I have a confession to make. I used to be an addict. Not to alcohol, drugs or any other substance; I was addicted to stuff.
However, after gradually adopting a more minimalist lifestyle, I’ve seen immense benefits in my life and the way I show up each day.
Despite what many people think, becoming minimalist doesn’t require you to sell all your stuff, abandon all technology and move to the mountains. Rather, the true essence of minimalism lies in having what you truly need and letting go of what you don’t. It’s about surrounding yourself with the people and things that serve you; nothing more and nothing less.
Many people may wonder why someone would want to start reducing their “stuff,” especially when there’s always the latest and greatest thing to be had, but the benefits of adopting a more minimalist lifestyle and simplifying our environment go far beyond simplify owning less.
Check out the list below of what will start to happen when you become more minimalist.
1. You will become more happy & grateful.
With fewer distractions around you, the little things in life are given some room to be noticed. Whereas before you were fixated on your stuff, suddenly things like sunsets, birds singing or simply a blue sky become far more appreciated. You also become more grateful for the things you do still have after simplifying your environment, realizing that you have everything you need to be happy.
2. You will be able to travel more.
This one is a bit of a no-brainer. By owning less, there’s less tying you down should you decide to change locations. This could be a permanent change in residence or even a holiday. Either way, fewer possessions means fewer things to worry about moving or storing.
3. You will become more flexible.
Not being tied down by possessions or distractions also means you have more time for last-minute adventures. There’s not as much to consider when a fun opportunity emerges, which usually leads to greater life experiences and stories.
4. You will become a better friend/partner.
Another aspect of minimalism is removing the negative relationships in our lives that aren’t serving us. In this way, you are left only with friends and loved ones who make you feel good, which allows your best self to emerge.
5. You will develop an eye for quality.
As I mentioned in the intro, becoming minimalist doesn’t meaning owning as little as possible or living as cheaply as possible. It’s about living only with that which you truly need. That being said, when you do decide to purchase something, you’ll learn to appreciate quality items. It’s as if you pass every potential purchase through a sieve in order to determine if it’s worth including in your life.
6. You will save money.
It amazes me how so many people complain about not having enough money, yet they become almost oblivious to their spending. With fewer recurring expenses and/or items purchased, you will end up with more money each month to put towards more worthwhile causes. This may be in the form of savings, your own business, a travel fund or investing in more quality items. The choice is yours (and it’s a nice one to have).
7. You will start liking every outfit you wear.
One of the biggest areas where many of us can declutter is our wardrobe. When I started to remove the clothing I hardly ever wore, I was left with only my favorite items. In this way, I save loads of time getting dressed and always feel good about what I’m wearing, no matter what the occasion.
8. You will be more productive with your time.
Becoming minimalist will not give you more time (which nothing can do), but it will allow you to make better use of your time. This is due to having fewer things to clean and organize, spending less time searching for missing items and creating a more productive working space. This also allows you to spend your time doing things you enjoy, such as your hobbies or relaxing with friends or loved ones.
9. You will become less stressed.
Our external environment plays a big role in our internal world. When we start allowing things to pile up, it creates a stressful response and we can easily become overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done or taken care of. By adopting a minimalist approach, we become more in control of the things in our lives.
10. You will become more creative.
By eliminating clutter from our lives, we create space for brilliant ideas to emerge. How often have you had a brilliant idea pop in your head while simply going for a walk or sitting outside (without your phone)? This is no coincidence.
From the examples above, it’s clear that all of us could benefit from a little decluttering, no matter what that may look like personally. Do you live a minimalist life? What benefits have you noticed since simplifying your environment?
Featured photo credit: Family on the Beach by Visit St. Pete/Clearwater via flickr.com