How to become a minimalist

***Rachel Khoo would like to thank all the inspiring people who helped make the Khoollect studio a hive of creativity. Although the Khoollect studio’s doors have now closed, you can keep up with Rachel’s newest adventures on and on Rachel’s Instagram and Facebook pages – and, continue to enjoy the Khoollect website’s stories and recipes, which will remain available.***

Sometimes life can feel overwhelming and as though there are fragments of yourself scattered around the world. You wish you could press pause, have a mental and physical clear out, and gather yourself to be the best version of you.

Luckily, there is a technique that can help do just that. Minimalism can often be regarded as something unattainable – only for people with stark-white homes and perfectly aligned open shelving – however, minimalism actually means living a more fulfilling life with less. Here are my simple and achievable steps to becoming a minimalist:

Put yourself first

This is probably the most difficult step on your journey towards minimalism. Putting ourselves first can feel unnatural, and even a little bit selfish, but to truly organise your life and everything that coincides with it you need to begin with yourself. Eat well, exercise regularly or even just spend more time standing than you do slumped at your desk. Your body is the most intricate piece of equipment you own! One that powers every function and feeling you have, so it only seems fair to treat it well.

Do a digital clear up 

Living in the digital age has its perks, but could also be a detriment to our sanity. We spend more time stalking people we used to know than we do outside and if you too are wondering where all those minutes are disappearing to, it might be time to have a digital clear up. If you logged everything you did in a day, you will probably find that you spend more time on Instagram (or the perpetual time thief, Pinterest) than you do relaxing or doing something meaningful.

The solution to this? Remove social media from your phone. If you can’t go cold turkey, make it as difficult as possible to find those apps. Hide them in folders on your phone or replace them with something more intentional like a book or a podcast. That way, each time you go for your fix of social nonsense, you’ll get a dose of something creative or inspiring. Soon you’ll gain those lost hours and have more time for great things.

Create a capsule wardrobe

Ever find the process of buying, washing, ironing, choosing, buying, washing and (the inevitable) purging of clothes too much to handle? Selecting an outfit, or stuffing your clothes into a wardrobe that seems to be shrinking, can be more daunting than necessary. Creating a capsule wardrobe is nothing new, but is a process that works. There are different ways you can approach the capsule – whether that’s with guides like Project 333 or with your gut instinct. I found that I only wore five outfits over a month and most involved the same pair of jeans or a skirt. It’s time for you to analyse what you love to wear.

Find what makes you feel confident and happy; donate/sell what makes you feel guilty or uncomfortable. You’ll find that you have more outfits that you love and your drawers will close with ease. BONUS: you’ll become more intentional with your clothing choices and therefore save money. It’s a win win.

Be more intentional with your life 

Aristotle once said: ‘we are what we repeatedly do,’ and since embracing minimalism into my life, I truly understand what he meant. Money, clothes and gadgets can be replaced but we can’t replace our time. Time is therefore our most valuable asset; and, the more intentional you are with how you spend that precious time the happier you will be.

Spend time with your family, shop less, eat delicious food, learn a language, perfect your boiled eggs, experience something outdoors, read a book, start a blog, find a sport you love, make plans and wishes, grow a herb garden, walk to work, or just have some time to stand and stare.


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lara messer

Lara is Khoollect’s Creative Editor. This London-based Glaswegian is the creative behind the camer...

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Additional reading

If becoming a minimalist is something you’d love to do, I highly recommend The Minimalists.

Their books and podcasts have changed my life and allowed me to grasp the art of intentional living.