For the past few years, I’ve been telling you how important routines and rituals are for my minimalist lifestyle— so today I thought I’d pull back the curtain and show you a behind-the-scenes look at my daily minimalist routine.
These aren’t necessarily routines about minimalism (I don’t declutter every day or anything) but they are about slow and intentional living. They help me ensure that I make time every day for the things that matter most instead of getting swept up with clutter and busyness.
And ultimately, isn’t that really what minimalism is all about?
Keep reading to learn more about my daily minimalist routine and you’ll also find tips on how to create your own minimalist routines too.
Three Key Elements of My Minimalist Routines
Before we begin, I want to share three key elements of my minimalist routines. These elements are rooted in my minimalist beliefs about intentionality and alignment.
1. MY ROUTINES FOLLOW MY NATURAL RHYTHMS
As a general rule, I’m not a very disciplined person and I don’t like forcing myself to do things that I really don’t want to do. For example, you’ll never hear about me getting up at 4 am to clean the house before the baby wakes!
Instead, I like to build my routines around my natural rhythms.
- I pay attention to how my energy levels fluctuate during the day: when do I feel the most energised? And when do I feel tired?
- I also take note of how different tasks make me feel. What gives me more energy? And what drains my energy?
I use this information to create routines that follow my natural rhythms and I can’t emphasise enough how important this is. It’s one of the simplest ways to make life easier and it’s key to enjoying my routines—even the “boring” ones like cleaning!
2. MY ROUTINES START SMALL
Next, it’s important to know that all of my routines start small and I try to keep them as uncomplicated as possible. This means that when I want to change something in my life, I choose one simple thing to focus on at a time.
I practise this new element until it feels like a comfortable part of my day. Sometimes it happens right away but other times, it takes more patience. Regardless, I don’t add anything additional to my routine until I feel confident in what I’ve already created.
This is the key to following through with my routines. When I start small, my routines become an effortless part of my life instead of feeling like a chore or new responsibility.
3. MY ROUTINES ARE CONSTANTLY EVOLVING
Finally, I don’t know about you but things in my life are constantly changing. My energy levels, my family responsibilities, my schedule—it’s a constant ebb and flow.
With this in mind, my routines are constantly evolving too. I’m flexible and I give myself permission to do what’s best with me right now even if it isn’t what was best for me a few months ago.
My routines are here to make my life easier, not to boss me around or to dictate how I spend my time. I’m not afraid to make changes when I need to.
My Current Lifestyle
Before I share my routines, let me tell you about my current lifestyle for some context.
I currently live in a 660 square foot high rise apartment with my two-year-old daughter and my husband.
My daughter currently goes to daycare three days a week and one those days, I work from home (or sometimes a cafe or co-working space). I also occasionally work in the evenings or during nap time.
My husband works full time and depending on the time of year, he sometimes works evenings too.
In case you’re new here, I’ve been a minimalist for nearly a decade now (here’s my minimalist story) and our home is fairly simple and clutter-free (although admittedly, we have a lot more stuff now than we did before we had kids!).
This should give you some perspective when you’re reading about my minimalist routines but of course, remember that the key to creating effective routines is to personalise them to fit your life.
My routines might not suit your life exactly and that’s OK—use them as inspiration, keeping in mind what matters most to you and your natural rhythms.
Minimalist Morning Routine
My minimalist morning routine is all about starting the day on the right foot. I am not a natural morning person and for most of my adult life, I dreaded mornings.
In fact, early mornings were one of the things that worried me most about motherhood—but surprisingly, I’ve actually learned to enjoy them.
Of course, I wouldn’t say “no” to a bit more sleep! But in all honesty, my daughter has taught me to slow down and make the most of this precious time.
HERE’S MY MINIMALIST MORNING ROUTINE:
Every day, my daughter comes into my bedroom around 6 am to nurse and afterwards, we open the curtains. I have large floor to ceiling windows that overlook both the city and the mountains and my daughter likes to join me in waving “good morning” to the world.
(We’re on the 17th floor so no one ever waves back but nonetheless, it’s very cute!)
After that, we usually linger in our room for a bit longer, just sitting quietly while my daughter plays or looks out the window. This is one of my favourite parts of the day and—while I don’t have a structured gratitude practise—I often take a moment a to reflect on how I feel about the blessings in my life.
Next, my daughter will let us know she’s ready for breakfast by marching into the kitchen and banging on the pantry door (very subtle, haha!) and our mornings begin in earnest.
My husband will usually make her a simple breakfast while I continue with my routine, starting with diffusing essential oils.
I love starting the day with a nice smell (before essential oils I would burn incense or light a candle). The “how” doesn’t really matter to me—instead, it’s about the ritual.
It’s a little hard to explain but prioritising something that feels special or perhaps even indulgent adds depth to my morning. There’s a sense of celebrating the day instead of begrudgingly getting out of bed.
After that, my priorities are water and coffee (I don’t usually eat breakfast until I’ve been awake a bit longer) and then we spend some family time together until my husband has to leave for work.
Sometimes this looks like sitting on the couch watching cartoons, sometimes it’s reading stories together, and sometimes it’s sitting listening to music.
Also, unless the weather is bad, I open all the windows and take a few minutes to breathe in the fresh air.
By 7 am, we start moving through our day with a bit more intention. My husband gets ready for work, I get my daughter ready for daycare (or swim lessons depending on the day of the week) … all the normal family/life stuff!
But no matter what’s on the to-do list or our schedules, we almost always spend the first hour of the day moving slowly and enjoy each other’s company. This helps us all start the day feeling refreshed and grounded instead of rushed and stressed.
Minimalist Beauty Routine
I debated including my minimalist beauty routine in this blog post because, to be honest, it’s not very interesting! But I thought I’d share it anyway because I know that getting ready in the morning is stressful for some people. (At least, it definitely used to be for me!)
A LOOK AT MY MINIMALIST BEAUTY ROUTINE:
First of all, I almost always shower and do most of my skincare at night (see my evening routine below), so in the morning all I do is:
- brush my teeth
- splash water on my face
- apply very basic makeup
- get dressed
I used to feel like I needed a full face of makeup every day but for the past few years, I’ve made a conscious choice to try and wear less. (I’d love to feel comfortable wearing no makeup at all but I’m definitely not there yet.)
Currently, I use a brow pencil, a bit BB cream or concealer under my eyes, blush and lip gloss. If I’m getting dressed up for something, I’ll use actual foundation and add mascara. This definitely takes me less than five minutes to put on.
As for my hair, I generally wash and style it once a week. I have very thick hair so washing and drying it takes ages but fortunately, once it’s been styled (I use a GHD curler to add some waves), it will generally last a week with absolutely no maintenance.
This means in the mornings, I just take my hair down and run my fingers through it— done! (Or if it’s close to needing a wash, I just leave it up in a bun.)
Next, I get dressed and because I have a minimalist wardrobe (which means I love everything I own) this takes no time or effort. All I do is check the weather and then pick something—there’s no trying on different outfits or even thinking much about what to wear.
All of this means that getting ready in the morning takes less than 10 minutes (whereas in the past, I’d easily spend at least an hour doing my hair and makeup, plus I’d need time to try on multiple outfits!).
After getting ready, I either spend the day working (when my daughter is in daycare) or I spend the day with my daughter. I won’t go into detail about that here but maybe one day in another post!
Minimalist Cleaning Routines
I actually wrote an entirely separate post about my minimalist cleaning routine and how to spend less time cleaning but here is a quick overview:
- If you want to spend less time cleaning, start by decluttering your home!
- Next, take a look at your expectations—are they realistic?
- Finally, create simple routines that work for you.
Personally, I do a “power half-hour” clean every evening while my daughter is in the bath (with her dad of course) and then I spend another hour or so each week tidying up loose ends—and that’s it!
If you want to know more make sure you check out the full blog post.
Minimalist Evening Routine
My evening routine starts after I’ve finished cleaning and putting my daughter to bed, usually around 7:30 pm — by this stage, I’m ready to relax and unwind!
The first thing I do is take a shower, which to be honest, I almost never feel like doing. Instead, the temptation is to flop on the couch and spend some time scrolling on my phone (just being honest!).
However, I know that if I do that, then I’ll go to bed feeling irritated about myself— so I make the choice to take a shower instead and I never regret it.
This is because taking an evening shower is my way of creating a boundary between my day and night, which is especially important because I work from home. It helps me to switch off and leave my to-do list behind for the day.
After my shower, I take a few minutes to take care of my skin. Nothing too fancy—I exfoliate, use toner, and then moisturise—but it makes me feel pampered and refreshed.
I also take time to use some scented body oil and also diffuse some calming essential oils. (If you haven’t noticed, I’m a big fan of aromatherapy!)
Finally, I spend a few minutes reflecting on my day and scribbling in my journal. I love journaling so sometimes I get carried away and write until I fall asleep. Other nights, I jot down a few notes and then join my husband on the sofa for Netflix or I do a bit of work if he’s not home.
All in all, my actual evening routine takes less than 30 minutes to complete but it’s so powerful. I go to bed feeling satisfied and at ease and I’m even sleeping better too!
How to Create Your Own Minimalist Routines
My routines are a powerful simple living tool and they help me to align my life with the things that matter most.
If you want to embrace simple living and create your own routines— but you don’t know where to start— then I encourage you to check out 7 Simple Days.
I created 7 Simple Days for anyone who feels like their life is cluttered, busy or out of alignment. It’s a short course designed to help you find clarity, define your priorities, and take small, practical steps forward.
Participating in 7 Simple Days every day for a week would be a great way to kick-start a new routine plus the included mini-challenges will help you think of other small ways you can add value to your life every day.
Here are what just a few of the more than 2,500 like-minded souls that have participated in 7 Simple Days have to say about the experience:
“I realised that my ‘ideal life’ is not about external circumstances, but small rituals that I can put into place now. I experimented with scattering them throughout my day and felt better for it.” — Lauren, 24, UK
“Very thought provoking exercises. They really helped me to understand what I value most and take steps to make sure I’m dedicating more of my time to those things. Thanks for sharing this mini-course. It was fun, eye opening and helped with self improvement.” — Tonya E
Do you have any daily routines? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear about them! x