If you are anything like me, you love a Netflix documentary! Recently I came across The Minimalists: Less Is Now, where I was introduced to two people promoting the lifestyle, Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus. I had heard the concept before but hadn’t embraced it. Watching this helped me see all the benefits as they go through their life stories and what prompted them to make a change. It was so similar to the realizations I made in my life in 2020 and after watching, it felt like the next step in my journey.
So what exactly is minimalism, and why should you consider adopting the practice?
Minimalism is typically defined as being more intentional with your life and focusing on owning fewer possessions that are more impactful in your life. Instead of owning a ton of items that you may or may not ever use, you focus on those that you use often.
There is a misconception with minimalism that you have to live out of a backpack and never buy anything new. That’s certainly an option if that’s what will make you happy, but you don’t have to limit yourself to that if it isn’t for you.
According to Millburn & Nicodemus, minimalism is all about creating freedom in your life. On their blog, they detail how you can bring freedom into your life by reducing the amount of stuff you hold onto.
Here are five reasons to incorporate minimalism into your life.
- Living more intentionally – When you go about your life now, are you intentional about your actions? Many of us are living our lives on autopilot, not considering where we are headed. One way we do this is by purchasing a ton of items we don’t really want or use. Think about those various trips to Target, where you walk out spending $100 with no recollection of what you bought. Instead, minimalism helps you break free from the auto spend by helping you see that you don’t need those items.
- Saves money – By focusing on only keeping the items you love and use, you will see some savings. Instead of buying things here and there that you don’t honestly care about, you can focus on spending your money on things you actually want.
- Freedom to live the way you want – Do you have big-ticket items you want in your life but feel like you don’t have enough money? Maybe it’s a big trip or a new house, but it feels out of reach. If you are spending less on random purchases, you can reallocate that money to your goals. Try this out – Every time you avoid spending $100 a Target, put that $100 in a savings account specific to the purpose you are working towards.
- Clarity – Going through your stuff and realizing how much money you have spent on things you never use is an excellent way to help you see where you have been focusing your time. Maybe you hate your job but feel like you can’t live your passion because you have to make a certain amount of money? Throwing out bags of trash you have accumulated can help you prioritize what’s important. Maybe after you live this new lifestyle for a while, you realize you don’t actually need to make as much as you thought.
- Reduces stress – Between work and life, we deal with a ton of stress and anxiety. Reducing the clutter surrounding us and the need to buy more allows us to have a clean house with less distraction. Overall you will have less to clean, and your space will look more inviting after you remove the things you don’t need.
If you are thinking about bringing in the concept of minimalism to your life, know that you can make it whatever you want. The beauty is that you are looking at your things and deciding what is important to you.
There are several ways to get started. You could choose to get rid of one thing every day for a month, pack everything away in boxes and take out what you need over a month or whatever variation works for you. To get started, I took a place in my house I knew needed attention and focused one at a time. I began with my bookshelf, then moved to the many junk drawers we had. I still have a ways to go, but already I feel much more free.
We’d love to hear your ideas. Are you thinking about living with less?