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“Surround yourself with the things you love. Discard the rest.” Anonymous
I have recently, within the past few weeks, embarked on a minimalist journey which began when we finally got around to turning our basement into a livable living space. Of course, this naturally meant that we needed to come face to face with all the accumulated items that had taken up free lodging there. Items had to be moved, sorted and discarded in order to be able to undergo this transformation of this underused space.
Then I had an epiphany of sorts. Why not start sorting, organizing and discarding (giving away, selling, etc.) items all over? How is it that, all these years we had tolerated these unwelcome guests (useless or unused items) in our house? How did we come to have twins and triplets of different items. Obviously, we had forgotten or neglected to remember we had them and then trotted off to the store to buy more.
It was time for a serious clutter battle. It was time to sort and ditch. The Dollar Store had become my new best friend as I looked for storage containers to organize and house what I was keeping and to know what we actually had. I have been finding new ways to organize and simplify by finally facing the job that I had often avoided following: through with answering the question, once and for all: “Do I really need this and can I let go of it? I finally forced myself to let go of the excuses that had kept all thew clutter there all these years and took the minimalist plunge.
I have to say that this minimalism journey has been a game-changer for me. Already I am seeing the benefits of these past few weeks. I would like to share 10 benefits that are associated with minimalism and I can testify that they can begin to manifest even early on in the minimalist journey.
So, without further ado, here are the top 10 benefits of a minimalist lifestyle.
I’ ll be the first to admit that clutter is stressful. It can be hard on the psyche to see things everywhere piled up, lying on counters waiting to find a home, but having none. It can be stressful when you are trying to find something such as lost keys or that bag you need to pack clothes in. More than I can count, I have spent unproductive time looking for lost items. Just looking at
Minimilism can make you feel very happy (and satisfied) especially after cleaning out clutter and making a commiitment to no longer allow things to dominate your physical space. Of course, we create our own happiness, but what better way than to regain control of your personal space? Then you can be free to spend your time doing what truly makes you happy – doing the things you want to do with the peole you want to be with.
Removes Emotional As Well As Physical Baggage
Have you ever seen that character of a person walking attached to a ball and chain? Having a life filled with “stuff” feels a bit like being attached to a ball and chain sometimes. We may feel like our stuff owns us. We have to spend time and money taking care of it, maintaining it, cleaning it, fixing or replacing it. This maintenance can take a toll on us mentally and emotionally. By clearing out our physical space we also clean out our emotional space.
We all buy more than we actually use or need. And how many of us forget when we have on hand and then go out to buy more of the exact same items. minimalism teaches us to only keep what we need, love and use. We don,t have to spend extra money on impulsive buying or buying things on sale just because they are on sale. It teaches to enjoy what we have and use what we have.
Less Consumption / Less Waste
Obviously, when we buy less we waste less. Fewer boxes to throw out and fewer resources are used up in consumer consumption. It is freeing to the mind and soul to know that we are only using what we need and not draining resources or stockpiling packaging.
Clutter does not help us to keep our spaces clean. A lot of stuff accumulates and we find it hard to clean spaces in our personal environment. Also, clutter keeps our minds cluttered as well. It creates a disordered busyness in our head rather than a calm peace. Minimalizing our physical space, emptying it of clutter can help us to have a cleaner physical and mental space.
How can minimalism save us time? There are many ways, but here are a few. When we spend less time shopping for whatever (an less time traveling in traffic to get to the stores and find a parking space), we can enjoy the peace of being able to use that time in ways that we want to use it. We can save less time looking for lost items and less time trying to figure out what to wear each day. We can also spend less time trying to organize and reorganize all the time. With minimalism, everything has its place.
Following the preceding point, saving time, we also become more productive as a result, simply because we waste less time on unproductive and time-wasting activities. A minimized personal environment helps us to be more focused both physically and in our mind. It seems that having fewer things around and fewer choices to make can free up our minds to focus on what is important and get what needs to get done, done.
Attracts More Important Things And Fewer Material Things
Minimalism helps us to see what is important in our life, what we need versus what we think we need or, more to the point, what we want. As humans, we have the natural hoarding tendency in that we buy things in order to make us happy or fulfill a need or to make us feel more secure. Minimalism takes us out of that comfort zone and helps us to see and appreciate the important things in life, which are not material in nature. It attracts relationship building and experience sharing.
Finally, but not least importantly, minimalism liberates us by setting us free from a materialistically dominated lifestyle. Let,s be honest, most of us are or have been slaves to our “stuff” We spend hours at work in order to earn money to buy and accumulate our stuff and to pay for a house to store all that stuff. Many become indebted to their stuff financially and emotionally. a minimalist lifestyle sets us free from this cycle of “slavery”. We can be liberated to live more lightly with less baggage.
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Diana Lynne’s passions are family, traveling, learning, and pursuing a debt-free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life. You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca