For many people, minimalism is intriguing – but a little intimidating, too. You might like the idea of paring down your lifestyle, but actually taking the plunge can be scary. Where should you start? What if you miss your old lifestyle or regret getting rid of your non-essential possessions?
It’s true that minimalism can feel scary at first when you’re not used to it, but it can also be immensely freeing and rewarding. In fact, once you take the first step, you’ll probably find that you never want to go back to your previous lifestyle. Here are seven ways minimalism will make your life better.
1. Your living space will be more welcoming.
Lots of people associate minimalism with a clean, uncluttered living space. While minimalism goes way beyond how many possessions you own or what your house looks like, it’s true that one major benefit of this lifestyle is a tidier, more appealing house or apartment. Most people own far more stuff than they need, and over the years, that stuff can turn into unsightly clutter. And as anyone who’s lived in a cluttered house knows, clutter is stressful. You’ll enjoy your living space more (and never be afraid to have guests over) when you clean out all the things you don’t need or use.
2. You’ll have more free time.
When was the last time you decluttered your schedule? Your time is the most valuable thing you own, but most of us don’t pay enough attention to where it goes. Adopting a minimalist mindset will help you become more mindful about how you spend your time. When you apply the principles of minimalism to your schedule, you’ll cut out time-wasters and activities that don’t enrich your life, and you’ll have more time to spend on the things that really matter to you.
3. You’ll be able to manage money more easily.
If you feel like your finances are slipping out of your control, or if you’d just like to stick to your budget a little more strictly, minimalism can help you. At its core, minimalism is all about cutting out the unnecessary, unproductive parts of our lives, and that includes unnecessary or unproductive spending. When you pare down your possessions to the basics, you’ll no longer feel as tempted to blow money on shopping sprees. And if, like many people, you tend to spend money to deal with other emotional problems, going minimalist will help you recognize those problems for what they are and deal with them in a constructive way.
4. You’ll let go of old burdens.
We all have numerous burdens and obligations in our lives. Often, those burdens come in the form of stuff – family heirlooms, trip souvenirs, gifts we didn’t like but felt obligated to keep, and other items with emotions attached. How much physical and mental space are those old burdens taking up in your life? It can be hard to get rid of emotionally charged things, and you certainly don’t have to get rid of everything that has sentimental value to you. But if something you own isn’t bringing you joy anymore, minimalism can help you give yourself permission to let go of it (and probably free up some emotional bandwidth in the process).
5. You’ll appreciate your loved ones more.
How often do you spend time with your family and friends? More importantly, when you spend time with your loved ones, are you really present – or is your mind somewhere else? Thanks to packed schedules and skewed priorities, many people have a hard time connecting with the people they care about most. If this sounds like you, minimalism will help you slow down, eliminate distractions, and spend more meaningful time with your loved ones. As a result, your relationships will grow stronger.
6. You’ll feel more in control of your life.
Are you steering your own course in life, or just reacting to things as they happen to you? If you’re living a typical mainstream lifestyle, it can be difficult to gain a sense of control over your life. Spending your time, money, and energy on unnecessary things can leave you feeling depleted and helpless. Take back your power by controlling your lifestyle instead of letting it control you. When you cut back to the essentials, you’ll have an easier time making decisions that move you forward, instead of just trying to keep up with all of life’s demands.
7. You’ll stop focusing on unimportant things.
It’s all too easy to lose sight of what really matters in life. Most of us spend too much time worrying about things that don’t matter, dwelling on the past, or doing things that don’t contribute to our (or others’) well-being. If you’ve wasted too much time focusing on the wrong things, minimalism will help you break that habit. Minimalism teaches you mindfulness, which will help you recognize which thoughts and activities are important and which aren’t. As a result, you’ll live more intentionally, have fewer regrets, and boost your overall happiness.
Minimalism isn’t just a fad – it’s a lifestyle and a personal philosophy with lots of serious benefits to back it up. If you’re curious about a minimalist lifestyle, why not give it a try, starting today? You have nothing to lose (except your clutter), and you just might find yourself with more time, more money, better relationships, and a brighter outlook on life.