While researching this blog post, I typed minimalist home into Google, just to see what would show up. The results? A flood of images with white walls, hardwood floors, and chic “scandi” style furniture.
The living spaces I saw were beautiful—sleek, modern and bare—but I feel called to point out that the minimalist design aesthetic is not the same as the minimalist lifestyle. Embracing simplicity in your home doesn’t mean that you have to forgo colour, abandon your personal style, or give up all your favourite things.
Instead, I invite you to consider a different definition of a minimalist home: a space that feels just right for you and your family. It’s not too cluttered or too bare. The colours, the furniture, and the style still represent you but in a way that’s just enough.
In the words of Peter Walsh, the author and professional organiser: “Your home should be the antidote to stress, not the cause.” I take this to heart. There are no rules you must follow, but in a minimalist home, there is space to breathe and room to love.
How Can I Make My Home More Minimalist?
If you want to create a minimalist home, the first thing to do is think about how it can serve you. What’s important to you, and what do you need from your home?
Here are a few things on my list:
- Space to play—for kids and adults! I want to do yoga on the floor, build giant towers out of building blocks, and throw impromptu dance parties in my kitchen.
- Easy to maintain. I am not a naturally tidy person, and I don’t enjoy cleaning. I need a low maintenance home that requires minimal upkeep.
- Room to rest and relax. I am an introvert, and I like to spend a lot of time at home. I need quiet, comfortable and inspiring spaces where I can recharge my batteries.
- A balance between beauty and function. Like most people, I want my house to look beautiful—but I also need it to work for my lifestyle. I have two small kids and I work from home, so things need to flow as smoothly as possible.
I highly encourage you to write your own list before you start any decluttering or organising. When you have a vision of what you want to achieve, it creates clarity, focus and purpose. This makes it easier to identify and clear the clutter from your home.
After that, try some of the tips on this list. Be patient and give yourself time to curate a minimalist home that reflects your unique needs and desires.
10 Simple Tips For A Minimalist Home
Consider how much you want to clean and maintain
When you’re decluttering a space, consider how much time and energy (and sometimes even money) you’re willing to devote to cleaning and maintenance. Then use this answer to inform how much of something you want to keep.
For example, I know that I don’t want to spend longer than 15 minutes picking up toys on any given day. If it takes me longer, then I know I have too many and I need to declutter. It’s a simple rule, but it makes my life easier because I know my limits.
Related Post: A Helpful Guide to Minimalism With Kids
Be intentional about leaving empty space
Most people tend to want to fill all the empty spaces in their home, but I encourage you to experiment with clear surfaces, bare walls, and uncluttered floors. Sit with the space for a while and see how it feels. Does it create feelings of lightness and ease?
Tip: Try starting with one large flat surface, such as your kitchen island, the dining room table or even the front of your fridge! Allow yourself to experiment and find what works for you.
Declutter—starting with your pain points
I know that decluttering can feel overwhelming, so there’s no need to rush or take on too much at once. Instead, I recommend you start with your pain points because it will make your life easier and therefore create momentum.
For example, if the hall closet that you use every day is causing you to stress because you can never find what you need, start there. The closet in the guest bedroom can wait.
Ready to take on bigger decluttering projects? My free decluttering guide, Mindful Decluttering, explains the exact process I used to clear more than 80% of my belongings. There are step-by-step instructions, plus a troubleshooting guide to help you overcome your biggest challenges.
To get your free copy, simply subscribe using the form below. As a bonus, you’ll also get my regular newsletter with special offers, tips, and inspiration for simple living. (But don’t worry, you can unsubscribe anytime and still keep your free guide.)
Try clutter-free home decor
A minimalist home doesn’t have to be neutral or bare. You can—and should—decorate your home in a way that reflects your personal style. One way to do this is with clutter-free home decor.
Some examples include: painting the walls, swapping out light fixtures, changing the curtains, using fresh flowers or fruit, plants, or even cosy blankets. (And remember, anything that you use and enjoy is not clutter!)
Question your “just in case items”
You probably have many things that you keep in your home “just in case”—and that’s not always a bad thing. Minimalism doesn’t mean being wasteful or ill-prepared.
Having said that, if you want to keep things because you might need them in the future, there are two things you should consider:
- What would I use this for? If you can’t be specific about why you might need this item in the future, then odds are you can live without it.
- Where exactly does this live? If you know the purpose, it should be easy to give the item a specific home. For example, I keep spare ribbons for children’s craft projects, so they live in my craft box—not in a random drawer or box.
Your “someday” items must have a specific home because if not, you’ll never find them when you actually need them! This is a common mistake, and it’s why we end up with random duplicates (batteries, super glue, notebooks, etc.) around the house.
Tip: If you genuinely want to maintain a minimalist home, everything you own should have a specific place where it’s kept. And if you’re not sure where to put something? It’s probably a sign to let go.
Pause before you replace things
Next time you run out of something, or something breaks, pause before you replace it. Practice going without for a while. Did you miss whatever it was or did you get by just fine without it? The answer might surprise you.
Keep relaxation zones clutter-free
Where do you go to relax? Your bedroom? A favourite chair by the window? Under a cosy blanket on your sofa? Elevate these spaces to true sanctuaries by keeping them clutter-free.
A great place to start is with your bedside table. Don’t use this sacred space as a dumping ground. After all, you don’t want to wake up to clutter (and the unmade decisions it often represents). Instead, clear everything away but a glass of water, a favourite book and perhaps a photo or cheerful plant.
Curate your collections
Often our homes are filled with things that we collect, like coffee mugs, vintage records, or postcards from our travels. These are the little things that can make a house feel like a home, but your special items will have more meaning if you curate your collection.
Try stepping back and looking at your items individually. Sometimes things appear more valuable when grouped together, but when separated from the collection, they lose their appeal.
Create a system for managing paper clutter
Do you struggle with paper clutter like receipts and pamphlets? If so, you need a simple system to keep it under control.
The key is to avoid overcomplicating things. If it’s too hard to follow, you’ll procrastinate and nothing will get done. Instead, handle your paper clutter right away, as soon as it enters your house.
Personally, I found that 90% of what I receive can go straight into recycling (although you may want to shred some items first). I scan most of the remaining 10% using a simple app on my phone (I use the native Notes app that comes with my iPhone, but there are lots of options). Then I store the handful of hard copies that I genuinely need to archive in a file folder.
I also regularly backup my digital copies to the cloud (using Dropbox) and to an external hard drive—and that’s it!
Tip: One thing that helps is not keeping information that can be easily found online (with a few exceptions). Things like takeaway menus, phone numbers, recipes, etc. don’t need to take up space in your home.
Regularly audit your home
The things in your home should support your lifestyle, but keep in mind that your lifestyle will change over time. Something that was once genuinely useful may eventually become clutter, and that’s OK. Just make sure that you stay on top of things by regularly auditing your life and not clinging to things that no longer serve you.
Related Post: 5 Helpful Decluttering Checklists For Your Home
Learn More About Minimalist Living
If you’re looking to learn more about inviting minimalism into your life, here are some blog posts that you might enjoy:
- How to Live A Minimalist Life (A Complete Blueprint)
- My Minimalist Daily Routine: Embracing Slow + Simple Every Day
- 6 Powerful But Unexpected Minimalist Lifestyle Tips
Have you considered making your home more minimalist? Or do you have any minimalist home tips to share? Let us know in the comments!