There is a growing trend of people who are choosing to live simply in the city. This lifestyle has many names, including urban minimalist, simple living, and slow life.
While there may not be a set definition of what urban minimalism is, the common thread among those who live this lifestyle is a desire to have less in their lives.
This subset of minimalists thrive on the experiences over the mementos and build lasting relationships with like-minded people. They take in the entirety of their city and use everything available to facilitate their lifestyle while being able to travel without worrying about their possessions.
The Urban Minimalist Lifestyle: An Introduction
Urban minimalists don't necessarily have a lot of material possessions. They do, however, have the freedom to travel when they want and live where they please. It's not about having the least amount of things, but rather the most amount of freedom.
This lifestyle is about experience and connection with people, places, and nature. It's about being happy in the present moment and not worrying about the past or future. It's about being mindful of how your actions affect others, but also yourself.
Urban minimalists don't have to be rock stars or celebrities with millions in their bank accounts. It's about living a simple life with what you have and not being burdened by the excess of consumerism.
How To Live A Simple Life In The City
There are many ways to live a simple life in the city, but here are some of my favorite tips:
1. Be mindful of your actions and how they affect others.
The way we interact with others can have a positive or negative affect on them and ourselves. When we are mindful of our actions and interactions, we notice the changes we should make in ourselves.
2. Reduce the amount of stuff you own, especially if it's just taking up space in your home or apartment.
While you don't need to be extreme in your scaling down, think about your possessions and whether you really need them. Just about everyone can find many items in their household that can go and you really won't miss them.
3. Stop spending money on unnecessary items and save your money for something that will bring you more happiness.
One of my goals is to travel and it takes money to do that. Think about the experiences you want and really audit your finances. You'll be surprised what you really don't need or what subscriptions you can cancel. Choose your spending wisely.
4. Eat healthier and get plenty of exercise to stay healthy, both physically and mentally.
The last thing anyone wants is to find out you can't do something because of your health. Many of us already deal with some sort of health issue, so why not do all we can to stay healthy as long as we can! Eat that salad, take that walk!
5. Get outside as much as possible and spend time in nature.
Nature is energizing, peaceful and educational. And the outdoors are great for your overall health and well-being. Getting sun offers essential vitamin D for our bodies, also! Did you know that many people suffer from vitamin D deficiency and don't even know it? Sun exposure is the most important source for vitamin D.
6. Get rid of your television, or at least reduce the amount of time you watch it.
Instead of zoning out to the TV after work, go for a walk or read a book. Try not to spend your days off binge watching that new series. The average American spends 5 hours watching TV daily! What else can you do in that 5 hours that'll be more productive for your life and goals?
7. Spend more time with the people you love.
Today's families spend more time apart than together. When I was a kid, family dinners were a thing – with the whole family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc). Today, everyone is so busy with their lives, they don't take the time to get together except on holidays. Spend more time with those important to you – friends, family, significant others. Nurture your relationships and they'll grow immensely.
8. Spend more time with yourself and get to know who you really are.
Have you ever felt you've lost yourself to your busy life? It's time to find yourself again. Spend some time meditating, reading or enjoying those hobbies you used to love. Get to know yourself again. As you do, you'll realize what your true core values are!
Why minimalism has taken the world by storm
Minimalism has taken the world by storm because it offers a simpler, more organized way of living. It provides a respite from the constant barrage of information and stimuli that we experience every day. Minimalism is also aesthetically pleasing and can help to declutter your life both physically and mentally.
Minimalism is not taking the world by storm because it's trendy and spaces can look beautiful- it has many benefits.
• Improved health
Minimalist homes reduce the amount of clutter and toxins in and around a person's belongings, which can improve health. With so many negatives affecting our health as the world progresses, we need to do everything we can to improve ourselves. Minimalist homes can help you do that.
• Visual appeal
Minimalism is a trend that has taken the world by storm
It can improve the visual appeal of your space
Minimalistic homes are more efficient and cost effective
• Financial freedom
Minimalism offers a way to help build financial freedom. As you pare down your possessions, you'll find that the less stuff you have, the more money you save.
