I don’t think it’s news to anyone that I’m a huge fan of minimalism. Minimalism has enhanced my life so much that I want to share it with anyone who will listen. It has helped me find the answers to some of life’s more important questions like: Will my life be complete without this bundt pan? and How long will it take me to actually use up 82 hair ties?
All kidding aside, there are so many wonderful ways minimalism can enhance your life. Although it is often associated with decluttering, once you do embrace the lifestyle, its message of simplicity starts to permeate so many different aspects of your life. Here are five reasons to become a minimalist.
Become a Minimalist to Save Money
I’ve written at length before about how minimalism and frugality go hand in hand, and that’s because both lifestyles help you save money. With minimalism, paring down actually helps you save money today as well as in the future because you reduce your future need for things.
Along with reducing maintenance and storage costs by getting rid of things that no longer give you value, after you’ve pared down and feel the benefits of owning less, it encourages you to think harder the next time you’re tempted to buy something.
Do I really need this new widget? Will it add any value to my life? Will I be decluttering this, a year from now? Will it cost me money to store or maintain it?
It will help you think constructively and question yourself anytime you want to spend money on future purchases.
To Clean Less
I really hate cleaning. Dusting, mopping, washing dishes, scrubbing sinks and toilets– I could do without it all. Fortunately, owning less stuff means doing less cleaning, and that is a big motivator for me in my path to minimalism.
Getting rid of pieces of furniture that you no longer use and things sitting on the floor means less to maneuver around when you’re cleaning the floors. Keeping your surfaces clear of tchotchkes means less to dust, and clean kitchen counter-tops encourage you to cook at home (and save money in the process.)
To Make Fewer Decisions
Since I’ve always had a hard time making decisions, I worry myself with decision fatigue constantly, and that’s frustrating and exhausting. Just as financial money management tools like Personal Capital can help you spend less time agonizing over budgeting and investing decisions, cleaning out a closet is a good way to simplify your decision making about what to wear each day. I had a closet stuffed with clothes, shoes, purses, and an endless amount of daily decisions, so I started my paring down process there.
Although what to wear in the morning isn’t a big decision in the scheme of things, choosing an outfit out of an overly stuffed closet was yet another decision to make each day that I didn’t really need, so I started getting rid of the clothes that didn’t suit me perfectly.
Often times, I would wear the same outfits anyway because I always reached for my favorites, so that made the paring down process relatively easy. Keep your favorites, discard the rest, and enjoy your new simplified morning routine of choosing your favorite outfit to wear everyday.
To Downsize (and save more money in the process)
Clearly, the more you get rid of, the less space you need, so if you are renting an apartment, you can downsize into a smaller apartment with a smaller monthly rent. If you own a home, you can sell your house to purchase a smaller home and use the extra money to pay off debt, which is what I did. Let me tell you, it is so worth it.
*Related: Looking for a cheap cable alternative that offers local channels? Check out our Hulu TV channels guide here for why they’re a great solution to cut the cord.*
The smartest decision we made was when we downsized from a 2,000 square-foot house with a big payment to a 1,500 square-foot house with a small mortgage that we quickly paid off. Ironically, we now feel like we are swimming in 1,500 square-feet and dream about downsizing even more.
To Get More of Your Time Back
We’re all busy, and we could all use more time in the day. When you learn to say no to the invitations to parties and events that you don’t really want to attend, you free up time to spend doing things you actually want to do.
When you’re not busy organizing the black depths of your closet for the weekend or cleaning out your car on a pretty afternoon when you could be enjoying the sunshine, you free up a lot of spare time.
With a minimalist lifestyle, you can start spending your time with the people you want to spend it with, while doing the things that you are passionate about, because your time is not consumed with taking care of all of your stuff. Take care of your relationships and your passions, not your things.
When you start to realize that your identity isn’t housed in the objects you own, it’s much easier to let go of things. You also start to worry less about what everyone else has and you stop trying to keep up with everyone around you, which saves you time and money. In simple terms, minimalism helps you create room for what’s really important in your life, and that has nothing to do with the stuff we surround ourselves with.
Could you embrace a minimalist lifestyle? Do you dream about downsizing your home and belongings? What would you do with your extra time and money if you embraced minimalism?