Why Minimalism Just Makes Sense
In this post I am going to lump simple living and minimalism together even though there are some differences between the two concepts. Minimalism (or simple living) is more than just having fewer possessions and more space. The benefits can extend far beyond the physical. Some call minimalism a movement, a fad or a trend that will last until people get bored or tired of it and get off the minimalist train. But what is minimalism really at its very core? I believe it is a response to people becoming increasingly tired of our physical and emotional spaces being overstuffed with things and obligations. They are tired of the incessant noise and clutter that surrounds us all and perhaps they simply want to create their space to reflect their need to get away and focus on what is important.
I believe, as well, that minimalism has all sorts of shades and definitions. For some, minimalism might be simply about clearing their agenda and freeing up time. For others, it might be getting rid of possessions that might be dragging them down and creating an aesthetic space where they can feel calm and relaxed. And for others, it might be a rejection of a materially focused way of living and a return to simpler living.
So, with this out f the way, here are 15 ways that minimalism makes a lot of sense.
1. Minimalism liberates
Having fewer things around us and organizing what we do have can bring a deep sense of satisfaction and freedom. What are we free from? We are free from possessions that need cleaning, repairing, replacing or storing. Think about the public storage that people pay to rent to store their “stuff” that they have no room for. This situation would not make me feel free. Rather, I would feel owned by my possessions, chained to them financially as well as physically. There is freedom in not having much. I liken it to the traveler with a backpack versus a traveler with two big suitcases. The first is free to go anywhere, whereas the second has to lug the two suitcases around.
2. Minimalism makes us more productive
Having a lot of things around us can slow us down in doing our work. Clutter buries and hides things and we have to spend more time hunting down what we can’t find. Before we can even sit down to work, we have to sort out, clean up and organize everything. And, a cluttered spaced creates cluttered, disorganized thoughts as well. The clutter around us will make it hard for us to begin our work and focus on getting it done. Having a clear space in which to work just makes sense to be able to accomplish our tasks.
3. Minimalism makes us less stressed
The more things we have around us, the more we have to take care of- clean, maintain and fix. In our already busy lives, having all these things can demand even more of our time. Not only this, but we have to work (use out time) in order to finance our possessions such as our cars, our furniture and all the machines that hang out in our basement and garages. Having to work in order to pay for our “stuff” on top of our needs can very stressful. Minimizing what we choose to have around us and being intentional about what we actually need can significantly reduce our stress levels.
4. Minimalism means we spend less money
It just makes sense – when you buy less, you spend less and that is a wonderful advantage to the minimalist lifestyle. We can enjoy what we do have more often and longer. It gives us a reason to say no to publicity, shopping centers, and alluring marketing schemes.
5. Minimalism makes cleaning easier
Cleaning can take up a good chunk of our time especially when we have a lot of knickknacks to clean. Moving things around, dusting our decorations can increase the time we need to clean and the drudgery of having to pay attention to so many details. Imagine countertops that are free of clutter, bookcases with open spaces or living room space that you can actually move around in without bumping into something. All tthe free space, clear counters and floors will make cleaning more enjoyable and less frustrating.
6. Minimalism is restful
Clean uncluttered spaces are always more calming than spaces filled with a lot of things. Cluttered spaces can make us feel more anxious. I know when I have clutter around me that last thing I feel like doing is to lay back and relax. I feel like i need to be doing something. Busy spaces have that effect of making us feel we should be busy ourselves. With clean open spaces, we can take some “me” time, spend more time with our loved ones or go out for coffee with a friend and not be worried about having to face a disorganized house when we return.
7. Minimalism helps the environment
Any decision that uses fewer resources is an environmentally friendly decision and that is what minimalism is. It is saying no to a processed world, to the production and transportation of material goods as well as refusing to consume products that are not needed. Minimalism chooses to have fewer things and enjoy them without craving more “stuff”.
8. Minimalism allows us to focus on quality rather than quantity
Minimalism is about living well with less. This means less money spent on fewer things. Rather than accumulating a lot of possessions such as clothes or workshop tools or kitchen gadgets, the money that you save from not buying what is not really necessary can be used to invest in higher quality items that you do need and which will last longer. So, for example, instead of having closets and drawers full of clothes that you may never wear, you can now invest in fewer but higher quality clothing and the same is true for whatever you need to buy.
9. Minimalism frees up our time
Time is the one commodity that we can not control. It slips away with the minutes, hours and days. We can not get it back. So why would we want to spend this precious resource on things that do not have the same value as time? Why would we not want to make the most of the time we have and enjoy it rather than using it on business and things? Minimalism helps us to see that we don’t actually need to exchange the better part of our life working to pay for possessions. We can make choices that value time over things and ultimately have more time because of these choices.
10. Minimalism frees us to do what we love
In the same vein as number 6, minimalism helps us to free up our time in order to do what we love rather than what we feel we have to do in order to pay for what we have. I am not suggesting that we need to quit our jobs and become free-living hippies. What I am suggesting is that we become more mindful of how we spend our time and what we spend it doing? For example, could we reevaluate where we are wasting time that could be used to develop a lifestyle that we would like to have? Could we develop a side hustle that could eventually become our main source of income and free us up? Life is not just about work. Life is about living.
11. Minimalism frees up our finances for noble causes
With the money that we don,t spend on needless purchases and the accumulation of things that take-up space, we can redirect these resources to causes that are much nobler. We can contribute to charities or helping out people around us. Money and things are not meant to be accumulated. They are for assisting us in our own lives and investing in the lives of others.
12. Minimalism is more aesthetic
Definitely, spaces that are uncluttered are more aesthetic. It is easier to see and appreciate what you have and enjoy it. Imagine clear counter space and sparsely, decorated rooms accented with a few choice pictures or objects that you value. This is pleasing to the eye which can appreciate the beauty of simple.
13. Minimalism frees us from the past
Holding on to memorabilia from the past reminds us of the past. For many of us, it can be difficult to let go for fear of losing the memories. But these objects from the past can tie us to the past and make it difficult for us to move forward. The past can make us feel guilty and throwing out the memorabilia can be heart-wrenching for many. While it is good to hold on to a few significant items from the past, most of what we hold on to (just in case) is not helping us to grow and move forward. Getting rid of souvenirs from the past is a hard step to take, but, ultimately, doing so will set you free from your past.
14. Minimalism is good for health
Less stress, fewer anxious feelings, fewer guilty feelings about what we ought to be doing – all of these can contribute to better well being. When we are rushed, busy going places to work or shop, life can be hectic. When we are stressed about making car payments or buying mandatory presents, buying fast food because we don’t have enough time to slow down and make meals – all these can play havoc on our health. But imagine the freedom of not having to succumb to the material world. Imagine how choosing not to buy excessively can make you feel so much better. Our consumer society is not good for our health, so we have to make choices that can have a positive impact on our health.
15. Minimalism contributes to overall happiness
And finally, there is the happiness factor – that elusive ideal that everyone seeks after. Of course, no one can be happy all the time, but we can make choices that will give us little shots of happiness. It is all about being thankful for what we have. The minimalist mindset is a grateful mindset. It is appreciating the little things in life and making time for people and experiences over things. This gratefulness contributes to overall happiness
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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