She liked shopping. But, no, she was not a shopaholic. She purchased quite judiciously after weighing the pros and cons. The only problem was that she lived in a ‘tiny’ 3 BHK apartment with her husband, so she thought. Her daughters were abroad and their room was not much in use. She decorated the rest of the house.
For a year or two, she did this – shopped, decorated, and dusted. However, this cycle had to stop one day. The house felt stuffed and gave up on her. The house did not adjust anymore nor her husband. And on top of all, she herself got bored of it all. The new home that she had decided to do up with all the lovely things she ever wanted having started looking like a museum. Then, there came a point, where she gave up all – every little thing. And yes, even that house. So, what was she up to?
She had adopted minimalism. It is not a religion and not a community. Neither is it a clan, nor sainthood. Minimalism is an approach. It is not a new discovery. Minimalism is existent since time immemorial. However, the benefits of minimalism that people are receiving at present are quite substantial. While there is much joy in owning all the kinds of luxury in your life, there is a different kind of ecstasy in leaving it all.
“The best things in life are not things”
The concept of Minimalism
Minimalism means living a life of fewer possessions. It stands for a lifestyle where you not only try to get rid of your unrequired present possessions but also make sure that you do not shop for unnecessary stuff. If you could use a spatula as a spoon, nothing is better than that. If you could repeat the same tuxedo to every party that you attend, how easy your life would be.
You might think that it is easy to say but difficult to adopt, but you would be surprised to know that an increasing number of people all over the world are doing this. When you tread the path of minimalism, your life will change for the better. It’s a lighter kind of living – a living that you will love eventually.
The more you let go, the higher you rise
How Minimalism Will Benefit Your Lifestyle
Minimalism – the word might be quite complex but the approach is quite simple. It is all about making your life easy. Things and possessions in your life will not make you happy but their absence certainly will. If you think that modernism has made your life complicated, then minimalism will help you get out of the old rut. It’s like living in the countryside, with just a few possessions. When the options are few, you do not have to worry much. Let’s take a look at the benefits of minimalism.
1. Minimalist Homes are Easier to Clean and Maintain
So, you have four rooms, three cupboards, two beds, and a huge dining table to clean every day. In the kitchen, you have four different types of a spatula, three types of tablespoons, two types of beaters, and a huge four-burner stove. In your living room, you need to charge your iPod, your iPad, your iPhone, and even Google Home. Does this ring a bell? The more you have, the more you need to maintain.
When you use a bottle opener just once a year, why do you need to purchase it! Find an alternate hack that will help you open the bottle without an opener. When you stuff your home with possessions, your levels of anxiety rise, and you start feeling distracted. This is true, especially with kids. When my three-year-old plays in the living room, she wants to switch on the television. In contrast, when she plays in the study, she concentrates just on the game. With less stuff to care for, cleaning becomes effortless and less time-consuming. The purpose of things is to make your life easy and liberated as opposed to complex and constrained.
“Maybe a life without is better than a life with”
Also Read: How to Boost Positive Energy in Your Home
2. Fewer Possessions Mean Greater Peace of Mind
Which is your favourite place that lets you be at peace? Is it at the heap of dirty laundry? Is it on the pile of gadgets to be charged? Or is it the valleys amid nature? For me, it is the third. The reason I love nature is that there is so much space available, space to breathe, space to stretch and space to be. The other day my husband was praising Steve Jobs. And this was not for the iPhone that he invented. It was for his choice of clothes. My husband told me that if given a choice, I will wear the same clothes every day with nothing to choose. Isn’t this easy! The more you have the more you are confused – what to wear, what to cook, what channel to watch, etc.
When I was young, we just had a single television channel. So, there was no conflict between family members. You get to watch what is being telecasted. When your home just has limited things, you are less burdened about the maintenance and ultimately feel good. Peace of mind comes from fewer possessions in life. Minimalism makes you feel good and this is psychologically backed. When you steer clear of unnecessary things, you realize the purpose of your life. You are determined to achieve it with no time to waste on hand.
“The less you have, the less you have to worry about”
3. Getting Rid of Clutter Gives You Freedom
The rise in the advertisements around us inspires and coaxes us to hoard things, without the actual need of them. This is exactly opposite to the concept of minimalism. While people compete to increase their belongings, minimalism requires them to get rid of the things and the ownership and pride that come with them. When you adopt minimalism, you will revel in the joy of not having too many possessions to care about. You will feel liberated and free.
Over time, things that you own can become burdensome. You will be bogged down with the things that are seldom used. Such things add on to the clutter in the home. Getting rid of such clutter gives you invisible wings. You will feel lighter. In contrast, when the goal of your life is to obtain more things, you feel stressed and tied up to the chain of belongings. When you get rid of such goals, you leave the rat race of owning things instead you strive to improve your own self.
“It’s not your salary that makes you rich, it’s your spending habits”
4. Minimalism Ultimately Results in Savings
You will wonder how minimalism can increase the money in your piggy bank. But this is true in many ways. When you start getting rid of unrequired things, you will find ways to utilize the present possessions to the maximum. This also inspires you not to invest in things that you will not use frequently. This way you would realize that you have accumulated enough savings in just a month.
