The Best Cities to Live In for a Minimalist Lifestyle

Updated: Apr. 06, 2024

Want to explore the possibility of a more clutter-free lifestyle? These are 10 of the best cities for minimalist living.

Best Cities to Live In for Families

If you’ve been toying with the idea of living a better life with less, you might consider relocating to one of the best cities for minimalist living. These cities allow residents to reevaluate what’s important and explore a more balanced lifestyle. Not to mention the most enjoyable part: getting to lean into a minimalist style in your home. Minimalist bedroom design ideas, anyone?

Also, before you move ahead check these best cities to live in for families.

What Makes a City Ideal for Minimalist Living?

RentCafe recently ranked 96 cities with populations over 200,000 to see which cities are the easiest to adopt a minimalist lifestyle. ( Also learn about 15 minute city ). They considered things such as home size, electricity bills, eco-friendly practices like biking, access to self-storage, natural landscape and Google searches related to minimalism.

The places that rank on this list of the best cities for minimalist living do so for a few reasons. For starters, residents can dive into a more minimalist lifestyle if a location doesn’t have much space. Additionally, highly walkable cities or those with a robust public transportation system promote minimalism, so you may not need a vehicle.

Other cities on this list score high for minimalist living because they feature ample opportunities to get outdoors so residents are content with less indoor space. Alternatively, some places have a high concentration of residents interested in leading a more mindful life.

Ready to learn more about the best cities for minimalist living? Let’s get started. And don’t worry—we’ve got you covered with suggestions for the best long-distance moving companies as you navigate relocating to one of these incredible cities.

The Top Cities for Minimalist Living

Friendly team harvesting fresh vegetables from the rooftop greenhouse gardenjulief514/Getty Images

  1. Salt Lake City, Utah: One of the best cities for minimalist living is indisputably Salt Lake City, Utah. Salt Lake City boasts an extremely high bike-ability score, which means you might not need the added expense of a car. Additionally, the city is somewhat walkable, so on days you’d prefer not to bike, you can run errands on foot instead. Plus, Salt Lake City has gained a reputation for its variety of outdoor activities to explore, so residents can get outdoors instead of staying inside.
  2. Arlington, Virginia: Arlington, Virginia, nestled in the Washington, DC metropolitan area also ranks on our list of the best cities for minimalist living. Arlington features 527 miles of sidewalks, so you can cut back on your car usage. Plus, getting around Arlington is a breeze thanks to the ART, an easy-to-use public transportation system.
  3. San Diego, California: San Diego is applauded for having one of the best climates in the United States which means there’s plenty of opportunity to spend time outdoors and no need to have a large living space. Plus, its residents are known for their laid-back disposition and the average resident spends just over 26 minutes per day commuting to work.
  4. New York, New York: According to RentCafe, the average apartment in New York City is just over 700 square feet—which doesn’t leave much surplus space. (So, yes, you’ll need these minimalist chef essentials.) As you might have guessed, this makes the Big Apple one of the best cities for minimalist living as many residents simply don’t have excess room for non-essentials.
  5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Similar to New York City, the average apartment in Philadelphia is 794 square feet, which reveals residents are comfortable living in small spaces. Plus, almost a quarter of residents in “Philly” work from home, so you might be able to get by on public transportation—the city boasts the nation’s sixth largest public transit network as it serves over a million customers daily.
  6. Seattle, Washington: Over the last 12 months, residents in the Seattle, Washington metropolitan area are responsible for many searches for ‘minimalist lifestyle,’ according to Google Trends. Plus, out of all U.S. cities, Seattle has the second largest amount of people who work remotely, which means you might not need your car.
  7. Miami, Florida: Considering its proximity to the ocean, it’s no wonder Miami is a minimalist’s heaven. In fact, it’s the sixth most walkable city in the entire nation. With its sun-drenched climate, residents are able to spend their days outdoors—and we love how the average commute in Miami is getting quicker.
  8. Portland, Oregon: One look at Google Trends reveals that Portland, Oregon residents are interested in living a minimalist lifestyle. Portland is renowned for its environmentally-friendly, affordable and sensible public transportation options, so if you’re looking to reduce your eco-footprint or say goodbye to your vehicle, you can do so here.
  9. Orlando, Florida: Up next is Orlando, Florida. This city boasts a tiny house community with a gorgeous location. Plus, Orlando features excellent weather year-round so residents can get active.
  10. St. Paul, Minnesota: Last on the list of the best cities for minimalist living is St. Paul. The average apartment in the city is just over 800 square feet, so residents don’t need a surplus of space. Plus, St. Paul has the second best park system in the country, so people can enjoy free outdoor space whenever they need it.