Minimalism

So You’ve Downsized…Now What? How Minimalists Can Avoid Boredom

So you've downsized and embraced the minimalist lifestyle. Here's what to do when you start to get bored!

After reading through the responses from my reader survey at the end of the year, I realized there were quite a few people wondering what to do after downsizing and embracing the minimalist lifestyle.

So you've downsized and embraced the minimalist lifestyle. Here's what to do when you start to get bored!

In particular, one person asked the following:

What do I do after the decluttering steps of downsizing possessions? Minimalist blogs talk about all this free time they have now and living an intentional life but I just feel bored!

First of all, I love the honesty in this question. I’m sure minimalism comes across as boring and uninteresting to many people (and even I tend to find minimalist blogs a little uninspiring), and it’s not surprising that those who embrace it end up getting bored at one point or another.

If you’re someone who’s feeling a little stuck with this lifestyle or you’re not feeling like it’s what you hoped for, I have a few tips up my sleeve for you!

How Minimalists Can Avoid Boredom

So you've downsized and embraced the minimalist lifestyle. Here's what to do when you start to get bored!

Shift Your Mindset

We often embrace minimalism the opposite way than we ought to. We think about what to get rid of, rather than focusing on what to keep. If we all started our journey focusing on the positive space and what we wanted to keep and even add to it, the process would be a bit different. Obviously we can’t go back in time and start the process again, but it really does help to shift your mindset to think about what you want in your life rather than what you don’t want.

I’ve pointed this out a few times because it’s a common misconception about minimalism, and I’ll say it again: minimalism is not about getting rid of stuff. Decluttering is a tool that can bring you closer toward a minimalist lifestyle, but decluttering is not equal to minimalism. Just remember that minimalism is about making space for what’s important, yo.

Assess What You Kept

Once you’ve started to downsize and are on the road to a more minimalistic lifestyle, it’s so important to also evaluate and recognize the things in your life that were valuable enough that you kept them. We often forget to look for the obvious signs that indicate our passions and purpose, and we spend our whole lives wondering if we’re headed the right direction.

Did you keep art projects from school, exercise equipment, old journals full of memories? These can all be indications of your passions and things you should pursue further. Of course there are the material possessions you keep out of necessity (or if they sparked joy à la Marie Kondo), but you want to also look at the people and activities you decided to keep in your life.

Add In Some Goodness

Have a brainstorming session to think about what you want your life to be filled with. Maybe you want to travel, learn new skills, volunteer, read more, do more yoga, or spend quality time with your family. You might even want to add more friendships into your life, so try finding activities that would support that (volunteering, meetups, blogging, clubs, etc). Have a good hard think about what would bring you the most joy!

P.S. You can also start thinking about things you might want to save up for, such as a quality pair of boots or a gym membership (newsflash: minimalists still buy things!) Since you’re probably being more selective about how you spend your money, it helps to make a wishlist in order to avoid impulse buys.

Do you have any tips for avoiding boredom after downsizing? Let us know in the comments below!

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Catherine Beard
Hi, I'm Catherine! I'm the mindset coach and writer behind The Blissful Mind. Whether you're trying to reduce stress, slow down, or feel more content, I’m here to help make life a little calmer.

12 Comments

  1. Wonderful post!

    Often, after making a positive change in my life, I hit a moment of feeling uncomfortable about the goodness. It’s not just boredom, but also anxiety can creep in, too.

    I find it helpful to notice these feelings and take some time to sit with them and try to figure out what they’re trying to tell me, what hidden assumptions I might be able to uncover that will keep me from falling back into old habits.

  2. For me, minimalism is all about having what you love in your life and not what you don’t. Totally understand where they are coming from about the time thing; when first starting out I had no idea what to do with my spare time! Now I use that extra time doing what I love, blogging, planning travel, family time, working out.
    Great article and great question!
    Lisa x​
    lisavillaume.com

  3. Minimiliasm is about thinking about what you keep. I think being intentional about what you spend money on is important. I think I am more of a minimialist, but my spouse likes to spend money more than I do. Its hard but we try and find a compromise. If it was 100% my way we would be spending less.

  4. This is golden. I’m glad someone has said the things you did in this post. Before I had kids, I spent 6 years meandering the world. I owned a tent. I tried to keep the clutter out when my two came along, but let me tell you how much I enjoy kitchen tables, dishes in a cabinet, diaper organizers, a washing machine, and all my babies’ stuffed animals. It’s not the stuffed animals, I like, it’s the smiles. I keep all the books that drive me up a wall, because reading to them is magical. I have so much guinea pig stuff… because they need care and pets help take me back to my days of taming squirrels(kidding). I have fish to bring the lakes inside, and plants to calm me. I keep hand me downs around, in good condition, because… kids. Anyhow, you are spot on. It’s not the “magic of owning nothing,” for me, it was the space to welcome my children with open arms… literally, wide open arms. There is plenty of room for them to grow as big as their dreams will let them. And mine as well. I have acquired hobbies, things I love doing, and do them daily now. God has truly blessed my life, the road was gratitude, the car was minimalism. The car is still moving, just get back on the road!

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