5 Ways Minimalism Can Change Your Life

How can minimalism change your life? Check out these five ways to improve your quality of life through minimalism - The Confused Millennial

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Minimalism might seem like all the rage these days, but its roots go back to the sixties where it first appeared in New York as a form of rebellion against the worn-out academic style in visual arts. Over time, its philosophy gradually spread beyond this medium to:

         Interior design – it was about uncluttered spacious rooms, natural and clean forms.

         Architecture – it brought basic geometrical forms, clean spaces, and a lot of natural light.

        Fashion – during the sixties, two French designers introduced minimalism, and Twiggy was the most famous model that popularized minimalistic approach with her mod shift dresses. One glance at the fashion in 2016 and you’ll see similar trends: monochromatic outfits, natural fabrics, simple cuts, and neutral earthy tones dominated the runways. High street fashion brands embraced minimalism, making it easier than ever for a wearer to show authenticity with minimum details.

In the simplest of definitions on minimalism, The Minimalists define it as “a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.” Minimalism has allowed me to draw my focus from material things to the ones that really matter and cannot be replaced: family, friends, and real experiences.

Here are five ways minimalism changed my life and I think it can change yours too:


Realizing the things you own have nothing to do with your identity is liberating. Too often, we get emotionally attached to objects when in fact – they can get in the way of conscious living. Clearing the external space around you can give way to more space for internal serenity.  Minimalism has also supported me through my quarter-life crisis: even though I’m still not quite sure what I’m doing with my life, drawing focus to myself instead of my possessions, helped me realize I am a multi-potentialite.


minimalism the confused millennial sophia smith



My newfound minimalistic lifestyle reflected in the way I dressed too. I started with donating clothes I knew no longer fit my overall lifestyle. Next, I began building a wardrobe that felt more like me: simple. I felt at peace with myself and didn’t feel the need to draw too much of attention with invading colors or patterns. Not that there is anything wrong with colors or patterns, but I tried to adopt a style that was a bit more mature with pieces that could easily be matched together. I looked for simple black evening dresses as I’ve realized that I didn't need to follow current trends but rather, choose pieces that make me feel confident and enhance my attributes. Black, gray, white, olive, and beige dominate my closet. I learned that when I started appreciating the fact I can look good effortlessly, I actually drew more attention to myself.

minimalism the confused millennial sophia smith



Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you a concert ticket. Try turning to experiences instead of purchasing goods: adventures, concerts, and traveling. Alexa von Tobel, the founder of Learnvest, says this is called the “cost per happy“. That experience will likely bring you more hours of joy as you look back on the memories, compared to that bomber jacket you wore twice while freaking out if you are pulling off the trend.


minimalism the confused millennial sophia smith



Embracing minimalism has made me realize I don’t want to waste my life hating Mondays, just paying bills, while working for the weekend. To truly live, I needed to remember what’s important: laughing with friends, traveling, falling in love, even the everlasting life drama I was convinced would pass after high school. Minimalism helped me declutter the distractions and realize the essence of life.

minimalism the confused millennial sophia smith



Clutter has been found to zap people of their energy, myself included. Clearing up my personal space made me feel more in control and focused, as if I cleaned up my mental space, too.

This doesn’t mean you need to strip your room from any personal touch. On the contrary, some little things (e.g. photos or artwork) are what make one's house a home. However, with minimalism, I realized that notion of home is much broader than a place I live in. Make sure objects truly have a purpose to make your space warmer instead of just collecting dust and making you anxious and trapped without you even realizing it.

minimalism the confused millennial sophia smith

My transition towards minimalism did not happen all of the sudden: it was a slow process that eventually took over my life. As I've continued along the this journey, I feel more free and happy.

99 thoughts on “5 Ways Minimalism Can Change Your Life”

  1. As a minimalist myself, I can totally appreciate this timely piece! Thank you so much for sharing this!

  2. I love having all my things in decor and my house but I have notice my love of style is really changing and I have been doing at lot of analysis of what make me happy and feel good! There are going to be some changes!

  3. Having moved cross continents 3 times with 2 little ones in tow, I was originally forced into a minimalist lifestyle. Now I can’t picture my life any other way. So liberating!

  4. Love this post, and am pinning for future reference! I really would like to take a fashion approach to minimalism. It would save me money, and I think ethically its a great concept. We don’t always need MORE like society tells us.

    1. Agreed! I am not a minimalist, but my wardrobe definitely is since I travel a lot. I can really only bring so much so finding basic, neutral versatile pieces that can be revamped with some tweaks is such a win for me. It’s also a lot of athleisure haha

  5. What a great post! I have always been interested in minimalism but have never taken the plunge to do so. This is something I am interested in exploring more.

    1. Glad you enjoyed Jenny! I think starting with one area is always helpful. I am currently transitioning my wardrobe to a minimalist one and find it liberating to have a few pieces that are super versatile.

  6. I have DEFINITELY found more of a style since decluttering my apartment. I actually wrote a whole article on how it made me a better dresser too

    1. haha even though this is a guest post, I totally have found the energy boost to be true in my life too! whenever I get rid of a bunch of stuff in my office I am so much more productive and creative!

  7. I’m between a Minimalist and an Essentialist. I keep stuff that looks beautiful and makes me happy, but I toss everything else. Rather than just keep what I use I keep what’s beautiful to me and keeps me happy. Clutter makes me sad, so I just naturally keep it simple and have no issues tossing everything I haven’t used in a while. Love this movement! xo

  8. Barb Lina Dionicio

    This is motivating! I have been telling my husband that we need to live more minimal and get rid of a lot of our “stuff” just creating clutter in our home. I find that getting rid of our stuff and living minimal has actually helped with my anxiety and stress level. It’s amazing what it can do for your psyche. Thanks for posting this! 🙂

  9. Amanda | Maple Alps

    Love this! I started my journey to minimalism a few months ago, and it really does make a difference! Great post!

