Note to self: Why I enjoy embracing a minimalist lifestyle

This is a more personal post for me to explore why I embrace minimalism and to remember the reasons why I first became minimalist.

There are myriad reasons that people choose to embrace a minimalist lifestyle, so my top reasons might be different to yours. However, sometimes I just need to remind myself why I choose to embrace minimalism in the first place, why I live with minimal possessions and why I don’t reclutter my home.

It saves me time

With fewer possessions to maintain, I’m able to spend less time cleaning, tidying and decluttering. Everything that needed to go has gone, and everything that remains has a ‘home’; somewhere to store it and, importantly, somewhere I know I can find it. No more wasting time rummaging through cupboards and boxes to find a specific item. I already know where it is and can go straight to it.

And with less stuff, all neatly stored away, my surfaces are clearer and therefore quicker and easier to clean. I can vacuum all the way under my bed without having to move boxes (it was once full of storage tubs under there) and I can wipe down surfaces without shifting stacks of papers or trinkets.

My home feels bigger

When your storage furniture isn’t bursting with items and when every surface isn’t covered with items or things waiting to be put away, it makes your home feel more capacious. I feel like I’ve got ample space – more than needed – simply because there aren’t items tucked into every alcove or furniture against every wall. Even inside my cupboards and on my shelves there are empty spaces – not bursting at the seams with possessions – so that gives me a feeling of abundance too. I could have more but I choose not to.

Plus, just being able to see under furniture all the way to the edges of the room brings about an airy, spacious feeling. Additionally, that also makes it easier to keep the rooms mould-free. When I used to have a home full of items, the air couldn’t circulate and any moisture in the air would become trapped behind units, shelves and the bed, creating a fusty smell and, ultimately, mouldy surfaces. Not healthy.

With minimal possessions in the rooms, I believe that my home feels more luxurious. A bit like a holiday let, where you’ve got everything you need to feel at home but nothing excessive. No mess. Just a tidy, clean, peaceful space to enjoy. Every weekend is a holiday at home for me.

I feel less stressed

As a highly sensitive person, I can become affected by too many sights, sounds and smells. Any assault on my senses brings about feelings of stress and I can quickly become tired or need to remove myself from the situation. Without clutter in my home, I don’t get that primal feeling of being on the look-out for danger or the anxiety that comes with it. I can easily feel more relaxed and safe in my own home, which is essential.

I also don’t have a never-ending to-do list. When you’ve got lots of items around you that you need to organise or declutter, it’s always there in the back of your mind. I need to sort this, I need to clear out that. I’m talking about both physical items and digital clutter. Those unopened emails, photos un-backed-up and files from years ago that really could be deleted. That’s a massive list of tasks in itself, right?

Your free time is no longer yours because, even if you’re resting, there’ll be a niggling feeling that you should be doing something to tackle the issue. Prior to dealing with my clutter, I felt overwhelmed by the task ahead and it would stress me out just thinking about it.

Now that I’ve cleared out and organised everything, I rarely get the feeling that I should be doing something whenever I’m resting. Sure, I still have a to-do list but it’s more of a would-like-to-do list rather than a list of demands on my time that are going to sap my energy and result in me not getting any downtime.

It saves me money

I recently wrote about the ways that minimalism can help with money issues and that really clarified things for me. Rather than ‘being poor’ stopping me from buying unnecessary items, I actually found that I spent more when I had less money.

Now that I choose to bring less stuff into my minimalist home, I can save money every single time that I don’t make a purchase. Plus, I was able to earn some extra money when I decluttered my collections by reselling anything of value.

The combination of making money and not spending money has meant that I have more savings than ever and no longer need to have frugal spending habits BUT that doesn’t mean I head to the shops and splash the cash on new items. The novelty always wears off anyway. Rather, I choose not to bring anything extra into my home and instead, I spend the money I saved on experiences; holidays, day trips, event tickets, and relaxation.

This post has served as a helpful reminder of why I started my minimalist journey and what benefits I feel as a result. I’ll probably add to this list as and when I discover more advantages of embracing minimalism but, for now, these reasons are more than enough to encourage me to continue living a minimalist lifestyle. What conveniences or enjoyment have you found from living minimally? Tweet me @minimalistheory with your reasons.