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Minimalist Living for Newlywed Couples

Learn how couples can set themselves up for marital and financial success by taking steps towards living a minimalist lifestyle. 

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Wedding planning can be a time-consuming endeavor. With all the wedding preparation going on, many newlywed couples forget to talk or even think about what happens after the big day. Discussing moving in together or their future living situation gets put on the backburner and then they end up having double of everything: extra silverware, extra appliances, and even extra sofas. Couples who choose to adopt a minimalist living lifestyle will find logistical, financial, and even emotional benefits.

What is Minimalist Living?

Minimalist living is living with less to make life simpler and to focus on experiences rather than possessions. A minimalist lifestyle can lead to a better quality of life, avoiding the stress and anxiety of having too much stuff.

Also, by being intentional about what belongings you allow in your life, you avoid the comparison trap and release yourself from the pressure of “Keeping up with the Joneses.” Having less stuff reduces the number of things you have to clean, so adopting minimalism can even give you more time!

And, it’s not just you, as a couple, that will be benefiting. You’ll also be taking care of the environment by contributing less waste.

From a personal finance perspective, the less money you spend, the more money you can save and set aside for other life goals! Jackie French Koller, an American author, even describes being rich as having little.   

“There are two ways to be rich: One is by acquiring much, and the other is by desiring little.”

—Jackie French Koller
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How to Achieve Minimalist Living

There are different philosophies when it comes to living a minimalist life. However, we are trying to achieve the same thing: a better quality of life. Here are my minimalist living tips for newlywed couples:

Remove Unused Items

You most likely will have double of everything after you two join households. My husband and I had an excess of kitchen items and furniture before we began our purge. We strived to make our home a simpler, less cluttered space.

Ideally, you should remove items that you have in excess. And, sometimes, just having one thing is more than enough. If it doesn’t add to your liquid net worth, is it worth keeping?

I’ll admit it’s not easy to let go of your things. It can even lead to your first argument as a married couple.

So, don’t be pressured to start living minimalist life on day one. Instead, remind each other of what you two are trying to accomplish, and understand that it’ll take time. Even if it takes two years to become minimalist, that’s okay. 

It took me weeks to figure out which clothes I could part with. But, it took me months before I actually got them out of my house.

To have a simpler, less cluttered closet, identify clothes that you don’t use. First, I turned all the hangers in one direction. Then, as I wore each item of clothing, I rotated the hangers to face the other direction when re-hung them after washing. 

After 30 days to 6 months, you'll see which items you aren't wearing regularly– choose a period of time that makes sense for the seasonal wardrobe required for your area. The hangers that never get flipped are clothes that obviously don’t get used anymore. Bonus– this practice is the beginning of curating a capsule wardrobe!

Keep the Keepsakes

There are some items you own that might be difficult to give away, and that’s okay. Marie Kondo, the Japanese author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, says you should keep items that bring you joy. So, hold onto things that remind you of good memories.

Also, remember what you might think as an insignificant item might have significance to your spouse. If anything, their special keepsake may reveal a personal story that can bring two newlyweds even more closely together.

My husband always says he isn’t attached to anything. However, he showed our son a Bible he kept from his youth and told a story about how he received it. I didn’t call him a liar in front of our son.

There will come a time when you’ll have to draw a line in the sand. You both might feel the urge to say that everything you own is a keepsake item. Be honest with yourselves and remind one another of the shared goal of living a simple and minimalistic lifestyle.

Be a Conscious Spender

Getting rid of unnecessary items to create a minimalist home is one accomplishment. Making sure you don’t bring any more unnecessary items home is another one.

When it comes to spending money, you need to be fiscally responsible. You two need to ask yourself, “Do we need it?”

Your spouse may want to buy you the world. However, that doesn’t mean it has to go inside your home.

But, if you do have to spend money, be sure to buy quality. You don’t have to purchase something that will easily break in the future.

Keep in mind; purchasing quality doesn’t give you a license to buy a high-priced item. You can still get quality while spending less– that's the key to being budget-savvy, after all! Keep an eye out for sales, special promotions, and explore the second-hand shops that upcycle vintage quality pieces into modern furniture and home decor.

I always love saving money. So, when my husband says he got something on a discount, that’s sweet music to my ears!

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Consistency is Key

Purging your possessions is an ongoing process. What you find useful today may not be a usable item a couple of months later on.

Plus, life happens, and many things, such as paper clutter and unused toys, can start to pile up. For this reason, you and your spouse need to develop a decluttering habit. 

I use to let things pile up in drawers, cabinets, and closets. I called it my organized chaos. I now have entries in my planner and alarms on my phone to keep me on a schedule.

Choose Experiences Over Belongings

Minimalist living is not just about owning less but also about focusing on experiences. Who better to share great experiences than your spouse? For this reason, you may opt for a honeymoon registry like Honeyfund over a traditional wedding registry for stuff you don't actually want or need.

Avoid the possessions you may see others sharing on social media and simplify your life. There is enough digital clutter online to distract you. Spend less time online and spend more quality time with your significant other.

I define wealth as the time a person has without working. So, if you can spend quality time with the one you love, then you’re technically the wealthiest person (in your spouse’s eyes). 

In Conclusion

Remind yourself why you married your spouse. Was it for their possessions, or was it for who they are? We both know the answer.

Whenever my husband gets overwhelmed with life, he always shares his memories of Kauai, where we had our honeymoon. He said he was free of responsibilities, and life was simpler.

Minimalist living is a lifestyle that is starting to get more attention. Some even think it's the key to happiness! With social media continually consuming our lives, it’s time for us to start living simply. So consider having a conversation with your soon-to-be spouse about what actually matters to the two of you so you can build a lifestyle you both love.

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Jacqueline Sanchez Parent Portfolio 2020

Jacqueline Sanchez is a healthcare worker, a real estate investor, and a personal finance blogger for Parent Portfolio. She has been married for over nine years and has two lively children. Jacqueline has gotten rid of over $250,000 in consumer and student loan debt, owns multiple investment properties, and has been featured in Business Insider and USA Today.