    1. Me too! I think focusing on one area at a time could be helpful! like declutter your desk everyday until its habit, then declutter your car every day too, and so on.

  10. Yes- love this! I literally cleared a whole bag of old makeup my mom gave me that I NEVER wore and it was sitting there for years.. it felt so good. And also yes, i am so glad when I meet people who also don’t know what they are doing with their life because i can so relate…lol even though I know how badly it sucks! *thegoodthingscomin.wordpress.com

  11. I recently got rid of a ton of clothes and junk and I definitely felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders! However, at the end of the work week, my closet office is always a mess again. I think I need to really spend some time cleaning out and create a better organization system!

    1. HAHA me too!!! What is up with that?!? My BFF always comes over in the middle of the week when everything is a mess, and I swear I said to her last week, “I promise I clean and organize! I just don’t know how it doesn’t stay that way!” haha

  12. Lane & Holly @ With Two Spoons

    I do love cleaning and donating! There is something so freeing about getting your spaces organized!

  13. Great post! I recently went through a major move where we downsized a three bedroom house to a much smaller two bedroom house. Initially, I had a hard time parting with things but once I got into it, it was amazing how freeing of an experience it was.

  14. This is a wonderful post! There are still things I am working on, but in many areas of my life I have embraced minimalism and am happier for it!

    1. A LOT of decluttering lol. Paring down my possessions, everything from my wardrobe to my household “stuff.” Finding ways to buy less and make more when I can. Not getting things on impulse or accepting them just because I am offered them, but instead considering if they have a place in my life, if I actually need or truly want them 🙂

  15. I am a “stuff” person, so I have had the hardest time purging, but I really do think that minimalism is a more healthy way to live and I would like to make improvements. Even if I don’t live a completely minimalistic life, I would like to get much closer than I am now.

    1. HAHAHA HEY NOW. The PR life. Sometimes it’s just too much. LOL.

      …he didn’t come yet but he’ll probably come bringing goodies.

  16. A clear space is a clear mind, at least for me. I find that I am so much happier by investing my time and money into the things that make me happy, even if it isn’t always minimalistic. Great post!

  17. Wow, I didn’t realize it goes that far back. I’m working on decluttering, buying less, and I’m all about giving my kiddos experiences over things.

  18. Great post! We went through a HUGE decluttering phase when we moved to San Diego. My husband had been away for a year at that point and 85% of our belongings had stayed in storage that entire time. When we got to our new home and started opening boxes, we got to a point in the unpacking process where we just started throwing things out. There was sooooo much junk in those boxes and we’ve only been married three years haha but it felt great to start our life in our new home without all that clutter.

    1. Yeah I bet! My husband and I have the opposite problem – when we move we own nothing! We have lived in fully furnished apartments for the last 5 years – so we don’t even own the essentials like plates or silverware! haha

  19. I love this post! Minimalism is huge to help live a stress free life and to declutter stuff! It’s harder than I would have thought to achieve, but worth it!

  20. Great post! I haven’t got full minimalist yet, but I’m definitely trying to cut back. I’m on my third round of the “Rid Yourself of 100 Things” challenge. It’s much harder this time around as I’ve already gotten rid of everything I was easily comfortable with getting rid of. But I think it’s good for me to push past the comfort zone a little on this one. I get way too attached to things–things I haven’t used in years–just because they’ve got a sentimental value attached. I’m trying to be better because I would love a clutter-free life!

    1. I’ve never heard of that before! I totally need to do this challenge! I get wayyy to attached to things I haven’t used in forever too. That sentimental factor gets me every time. Even going through old boxes I start crying haha

  21. I love this. I really need to clean out my makeup bag. LOL!!! I probably have a lot of expired makeup.

  22. Okay I LOVE this. I’m soo not minimalist but I want to be!! These are great tips – I always have such a problem getting rid of things. It’s got to change in this new year!!

  23. Kaitlyn Fickle Killebrew

    I really like this post because I think everyone should focus on minimalism to some extent!

  24. I don’t know that I’ll ever be a minimalist but I am working on minimizing. I’ve become so much better at only buying items I truly love and picking quality over quantity. It’s so helpful!

  25. I love this! We bought our home last summer and after merging together apartment items into one, we have gathered quite a bit of clutter. We are 24 years old and have a lot of junk. My goal for 2017 is to de-clutter this house and our closets and make more with less.

    1. Love that goal Alexis! I can totally relate to where you are at! My husband and I merged his apartment and all the stuff from the last 23 years of my life into a one bedroom apartment! It was okay but then we moved to another one bedroom apartment with wayyyy less closet space so now we have boxes in our living room all the time lol

  26. Love this post! These tips were so useful and I could definitly use a more minimalist life!


  27. Great post!

    Minimalism is a real journey for me.. I’m good at purging but BAD about not restocking. I like the idea that it changes your personal style (probably decoratively as well as in fashion) to something more you.

    I feel a post-holiday closet purge coming on….

    Laura @ http://www.cookwineandthinker.com

  28. As someone who’s looking to move cross country (and not rent a truck) I’m trying to become more minimalist. However, my wardrobe is not going. I like the concept but I like color and variety too much. Drab neutral tones do not work with my skin tone. Also when you have to pay $2 a load to wash your clothes, I want to avoid paying that very frequently.

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