What does it mean to be a Minimalist? It can mean different things to different people, but essentially, it is about not having anything that does not bring value to your life. If you don’t need it, don’t keep it. If you are not sure if you need it, don’t keep it. Pare down to the essentials and live a simpler, clutter-free, more streamlined life.
Minimalism is an evolving process of being aware of what you actually “need” versus what you think you need. It is taking a look at your possessions and assessing whether they are bringing you joy, or stress. It is not about having only 100 (or 33, or however many things are the saying du jour), it is about having what you need — and what you love.
As The Minimalists (Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nickodemus) say:
“Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.”
Basically, our stuff gets in our way. We spend way too much time thinking about it, storing it, protecting it, and making money to acquire more of it.
Here are 8 ways you can benefit from living a Minimalist lifestyle.
1. You save time
You don’t have to go looking for things when you have less things. There are no piles to sort through, no boxes to move around, and less confusion about what you have. When you have less, it is easier to keep organized, which saves you time in finding what you need, when you need it. Everything then is able to have its place.
2. You save money
When you step away from Consumerism, you also shift away from the need to have the newest, latest, fanciest model; even when the model you already have works just fine. You also realize you can do more with less. The need to acquire more to bring value to your life changes, so you can value what you already have even more. You can then use that extra money you’ve saved to spend on experiences, such as travel, rather than on more “things.”
3. You are more mobile
If you had to pack up your house in a day and move, could you? Your version of minimalism may not be so extreme as to be able to carry everything in one knapsack around the world with you, but simplifying your stuff can make travel much easier.
4. You feel more free
I am not just talking about minimalism in relation to physical possessions, but also in doing away with being too busy, too over-committed, or in letting go of relationships in your life that get in the way of you feeling free.
5. You feel more peaceful
When someone walks into a minimalist’s room with things of beauty, but no clutter, they can feel a sense of calm and ease. If you are feeling stressed, try getting rid of things and making space for calm in your home.
6. You are more efficient
When you have less on your plate, you are more focused on the tasks at hand. A clear and uncluttered work-space; for example, leads to increased productivity.
7. You can clean your house much easier
It’s simple. The less you have to clean on, in, or around, the less time you spend cleaning, and the more time you get to spend enjoying your living space.
8. You lessen your ecological footprint
Buying less stuff and producing less waste is better for the landfills, and the environment. Also, if you streamline even further to have one car per family (or even no car) you’ll be reducing your emissions, and not contributing to pollution.
The choice to become a minimalist may not seem like an easy one, but if you focus on simplifying, step by step, you will find yourself feeling much more free.
Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.imgix.net