There are certain rules to being a minimalist: You cannot own a TV, car, or smartphone, and you have to sleep on the floor instead of a bed.
You are, however, allowed a chair to sit on (as long as it’s not too comfortable, mind) as well as one solitary plant to put in the corner of your otherwise empty living room.
I’m joking, of course, but this is unfortunately how some view minimalism.
Too many people think it is about deprivation and boredom, when in fact it is the complete opposite. Any minimalist will tell you that they have led a richer and more fulfilling life since embracing minimalism and becoming more intentional with the things they allow into their space.
It is worth noting that minimalism itself isn’t an end goal. It is not about how little you can own, or getting rid of things that don’t bring you joy, but about only owning things which add value to your life and letting go of the rest.
You should only keep things in your home which you need, use, and/or love. Everything else can be set free, and you will find that you set yourself free in the process.
Minimalism has become more popular in the last few years, with more and more people realising the benefits of living life with less. Less stuff generally equals less stress, and in this modern world which can be absolutely full of stress and problems, it is easy to see why people are being drawn to a more simplistic way of life.
If you’re intrigued by the whole minimalism movement which has been taking the world by storm and have been contemplating becoming a minimalist, here are 7 reasons why you should definitely take the leap.
7 Compelling Reasons To Become A Minimalist
- You feel overwhelmed by clutter
- You have depression and/or anxiety
- You want to travel or move around a lot
- You want to live a meaningful life
- You want to be free
- You don’t want to leave behind clutter for others when you’re gone
- You want to focus on what’s important
7 Compelling Reasons To Become A Minimalist
Here’s a list of 7 reasons why minimalism might be for you..
1. You feel overwhelmed by clutter
This is probably the number 1 reason why most people embrace minimalism. The society we live in is obsessed with consumerism and accumulating more and more.
We are led to believe that buying new things will bring us happiness (and it can do, temporarily), but if you clicked on this post, you have probably already realised that spending your money is not the key to true happiness and you are looking for an alternative.
Most of us spend our entire lives collecting items without a second thought, and then one day we realise we can’t get into the spare room anymore and have to park the car on the street, even though we have a perfectly good garage. But we don’t use any of the stuff in the garage anyway because we can’t even get to it and have most likely forgotten what 70% of it was.
This is usually the point when people realise that their lives would be so much easier and more stress free if they just owned less stuff. Enter minimalism.
2. You have depression and/or anxiety
Don’t get me wrong, minimalism is not a magical cure for anyone’s mental health issues, and I’m not saying your depression and anxiety will go away just because you declutter your house.
A lot of people, however, find that they suddenly feel a lot happier and calmer once they have removed all the clutter surrounding them.
A clean, tidy home feels very serene and is a lot easier to maintain than a cluttered one, and can lift your mood and help bring your stress levels down.
Honestly, just being able to open a cupboard door without everything inside falling out and crashing down on your head has to make you feel at least a little better.
However, decluttering can be a very emotionally overwhelming task, especially at first (it generally becomes easier after a while, though).
If you’re having a hard time and don’t feel up to doing it on your own, it could be helpful to ask an understanding friend or relative to give you a hand. They will be able to help you make decisions about what to part with and offer emotional support—and you never know, it could even inspire them to begin their own minimalism journey.
3. You want to travel or move around a lot
Our possessions can be such a burden. The saying that the things you own, own you has never been more true.
If you are hoping to travel and see the world before you eventually settle down, then unless you want to pay extortionate prices for a storage unit, you should think about giving away or donating your excess belongings.
Even just moving house is so much easier when you don’t have a thousand bulging boxes (full of items you never use) to pack, drag with you, and then spend time unpacking and trying to find a new place for.
If you can pass certain things on to a good friend or family member who would find them useful, that’s perfect. Otherwise, sell them online or give them to a charity shop in your area. That way someone else will benefit from something you no longer use and the charity will receive some much needed money.
Try not to throw things away, unless they are completely useless or beyond repair. Minimalism is not about being wasteful just to own less.
4. You want to live a meaningful life
Minimalism often leads to intentional living. Many people who become minimalists purely to remove excess possessions from their living quarters are often surprised to find that they start becoming more intentional in other aspects of their life, too.
However way minimalism has affected their lifestyle and choices, whether it is
- buying only ethically sourced products and foods,
- supporting small businesses over large corporations,
- eating a more plant-based diet,
- trying to reduce the amount of household waste they produce,
- or just spending more time on things that bring them joy,
many minimalists report feeling like they lead more meaningful lives than before they discovered minimalism, because they have finally rediscovered what is important to them.
5. You want to be free
One of the best things that minimalism offers is the feeling of freedom.
With no physical stuff holding you back, you can move house easily (especially if you rent), take off to another country for a few months at the drop of a hat, or just live stress-free in a clean, calm environment and be able to have friends over whenever you want, without having to worry about what they think of your messy, cluttered house.
Your physical surroundings are often a reflection of what is going on inside you. If your mind is cluttered then your immediate environment probably will be, too.
You will be pleased to know, however, that it works both ways. By purging and freeing up space in your home, you will notice your mind start to feel more free as well.
Recommended Reading: 5 Habits To Live Better And Achieve More
6. You don’t want to leave behind clutter for others when you’re gone
I know this one is quite morbid, but it is something we are all going to have to face up to.
If, God forbid, something happened to you, would you want to leave piles of clutter behind for your family members to deal with, causing them more stress at a time when they are already sad?
Most people would answer no to this question. Not many of us would want to leave our mess for others to clear up. You also might have private things you wouldn’t want someone else to see and would be embarrassed if they found.
It is a good idea to start the process yourself and remove this unnecessary burden for your loved ones.
7. You want to focus on what is important
There are so many things in life which are more important than accumulating possessions; in fact, the most important things in life aren’t actually things.
With fewer things to clean, organise, trip over and generally worry about, we can spend more quality time with our partner, family, and friends.
We can indulge in hobbies we have always wanted to try but have never been able to find the time to start.
We can volunteer and contribute to causes and charities that we believe in.
We can possibly even work less, since we won’t need to earn as much money if we are not buying things we don’t need.
No one on their death bed says “I wish I’d worked more” or “I should have bought more stuff.”
Most people wish they had spent more time with the people they love, enjoying their life, enriching the lives of others, and making precious memories.
If you can relate to any (or all) of the points mentioned above and this post has piqued your interest in becoming a minimalist, head over to my blog, Nic’s Healthy Life, where you will find more posts on minimalism as well as sustainable living, personal development, and health and fitness.
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Are you also a minimalist? If so, what was your reason for embracing minimalism? If not, do you think minimalism is for you? Share in the comments below!