Often when people think about decluttering or minimalism, they reflect on what they have to give up and living with less. It’s time to think about minimalism from a different perspective, with a focus on what you gain rather than what you give up. Here are three things you can gain from being a minimalist.
You don’t really earn more money from being a minimalist rather you save more of it. Put simply the less you buy, the more you save. Deep down most people know this, and yet they continue to buy more stuff. Over consuming is partly due to society telling us that success is determined by what and how much we own. Which is the result of marketing telling us that to be happy you need to have the latest goods. However, maintaining this lifestyle often results in credit card debt and/or working long hours to pay for stuff that you don’t really need. Owning less should not be seen as a backwards step, but rather a forward step in better managing your finances and leading a more rewarding life. From personal experience, saving money is not determined by how much you earn but by how much you spend or rather don’t spend. You may also realise that you can live on a lower income enabling you to quit that meaningless stressful job and to pursue a more rewarding career.
Can you actually gain more time? No, but through minimalism, you can use your time more efficiently. Here’s how the less you own, the less you need to clean, maintain, repair and organise. How many times have you spent your free time looking after your stuff? Time spent washing that second car you don’t drive, dusting shelves that hold stuff you don’t use or organising your wardrobe, with clothes you don’t wear. It is definitely important to live in clean and organised homes but think about how much easier it will be through owning less. You have limited time on this planet, so use it on doing things that matters rather than obsessing over stuff. Being a minimalist won’t increase your lifespan (or could it?), but it will help you to utilise your time better to do the things you truly value.
When you stop focusing on acquiring possessions you can begin to centre your energy on experiences. The money and time you save through minimalism can be used for more meaningful pursuits. Pursuits such as holidays, concerts, theatre, community activities, sports, reconnecting with the environment and much more. When people look back on their lives, it’s often their experiences they remember not their possessions. Remember you have limited time on this planet so make it count. Furthermore, your everyday experiences can be better enhanced through minimalism. For example rather than owning a treadmill, go for a run outside and connect with nature, or meet new people through joining a gym or fitness group (this may even keep you more motivated to stick to your fitness goals). Likewise, rather than owning that big bulky coffee machine go to your local coffee shop for your morning coffee and connect with others.
Through no longer focusing your life on the pursuit of possessions you can save time and money enabling you to focus your energy on more rewarding experiences. These are just some of the benefits of embracing minimalism; there are many more benefits which I will touch on in future blogs. Remember that minimalism is not a one size fits all approach rather it about owning only what you need and what adds value to your life. Ultimately happiness and success are not determined by what and how much you own but rather by how you live your life. Looking at minimalism through what you can gain rather than what you give up can enable you to live a more meaningful life.