Minimalist Lifestyle: Why Less is Often More

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Feel like you’re overloaded by social pressure to own more, resulting in mountains of useless clutter that clog your house and consequently your mind? Then, by now you’ve probably heard about minimalism from your family, friends or colleagues, and maybe you’ve already followed someone’s advice and decluttered your kitchen or bedroom closet. But what exactly is minimalism, and why is it so great to own fewer things? In other words, what exactly are the benefits of a minimalist lifestyle?

Minimalism Explained

In contrast to what many people might believe, a minimalist lifestyle is not just about owning an x amount of stuff, selling your car and quitting your career to travel the world by yourself and never have kids. In fact, there’s no reason why you couldn’t be a minimalist if you enjoy your successful career, have 3 kids and drive a minivan in the suburbs – minimalism is all about changing your state of mind, not just about owning less.

When Less is More

Having said that, of course, there is an important part of a minimalist lifestyle that is about owning less. Minimizing the amount of stuff you own will not only clear up closet space and make cleaning a lot faster, but it’s also been proven that decluttering contributes to a calmer state of mind. Think about it: the last time you finally went through that one junk drawer in your bathroom, weren’t you met with a sense of calm once you got rid of the unnecessary stuff? Sure, you weren’t consciously thinking about those things, but unconsciously our possessions occupy more of our mind than we realize. Owning only the things you need, love or use will drastically decrease your stress level, and can ultimately help you achieve a happier and more fulfilling life!

Prioritizing Becomes Easier

Now that your mind is not occupied with thinking about stuff you don’t even like or use, it becomes a whole lot easier to spend your time on things that actually matter to you; you are free to prioritize. Instead of cleaning your messy kitchen or spending hours figuring out which of your 50 pairs of shoes to wear, you can now do meaningful things with your time. For example, you can finally read that book that has been collecting dust on the shelf, or call up that friend you haven’t seen in ages and catch up. Maybe you’ll finally have time and energy to cook (and save some money by not eating out… again) or find a gap in your schedule that wasn’t there before to simply spend on relaxing. Whatever it is that you want to be doing, by dismissing the time spent on going through useless clutter you free up enough time in your days to do all of it and more.

Owning Less and Appreciating More

If you own less stuff, you’re likely to appreciate all your possessions more. It makes such a huge difference if you buy a shitty t-shirt from H&M every other week or instead spend a little more on that one quality clothing item you truly love. Buying one thing that you will use and cherish for years to come will not only save you money in the long run but owning few (quality) items will make you feel more thankful for owning them. Also, by adopting a minimalist lifestyle and ridding yourself of the social pressure to own as much as possible of all the right things, you are now free to own the things you want to own. Of course, that leads to appreciating your items even more!

Memories, Not Things

When you’re limiting your purchases to only things you truly want or need, you’re likely going to end up with some spare cash – another great benefit of a minimalist lifestyle! Instead of spending that money on useless stuff, spend in on something that will truly contribute to the happiness of yourself and/or others. For example, invite your friends to a nice dinner, or take your family for a short vacation. Memories are a whole lot more valuable than things, and investing your money in creating those memories makes every penny spent worth so much more.

Clarity and Purpose

Once you’ve adopted a minimalist lifestyle, something incredible will start to happen. Now that you and your mind are not occupied thinking about impressing others with your new car or what phone to buy next, you’ll suddenly feel a sense of clarity return to your life. There’s no useless clutter in your way anymore, and the path to your purpose in life will be free. Without all the meaningless things in your life, the things that do have meaning stand out tall – almost impossible to miss! Honour those things that matter to you, and say goodbye to the things that don’t. Before you know it, you’ll be living the life you never knew you desired.

What do you do to incorporate minimalism into your life?