Minimalism is not just white walls, empty spaces and the occasional house plant; it’s a lifestyle choice. It’s about finding contentment in yourself, the people around you and pure satisfaction in the possessions you own.
Everyone has their own take on a minimalist lifestyle; some opt to be radical and get rid of all their material possessions, others take a less extreme approach by slowly whittling down their belongings to what they believe they need and want. What combines these two groups is the desire to live with intent and not with excess.
It is clear a large amount of the minimalist lifestyle revolves around the aversion of consumer culture, where the need to buy and consume instantly in the moment is dispelled. What is not always clear is why minimalists choose to live this way - what do they get from it? From starting my own minimalist journey and hearing about others who have done the same, here are ten benefits of adopting a minimalist lifestyle.
Over time, because you are spending less on products you do not need, you will save money. It can be as simple as stopping buying coffee on your way to work or saying no to the new iPhone because your old one works perfectly well. It’s really up to you how you spend this extra money, but the benefit of spending less is immediate.
I cannot tell you how many stories I have heard of people getting into large amounts of debt in the name of superfluous goods. Yet, the reality is you do not need all these fancy new goods or that unnecessarily large house for one person. Even if earning a high income, you can still live within your means, purchasing goods for yourself, not to impress others.
Because you're buying less and saving more, you won’t have to put in the overtime at work to pay for that large screen television and if you currently have debts, you can pay them off easier and faster simply because you’re not buying a bunch of stuff you don’t need.
We are all guilty of the junk drawer and keeping things “just in case” but the reality is we never use this stuff. Imagine how much more space you will have after getting rid of the things you do not use, or give you value. Plus, the satisfaction gained from getting rid of this stuff is better than you would expect.
You become more productive
You wouldn’t think it, but fewer distractions in the form of clutter or unwanted activities can get rid of procrastination, meaning you will be able to fill your time more effectively. This doesn’t just include work, you will find you have more time for all those activities you have been meaning to do, whether writing or exercising.
More honest relationships
Adopting minimalism into your lifestyle will change your mind set; you become more focused and understanding of your own thoughts and needs and begin to understand the value of spending time with family members over work colleagues. Inevitably, your relationships will become stronger, honest and more real.
Clarity of mind
Minimalism is a strange never-ending journey of self-discovery. Because you are continually focussing on what you want and need in life you begin to understand yourself, how your mind works, and what your passions actually are.
You really appreciate the things you buy
In the past, we have all bought products we have loved in the moment, and then after a month or two we start taking less enjoyment from them. Minimalism means you really focus on what you want to buy, it doesn’t mean you can’t have nice expensive products, what matters is why you want them. Because there is meaning behind each purchase, product satisfaction lasts a lot longer, potentially even to the end of its life.
You don’t just have more time for relationships you have more time for yourself. More money encouraged by less spending, which can open opportunities for trips and experiences you wouldn’t otherwise have had. Furthermore, having more time for you means you can do all those things you have been saying "one day" or "I should" to. In many cases, this can lead to a far happier, healthier lifestyle, because you are not consistently pinned down by material possessions.
When I began my minimalist journey I never anticipated this benefit, in fact, I did not even realise it had happened until someone pointed it out to me. Minimalism encourages inner thoughts and connections with yourself and the things of importance to you, through this process you can become more confident in who you are, learning to love and accept yourself outside of material possessions.
While adopting a minimalist lifestyle is not a simple nor easy journey, the benefits act as a source of motivation to keep you going through the difficult times. After all who wouldn’t want more money, freedom and better relationships with both yourself and those around you.