How to Become a Minimalist in College While Keeping the Essentials

Jenna Wiley

Most people hear the word “minimalist” and instantly think of someone who lives in an all-white home and owns two shirts. In truth, the meaning of becoming a minimalist can be unique to each person. As Marie Kondo said, if it doesn’t spark joy in your life, you don’t need it. There are different ways someone can become a minimalist, and college students are no exception. 


A lot of people think becoming a minimalist is only your surroundings. Having a clear mind and getting rid of your “mind clutter” is just as important as getting rid of your belongings. Things as simple as taking a walk, reading a book or talking to a friend for a while can make a huge difference for someone’s peace of mind. 

A great way to do this at GS is taking advantage of the Counselling Center’s Relaxation Room. The Relaxation Room is free and open to all GS students and offers experiences such as a massage chair, mandala drawing, adult coloring, a sound machine and a safe meditation space. 

For more information and hours of operation, visit:

Physical Aspect 

There are many different ways to declutter your physical space, starting with a different element of your everyday life. 

Starting with clothes is a very popular first place to start the decluttering process. A good rule of thumb to follow when trying to get rid of clothes is, if you haven’t worn it in the past two months, it can be tossed out. Also, keep in mind the different seasons of the year. Another tip is that if you don’t feel 100 percent confident wearing it, it might be time to let it go. 

Also, don’t throw these items away! There are a lot of donation options to donate clothes to, like Goodwill.. Or if you’re looking to make a little extra cash, clothes can be sold to Plato’s Closet or second-hand on apps like Depop or Poshmark

Just as decluttering your closet is a good first step to becoming a minimalist, getting rid of everyday items can be useful, too. Getting rid of simple things like those broken christmas lights, your math textbook from freshman year or those movie tickets you swore you would scrapbook is a simple and easy way to start off. 

Social Life

Surrounding yourself with positive influences and those that mean the most to you is another way to simplify your life. People who only seem to be your friend when they need something should be the first to go for your own sake. Also, it’s important to learn that it’s okay to say no to things. Weeding out events that you would rather not go to will make your life seem a lot less hectic. 

Being a minimalist doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds. Start with the little things, like that T-shirt you haven’t worn in years, and the rest will follow.