Minimalism - owning less and living intentionally - is a simple concept, yet it's not automatically easy to adopt.Throwing away three-quarters of my possessions was tough, sometimes emotionally draining and I invested a lot of time and energy into the early parts of the process. Nonetheless, it wasone of the best decisions I have made and I am amazed by how it has made my life better. So, here are some of the best parts of owning less, which might just help persuade anyone who is not yet convinced about this lifestyle.
- Less pressure to tidy and clean. I naturally tend towards hoarding, but also hate being surrounded by mess. It sets my teeth on edge and makes my skin crawl. In the past, I could never breathe when my bedroom was untidy (as it always was) and it made me dislike spending time in it. Often I would sleep on the sofa or in a spare room in my house to avoid confronting the pressure to tidy up. Nowadays, it takes minutes to tidy up and that means I see my room as a peaceful sanctuary. Hanging up clothes, wiping surfaces and throwing away rubbish before bed and a deeper clean once a week keep it in order.
- Not wanting to buy more unneeded stuff. Whenever I am tempted to make a frivolous purchase, I remember how much I love my tidy, orderly room. That puts me off if it is not actually needed. I stick to the 'one in, one out rule' meaning each new item has to eject an old one. Instead of wasting little bits of money, I save for large purchases (like a new camera or holiday.)
- Being able to find what I need quickly. This might just be my favourite part. It rarely takes me more than a few moments to find things because there's less clutter obscuring them. Particular t-shirts, pens, chargers and so on are easy to locate. Whereas I used to face daily panics, I now rarely have a problem with it.
- Having a clearer mind.Perhaps this is a largely psychological effect. Somehow, though, I find that I can think better in simpler surroundings. Focusing is easier when my line of vision is less disturbed by mess. I gravitate towards minimal spaces where I can think properly.
- Feeling freer and less tied down. I relish knowing that I can have the flexibility to travel and move around in the future. After university, I want to do a lot of that and it will be much easier. An overload of belongings is suffocating and can be a hindrance. I have moved enough times in my life to know how the stressful the process is. Less stuff to pack can only make it less difficult. Possessions can also breed guilt - clothing which is rarely worn, unused stationary or unappreciated gifts all become burdens. There used to be so many guilt-inducing items in my room which I let go of. What we own should serve us, not the other way round.
- Visual satisfaction. A clear living space is beautiful. Items which look nice have room to be displayed, like plants, books, and shoes. I love how soothing clear surfaces and white walls are. It also means that I can invest in fewer, nicer items with a true purpose.
What benefits of minimalism have you discovered, or would you like to if you're just adopting this lifestyle? Let me know about your experiences in the comments as I'd love to hear. Also, if there's anything else related to minimalism which you'd like me to cover, leave a comment about that too.
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