Going minimal has to do with simplifying your life, having less “stuff,” and creating more time and opportunity. From where you are, if you look around you, you will likely be able to see dozens of items that you enjoy and appreciate, but that you could absolutely live without. Going minimal has to do with getting rid of these things, as well as those that maybe aren’t so dear to you but you have kept for other reasons. The result is less clutter in your life, less responsibility for “things,” and more time in your schedule.
If that sounds unlikely, read on to learn seven reasons you should go minimal:
Reason #1: You’ll Save Money
We live in a consumer-driven society. Even when we are actively engaged in the act of buying something, someone is trying to sell us more (“Would you like to up-size your order?” “People who bought this item also bought XYZ item.”) All that stuff costs real money. Saying “no” to more things is saying “yes” to more money in your wallet. And that doesn’t even take into consideration things like insurance (to protect the stuff you already bought) or maintenance (to keep the stuff you bought working properly).
Reason #2: You’ll Be Less Stressed Out
The way that we buy things today isn’t just about plunking down a chunk of change and walking away with our purchase. Instead, we tend to use a lot of credit. That means that you can continue paying for that $100 item for months or years as you make credit card payments. Every single month that you have to worry about making that bill adds considerably to your stress level.
Reason #3: You’ll Have More Time
How much time do you spend taking care of your stuff? Taking the car in for an oil change takes at least an hour. And what about the time you spend cleaning up your stuff—constantly putting the same things away over and over again? Going minimal means that you have less stuff to take care of and therefore, more time. In fact, you’ll even save the time you were previously spending while shopping for the stuff!
Reason #4: You’ll Be Healthier
Our modern world is full of “conveniences” that aren’t always all that convenient in the long run. Consider the fact that certain plastics have been found to contain cancer-causing chemicals. Less stuff in your life means less exposure to the things you really don’t want around anyway…such as carcinogens. Additionally, the time and money you’re saving can allow for healthier food and time to engage in physical activity.
Reason #5: You’ll Connect with People Better
Much of the time, our stuff is really a means to protect ourselves. We may buy things to fill in a void caused by loneliness or a perceived lack on our part. Going minimal removes some of these barriers between ourselves and others and allows us to focus on the important aspects of relationships rather than constantly having our attention distracted by our possessions or our desire for more possessions.
Reason #6: It’s Better for Others
Better for the “environment” doesn’t only refer to ecology, but also to the lives of others around the world. As you go minimal, you begin to understand what an impact all your stuff can have. For example, you may be considering the landfill space needed to dispose of your stuff when you’re done with it or thinking about the dignity of those who don’t have what they need to survive, let alone being in a position to consider whether or not they should go minimal.
Reason #7: It’s Liberating
When you go minimal, you actually free up your own options. Remember how you have to insure all your stuff? Well, that’s just part of the equation. You also have to worry about it, to protect it. When you want to go out of town, you have to arrange for someone to look after your stuff. You may own your things, but in a lot of ways, they own a fair amount of real estate in your head. The more you have, the more you feel like you have to lose.