Minimalism cuts down on your impulsive shopping behavior. You now purchase judiciously as well. And you would not believe that it is a vicious cycle. The less you purchase, the less inclined you become to purchase. The more spacious is your home, the less you would want to stuff it with things. The idea is to get used to space in your closet, kitchen, pantry, and home. Instead of filling up your pantry to the brim, you would want to purchase groceries that you would actually need.
“The more you throw away, the more you find”
5. You will Feel Better and Healthier Again
Minimalism is all about getting rid of excess in your life, be it possessions, weight, people, thoughts, etc. I continue from the above benefit wherein I ask you to need to get rid of the excess of groceries in the pantry to save money. However, the ultimate benefit of this would be better health. When you have an excess of stuff to prepare in the pantry, you cook more and eat more.
Instead, the concept of minimalism coaxes you to purchase food that is enough for a day or even a week. This way you purchase and eat fresh. You find creative recipes for preparing stuff from the ingredients available. Your family will thank you for making them healthy and fresh again. Those who are trying to lose weight can do that and those who want to gain can also attain it when you eat and think healthy. Apart from physical, minimalism also results in better mental health.
“Strive not to get more done, but to have less to do”
6. Let the Stress Take Rest with Minimalism
I believe for better physical health with minimalism in the above benefit. I also believe that minimalism makes you stress-free. When we shifted to our new home, I was always thinking about what I should purchase to make it better. After many rounds of visiting home-décor stores and people with decorated homes, I settled for no-décor home. The less the décor, the more is space for my kid to move around. Plus, I am not worried about cleaning the décor or damaging it.
Ultimately, the stress in my life was gone. I do not waste my time in dusting on Sunday morning but reading the newspaper with a cup of steaming coffee in my hand. When you decide that you do not want more, you realize the reason for stress in your life.
“Learn to let go”
7 You won’t Complain about the Shortage of Time
When you have many things, you need a bigger home. When you get a bigger home, you try to stuff it more till the point the house itself gives up. When things are less, you do not need to maintain them. With fewer things, you find what you require without wasting time. The time required to execute tasks becomes less.
All of this results in more of me-time on your hand. You can do whatever you want to do with this extra time. I have yet another example. When you own fewer clothes, you do not waste time in choosing what to wear and you do not waste time doing laundry as well. This saves you time, right! Minimalism inspires you to simplicity. You spend more time in things that you like rather than wasting in those that you don’t.
“All you need is less”
8. A Chance to Invest in Experiences than Things
When you attach your joys in things, you are always disappointed. This is because things give ephemeral joy. Once you get bored of the thing, you strive to find another thing that will give you joy. This is true with cellphones – there will always be a better model.
Contrary to this, when you try to find happiness in experiences, you will always feel satisfied. Experiences give you memories, something that no one can take from you. Experiences, whether good or bad, will teach you a skill or two. You will come out smarter after every experience. When you think about good times spent with loved ones, there will always be a smile on your face. You need to inculcate this thought even in your kids – what do they want for this vacation, a new toy or a new place to visit!
“Live lightly and gracefully on the earth”
9. You Do Your Bit for the Environment
Minimalism is quite beneficial for our Mother Earth as well. When you get in the habit of not hoarding things, you do your bit towards the environment. When you start consuming less, there is less waste generated and ultimately the damage caused to nature is a little less. That the resources present on the planet are limited is a bitter truth we all know.
However, we do not realize our acts and their consequences. Just think about the simple example of every dress that you purchase for your kid. It uses cotton or any other fiber, it comes wrapped in a box or polythene and it has plastic tags on it. Some of these are not recyclable. I have stopped wrapping gift articles in colorful plastic sheets. I hand them either in a paper bag (which is again not a good choice) or as it is. Always plan carefully before buying anything – think about the impact on the planet. Keep the cycle of your consumption small. When you do something good for the planet, the planet too feels good about you.
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children”
10. Set an Example for the Kids
Your children learn from you. You need to leave a better planet for them. When you teach your kids good things, they and their surroundings both benefit from it. Minimalism is a very good life lesson. Teach your kids the rule of ‘one thing in, one thing out’. As soon as you purchase something new, something old and unused should be donated.
Make your kids responsible for the things that they own. If you are spoiling your kids with things, your kid will stop valuing them at a point. If your house is cluttered with things, it can have a negative effect on the behavior of kids as well. When the possessions are fewer, you and your kids form a special bond based on feelings and emotions rather than through things. You share experiences rather than gadgets. This is one of the most important concepts that your kids will carry on through generations. The benefits of minimalism most worth for sure.
You must be thinking that this article on minimalism does not have minimal words. But I could not stop writing as this is something close to my heart. My parents taught me this and I am quite happy with it. I did not grow up with too many things due to financial crunch. However, those were the best days of my life. I just had a couple of dresses to choose from when I went to a party. I used to be happy and sad both every time I received an invite. On the contrary, at present, I have tons of dresses and accessories to choose from but I do not like to go to parties. I am happy in my own state. I have understood that “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.