7 Minimalist Habits that I’ve Learned from Living in a Small House
Growing up, I was living with my family of 5 in a small house for over 10 years. How small? It was a 400 square foot tiny apartment. Today, I’d like to share 7 minimalist habits that I’ve learned from my mom when we were living in a tiny home. Having these minimalist habits can make life so much easier and efficient. Your house will always stay clean and neat.
This post contains affiliate links, to find out more information, please read my disclaimer.
7 Minimalist Habits You Need to Adopt For a Minimalist Home
If you’re a hoarder, the first thing you need to do is to purge all the unnecessary stuff. If you really want to have a minimalist lifestyle that can focus your time and money on what matters, then you just only have to keep what you need, use and love.
Keeping a ton of unnecessary things does not only occupy your space but also uses a lot of time to clean and take care of them. Make yourself a habit to purge regularly and keep everything organized.
Simple Functional Furniture
Simplicity is always the interior design of a minimalist home. We want to sit down comfortably to relax after a long day at work. Use fewer pieces of furniture to make a room more spacious.
When you have a smaller house, furniture needs to be functional as well. Just like ottomans, they provide the extra seats and footstool, add style to the home and provide storage that you can put the toys, throw blankets, games, etc.
Furniture can be multi-functional. A dining table is not only for eating. I still remember the days I was doing homework with my siblings at the dinner table. After we’ve done our homework, we immediately put things away back to the backpack. Clean up the table and get ready for dinner. It’s just an everyday habit, you do it and your house will always keep clean and tidy. Especially if you have a smaller house, a pile of paper on the table will clutter your space.
Minimize Kitchen Gadgets and Condiments
Learning to pare down your belongings to the essentials is important. Though many kitchen gadgets and appliances look fancy, they can easily take up a lot of space. How many times do they overflow your kitchen drawers and cupboards? Keeping a ton of them and not using them just eat up all the space you have and clutter the countertops.
You really don’t need a ton of kitchen gadgets and appliances. Ask yourself how frequently do you use them and get rid of the duplicates. For example, you don’t need to have 3 can openers or 10 cookie sheets, right?
Declutter your kitchen by taking everything out and getting rid of the unnecessary and duplicate items. Same thing as condiments. I usually keep less than 10 condiments in my kitchen and I use them regularly. I never buy condiment that just only serves one single-use purpose.
Clean as You Go
Nobody wants to clean up the entire house in a day. Having a daily cleaning schedule can maintain the cleanliness of the home. It’s just simple as 15 minutes of daily clean-up can make a huge difference.
I’ve learned the clean as you go approach from my mom. Thinking back to when I was a kid living with my family of 5 in a 400 square foot tiny apartment, our home never gets dirty or untidy.
While you’re done with your meal and putting the dishes in the sink, don’t let them pile up. Hand wash them or put them in the dishwasher.
Clean up any spills immediately before they become a big mess. Give your sink a quick wipe each night after using it.
Take things out, remember to put them away. All these habits help to save your time and keep home clean and tidy at all times.
Related Minimalist living articles:
5 Ways to Simplify Your Life as a Mom
How to Clean Your House Fast and Efficiently
15 Minimalist Bedroom Ideas on a Budget
Do One Load of Laundry Every Day
I hate to see the mountain of clothes in the hamper. I do one load of laundry every night. Though laundry takes hours from start to finish, it really doesn’t bother me.
It’s much easier to fold and put away one load of laundry each day. If you don’t have enough dirty clothes to wash, that’s fine, wash them the next day. It’s a cleaning habit to help you save time, not spending an entire day doing the washing, drying and folding the entire week’s clothes.
I usually throw a load in the washer before I take shower. After the shower, I transfer them to the dryer. I take about ten minutes to fold and put them away the next morning.
I think it’s the most efficient way for me to tackle the pile of laundry. I would rather spend a little time each day doing the laundry than doing 5 to 6 loads of laundry once a week. This laundry routine helps me save a lot of time and keep my home clean and organized.
Related Minimalist Laundry:
5 Laundry Habits as a Minimalist
Buy Only What You Need
It’s very important to limit what you bring into the home especially when you have a small space. Stop buying things that you don’t need. Buying more unnecessary things and not using them means you’ve to make space to store them. You’ve to spend more time to do clean up and organizing.
Make it a habit to buy only what you need. When you buy one thing, remember to purge one.
Accumulating things get cluttered easily. To keep your house clear of clutter, having less stuff is the most effective way to go.
Organize Seasonal Clothing
I’ve lived with my family in a small apartment with small dressers for more than 10 years. I know how hard to keep things in their place if you’re not well-organized.
Clean out everything from the closets when the season change. Purge the unwanted items before reorganizing your closet. Rotate your fall/winter clothes with your spring/summer clothes. This ritual helps to easily access your clothes and keep your closets organized.
Put the off-season clothes in airtight containers and store them under the bed, hard-to-reach places of your closet or in the basement. These make you free up room in your small closet.
Experience Over Material Things
Learning how to utilize every square inch in tiny spaces is challenging especially when you’ve kids. Kids love toys and toys can be occupied in every space in your house. A practical storage solution and a habit of minimizing toys are essential to keep toys under control.
Minimizing the number of toys and decluttering them regularly. Fewer toys are good enough for them to play with.
Try to give your kids experiences instead of toys. For example, bring them to a library, park, swimming class, etc.
Kids expect toys when the holidays come. Buy memberships or annual passes according to their interests. For us, making time together to have a trip is always the happiest and best memory ever.
