I know that around this time every year, a lot of people like to set minimalism goals for their homes and lives. (Fun fact—my blog consistently gets the most visitors, year after year, on New Year’s Day!) There’s clearly something in the air that inspires people to simplify.
Of course, I’m a firm believer that any day is a good day to make a change—you don’t need to wait for January 1st to embrace a minimalist lifestyle—but if you’re feeling motivated to act now then I’m here to help!
Here are some ideas of specific minimalism goals you might want to add to your list, along with resources and tips that will help you achieve them.
6 Minimalism Goals To Inspire You
I’ve chosen ideas for your minimalism goals that represent the full spectrum of minimalism and simple living. This means that yes—this list includes decluttering goals—but it’s not just about your physical stuff.
Instead, I encourage you to take a broader approach to minimalism this year. Look at your schedule, your spending, your relationships, your thoughts—does the sum of your life choices reflect your values and priorities?
Ask yourself if anything feels out of alignment, and then consider what you need to let go of in order to correct it.
And finally… please remember that minimalism is not about being someone you’re not. Don’t worry if your home doesn’t look like what you’ve seen on Instagram or if simplifying your life is taking longer than you’d like. It’s not a race and you don’t have to keep up with anyone else.
Instead, it’s all about curating your life so that you can have more of what matters and less of what doesn’t. It’s about letting go of the excess so that your true self can shine through.
Choose the minimalism goals that feel right for you, go at your own pace and enjoy the journey.
GOAL 1: CREATE + MAINTAIN A CLUTTER-FREE ZONE
One super simple (but powerful!) thing that you can do for yourself is to create and maintain a clutter-free zone. I actually did this for the first time in 2019 with my kitchen island.
Before I made this change, my kitchen island was a dumping ground for the “little life things” that we all deal with—random papers, mail, phone chargers etc. It wasn’t a ton of stuff but there was always something keeping it cluttered.
Then one day I took it all off to wipe down the surface and before I replaced everything, I paused. I took a moment to notice the smooth, white countertop and I felt a sense of calm settle over me.
I decided then and there that moving forward, my kitchen island would be a “clutter-free zone”—and since then, I’ve been surprisingly good at maintaining it! It’s amazing what you can do when you decide and commit to one small change.
It’s a simple goal worth pursuing no matter where you are on your minimalist journey, but I think it’s especially useful if you’re just getting started. It’s a small change that can create a lot of decluttering momentum!
Here are a few decluttering resources that can help you keep going:
- 10 Simple Decluttering Tips For When You Feel Stuck
- Decluttering: How to Decide What to Keep?
- 6 Powerful Benefits of Decluttering Your Home + Life
- The Most Surprising Way Decluttering Improves Your Life
And most importantly, make sure you download a free copy of Mindful Decluttering, my step-by-step decluttering guide and workbook. Simply subscribe using the form below and as an added bonus, you’ll get regular newsletters with minimalism tips, stories and inspiration!
GOAL 2: FIND TIME TO DO NOTHING EVERY DAY
Decluttering is important but it’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to minimalism. Freeing up space in your home is great but I’d argue that finding time in your schedule is even better.
Of course, the two go hand in hand for most people. I know that when I decluttered my home, it meant I had more free time because I spent less time cleaning. It’s definitely one of the major benefits of owning less stuff!
But there are other ways we can create more time—namely by intentionally doing less. If you’re new to minimalism, I highly recommend that you take a critical look at your schedule. Does it need a bit of “decluttering” as well?
Equally important is what you do with the free time you create. Don’t get caught in the trap of decluttering your schedule … only to end up wasting time on something else.
Your time is precious so be intentional with how you use it—and honestly? I think one of the best things you can do for yourself is to make time every day to do nothing.
Even if it’s just for a few minutes, try sitting quietly without your phone or even a book to entertain you. Instead, drink a cup of tea, look out the window, and just rest. It will probably feel a bit uncomfortable at first but make it part of your daily routine and I think it will surprise you.
If you need some help being intentional with your time, here are a few blog posts that you might enjoy:
- 4 Tips to Minimise Your To-Do List
- 5 Easy Ways to Simplify Your Daily Routines
- 6 Steps To Reset + Thrive In Your Busy Season
- Doing Less + A Lesson in Self-Worth
- 10 Ways to be Intentional With Your Time, Money + Energy
GOAL 3: DECLUTTER YOUR CLOSET
When I discovered minimalism, the first project I tackled was my closet. It was a massive challenge but in the end, it was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself—and I’ve spoken to a lot of people who feel the same way.
I think it’s because your closet represents so much more than just clothes. It’s like a micro-universe where all our fears and insecurities live—or at least this was my experience!
Every single decluttering challenge I’ve ever faced existed to some extent in my closet. After I was finally able to tackle my wardrobe, simplifying the rest of my life felt easy(ish). I’d already walked through the fire and come out the other side.
If you want to create a big and bold change this year, I think this is a great goal to focus on—and here are a few resources that will help you follow through:
- Behind the Scenes: A Minimalist Wardrobe Tour (Video)
- 20 Minimalist Wardrobe Tips: How to Have a Minimalist Closet
- How to Declutter Your Closet For Good: An Ultimate Guide
GOAL 4: DO A “NO SPEND” CHALLENGE
Most people start their minimalism journey by focusing on decluttering but I actually think it’s more effective to look at what you’re bringing into your life first.
