Minimalism is a word that means different things to different people. This article will explore the true meaning of minimalist living.
What Does Minimalist Living Truly Mean? (Including Helpful Tips and Benefits)
Ever since traveling to Japan and seeing the minimalist lifestyle of Buddhism first hand, I’ve been fascinated with how I can implement it into my everyday life.
Do you ever feel trapped in the contemporary way of life where materialism, consumerism and acquiring barrage of stuff seem to be the order of the day?
If you always think there’s a need to break free from that kind of life, then minimalist living could be your next ideal option.
What is minimalist living?
Minimalism is the practice of awareness and intent regarding your possessions, time and energy. A common misconception is that minimalism means that you need extreme scarcity.
It originates from the concept of Buddhism to Christianity, which denounce material possessions and move towards more of a spiritual focus of wisdom.
Minimalism is a practice. A focus to move towards simplicity and away from consumption/consumerism.
We will highlight the number of benefits of minimalist living as well as tips on how to live a minimalist lifestyle.
Can minimalist living change your life for the better?
If you look around your home, you are likely to find endless piling of stuff that you no longer use. Maybe you had bought that item when you needed it, but you no longer do. Maybe it’s something you received as a gift and it’s filling up a lot of space in your home. Perhaps you liked the item when you bought it, but now you no longer feel the attachment.
The solution could be in getting rid of that stuff that you don’t need. Or else, embrace a minimalist living. But what does minimalist living mean?
Different philosophers have coined the term minimalism into a different meaning. Some say that minimalism involves getting rid of any unnecessary stuff in your life and embracing living with less.
They say that it is a life that consists of focusing on building stronger relationships and tightening cords of connection with people around you.
They also say that minimalism entails a reconsideration of key priorities in life. Stripping away any junk or excessive possessions, toxic relationships, terrible ideas and activities that don’t add value to your life are some of the minimalist living examples.
Instead, you strive to reclaim your time and embrace fewer things that lead a more focused lifestyle.
It means that you must sell or give away almost all your possessions, seldom purchase anything new, travel everywhere, become a vegetarian and live in a tiny house if you are a minimalist.
But, should it be that extreme? Should minimalist living be a word that invokes images of bare walls, sets of handmade clothing, or living with less than a hundred things?
Shouldn’t’ it be a lifestyle entered into intentionally and strategically after one has identified their core values in life and the items necessary to afford them a comfortable experience in life?
Yes. Indeed. Minimalist living, when practiced for the right reasons, results in numerous significant benefits in life.
A majority of people who have adopted the minimalist lifestyle have reaped many benefits from it.
Top 5 Benefits of Minimalist Living
There are many benefits of minimalist living and some benefits are more important to certain people. These are just a few that Here are the five benefits of minimalist living.
1. Help get rid of clutter that doesn’t add value to your life
Minimalism living involves getting rid of the excesses and clutter or things that you do not need or use. In exchange, you strive to live in a simple environment and pursue an uncluttered and modest way of life.
A decluttered life leads to a decluttered mind.
2. Spend money and time more on experiences rather than stuff
Minimalism lifestyle is a life without excessive passion for material things or an obsession with doing everything and accomplishing too much. Instead, it entails using simple tools, carrying a few things, having a simple wardrobe, and living lightly.
If you spend less money, then you can also quickly achieve financial independence.
3. Develop deeper and meaningful relationships
Minimalism should be a tool that helps you filter out the junk and excesses of life. Usually followed in favor of focusing on what adds value to your life and embracing the most important things to you.
In essence, minimalism lets you can develop better relationships and thus find more happiness, fulfillment, purpose, and enjoy greater freedom in life.
4. Freedom from financial worry
Minimalism living involves reducing your worldly possessions and living with less than a hundred things. Living with less automatically translates into fewer debts and consequently, less financial worries.
With fewer expenses, budgeting is stress-free also. Actually, spending less and budgeting well is one of the best money hacks for millionaires.
With less burden on yourself, you likely can react to financial emergencies easier and with less hassle. These are some of the most common financial emergencies.
5. Less worry and thus more happiness
Minimalism can lead to a more meaningful life and higher productivity. With a renewed sense of mindfulness, you can prioritize the most important things to you, including building meaningful relationships, going for more trips, reducing debts, living off a mortgage, and even saving money in a much less intrusive way.
The lifestyle enables you to live in full control of what you have as well as with whom to connect. You enjoy more freedom from life stresses, hurry and rushing to do or accomplish things.
Let’s now look at some of the tips on how to become a minimalist.
Four Minimalist Living Tips
How do you get to the point of minimalist living? So, here are a few minimalist living tips to set you off towards the minimalist lifestyle.
Dispose of unnecessary stuff and completely let go
Most people are obsessed with possessions. They want to take in more and more, and they rarely get an opportunity to discard the stuff they no longer need. Thus, their homes fill up with a lot of junk. Since there is a belief that the best solution is to organize them, some people find bigger spaces and try to arrange them.