Do you have any minimalist habits helping you to make your life easier? Share in the comment and I’d love to know.
Related Minimalist Home Organization:
7 Minimalist Home Organization Tips that’ll Simplify Your Life
I can relate. My family of 6 grew up in a 14’x70’ mobile home. We didn’t lack for anything.
My husband & I are going to live 6 months a year in our motorhome. We live minimally so I know we can do this. I’m not a shopper so that does make it easier. We have what we need and need what we have. Living with less is the richest lifestyle there is-rich on time and money to do and see more.
Yes, I totally agree with you. Living minimally make me to have more time and money to spend on what we love.
Very Informative. Thanks for sharing with us!
I live in an RV with hubby….I hang my t shirts 5 altogether on one hanger same with work shirts and one dress one nice pant suit also only 3 pairs of shoes hiking, work and sneakers. I am going to do 3 in 1 jacket (Columbia) and let go of three jackets. down to 6 hangers right now. It works for me.
Hi Maria! It’s always challenging to downsize the wardrobe like yours. Good to know it works for you!
I watched the movie “Minimalist ” on Netflix and it made an impact on me. I kept my kids precious drawings and homework , etc. in boxes all these years, moving them place to place. Last year I made a major purge of everything in my house and attic and gave it to a Christian Closet. I am 63 and just realized my grown kids don’t want any of these “precious ” things I have. I feel so much “lighter” in my mind and spirit. I am continuing to purge as life goes on. Thanks for the article…this subject is dear to my heart!
Hi Janet! Thanks for your input. I can totally understand what your kids thinking. I so agree with you. Just please keep purging and we all feel happier and lighter. Over the past few years, my mom started to give me my old photos. She is 70 and she doesn’t want to keep pictures anymore. She said she wants to digitize all our old photos. I realized my mom is a truly minimalist. 🙂
The main source of clutter is shopping!!! I have decided to take 30 mins break after I like a thing. After 30 mins if I still feel like buying then I go ahead. My expenses have greatly reduced and so I have also started de- cluttering. After 30 mins most often I don’t like the thing I wanted to buy 😂
That’s good you found a way to cut the clutter and save the money. It’s so true shopping is one of the sources of clutter. I think only buy things that we need and make sure we have spaces for them. Stop bringing excess stuff into home is one of the ways to avoid clutter.
This is a great article. I need to incorporate more of these techniques into my life. I’m working on purging and getting down to the essentials. I can remember way back to girl scouts when they taught us to “clean up as you go” when cooking. A great life lesson.
Thanks Connie! Yes, it’s a good habit that makes life easier. 🙂
Oh yes, purging regularly is key whether you are minimalist or not. I’m always going through my kids drawers and closets to get rid of things. The garage is another one of those pits that we have to tackle. Great thoughts on this.
Garage is always one of the big project to tackle. Thanks for stopping by.
I can totally relate to all of this! We also live in a small home and it actually makes life so much easier. We don’t buy a lot of “stuff” because we have no where to put it and we are not overwhelmed by the expenses that come with a larger home. Honestly, if we ever moved into a larger home I would still use these habits because it makes life SO much easier!
Hi Lauren! That’s so true. Having these habits make life easier. We don’t really need so much stuff. Less stuff, less cleaning and less clutter.
Great post!! I will soon be moving into a smaller house so I loved reading this!
Thanks for sharing!
Thanks Nicole! So glad you liked it!
Wow. Such a great post. We recently moved into a new home and while it’s not as small has the home you grew up in, it is not large either. I purged a lot during our move and we’re currently on the hunt for smaller furniture pieces but I’ll definitely be implementing the whole “clean as you go” and “one load of laundry a day” thing. Thank you for sharing! 🙂
Hi Cassie! Moving to a new home always the good time for big decluttering. And I’ve realized we don’t really need that much stuff. So gald you found the tips helpful. 🙂
What a fab post. Experience is definately more important than ownership of material things. Allways working towards a minimalist house, but not that easy with the kids.
Thanks Suzanne! It’s not easy to be a minimalist with kids. It just takes time but so worth it.
I also live in a one bedroom and yes it is a very clean and comforting feeling to have less everytime i throw out or give away something i feel more free. i have not became a minimalist as of yet but i have learned over the yrs moments memory and time is more important than a inheritance .. we all leave this world at one point so when you can leave a moment, time, or memory, in a person or loved ones mind it is so much more than a object, or even money, we can not take any of it with us at the end i have 13 hrand children and four adult children i have made each of them a trinket from my clothing called a critter in side the critter is a heart of a note and a special peice of jewlery but i still believe the laying on the couch and a cuddle or a hig or moment and even a smell is so much more important my grand children always say grandma you smell so good or you are so soft or my kids mom you are just so loving or i love the way your house smells or i love and miss your spegetti now thats something out of nothing to hold on to 😉👍💛
Hi Joann! Thanks for the input. You guys are so sweet. I like what you’re doing. Those experiences create memories and these kind of memories last forever! 🙂
Love this post! I’ve recently began my minimalist journey for my family of soon to be 7 and it’s been so freeing! Thank you for the tips!
Thanks Julia! So glad you found it helpful. Congratulations and your kids are so beautiful!
I’ve only recently started my minimalist journey, and purging regularly is a habit I need to have. Things keep crawling back into spaces I’ve cleared; I can’t believe how much stuff I still have after multiple declutters! And I haven’t even gotten to the kitchen yet 🙁
Thanks for reading my post. Minimalism is a journey. It’s good to keep the habit of purging regularly to avoid clutter come back:)