The concept of living a minimalist lifestyle is simple: get rid of unnecessary clutter so you have more time and space to focus on the things that matter most to you. Who doesn’t want that? At Collinwood assisted living community, we follow a similar concept: provide assistance with daily tasks so that you have more time to spend with family and loved ones.
But if you’re new to minimalism, understanding how to get started can be tricky. Let’s discuss the benefits of a minimal lifestyle and how you can get started on your own journey.
Minimalism can be found in all aspects of life: music, art and, of course, lifestyle. At its core, living minimalistically refers to removing all items that distract from the things you value most in life. For example, if your closet only has four to five outfit options, you will, in theory, spend less time deciding what to wear and more time going to visit your friends.
A minimalistic life doesn’t just refer to your physical possessions, though. Living minimally can also mean saying no to tasks or cutting out people that don’t align with your values. Everything you do in a minimalistic life is intentional and not just out of habit.
There are several benefits of living minimalistically, including potential financial rewards and increased happiness. When you live life with intention and only focus your energy on the things that matter to you, suddenly your life is filled with the things you love and value most. Here are a few of the benefits of living a minimalist lifestyle.
One of the obvious benefits of buying and owning less stuff is the money you can save. Did you know the average American spends nearly $165 each day? Cutting out unnecessary purchases, selling your unwanted items and being intentional with every purchase can help you decrease that number. Many people experimenting with minimalism will even commit to a 30-day no-spend challenge.
Studies show that living minimally is better for your mental health and stress levels. Having too many things has been linked to having lower levels of gratitude and empathy. The same study reports that materialism can also have a negative effect on your personal relationships. Minimalism forces you to appreciate the little things. Without possessions to distract you, you can focus on watching the sunset or noticing when trees grow new leaves. This state of simply existing is better for your mental health than the constant pursuit of having new things.
Want to spend less time dusting and washing dishes and more time reading or participating in a group workout? That's what living minimalistically can offer. When you have less, you have less to clean — it’s that simple.
It’s no secret that fast fashion is bad for the environment. Fast fashion items are made quick and sold cheap, meaning you can get more clothes for less. But the reality is, most of those clothes end up in a landfill sooner or later. Not to mention the negative environmental impact the textile manufacturing facilities produce as they’re making these clothing garments.
Sticking with clothing as an example, having fewer clothes means washing fewer clothes, which is good for the environment as well as your utility bill.
Buying new things feels good in the moment. In a consumer-driven world, we understand that having items makes us feel good. But these happy feelings are fleeting, and then it’s on to buying the next item. Minimalism allows you more time to focus on “being,” which can provide long-term joy.
A popular book by Marie Kondo titled The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is a good place to start if you're not sure how to take your first steps toward minimalism.
In this book, Kondo discusses the KonMari Method, which can help you eliminate unneeded clutter. The method is simple: you organize your possessions by category (ie: clothing, books, dishes, and so on). Then, from those sections, you keep only the items that spark joy in you. This method forces you to think about what matters to you and how you wish to live your life. It’s an excellent way to declutter and start your minimalist journey.
Living a minimalist life can look different for everyone. You don’t need to dive in 100% to start feeling the benefits. But the next time you go to clean up your home, consider eliminating some of the items that no longer spark joy. If you don’t want to get rid of your items just yet, consider not buying any new items for a while. Use the time you’d spend shopping trying to decide what you value and how you want your life to work.