If you’re here, then you’ve probably heard a little bit about minimalism. It’s trendy topic right now, covered on several blogs and news sites. But what does it mean to be a minimalist? What are the benefits to minimalism? In the end, is all the purging really worth the effort?
After 3+ years of exploring the minimalist lifestyle, I can confirm that there are definitely benefits to living minimally. Minimalism is not a magic bullet that will solve all of your life problems, but it is a helpful strategy if you are looking to make healthy changes to your life
Thankfully, you don’t have to count all of your possessions or move into a tiny house (unless you want to). There are many methods for decluttering and owning less, and there is no right or wrong method. It’s really a mindset for how you approach life and you have to find the balance that works for you.
Here are the 6 benefits I’ve experienced by owning less, decluttering my home, and beginning my minimalism journey.
1. Save Money
This is the most obvious benefit and one you’ll notice right away. Buying less and owning less saves money.
I used to shop as a hobby. I was always on the hunt for that one item that would change my life, make me more attractive to my partner and more successful at work, whether it was a dress, a lipstick, a gym bag, whatever. It sounds ridiculous to write it because I would never have said it in those words, but looking back that was my motivation. I was looking for something externally to make me happy internally.
Shopping less is a great way to spend less money (duh). I still have to buy food and clothes, but I don’t mindlessly shop anymore. I’ve also accepted that no “thing” will make me happy.
2. More Time
For me, this has been the biggest benefit to minimalism. When I stopped filling my time with shopping and accumulating stuff, I had more time for activities that bring actual joy to my life, things like hanging out with my family, going for walks, and reading good books.
3. Less to Take Care Of
Everything you own also owns you own. You have to take care of everything you own, whether it’s washing it, storing it, fixing it, or eventually tossing it. This goes back to the previous point about more time. Wouldn’t you rather spend your time doing things you enjoy rather than chores?
4. Less Guilt
There are so many forms of guilt. Guilt about spending too much money. Guilt for not spending enough time with family. Guilt for being late, too busy, too tired, overwhelmed, unhappy, distracted. The list could go on much longer.
With minimalism, I can let go of things that don’t bring me joy without feeling guilty about it. Things can include material possessions, but also friendships, activities, or commitments.
5. Being Present
Another major benefit I’ve noticed with minimalism is the ability to be more present in the moment. After reviewing all of the things in my life, I’m more aware of what’s left around me. I’m no longer looking for the next distraction. I’m purposefully focused on what I’m doing.
6. Your Home is Your Oasis
Have you ever noticed how relaxing it is to walk into a hotel room? Think about how it feels in the room before you start to unpack. The surfaces are clear of clutter, the bed is nicely made, and there is nothing strewn across the floor.
Why is a hotel room so relaxing? Being clean definitely helps. But hotel rooms are also spatially furnished. There are no knick knacks on the dresser or throw pillows on the bed.
When you own less stuff, your house will be emptier, which just plain makes it more relaxing to be there. Like a clean hotel room, only better because you get to be there every day.
Is minimalism worth it? I think so. I’ve seen major improvements in my life during the past 3 years. Did minimalism fix every issue in my life? Far from it. But minimalism gave me the space to focus on myself, which made all of the purging and focusing worth it.
I’d love to hear your thoughts or experiences with minimalism in the comments!