What is Minimalism and Why Is It Becoming So Popular?
With most of us swimming in a sea of stuff and an ocean of “to do’s,” minimalism is gaining popularity as more people begin to realize the benefits of moving from a consumer mentality to a simpler lifestyle.
While the media is full of stories about people who got rid of everything, the truth is that there is a lot of variance regarding what actually constitutes a minimalist lifestyle.
For many people, it simply makes sense to start small by reducing the amount of clutter in one area of their home, while others purge until they pare their possessions down to only the things they need to survive. Either way, learning to make do with less always leads to a new mindset that impacts every aspect of your life.
This is why minimalism is becoming so popular and providing much needed relief for many.
So What Is Minimalism?
It is important to understand that minimalism is more than just scaling down the amount of things you own. Likewise, it definitely doesn’t mean you have to live in a tiny house or never eat out at a restaurant again.
It can also apply to reducing the amount of time you spend on unnecessary tasks, or you may decide to reduce the size of your social circle to just the people that truly make your life amazing.
For a parent, minimalism could mean cutting out unnecessary purchases and spending more on experiences with the kids. Alternatively, an urban college student may decide to ditch the car, and walk to neighborhood stores.
Really, it is a change in the way you view things, the way you think and ultimately, the way you navigate through the world.
As you explore what a minimalist lifestyle is for you, one of the biggest benefits is being able to adapt it to fit your specific needs. Whether you hold a household giveaway or just clear out a shelf in the closet, embracing minimalism offers many benefits for your life.
Here are 9 Benefits that Come from Embracing a Minimalist Lifestyle
1. Focus on Experiences
In today’s society, many people view shopping as a pleasurable experience. However, what most people don’t notice is that they are always searching for the next new thing. Satisfaction wanes quickly after a purchase, and this leads to an endless cycle of buying more stuff to feel happy. With minimalism, the focus is on creating experiences that build memories that last far longer than the latest cool gadget.
2. Promote an Less Stressful Lifestyle
Many of the things taking up space in your home and the constant on-the-go style of our lives, contributes to stress. Paring down on the stuff you own and the things you do, reduces stress.
Whether this means getting rid of stuff that’s cluttering your space or that you simply don’t use, getting rid of things, clears space and reduces stress. It leaves you time and space to focus on the things that matter to you.
3. Eliminate Past Baggage
As you start to embrace a more minimalist lifestyle, you will come across things that you only keep for sentimental reasons. Some of these things may even make you feel a little nostalgic or sad about the past, such as that outgrown prom dress. Removing these items from your home creates space for you to fill with beautiful memories starting in the present.
If it is hard for you to part with such items, that is understandable. Only do it once you are ready. This is not supposed to create more stress in the process. A great tip from Joshua Becker, author of The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own is to take a picture of things you want to purge, but that you feel sentimental about. That way, you can refer to the image if you want to, but the picture takes up much less space than the item itself.
4. Inspire Creativity
Living with less often means thinking outside of the box to find new uses for the things you keep. For example, a dresser can serve to store items that are not just clothes. Deciding to consume less also promotes creativity by giving you more time to make the things that make you happy.
5. Find Freedom From Financial Stress
Adopting a minimalist lifestyle often results in less debt. This is because all of those purchases you make to fill up your house add up. Once you realize that you no longer need to buy into the hype about the newest products on the market, you can begin cutting your spending and eliminating debt.
This is often one of the biggest reasons people find themselves attracted to a minimalist lifestyle.
6. Simplify Housekeeping
In addition to spending a lot of time purchasing stuff, you also spend the bulk of your day cleaning the stuff you own. Dusting, picking up toys and washing dishes all take up valuable time, and a cluttered home leaves you scrambling to pick up when company is coming over. With less stuff, your space just stays clean.
7. Discover Your True Self
Many people define themselves by the things they own. However, keeping up with a household full of stuff takes time away from being able to find your true sense of purpose. Stripping away all of the consumer-minded trappings provides the chance to reveal the person you truly are inside.
8. Spend More Time With Loved Ones
One of the biggest benefits that minimalists discover when they purge the clutter is that they now have more time to spend with the people who matter. Instead of nagging your kids to pick up their toys, you can spend your time with them exploring nature or creating a masterpiece.
Since your home will always be ready for company, you will also look forward to visiting with your friends doing meaningful things without the distractions created by excess clutter.
9. Pursue Your Passions
Spend a few minutes focusing on the things you really love, and ask yourself how much time you spent being able to do them during the past week. If you feel that the things that bring you joy are often set aside so you can manage other responsibilities, then a minimalist lifestyle could be the answer for being able to pursue your passions.
Write that novel, take time to simply read a novel, volunteer, be more present with the kids or simply take a walk in nature. All of these things become possible when you carve out time and space to truly be free to dive into your passions.
Our Favorite Minimalism Resources: