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Looking at today’s day and age, we’re constantly told that we need more in order to live a good life. More electronics, bigger homes, newer cars, more clothes, newest toys —the list goes on. We’re led to believe that having more will lead to happier and more fulfilled lives. If you make the decision to go against that norm, some may even look at you strangely, or wonder if there’s something wrong with you.
But the truth is, those who have embraced minimalism and learned to live and work with less often find they’re happier, more content, and living more meaningful lives. But that’s just the beginning.
- Less Stress – This is by far the top benefit of minimalist living so it’s worth mentioning first. As you embark on this new way of life, you’ll find that having fewer things to worry about (both material possessions/clutter and time commitments) greatly reduces your stress level (see the post – How to Reduce Stress Using the Minimalist Approach) and may improve your health! This is a win-win in my book!
- Less Clutter – Minimalism is about embracing a simple life and learning to live with only the things you need so naturally there will be a lot less clutter in your environment. Of course, this also means that one of the first steps you’ll need to do is go through all the current clutter and get rid of the unnecessary possessions. Most people living a minimalist life have said this was the hardest part of the journey for them, but that it was worth it in the end. Just keep in mind your vision of minimalism and why you’re doing it – this will help you stay on task as you purge things. And don’t forget, you can help others by making donations of your non-needed items to local charities and churches.
- More Money – By moving away from wanting to buy everything that seems normal in today’s world, you won’t fall victim to always needing more, more, more and more. The result of this means you’ll have more money and reduced debt. Imagine having the cash to take a fantastic trip that’s been on your bucket list, or to invest that extra cash into your business or buy a rental — all because you resisted the urge to buy every new toy and gadget your friends or competitors bought.
- More Time – Another essential part of embracing minimalism in your life is clearing the clutter of overbooked schedules and too much to do. You’ll begin to learn that saying NO is a complete sentence. Turning down the things you don’t enjoy doing, or those you feel obligated to do (even though you’re not) means you’ll free up your time. This will give you the freedom to do with your time the things that mean the most to you – spending time with family, friends, traveling, learning new hobbies or volunteering or more.
- Spend Less Time Cleaning Your Living and Work Environments – The top two complaints about housework – cleaning in particular (raise your hand if you don’t enjoy cleaning – me) – is (1) it takes far too long and (2) there’s too much stuff to clean. The good news is, embracing minimalism means these things won’t happen as much. It’ll take far less of your time to clean and organize your home and office because you won’t have so much stuff to work with.
- Set a Good Example For Your Kids –Just as adults have easily fallen prey to the world’s message that we have to have more, more and more, so have our kids. In fact, most kids now-a-days live lives of entitlement, not knowing what it means to not have things in excess. Embracing minimalism, especially if your kids are little, will be a good example for teaching them about what is and isn’t important.
As with any major life change, don’t tackle minimizing your home and business at once. Create your vision and tackle each environment slowly but with purpose. As you make more changes and discover the freedom that minimalism provides, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start minimizing sooner. I certainly have started the process and enjoying the task on minimizing our life!