A few people, on the other hand, look for more efficient organizational tips and tricks to organize them. But they forget that organizing stuff is always only a temporary solution.
A minimalist attempts to be more with less. So if you have items lying idly around or even clothes in your wardrobe that you don’t wear, then give them away or sell them.
Different things act as key motivation to different things in life. Goals and lifestyles are some of the critical motivations in life. So, figure out your primary driving force in life. Embrace things that are helping you improve your life like embracing energy saving products.
Be rational and intentional about what you want to achieve and what you don’t need. Stick to what helps you accomplish your goals in life.
Your minimalist approach should go beyond your home to other parts of your life for example in the workplace.
If your to-do-list involves a long list of things that you must accomplish, then you may end up feeling overwhelmed, unaccomplished, unsatisfied, or even stressed by the end of the day.
In minimalist living, a day starts with a simple to-do-list. The list has few essential errands or tasks they must accomplish, and they pursue each one of them based on their priority.
If you adopt this lifestyle, soon enough you will begin to understand that you are becoming much more efficient with your work, and eventually you will also manage to accomplish more tasks with few resources.
Avoid striving for too much perfection
One of the vital things to understand is that you won’t get there instantly after you begin. Don’t give up just because you have a hit a snag or a setback along the way.
If you don’t experience an immediate change, avoid being too harsh on yourself. Once you begin to declutter, you’ll also start to assign real value and worth to things differently.
Minimalism living should not always be about restrictions, limits, penalties, or reprimanding yourself for not meeting specific goals. There are no set rules or regulations of what minimalism entails. Thus, you should genuinely discern what you need, as opposed to what you think you need.
Questions to Evaluate on a Journey to Living as a Minimalist
Alright, so we’ve gone through a benefits and tips analysis on living as a minimalist. So, let’s now have a look at a few questions that you should think about before you embark on your journey towards the minimalist lifestyle.
Why are you embracing the minimalist living?
The first question is finding your reason behind embracing the lifestyle. You need to find out what has triggered the decision. What is your primary motivation? Are you becoming a minimalist because it’s popular, or are you genuinely interested in it?
You can quickly jump in and start giving away stuff. But unless you know the reason behind it, you’ll be less likely to stick with this new lifestyle.
You shouldn’t just focus on the material side of minimalism, because the real change occurs when you have a new perspective on life that the lifestyle brings. Becoming a minimalist is not just about the stuff that you own neither is it all about ultimately getting rid of them.
For instance, if you have a thousand personal items and each has a real value in your life, then is there a need to get rid of any of them?
You must be sincere with yourself as to whether all the stuff that you have gives you meaning & purpose in life. You must figure out your driving force and values as well clarify your inspiration because the whole minimalist experience depends on these pillars.
See Related: How to Use Geoarbitrage to Unlock Financial Freedom
Do you understand how to live with less?
Since minimalism means a different thing to different people, there are varying degrees to which you can practice a minimalist lifestyle. The important thing is to know that becoming a minimalist is not only about getting rid of all your stuff but also, having stuff that makes life better, more meaningful and purposeful.
The goal and the principal objective behind minimalism are to downsize or declutter your space as well as your life.
This can help you focus better on your real priorities and lead a meaningful life. Therefore, it’s now up to you to decide what minimalism means in your life.
Is this the right time to embrace the lifestyle?
Another essential aspect to consider during your transition is your timing. Have you found out the best time to start the plunge or will you do it and then a few months down the line you want out?
Have you discussed it sufficiently with your significant other and is he or she comfortable with the idea? It’s better not to surprise your spouse one day by getting rid of the stuff at home such as TVs, laptops, cars, and cable without their prior knowledge. If you do this, they might not understand your purpose clearly.
An important thing is to first discuss the issue with them before starting the minimalism. This way, it will cause any confusion, and you will both understand the objective clearly.
See Related: How to Teach Your Kids About Money
Do you understand that it takes a huge commitment?
Minimalism is a journey that starts with a firm decision and equally devoted act. Don’t expect to live a good and simple life overnight.
You should aim for around 1-2 years to begin noticing the transformation effects and before you can get accustomed to the new lifestyle entirely.
Conclusion on Minimalist Living
Minimalism may not be for everyone, but anyone can strive for it. You don’t need to make the leap to extreme minimalism overnight but strive for some form of it to simplify your lifestyle. By doing so, you achieve the following most important benefits (in my opinion):
- Appreciate the simple things in life
- Realize the value and importance of free
- Clean living = clean mind
- Minimize worry and maximize happiness
You can reap many benefits from minimalist living and these are just a few that are of utmost importance to me. None of us are perfect. However, I do suggest some form of minimalism in your life.
It can refresh and jumpstart your lifestyle and living situation.
So, does minimalism seem like a lifestyle you think you should embrace? Please let me know in the comments section below.
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