Living minimalistically is going to look different for each person. One person may only own 100 items, or sell their house, ditch the job and travel. For others it means living very purposefully: each item owned has purpose (or multiple purposes) and each activity done has purpose. There is no one way to be a minimalist. But all minimalists have things in common. If you are considering living minimally, here are some reasons to embrace it and take the plunge:
1. Minimalism gives focus. Having fewer material possessions helps focus on things that are truly important to you. Can you relate to the person who walks into the kitchen to take a sip of their coffee, notices the bills, goes to find the checkbook, sees the trash can is full, removes the bag to take outside, but sees the pet food is low and sets the trash down, fills the pets food, then takes the water dish into the kitchen, pauses to wash the dishes, but the dish towel needs to be washed so heads to the laundry room… you get the idea, right? Living minimally removes the distractions of your life.
2. Minimalism gives emotional stability. Your home is a reflection of what is going on inside you. If you clear away the clutter and deal with the difficult emotions of getting rid of something, it does your heart good. That may mean getting rid of a sentimental item, that conjures up unpleasant feelings, and it may mean forgiving someone that has wronged you. Minimalism isn’t just an outside activity, it’s letting go of emotional clutter as well.
3. Minimalism means less stress in your life. Cleaning the house, doing the laundry, washing the dishes all take up less time if you have a smaller amount of things. A minimalist is careful about what commitments they make and keeps their schedule simplified, they evaluate their occupation and possibly change it to a job with less time and physical requirements, even if that means less of an income.
4. Minimalism will save you money. When you change your thought process for why you have items in your possession, it effects your spending habits. What will you really need to shop for? If you streamline your closet, you will already know what style/brand/color you need and it will be simple to purchase it and either leave the store or click away from the website. There is no need to linger and shop, because there is no need. Your focus will no longer be on things you want, but on things you can do. So much more fun to take a walk and enjoy the day than it is to creatively rearrange stuff!
5. Minimalism lets you find yourself. When possessions are stripped away, one has to be honest with themselves. Most of us have lived our lives, making decisions based on how others will view that decision. Often we aren’t even truthful with ourselves about who we are, what we believe and why we do the things we do.
6. Minimalism forces you to interact with others around you. You won’t have the excuse of a messy house or an over committed schedule. You will have free time to take dance classes or sit on the floor with your children and do puzzles or play Monopoly all day. There isn’t a rush about life, so you will have the freedom to sit and chat. No more hiding behind endless possessions and unproductive committees.
7. Minimalism gives purpose. As your view of possessions change, a minimalist becomes aware of resources used, how it effects lives and environment. Buying clothes means thinking about the quality, fabric and construction, will it last many years instead of filling the landfill in 6 months? Was the cotton farmer given a fair price, was there was chemicals used in the growing or the processing that effect the environment, were the workers adults, paid a fair wage and treated respectably? Each aspect of your life can make a good difference in the world, as it was meant to be.