Minimalism has become a trendy lifestyle option in the last decade, thanks in part to the rise of platforms like Instagram and Tiktok that provide users with reliable dopamine hits via aesthetically pleasing decor. But minimalism isn’t just about stark, scandi-style decor. At its core, embracing a more minimalist lifestyle is an inward journey that’s benefits are much more profound than just a tidy home.
The journey might start with clearing the clutter but it usually continues with a deeper look inwards. A look at the most important things, how we spend our time and how we love others.
After almost a decade of living minimally, these are the reasons I think minimalism is worth trying.
1. It’s how you give your best to those you love
If I’m trying to do too many things and constantly spreading myself thin, I wind up offering the bare minimum. A shallow version of myself. When I’m living a more minimalist lifestyle I’m free to be able to give the best of myself to the people in my world.
If you don’t have time for the people in your life then you are probably doing too many things that don’t really matter. It’s that simple.
I want my people to get the best of me. Not just the rest of me.
2. You’ll have more time to do what you love
Time is our most precious commodity. We can’t buy it, we can’t get it back and most of us spend it far too frivolously.
In our thirties and forties, many of us give up lifelong hobbies and recreational activities, blaming our lack of time. But the truth is that it’s a lack of prioritization of our time. And prioritization ultimately means letting go of certain things.
Whether your clutter is inside your home, meaning more time cleaning and maintaining, or on your calendar, minimizing will mean you have more time to invest in what you love to do.
3. It will be less stressful when you move
Moving house is one of the most stressful life events you can go through. We’ve moved twice since I started dabbling in minimalism. And both times I’ve come across items, sometimes boxes, that hadn’t been seen since the last move.
Moving house is one of the best times to do a swift and ruthless declutter. When you are faced with paying for movers or waving goodbye to your own precious time, saving space becomes very appealing.
If moving is the only time you ever see something then it’s probably time to get rid of it.
4. Your mental health will improve
Our environments affect how we feel. Clutter increases the effects of anxiety, stress, and depression. Extra things in our home take up space in our minds, and it’s especially true for those of us who identify as highly sensitive. Cluttered environments overwhelm our senses with things that aren’t necessary.
Clutter reminds us of unfinished jobs, lost opportunities, bad decisions and causes guilt and frustration.
And it’s not just the sensitive ones. Everyone deserves a home that is a reprieve from the often chaotic outside world. Everyone deserves a home that is a safe haven and contributes to their mental wellbeing.
5. You will teach your children the most valuable lesson
People matter more than possessions. A life that’s full of the newest, shiniest, brightest things distract us from relationships.
I want my children to value things like friendship, courage, loyalty, integrity ,and authenticity. This is less likely to happen if they are chasing the next trendy thing.
I subscribe to the idea that giving them less is the best gift. When my kids have less stuff, including toys, they are more likely to be creative and explore their natural world. And they are more likely to grow up appreciating the value of experiences over possessions.
6. You’ll have more clarity and vision
After a few years of minimizing, I felt more clarity and focus about my future than ever before. When we strip away the excess and stop filling all the gaps it’s easier to sift through what’s left and see what’s important.
When my life was overflowing with stuff, I often felt like I couldn’t see straight. Life was blurry, and there was no time to evaluate anything. It was just a matter of keeping my head above water. Slowing down and minimizing my physical possessions and my calendar was critical in making sure I could focus again and spend my time wisely.
7. Your goals and dreams will become a reality
Being constantly overwhelmed by clutter in our homes or on our calendars makes it near impossible for us to achieve any of the goals and dreams we might have. Again, this may be more relevant for the highly sensitive among us.
For example, I love my work and have multiple goals for the future, but if my house isn’t tidied I just don’t concentrate. I put off sitting down to write in favour of doing dishes or vacuuming. Prior to minimalism, when I had to pick up and sort toys and random bric-a-brac, this took far too long. But since decluttering, that morning reset and tidy has become much easier and quicker enabling me to get to my desk and work towards those dreams.
I don’t push my minimalist lifestyle on friends or family (well, unless you count the time I dealt with my mom’s spice drawer and found some tumeric from 1978!). Rather, I believe the benefits I’ve experienced from living this way speak for themselves.
Almost everybody I know aspires to live a less hurried life and have more recreation time to rest or play. The only way I achieve this consistently is to continue embracing minimalism across all areas of my life.
Don’t wait any longer. Start your own journey to a minimalist lifestyle and watch your life benefit beyond measure.
About the Author: Emma Scheib is a mom, writer, and lover of all things slow and simple. Her blog, Simple, Slow, & Lovely, helps people live a slower, simpler, and intentional life, based on their values. Connect with her on Facebook.