your life.

Minimalism can help you save money and have an easier time cleaning. You can live in a smaller space, because you don’t have to store as many belongings. When you need something, you’ll know exactly where to find it (or have the necessary cash on hand to buy it). You can spend less time working to pay for a lot of stuff, and someday, getting rid of it.

Here are some tips to get started.

Clear out items you don’t use

Many charities will accept gently used clothing or household goods. Buy Nothing groups (usually on Facebook) are also a great way to give away items directly to local people who need them.

I tried out Buy Nothing groups for the first time this summer, and I was really surprised by the results. Things that were literally sitting my closet collecting dust went directly to people who needed them.

You can also sell items if they have significant value. Apps like Decluttr and Poshmark allow you to sell used books or clothing.

Try a capsule wardrobe

This one is a little tricky if you live in a place with four distinct seasons, but it’s still possible. A few years ago, I bought a black coat that is a “3-in-1.” In the fall, I can use the warm jacket layer of it; in the summer and spring, I use the waterproof exterior as a rain jacket; in the winter, I put them together to make a full coat.

When I buy a piece of clothing, I evaluate how it works in my current wardrobe. I don’t wear a lot of dresses, so I don’t buy them anymore and stick with the ones I have. I…

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Ellie Daforge

Article writer, aspiring YA novelist & health scientist.