Minimalism is the choice to live with less. Minimalists go against the consumerist culture that has become rampant in the 21st century, but they don’t just do this for no reason. The obsession over possessions has, arguably, gotten a little out of control – with many turning to minimalism, which definitely has its benefits.
Becoming a Minimalist: The Benefits of Minimalism
The attraction of consumerism has become more true since social media became inducted into society. What you have and do matters more now than ever since the world can see it.
Furthermore, we’re constantly exposing ourselves to these societal pressures that negatively affect our self-confidence when we can’t pull off the trend or fit the look. These pressures keep us looking for more.
More products, more clothes, more accessories, more appliances, more makeup, more trips, more cars, more admiration.
All of that is a bunch of noise. And noise isn’t conducive to a peaceful and happy life. Minimalism is our key to cutting through the noise in order to prioritize what really matters. We call it “making room for what’s important”.
Stuff blinds us to a lot of things. You can probably rattle off three things you want right now easier than you could three things that you want out of life.
Our attachment to material possessions is a learned behavior. On top of that, the happiness we experience from acquiring a new object is temporary and fleeting with time and trends. Think of how many things you were siked about at one point but don’t even give a second glance now.
Minimalism diminishes our physical and mental reliance on things in order to find genuine fulfillment and get things done. It challenges the idea that the more you have, the better life you live.
And there are a myriad of admittedly good benefits to backing away from the consumerist lifestyle. The good news is, it’s pretty easy to learn how to become a minimalist, and there are many different benefits of becoming one too.
The Real Benefits of Minimalism
Surely the thought of parting with our possessions is making a few skins crawl. After all, we do love our things—and those feelings are valid. But our things don’t love us. They can’t. They’re inanimate.
So why not cultivate those feelings of love in people we cherish and in making precious moments with them. Or making precious moments by ourselves (we do love ourselves!). Don’t be intimidated by the idea of living with less things, be excited by the boundless possibilities that await!
Chances are, it won’t be the easiest thing you’ve ever done when you start. But people of all backgrounds lead fulfilling and efficient minimalist lives. There are so many aspects that make minimalism a worthwhile journey and we’re going to explore what 10 of those are, next!
1. Not as much to clean
Here’s a tip for saving time on your extensive spring cleaning session: give yourself less to clean! Only keep as many dishes and utensils as you need for yourself and your family.
Minimize your closet(s) so there’s not as many clothes to wash. Less things also mean less messes, which is even less time spent cleaning.
2. Improves concentration
We encounter so many distractions every day, though I don’t think anyone would argue that our electronics are the biggest one.
The things we have keep us from accomplishing tasks, promote procrastination, and provide an opt-out of things that we’d ought to be doing. Minimalism smothers that temptation by decreasing the amount of needless distractions around you.
Working in an open space provides more room for ideas to flow seamlessly. Having a bunch of things around inhibits energy flow which can cause mental blocks. However, we’re so accustomed to being surrounded by things that we don’t know that we’re being smothered.
Give yourself some space, crack a window, and open your mind to groundbreaking and revolutionary ideas.
3. Saves money
It happens naturally when you don’t have as many things to replenish, repair, or maintenance. Decreasing what you use also decreases your living expenses, in addition to positively impacting your utility bill since you won’t be using as much water or electricity.
Minimalism also exposes and addresses poor money habits. It’s nothing to be ashamed of! A lot of us are guilty of retail therapy, dipping into our savings, and giving in to a “Sale” sign.
If you find that your costs of living are a little out of control, you could benefit from minimalism in the financial sector.
4. Makes money
That’s right! A key phase of minimalism is when you declutter. When you do sort through your things, you should set aside a pile of things that you plan to sell.
Clothes can be sold to a consignment shop, and almost anything else can be sold online or at a pawn shop for a good profit. You never know who might need it!
Only put items up for sale that are in good condition. Clothes that are permanently stained, ripped, frayed, damaged, or in poor condition should be trashed or repurposed. Items that are missing pieces, no longer operational or damaged shouldn’t be sold.
5. Saves the planet
An upside to minimalism that benefits everyone is that when you use less things, you cut down on the amount of waste you produce. It’s trash—we don’t think about it when we toss it in the trash can.
We also don’t give it much thought after it’s left our doorstep to be buried into the earth or when it’s laying on the side of the road. It’s easy not to think about, but the trash we produce does so much damage to the planet.
Contributing less waste to the environment saves the lives and habitats of animals, protects the ecosystem, and uses less natural resources.
6. Builds confidence
By detaching from material possessions, you also disconnect from the fads that are associated with these material possessions.
You’re not as pressured to “keep up with the Joneses”. You’re also not so easily influenced by outside opinions because your lifestyle without possessions has made you an independent thinker and given you a greater knowledge of self.
Knowledge of self onsets a keen awareness of your strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes, preferences, talents, and purpose. This awareness can’t be permeated by people’s disapproval.
Minimalism also calls for you to put space between yourself and your devices, including social media.
When you aren’t constantly exposed to these affectations of life, you develop an appreciation for the life you have. The landscapes are edited, the selfies are filtered–and you’re doing just fine!
7. Makes you happier
We’ve formed such a close bond with our possessions that when one of them breaks or goes missing, it hurts our heart. It really does.
We have an emotional connection and reliance on our things that give them a degree of power over our mood. When you sever this bond, you won’t be as bothered when you drop your phone in a puddle, or it won’t ruin your day when you can’t find your “absolute favorite sweater ever”.
Also, clearing out your environment supports good mental health. Your environment reflects what’s going on in your head. When your space is cluttered and unorganized, it can have a similar effect on your thoughts. The same is true if your space is clean and tidy.
8. Keeps you organized
Not being able to find something that we need is one of the worst feelings. Surely, you’ve felt the pain before. Minimalism also minimizes the possibility that your stuff will go missing.
Minimalism emphasizes the fact that everything should have a place. Just make sure you put the item back in its place after you use it, then losing your things will never be an issue! It’s also harder to misplace things when you only have things that you need.
9. Helps you manage your time
Your calendar isn’t excluded from the decluttering session. Your planner shouldn’t be filled from top to bottom. Ceaseless activity stretches the mind thin and wears on the body over time.
Filter out what activities and commitments are important in pursuing your goals and maximizing your health. This includes incorporating some “me time” into your every day to check on yourself, relax, and organize your thoughts.
Once these extraneous activities are weeded out, replace them with time doing something you love, quality time with family, or mindful activities.
10. Keeps your home ready for guests
The great thing about your minimalist home is that it’s so easy to keep orderly and neat. This works great if you’re susceptible to pop-up guests.
With so little to clean and cause messes, straightening up around your home is a quick process. You never have to worry about being caught off-guard with your home in shambles.
The idea of being without your possessions warrants apprehensiveness. If you were put in time-out or grounded as a kid/adolescent, most likely your parents took your things so you couldn’t use them.
Naturally, we associate being without our things with misery and boredom. That’s only because that’s how we’re programmed to think. We’re bound to experience a little boredom than we’re used to when we’re getting used to living without our things, but the lack of stimulation breeds creativity and innovation.
When you don’t have distractions from your inner brilliance constantly at your disposal, you discover that you’re capable of a lot more than you would have otherwise imagined. This is where switching from maximalism to minimalism becomes a good idea.
There are an endless list of reasons why people pursue a minimalist lifestyle. Why you’re engaging in minimalism will affect how you go about it and what rules and goals you put in place for yourself.
It’s all about what you want to get out of your minimalist experience. Just by doing it, though, you’re bound to gain something positive!