How to Be a Minimalist at University

single white chair against a wall

Practicing minimalism at university makes sense: it allows you to take advantage of a small living space, controls how much you spend, and reduces clutter. Many students are attracted to minimalism because it helps them stay organized, prevents distractions, and leads to a more sustainable lifestyle. To embrace minimalism in your own life, here are a few things you can do.

1. Don’t Bring Much with You

Set yourself up for success with a minimalist lifestyle by bringing as few things as possible to your student apartment. Rather than packing up your entire bedroom, think carefully about whether you need each particular item.

2. Create a Minimalist Wardrobe

Bring clothing to university that you can mix and match to create different outfits. Your wardrobe should consist of mostly everyday clothing and just a couple items of formalwear for things like job fairs, interviews, and nights out when you want to dress up.

3. Organize Clothing Swaps

Avoid becoming bored with your clothing by organizing clothing swaps with other students. This is a great way to find new clothes without spending anything. If you let enough people know, it can turn into a big event, meaning you’ll have plenty of clothing to choose from.

4. Share with Roommates

It makes sense to share many of the items for your living room and kitchen with your roommates. Before you move into your student apartment, talk to your roommates about what each of you will be bringing to ensure you don’t have multiples of things you can share.

5. Choose Electives That Don’t Require Extra Materials

Many artistic electives require you to purchase supplies that you won’t need for any other classes. Try to steer clear of these electives, picking ones that don’t need any extra materials. This shouldn’t mean you need to avoid all the creative electives — options like acting, graphic design, dance, and creative writing are unlikely to require any supplies you don’t already have.

6. Explore Hobbies That Need Minimal Equipment

Another way to reduce your need for supplies is to choose your hobbies carefully. University is a great time to explore new hobbies through things like clubs and intramural sports teams. Many require little or no equipment — examples include swimming, yoga, programming, drawing, and many volunteer opportunities.

7. Borrow Instead of Buying

When you do need supplies, find out if you can borrow them. You may be able to borrow from friends; if not, look into rental services. This is ideal for things you won’t need for long, such as textbooks, tools, appliances, and even clothing for special events.

8. Turn Down Freebies

It’s common for campuses to offer all sorts of free things to students, including pens, water bottles, and T-shirts. You’ll likely want to have at least one thing featuring your school’s name and logo — but you don’t need to take everything on offer. Only accept what you do need. For instance, one water bottle is likely to be enough.

9. Read Digital Books

If you’re an avid reader, you’ll soon have shelves full of books — unless you switch to digital versions. You can even find digital textbooks for many of your classes that you can still highlight and annotate. Better yet, most digital books are significantly cheaper than physical copies.

You can be a bit more lenient about leading a minimalist lifestyle if you have plenty of space. For spacious apartments near McMaster, there’s West Village Suites. You won’t need to spend much to make your space feel like home — our apartments come fully furnished and you’ll find everything else you need on site, including a fitness center, study lounges, and a games room. Contact us now to request a lease.

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