Why do people choose minimalism?
To be perfectly honest there isn’t one specific answer. Everyone chooses minimalism for their own reasons. Some of the reasons are philosophical, others practical, while some are out of necessity.
So…First off, what does minimalism do?
Minimalism is taking a stand against consumerism.
- Minimalism is countercultural in the way that it doesn’t push you to have more and more stuff.
- Minimalism is simplistic and focused living.
- Minimalism is understanding that your worth is not defined by your belongings.
Minimalism focuses on the idea that owning a bunch of stuff does not equal happiness. Think about it, most good memories and experiences involve people or adventures: not things. By moving away from the need to own more stuff you open yourself up to a life of free and simpler living allowing you to pursue the more important things.
Minimalism fights against the lie that you are only as important as the stuff you own!
It’s important to remember minimalism can look different to each person and the way they choose to implement it in their lives can be based on their lifestyle. If you have 5 kids it’s not very practical to only have one plate in the house. There are no “rules” to minimalism but usually there is a reason people choose to refocus their lives with it.
Reasons why people choose minimalism:
You want to simplify your life. If you are tired of the hustle and bustle of trying to keep up with work, kids, home, and managing your “things” than by getting rid of a lot of your belongings you will be able to drastically simplify the rest of your life.
You’re tired of stuff. Sometimes, you just get tired of all the crap. You don’t want to deal with one more messy pile of stuff that you never use. Go for minimalism.
You like the idealism behind minimalism. Having the power to say no to consumerism is empowering in itself. Learning that you don’t have to buy something just because everyone else is. Learning that your lifestyle is your choice and you needn’t feel guilty about it is incredibly freeing.
You want freedom in your daily life. By choosing minimalism, you are choosing freedom in your everyday life, not even to mention the freedom in the long run. Without things hanging over your head- like cleaning and organizing crap that you don’t want to begin with- than you have a freedom in your spirit which helps you make better life decisions all around. Minimalism gives you a freedom of choice, a freedom of thought, and a freedom of time.
You want more hours in the day. Minimalism can save you time. By choosing a simpler lifestyle you instantly free up more of your time so you can do what you enjoy and spend time with the people who are important to you.
You want to get out of debt. Because minimalism is a stand against consumerism, it helps you financially. If you are looking for financial freedom, minimalism can help you on that track by decreasing your spending and possibly increasing your income if you choose to sell your things.
Whatever the reasons are behind minimalism, each person’s views of it will be drastically different.
Some minimalists have less than 100 things. Total. Some people have half that. Some people have five times that. Some people live in 150 square foot houses. Others live in 4,000 square foot houses.
Minimalism is an ideal. An inspired idea, if you will, that we are not slaves to things. We are not required to buy the “next best thing” throughout life.
People work jobs to pay down debt for things they hardly ever use. And then they have no time to do what they enjoy.
The irony is astounding.
“I make myself rich by making my wants few.” – Henry David Thoreau
Some people have a hard time letting go of belongings- not surprising when they have worked hard to earn money to buy this stuff. But it doesn’t change the fact that it’s stuff that ultimately should be there to help you- not hinder you. If you find that you are spinning your wheels in a constant cycle of buying, collecting, and taking care of STUFF, maybe you should take a step back and evaluate what’s important to you.
We don’t take our stuff with us when we die. I would rather focus my time on what matters.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have things that you enjoy, things that you use on an everyday basis, and things that help you out in life. (Like my washer and dryer. They help me. 🙂 )
BUT, if you’re tired of the overall consumerism of always buying the new thing to keep up with the unrealistic social media expectations, than you’re not alone. We don’t HAVE to compete. We can say no.
YOU get to decide what is essential in your life.
It’s okay to be different.
It’s okay to not have piles of stuff in your house.
Find out YOUR reason for minimalism and you will stand by it more firmly. Don’t let people make you feel awkward for the lifestyle you’ve chosen. The freedom you’ll have from things will be worth it in the end!