As the type of person who always strives to live a frugal life, lately I’ve also been delving into the world of minimalism. Don’t get me wrong– no one would walk into my house today and accuse me of being a minimalist, but it is definitely something I’m trying to embrace. I’ve gone from knowing nothing about the topic to reading everything about it that I can get my hands on (and there is a lot of information on the internet about minimalism!)
As it turns out, the more I learn about living a minimalist lifestyle, the more I realize that frugality and minimalism have a lot of basic principles in common– living with less, being happy with less, and spending less money as a result.
What Is Minimalism?
If you’ve never heard of minimalism, its basic idea is to only live with what you need now and let go of the rest. The idea is that once you reduce your clutter, you will enjoy the benefits of it so much that you won’t continue to buy more unneeded stuff to add to your newly decluttered home.
The freedom that comes with the release of all of your extra clutter allows you to focus on more important things, such as spending time with those you love or working on your favorite hobbies, so it’s good for your spirit and for your wallet.
Minimalism is Addictive
When I first began to hear about it, I dove in head first and got addicted to reducing our household clutter. I started going through every drawer, cabinet, and closet until I got my decluttering fix and felt satisfied.
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Endless streams of boxes, trash bags, and random heaps of junk started flying out of my house, and as soon as I thought I was finished and hauled off my last box of goods to charity, another pile started to form. I’d go through all of the same drawers, cabinets, and closets again to find more stuff that we could do without and repeat the cycle.
Instead of feeling regret or panic about getting rid of our stuff, I felt invigorated. I’ve never been close to being a hoarder, but I never realized how much my clutter (like debt) mentally weighed me down until I started taking care of it.
I still have a long way to go, but I really love walking into each room and enjoying its openness, and I get excited about the empty drawer we now have in our kitchen. Yes, empty.
It Saves You Money
Much like frugality, minimalism helps you realize that spending money and surrounding yourself with a bunch of extra things don’t ultimately bring us happiness. Paring down your belongings and assessing what you truly need helps remove the temptation to purchase more goods to bring into your home.
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By removing the excess from your life and living with less, you learn to be satisfied with what you already have. You finally have enough. You spend less money. There’s less clutter and less maintenance. You decide you don’t need the latest and greatest (but ultimately disposable) i-gadgets. You aren’t wasteful because there’s no excess. You free up your time, money, and your mind and become a more satisfied person in the process.
But don’t take it from me. If you’ve never tried it before, start small and declutter a closet, cabinet, drawer, or small room, and then decide how you feel about it once you’re done. If you get the same buzz that I do from it, if you feel better afterwards and don’t miss the things you’ve gotten rid of, you may just find yourself with a new (and healthy) addiction.
Have you ever tried minimalism? Do you feel good about getting rid of clutter, or does it stress you out just thinking about it? What is one area of your house that you just feel like you can’t free from stuff?