In a world that is always producing and promoting more, intentionally living with less is a radical idea.
Our society tells us that having more will lead to a better life. More clothes, more stuff, newer vehicles, gadgets, and homes will make us happier and more fulfilled.
The truth is there is more to be had in embracing minimalism and purposefully owning less than you can find in chasing more. While I haven’t perfected what it means to be a minimalist in my own life I am continually learning and experiencing the benefits of clearing out the clutter from my home and life.
Here are 7 of the benefits that minimalism will add to your life.
1. Less stress.
Clutter creates stress. The more stuff you have to do and keep track of in your life the more stress those things create. The excess possessions in your home and work space create clutter in your physical world and in your mind. Having all that stuff around you can make you feel like the world is closing in on you. Getting rid of the clutter in your home, office, and schedule will give you breathing room and reduce the stress in your life.
2. More energy.
We expend so much energy during our free time maintaining our homes that we hardly have energy for much else. Owning less stuff means that you won’t have to utilize as much of your precious energy clean taking care your stuff so you can use it on things that are more important than things.
3. More money.
One of the best things my wife and I have ever done is get out of debt. It’s so freeing to know that we don’t owe anyone anything. And we work hard to keep it that way.
During the early years of our marriage we bought too many things. And we bought them with money that we didn’t really have. We just charged it and figured we would pay it back later. That’s just the way it is.
But there is a better way. When you don’t buy as much as you can what you will find is you have more money. You can use that money to save for the things that you really need and want, so that when you do go to get them you can buy them without having to worry about payments.
We did this for the first time about two years ago when we bought our minivan. I remember the salesman asking us what kind of loan we wanted. When we told him we were going to pay cash he was shocked. He kept trying to get us to buy more features or take out some kind of loan but we refused. It was such a great feeling to drive that car off the parking lot, knowing that it was ours free and clear.
Not buying everything you want, when you want it, and saving up for the things you really need will allow you to have more money to save and plan for the future.
4. More time.
Isn’t it sad that so many of us use our limited free time and holidays to clean our homes? There are so many other things we’d rather be doing, but we’ve become a slave to our possessions. We have allowed ourselves to purchase too much stuff. It feels like the stuff we own actually owns us.
But when we intentionally own less there is less for us to take care of, clean out, and maintain. Then we have time for the things that really matter to us, the people and things that bring us the greatest joy, happiness, and fulfillment.
5. Easier to clean and maintain your home.
Cleaning out the clutter in your home is one thing. Keeping it clean and clutter free is another. When you decide to own less stuff you will discover that it is easier to keep your home clean and clutter free. It’s easier to clean and maintain less than it is to clean and maintain more.
6. Helps your kids to be less entitled.
Children have a tendency to want more. Whether it’s dessert, toys, TV, or video games there never seems to be enough. They’re young and their appetite’s are growing. But having more leads to wanting more. More doesn’t satisfy us like we think it will.
Owning less will teach your children how to prioritize, make decisions, and focus on the things that matter most to them. Limiting the stuff they can have will help them appreciate what they do have. The more you do this, the more you’ll begin to see their desire for more decrease and their appreciation for what they do have will increase.
7. Greater contentment.
Our pursuit of more is often a misdirected attempt to find happiness and fulfillment in things that will ultimately leave us wanting more. Pursuing more possessions leads to enjoying what we have less.
Intentionally owning less, on the other hand, leads to enjoying what we have more. When you make a deliberate choice to keep only the things that are most valuable to you what you will discover is you will have more value and appreciation for the things that you have.
Becoming a minimalist is difficult. It’s not easy to part with many of the things that you have, even if they are things you haven’t used in a long time. They can make us feel safe and secure. Our culture has taught us that the more things we have the more successful we are and that the more we have the more we matter.
But when you decide to embrace the counter culturally approach to life that is minimalism what you find is a greater source of contentment, joy, security, and fulfillment than any of the things you let go of could ever provide you with.