Minimalism doesn't mean living in a small house or apartment. It means making conscious decisions about what you want to own. It means living with less so you can live more.
Minimalism is not about deprivation, it's about freedom—freedom from the baggage that weighs us down and robs us of time and money. It is about living a good life, not a perfect one. It's about embracing the fact that less can be more .
• Easy upkeep
Minimalism can be applied to any room of your house, from the bedroom to the kitchen. It is a simple and easy way to live and makes cleaning easier while keeping your home clutter-free.
5 tips for a minimalist apartment
Downsize your home to a condo or studio if you live in a large house. Even if you don't want to downsize your home, you can do so much within a home to transition to the minimalist lifestyle.
Make room for passions by downsizing your belongings instead of giving up lifestyle choices.
1. Mucking out
Deal with things you already own. Think objectively about what furniture is necessary to feel comfortable in your own space.
Remove the emotion from the mucking out process (declutter). Memories over mementos.
Minimalism can lead to more mental clarity, mindfulness and gratitude.
2. Stow away
Keep your kitchen clean by using a dish soap and sponge combo, and avoiding harsh chemicals.
Keep your living space tidy by folding or storing away excess clothes and furniture.
Prepare simple meals that don't require many ingredients to reduce the number of trips to the grocery store
Choose simple furniture that doesn't take up too much space.
Use natural lighting as much as possible to create a relaxing atmosphere
3. Don't forget comfort
Make your space comfortable as you minimalize.
Living room seating can be minimalist and comfortable. Choose fabrics and colors that are appealing to you and pick high quality furniture. It'll last longer and you'll be happier with it.
Maximize storage space by using vertical spaces to store things instead of horizontal ones. Floating shelves on the wall, a ladder bookshelf – be creative and fun. Make it fit for your style.
Make use of lighting and color to create a stylish atmosphere in your home
4. Prefer clear forms
Clear forms should be preferred to ornate ones.
Scandinavian furniture design is known for relying on clear forms and breaking them up a little with color and shape accents.
Clear bench tops, furniture with clean lines and bare walls are essential to a minimalist home. Clutter is gone and instead, objects and furniture are allowed to breath. Walls are kept clean with minimal artwork and surfaces are clear of piles of paper, stacks of magazines and an uncontrolled collection of knick-knacks.
Whenever you discard something, the tug of that object is released. You get some attention back.
Minimalist apartment tips include using white or light colors, avoiding clutter, using clear storage solutions, choosing comfortable furniture pieces
Conquer storage with clever design
5. Rely on a uniform color palette
Choose light colors for a minimalist apartment. Add a splash of your personality in the color palette.
Use natural materials and textures instead of artificial ones. Natural materials are better for you and your environment.
What to do about furniture that you don't want to part with
There are a few things you can do with furniture you don't want to part with. You can sell it, donate it, or give it away. If you choose to sell it, there are a few ways to go about it. You can put it in an online classifieds, have a garage sale, or take it to a consignment shop. If you choose to donate it, you can donate it to a charity or give it to a friend or family member.
If you're struggling with the decision, ask yourself why you need the item.
Eliminate items that don't add value. You want to add value to your life, so if the item doesn't add value – let it go!
Using the City as Part of Your Home
Depending on your city, you can find part of your home outside your home.j
Many larger cities have rideshare programs, which cut costs of owning a vehicle. Especially in large cities like New York or Los Angeles. In smaller cities, everything is normally within walking distance and you can spend your day getting to know your neighborhood and local stores.
Use the city parks as recreation. That's what they're for! Take the kids to the park daily for exercise and stress relief. Yes, kids even get stressed out! Walk the trails and take in nature. The daily fresh air will do your body good.
Ready to be an Urban Minimalist?
Are you ready to take back your life? Enjoy the moments and save money in the process?
Then, you may just be ready to become an urban minimalist. The easiest way to start changing your life is to declutter your current belongings. This begins the mindset change necessary to live a minimalist lifestyle.
The information I've shared here is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to living minimal. There are so many versions out there and you get to define your own as you transition your lifestyle.
Where will you start? What do you want to gain from your lifestyle change?
**Coming up – Tiny Houses: The ultimate minimalist life