Scatter-brain is a legitimate problem that many people face. Okay, so maybe I’m talking about myself here 😉
I can think of a hundred things I want/should do in a day. There’s just so many possibilities in life that I want to try everything. But I also want to take care of the things I’m responsible for….
I like to think of myself as the CEO of crazy-ideas-international. I’m really, and I mean REALLY good at coming up with some off-the-wall ideas. What’s worse, is a lot of times I’ll act on these ideas and then I find myself elbow deep in- well, you get the idea. 😉
I like to stay busy. So my crazy-ideas-international comes in really handy. But I still have regular things like a house and home to take care of.
So I’m pulled and pushed around with my crazy-ideas and the responsibility of keeping my home clean and everybody fed.
Which is why I love minimalism.
It simplifies everything I do. From getting dressed in the morning to finding where I set the car keys. It has made a drastic difference in how I operate.
As a matter of fact, it makes me feel more like a contributing member society. My house is no longer a danger zone!
(Now I need to take my minimalism campaign to my garage but that scares me. 🙂 )
The less stuff I have, the easier it is to manage and the more time I have for all those ideas I was talking about. We’ve talked about this before, and we know that one of the great benefits of minimalism is more time.
Another aspect I had NOT anticipated from becoming a minimalist: it saves me money.
Guess what, the less stuff I have, the less I buy. Weird, huh? You would think the opposite would be true….
Now, as a disclaimer, I’m not an extreme minimalist. Nope. I consider myself a practical minimalist.
I apply minimalism to almost all areas of my life but certain stages of life require more things. Once you realize that there are different times/stages/roads in life than you can adjust your minimalist lifestyle to fit your needs. For example, my kids are a year and a half apart, this means I’ve got two pack n plays, a bouncer seat for the baby, age appropriate toys, and enough diapers to stuff a mattress with.
It’s only a matter of time before my kids are grown (it’s already going by too fast!) and so I don’t want to stress about the minimalist aspect with them. I want to build trains and do puzzles with them. I will say this, I’ve boxed up lots of toys and moved them out of the way and it makes it easier for them to relax and play when they aren’t on “toy overload.”
ANYWAYS…. Back on track. Minimalism and frugal living are not the distant cousins some people would try to have you believe. Certain people, no naming names here, believe that minimalism is about selling an exclusive and expensive lifestyle. To them they use it as a way to sell high-price tag items and market them as “exclusive.”
Minimalism is not about status symbols!!!!!!
Minimalism is about finding out what is truly important. Minimalism is about FIGHTING BACK against a consumerist culture. You do NOT need more stuff to make you happy. STUFF is not the key to happiness.
It is not the answer.
So if someone is telling you that you need to “BUY” something to be a minimalist, then they are simply trying to use a specific lifestyle to make money off of you.
You do not need to buy an expensive capsule wardrobe to be a minimalist. (More on that later!)
You don’t have to buy outrageously priced furniture.
If you’re at a particularly tight spot financially, don’t worry, minimalism and frugal living go together.
How do minimalism and frugal living fit together?
You take better care of the stuff you have.
With fewer things in my house, I find that I take better care of the things I DO have. This makes the stuff I use last much longer and that way I don’t have to buy a “new” one because I was so careless with it. Yet again this goes back to the disorganized hot mess.
You do less laundry.
With fewer clothes, there’s less laundry. It’s just that simple.
When you do less laundry you save time and money.
You buy less laundry soap, your power bill is lower, etc. etc.
You don’t buy replicas.
When I have so much stuff that I don’t know what I’ve got, I have a tendency to buy things I don’t need. (If you are able to understand that sentence you get a mental high five. 😉 )
If I can’t find what I’m looking for, then I just go out and buy another one. From more scissors to groceries, to clothing. When you use what you have you save money by not buying more. A fairly simple and common sense idea. When you know where everything is, it’s ten times easier to not waste money on stuff you don’t need!
You have more time.
This might seem like it belongs more in the time management category than the frugal living. But guess what? Time is money as they say- and I wholeheartedly believe that’s true. When you have extra time from minimalism you can work more to earn more, or spend that time with your family! If you have extra time you may even be able to work on your own start up…
With more time you could start a home business, work more, or make your own meals to save money!
You can sell your stuff.
When you’re downsizing you can sell your stuff and make money from it. I don’t know about you but that seems to help with the whole frugal living thing. 😉 Sell your clothes, your collectibles, and your crafts.
You’re not stressed.
Minimalism frees you from the stress of clutter. The less stressed you are, the more you are able to manage your finances. You are better equipped to make a thoughtful decision instead of a decision made out of panic.
i.e. No stress shopping.
When you make a fiscal decision out of fear/panic/stress than you are putting yourself in a bad place financially.
You are more intentional with your money.
You know what you want to do with your money: you use your money with purpose and aren’t frivolous in your purchases. With minimalism, you aren’t buying things simply to keep up with the people around you. You aren’t letting other people’s expectations dictate what you do with your money.
I whole heartedly believe minimalism and frugal living go together like nacho cheese and chips. (Yes, I am an unhealthy eater. Eater? Now I feel like an anteater….) I did the whole frugal living, scrimp every penny, shut off the power type thing even before I became a minimalist.
Now, I’m a fan of frugal living- it’s seen us through some tight spots as a young married couple and we have zero debt right now and we intend to keep it that way.
BUT, I wished I had known the power of less stuff. I was busy hustling and scrimping our way to paying the bills and trying to manage a pile of stuff we never used. Adding minimalism and frugal living together was like a light bulb moment for me. One leads to the other and vice versa.
It doesn’t have to be one or the other. They go together.