This is a guest post by Bridget Sandorford. Bridget is a freelance writer and researcher for Culinaryschools.org, where recently she’s been researching top colleges in florida. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, painting and working on her first cookbook.
When was the last time you put on those “skinny jeans?” What’s even in those boxes on the top shelf?
Most of us carry around far more stuff than we need. More than just taking over our closets, all that stuff may actually be making us unhappy.
Minimalism is a lifestyle that reduces the number of material possessions we own. Not only does it clear up space in your home, but it can also help you lead a happier life. Here’s how:
Saves You Money
The cost of owning stuff is much more than the cost of purchasing it. You have to pay annual taxes on your home and car, you have to pay for insurance on valuable items, and you have to pay the cost of storage and other upkeep.
All these added costs mean additional work. The more you have to pay, the more you have to work, limiting your choices and your free time. When you own less stuff, you have to spend less time, giving you more choices about when you work and where you work (if you work at all). The more choices you have, the happier you will be.
You don’t just have to pay more money to take care of your things. You also have to spend time maintaining them: You have to dust and clean, wash your clothes, scrub your car, polish your shoes and change your oil.
All this maintenance robs you of time — time you could be spending doing the things you love or spending time with the people you love. By reducing the amount of things you own, you can free up more time to spend as you like.
Clears the Clutter
When your home is filled with stuff, it does more than clutter up your physical space — it also clutters up your mental space. A cramped home can make you feel tense, agitated, and exhausted.
On the other hand, a home that is clean and has lots of open space with clear lines (ie space that isn’t cluttered by stuff) can help you feel more relaxed, calm and focused. You can feel happier just by creating a cleaner environment, and one way to do so is to get rid of the things that you don’t need.
Frees You from Consumption
Buying things tends to beget buying more things. It’s like eating sugar: The more you eat, the more you seem to want it. The more you buy, the more you seem to need to purchase. It’s a vicious cycle that makes it hard to ever feel satisfied with what you have. As a result, people work, spend and buy far more than they need to fill a hole that can’t be filled.
Practicing a minimalist lifestyle can train you to buy and covet fewer things so that you can break this cycle. You will then be able to focus on the things that truly make you happy and waste less time on the things that don’t matter.
Minimalism is about much more than just living a more frugal lifestyle. It can help you to be a happier and healthier person by freeing up your time and your resources to focus on the things and the people that truly matter in your life.
Do you practice a minimalist lifestyle? How has it made you a happier person? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments!