When you hear the term “Minimalism” you might think, white, plain, bland, boring! However, Minimalism is merely the concept of living with the things that you really need, living intentionally. Minimalism is different for everyone, what works for one person may not necessarily work for another. It is a concept that can be adopted in different areas of your life from finances to home decor.
My foray into minimalism began with my wardrobe. I became sick and tired of not being able to access my clothes, my large double wardrobe was rammed full of clothes (that I never wore). The frustration catapulted me into the world of minimalism, listening to the Minimalists Podcast, watching YouTube Videos, Netflix and reading books about decluttering. Now, full disclosure I’m on a journey and I’m by no means done, but I have been making progress over the last two years. I’ve very slowly adopted minimalism principles throughout my life, including my wardrobe, home, inbox and finances. Gradually shedding the unnecessary, tidying up and simplifying. I thought I’d share the benefits I have discovered from owning less stuff in our home.
Less Stuff Means Stress Less
I had no idea that clutter could have such an impact on stress levels, seems silly but it had never occurred to me! By clutter I mean the unnecessary things that float around your home with no specific place. Since reducing the amount of stuff in our home, I’ve found my stress and anxiety levels have greatly reduced.
You Have More Space
Sounds obvious, but the less stuff you have the more space you have! We’ve switched out some large pieces of furniture as we have less stuff to put in them, thus creating more space.
The Space Is More Peaceful
This is a big one! Having more space makes the house feel way more peaceful. Having natural light that can now shine through the room makes a great difference. It’s easy to sit down in a clear space and not be constantly looking at all the things you need to tidy away.
It’s Easier To Look After
One of the greatest things about minimalism and owning less stuff, is that you have much less to look after. Fewer clothes means less washing, fewer things means less dusting. It’s much easier to look after a home that contains less “stuff”.
You Spend Less Money
There was a time where I would pacify myself by heading into a local HomeSense to buy something, mostly lamps and table cloths! Now that I’m actively trying to minimise the “stuff” I mostly avoid shopping. If I am to purchase anything then I will make a very conscious decision about it. No more impulse buying, means less spending.
Easier To Clean
I’ll be the first to admit that I find cleaning dull. For anyone who feels the same, then minimalism can help. Having less stuff means it’s so much easier to run a cloth over the surface or do a once around with the mop. Fewer obstacles means the space is much simpler to keep clean.
Ready For Visitors
So, you have an unexpected visitor or a friend coming from out of town? This scenario used to be a real struggle for me! How am I going to clean and put everything away? I’d be cramming clothes into suitcases on top of the wardrobe and drawers under the bed. When I think back to that level of chaos, it makes me feel on edge. Having fewer things reduces that anxiety, now it’s once around with the vacuum and we’re good to go.
More Focus On Quality Over Quantity
This ties in with the spending less point. When you buy a lot less, then the quality of the things you do purchase can be much more considered. You can focus on quality over quantity. Quality items tend to last longer and withstand more wear and tear.
When you have been so considered in your decision to purchase something, then you appreciate it all the more. Also, to have fewer things means that you actually use the items you own and get to appreciate them on a daily basis. The gratitude you feel for each items is amplified as it is no longer competing against the noise of all the unnecessary clutter.
Have More Freedom
Sounds a little wild, but owning fewer things really does give you more freedom. More money in your pocket, means more options for fun days out or saving for larger long-term goals. You have more time to enjoy yourself instead of endlessly washing and ironing. You have more space in your brain for thinking up creative ideas and things you’d love to do!
You Stop Comparing
Making peace with your environment and taking a moment for gratitude will help you to stop comparing yourself. As mentioned in my post about ‘Digital Wellness Habits For Happiness‘ that comparison fatigue is real. Once you are happy and grateful for the clothes, homeware and stuff that you own, you will no longer need to feel that exhaustion from comparing yourself to the shiny impossible-to-achieve lives that you see online.
Donate To Good Causes
My Saturday morning ritual now includes a trip to the charity shop next to our house. I look forward to going and making my donation. Some weeks I have lots of bags full of stuff, other weeks, just a few items. Throughout the week I will identify the items I’m going to donate and put them in a bag next to the door. Day by day I’ll fill the bag with bits and bobs from around the house that I no longer need, like or use. This gradual weekly approach means that there’s always a little bit of progress happening, even when my schedule is full.
Better For The Environment
Buying less is better for the environment. If we all make more intentional decisions and buy less, that results in less stuff ending up in a landfill.
Overall, I would say this process has resulted in me feeling happier. There are so many plus points to list. Mostly, the reduced levels of stress and anxiety and the ability to clean up a lot easier make me happier!
Live More Intentionally
Minimalism encourages us to live more intentionally and it works. My thought processes around buying anything to bring into our home has totally changed. Intentional living improves happiness levels, reduces stress and anxiety and is way better for the Planet.
I hope this has offered some level of encouragement for your own journey and you too experience the plus points of living with less stuff.