Thinking about adopting a minimalist lifestyle, but not sure if it’s for you? Then you’ve come to the right place, friend. We strongly believe that living a minimalist life has the potential to change the world for the better. We know it’s hard for some to take that first step – it’s usually the hardest. That’s why we’re going to look at our favourite reasons to become a minimalist. But first, let’s figure out what the heck we’re talking about here anyway.
What IS Minimalism?
Look around on the internet, and you’ll find a lot of definitions for what constitutes living a minimalist lifestyle. Some will tell you it’s all about setting a strict limit on the number of things you own. Others take a more nuanced view, deciding instead to embrace the principle of living ‘intentionally’. It’s safe to say we’re in the latter camp. So what is living intentionally? Put simply, it involves deciding what things you truly *need* in your life, and doing without the rest. Whether that leaves you with 4 possessions or 400, the end result is the same: you’ve eliminated the extraneous ‘stuff’ from your world.
This doesn’t mean that everything you own has to have some function or utility – at least not in the traditional sense. If you want to keep an object because it’s beautiful, or sentimental, then it’s just as ‘useful’ – and necessary to your well being – as your wallet or a multi-tool is.
Still not sure if living like a minimalist is for you? Let’s take a look at some of the benefits.
Our Favourite Reasons To Become A Minimalist
Let’s start with the basics. Less stuff in your life means less clutter. It means less time spent tidying and fretting, and more time to do the things you love. When you live in a tidy space, with only the bare essentials you need, an incredible sense of Zen descends on you. Suddenly all that ‘stuff’ that seemed important has melted away, and you wonder why you cared so much about it in the first place. Plus, you never have to look far to find something you need!
Did you ever think about how much time we actually spend on ‘stuff’? Acquiring it, admiring it, maintaining it, replacing it – you’d be surprised how much it adds up. With fewer things in your life, you’ll get a lot of time back. In fact, what you do with it becomes the next logical question.
Having fewer possessions gives you more time for experiences – which tend to be a much bigger player in terms of our overall happiness. Don’t believe me? Then just think about the happiest times in your life – for most people it will be their wedding day, or maybe a trip to Disneyland, or that time you and your friend just couldn’t stop laughing over nothing. The chances are low that anyone’s happiest memory is owning and holding the latest iPhone. Experiences – not things – drive our happiness and create our most cherished memories.
Care For The Planet
As a rule of thumb: The less you consume, the better it tends to be for the planet. Of course there are nuances, but cutting down the amount of stuff you buy is generally a great – and easy – way of caring for the environment. Plastic waste in particular is a huge problem, with much of it ending up in the ocean. So why not show some love for the planet that keeps you warm and breathing, and say no to consuming more stuff.
Free Range Humans
When you become a minimalist, you’ll find yourself more fleet-footed than before. When you have fewer things to physically carry, moving around a lot is easier – even fun. Of course we can’t all sling every single possession inside one rucksack (although a minimalism ‘purist’ certainly could). But even if you can fit all your stuff onto a car or motorbike – instead of a giant moving truck – it will give you more freedom to roam.
Some High Grade S***
When you live like a minimalist, you learn to appreciate the things you have – and how. This means you end up buying the best quality versions of your possessions that you can possibly find – whether it’s your phone or a dish towel. Owning a few high-quality, built to last objects will give you much more satisfaction than whole mountains of cheap crap. And because you’re not spending money on endless amounts of trash, it’s easier to save for those few high-quality possessions.
Finding What’s Important
Possibly our favourite reason of all, although it’s the least tangible. Finding out what is important in your life is a valuable skill in and of itself, and something many find difficult. Applying the question to something simple like your possessions is a great place to start.
For example, maybe you’re having a clear out and find a long-forgotten photo album. Not only do you decide to keep the album, but you’re also going to call that friend – the one who’s in half the photos but you haven’t seen in years. Or maybe having a possession purge gives you the zen and clarity to come to a realisation, such as wanting to quit your job or spend more time with family. Or maybe you find that spending less money on stuff lets you save for something important to you – that cruise or skydiving trip you always wanted. Once you start thinking about what’s important in your life, you’ll find that it naturally takes centre stage.
So, Why Not Give It A Try?
We hope you enjoyed this rundown of our favourite reasons to go minimalist. If you’re sold and want tips on how to start down the dark path (kidding), then check out our other posts on minimalism.
What do you love most about being a minimalist? Let us know in the comments! And don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog for the latest Tiny Livin’ developments.