Think of it this way—if you had a leaking pipe, the very first thing you’d do is turn off the water supply, right?
The same applies to your stuff. If you’re trying to reduce the clutter in your home, you need to stop bringing new stuff in! This is so important because if you don’t learn to reduce your overall consumption then all your decluttering efforts will be wasted in the long run.
One way to kickstart a change to your shopping habits is by doing a “no spend” challenge. You can decide how long feels right for you—a weekend, a week, a month—choose a time frame that will challenge you but not completely overwhelm you. Then try not to shop for anything but the essentials during this period. (Decide ahead of time what “essential” means to you!)
I’ve never written specifically about doing a “no spend” challenge but as a reformed shopaholic, I do have some tips on how to shop less:
- 6 Tips on How to Stop Mindless Shopping
- How to Be Happy With What You Have + Stop Wanting More
- How to Stop Buying Clothes You Never Wear
Side note: I don’t believe that minimalism and frugality always go hand in hand. You don’t have to stop spending to be a minimalist. In fact, no one who knows me would call me frugal and I’m definitely not afraid to spend money on things that add value to my life!
Having said that, if you struggle to be intentional with your spending (meaning the way you spend doesn’t reflect what you value) then doing a “no spend” challenge is a way to press the reset button. Taking a break can help you see things in a whole new light.
GOAL 5: BE INTENTIONAL WITH YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in recent years is how important it is to be intentional with your relationships. This is because whether you realise it or not, the people you choose to spend time with influence your thoughts and beliefs.
Now I’m not saying you should just “declutter” people—obviously, this is different from cleaning out your sock drawer! But you should definitely put some intentional thought into the energy and time you invest in your relationships.
Think about what matters most to you—your goals, your dreams, your values and your personal vision. Then think about the people you surround yourself with.
Do these relationships energise and inspire you? Do you feel supported and encouraged? If so, make a conscious choice to spend more time with these people.
When you surround yourself with people who genuinely believe in you, you can’t help but believe in yourself—and a strong sense of self-belief is essential for minimalist living. (The more you know who you are and what you believe in, the less you’ll need “stuff” to define you.)
Conversely, be mindful of the time you spend with people who drain your energy. This doesn’t mean you have to cut them out of your life but be aware of the impact they have on you.
If you’re not sure how to put this concept into practice, here are some practical ideas to try:
- Commit to spending 30 minutes every week catching up with someone who inspires you
- Find a mentor or hire a coach
- Create firm boundaries around your relationships
- Give yourself permission to walk away or not engage in conversations that don’t serve you
- Audit your social media accounts and unfollow/unfriend as required
GOAL 6: CREATE A REGULAR JOURNALING PRACTICE
I know this might sound like a strange “minimalism goal” but stick with me for a minute!
Odds are, if you have a problem with clutter, it’s because you’ve got some type of mindset issue that needs addressing:
- Your schedule is too busy because you’re not clear on your priorities.
- You hang onto old towels “just in case” because you have a scarcity mindset.
- You can’t let go of dresses that no longer fit you because you can’t let go of who you used to be.
- You keep expensive items you never use because you feel guilty about wasting money.
- You shop all the time to distract yourself from a painful reality.
Decluttering might address the symptoms of a cluttered life but it won’t cure it. If you truly want to simplify your life, you need to get to the heart of why your life is cluttered first—and journaling is a powerful tool that can help you.
Why? Because journaling encourages self-awareness. It teaches you to reflect on your feelings, to question old stories, and to imagine a different way of living. All of these skills are essential for minimalist living.
If you’re new to journaling, then this post about how to start a journaling habit will help you get started. Alternatively, if you’ve already done some journaling in the past, here are some resources that will help you dive deeper into minimalist living:
- 7 Journal Prompts to Inspire Simplicity
- 7 Questions to Inspire Intentional Living
- 7 Simple Days (A short course designed to “kick-start” your simple and intentional living journey)
- Values + Vision (A more in-depth course that will help you clarify your values and personal vision. It will also help you create a journaling habit that will empower you to live true to yourself.)
What Are Your Minimalism Goals?
If nothing on this list resonates, then I encourage you to step back and think about what matters most to you. How do you want to live your life? What feels good to you?
Choose one small thing you want to focus on and take the very first step in a new direction. Keep putting one foot in front of the other—and remember, minimalism is a journey, not a destination. It doesn’t matter how fast you go as long as you’re on your way.
What are your minimalism goals for this year? Let us know in the comments! x
2 thoughts on “6 Minimalism Goals for The New Year”
I really enjoy reading your blog! Actually, I think I started decluttering my life by letting/making some people go, a few years ago already. I’m just attacking the closets now ^^ having a clear vision about my goals and current personality always helped! I don’t really see myself as someone who has too many useless stuff, but sometimes I find myself buying something I already had (a book a few months ago, a DVD set last weekend…) without remembering that it was there. I think I have to work on my organization a bit more ; I’ll try to follow your advice “use less storage space, do not add any”, and see if the furniture I own could help me do that or if it would be better to replace it.
This may have been the most helpful thing I have read in a long time. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I will follow all of You͏r great advice and let you know how it goes. I have been stuck in the Carribean this whole year due to Covid and have survived with the suitcase I came with and only a few added things. Which tells me I can do this! It’s amazing how much we really can do without. And be happy.