Maya Angelou changed my life with just one word. “You need far less than you think you need.”
As soon as I heard that, I knew in my heart that she was right. I need less than I have, and I need less than I think I do.
But how can I learn this truth? How can I learn how little I am? actual need?
In October 2010, I tried my first “minimalist experiment.” Minimal experimentation is a deliberate decision we make to challenge our assumptions about how long we need to live.
Society is constantly pushing us to expand and upgrade all areas of our lives: homes, cars, kitchens, wardrobes, technology.
The Living with Less experiment gives us the opportunity to see if there is a better, more purposeful, more focused way to live.
To do a minimalist experiment:
- Choose Your Life Assumptions to Test (How many clothes do you need?)
- Choose a new amount less than you have (I will try to reduce the clothes in the closet by 50%)
- Please select a period (I’m going to test this for 2 months)
- remove excess from the field of view (Excess clothes will be put in the attic)
- After the experiment, reassess what you learned (That was great! I love owning less. I’m going to send Joshua an email about how great he is.)
For each experiment below, we recommend testing at home for at least 29 days. But the longer you leave (60 days, 90 days, etc.), the more you learn about yourself and how much less you actually need.
Here are 24 minimalist experiments to try
1. Project 333
This was a minimalist fashion experiment that forever changed the number of clothes hanging in my closet.
Click here for more information on Project 333.
2. Stick with one TV
When my kids were 6 and 3, I decided to put just one TV in the house (instead of the existing 4) and try it out for 3 months in the summer. we loved it! And to this day (14 years later), we have only one TV in our house.
3. Halve the decoration
Before we go any further, it’s important to remember. experimentNo more burning extra clothes in the backyard or throwing extra TVs off the roof. Just move them to another location for a while. After the experiment, if you don’t like it, you can take it all home.
Try decorating your home less for two months. You can also cut it in half or thirds. Try to choose the most meaningless decorations for any room, remove them and keep only your favorites. See what you think
You may find that Francis Jourdain was right when he said:
4. Take the No-Buy Challenge
for just one month, don’t buy anything But groceries and toiletries. See if the experiment is harder or easier than you thought. There are lessons to be learned either way.
See how much your bank account can change in just one month.
5. 1 coffee mug
Choose your favorite mug. You decide to use just that mug for a month. Store the rest elsewhere. You may need fewer coffee mugs in your cabinet than you think.
6. Less furniture
Pick a room in your house and temporarily remove 1-2 pieces of furniture. Move items out of the way as much as possible (if possible).
How does it feel to have extra space in that room when you do? Furniture often takes up more space than we think
7. Limit your makeup choices
Experiment with wearing less makeup for a month. This may mean wearing less makeup on your skin…or it may just limit the cosmetic choices you have in your drawer. See if it benefits your mood.
8. I don’t watch much TV
Many of us have picked up bad habits during the COVID outbreak that can be hard to shake off. To realign my life around my bigger priorities, I’m currently testing 30 days of no TV.
This kind of experimentation can also be applied to social media, video games, talk radio, and many other activities that we think we spend too much time on.
9. Clean up the kitchen counter
Try clearing everything off your kitchen counter for 29 days. I think you will like it.
10. Remove half of the book from the space
A book can be a beautiful adornment. It can also encourage reading and learning. However, too little space and too much space can be visually distracting, especially with open shelves and bookshelves.
Test your assumptions about how many books are a good amount by removing half (or a third) of the books over a period of time.
11. Keep the corners open
A few years ago, I helped a woman clean up her living room. Finally, her one in the corner was empty. she said. I don’t think I can do that. ”
I answered. But when you buy something in a hurry just to fill the space, you never know for sure.Why not give it a month? If you still don’t want it empty, buy something to fill the space. But you might love it more than you think. ”
Last heard, the new decor hasn’t filled the space yet. There is beauty in empty space.
12. Limit Your Tupperware to 8 Containers
Find 8 food storage containers with easily identifiable lids. (Bonus points container nest inside each other. )
Place the remaining food storage containers in the box, write the date on the top of the box, and remove from the kitchen. Work on this new experiment for at least three months.
Never go back to messy Tupperware drawers and cabinets again. Well, maybe you do, but I doubt it.
13.One place per person
Personally, I keep two settings per person.
but, crowd of people Someone who holds only one and loves it. It might be an experiment worth trying at home. You never know until you try,
14. Hand washing dishes
In November 2020, we started hand-washing dishes as a two-week experiment. I quickly fell in love with this intentional way to end a meal.
Still, 13 years later, I still hand-wash almost every meal, as the manufacturer recommends, with only occasional use of the dishwasher.
15. Spin some toys
owns few toys Benefit our children in many waysThey learn how to be more creative, helpful, attentive and share.
It’s always a good idea to consult your children before deciding to move any unused toys, but just rotating an old unused toy for a few weeks can lead to it being completely forgotten. There are quite a few.
16. kitchen gadgets
Our kitchen doesn’t seem to have enough storage space. Yet most of our grandmothers cooked much more often, much more elaborately, and much better than we do today…in much smaller kitchens. is that simpler is better in most cases.
Check out this great article from new york times: You can also cook in the no-frills kitchen. Then, store all unnecessary utensils in plastic containers, out of sight, and see if you’re enjoying cooking a little more in your new, clutter-free environment.
17. A Simple Meal Plan
I started eating the same breakfasts and lunches for several years.
But no. I learned that I like to eat the same breakfast and lunch every day. Maybe you do too.
18. Unsubscribe from mailing lists
Try unsubscribing from all email newsletters you receive next month. You can always subscribe if you want. But you might find a calm, peaceful inbox more enjoyable than the constant arrival of sales.
19. Spend one day a week away from work and other responsibilities.
the rest can be soon Ignored priority in our busy lives. Next month, intentionally choose one day a week to rest.
20. Experiment with hotel life in your bedroom
there is growing movement Style your home bedroom like a hotel bedroom.
Interestingly, I met many people who decided to become minimalists after going on a trip. After spending some time with just a suitcase, they became attracted to a lifestyle of less possessions.
Of course, you don’t have to leave your home to try out that same sense of calmness and order. Most of the articles online seem to focus on buying expensive linens and wall hangings to transform a bedroom into a hotel room. sometimes.
My recommendation is, if you want to try hotel living in your own bedroom, start by removing everything from your room that you wouldn’t normally find in a hotel room. You will be amazed at the amount of change one person can make.
21. Spend a week without driving and only using public transport or walking
If the facilities in your city allow, try it for a week without driving at all.Maybe you hate it, hurry back and grab the 8 keyth Day. Maybe you find public transportation in your area more convenient than you think. Either way, you will discover something new about yourself and something new about your community.
There are countless experiments you can try at home: fewer pillows, fewer coats, fewer magazine subscriptions, fewer hobby items… the list goes on and on. Choose what you think is the perfect fit for you and your home.
Test your assumptions. We see a beautiful life-giving joy in realizing how little we actually need. A minimal amount of experimentation will help you discover it.