How To Have a Minimalist Mindset


In this modern world, we fill our emptiness with material items.  Buying countless, sometimes useless, things has become a societal norm.  We rely on tangible objects to impress others. As Will Rogers said, “Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.”  


Success is measured by how many things you own…right? An Apple watch, the newest phone, name-brand clothing, too many pairs of shoes to count, expensive haircuts, decorations for every season, the list goes on and on.  


In more recent years, we, as a society, have noticed these characteristics in ourselves and turned to a more conservative lifestyle. For example, Marie Kondo’s book and Netflix show, “Tidying Up,” has influenced people to get rid of the things from the past that clutter their lives to make room “for the person we are becoming now.” Our belongings from the past do not define us and should not be allowed to hold us back in life. Kondo believes in owning minimal items saying, “To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose. To get rid of what you no longer need is neither wasteful nor shameful.”

Photo by Mackenzie Smith


Many also find comfort in owning less. Minimalism brings a sense of freedom, knowing that you could easily move without an abundance of things weighing you down. A lighter load makes for a lighter soul.


I have fallen into this same trap. It’s easy to fill a closet with countless clothing pieces, some that are barely distinguishable from others. Transitioning to college life has shown me that I don’t need it all. Especially when you have a dorm closet, you just can’t fit it all!  It’s ok to own less, good even! In the past few months, I have been working to own less and be less attached to the things I own. It’s a work in progress and a personal journey that will take time, however, it’s a path I’m willing to take.

Photo by Mackenzie Smith

As I’ve gotten older, I have found that the things that are truly important in life are not materialistic. Life is about relationships, not belongings. What matters at the end of the day is what it’s in our hearts, not in our hands.


So you’re convinced? You want to get rid of some things? Great! Here are some tips to help decide what should stay and what needs to go:

  1. Examine your belongings
  • It’s hard to be truthful to yourself about what you really need. But c’mon, you know you don’t need three grey shirts that are basically the same. Evaluate what you really need and can’t live without.

     2 . Think about the last time you used it

  • If it hasn’t been used in the last six months, chances are you will never use it. So throw it out!

     3. Quality over quantity

  • This is something my mom has always told me. Splurge on higher quality items that will last longer and you will actually use! 

      4. Leave materialism behind

  • Your belongings aren’t everything. Don’t let them control your life.

      5. Evaluate your belongings often

  • Don’t let this be a one time thing! Inspect your possessions often and be real with yourself about what you really need.

Don’t let this be a one time thing! Inspect your possessions often and be real with yourself about what you really need.

Photo by Mackenzie Smith

Not sure where to take your unwanted items? There’s a lot of places right here in Manhattan!

  • Manhattan Emergency Shelter

416 South 4th Street,

Manhattan, KS 66502

  • Salvation Army

310 Poyntz Ave,

Manhattan, KS 66502

  • Goodwill

421 E Poyntz Ave, 

Manhattan, KS 66502


“One day you will realize that material things mean nothing, all that matters is the well-being of the people in your life.” – Leon Brown


Manhappenin' Magazine is Kansas State University's student-created lifestyle magazine.


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