On first glance it might appear that minimalism is about generally decluttering and having a simpler life. What people on the outside of minimalism don’t realize that is just the beginning. Life lessons learned from minimalism stretch far beyond the simple act of eliminating physical possessions.
After seven years of practicing minimalism, of course I’ve learned a multitude of nuggets I’d love to pass on. Buckle up for my words of wisdom since going minimalist.
Prioritizing What’s Important
Life is wasted on menial tasks involving possessions. The minutes you waste every day turn into hours every week and weeks every year, which results in years over your lifetime. All that time would have been better spent enjoying the company of those you hold dear.
Minimizing your possessions can help you realize what is truly important to you and what you can live without. Nobody would ever say that pile of paperwork is worthy of more time and energy than your mother. The process of becoming a minimalist can help you learn to prioritize your time and energy on people.
Letting Go of Attachment
Creating a healthier attachment to possessions helps you develop a more resilient mindset. Disconnecting from items and re-connecting with people will give you more peace of mind during times of loss or change.
Knowing you fostered your relationships to people instead of letting your time get sucked away by stuff is liberating. Your relationships and experiences will bring you joy long after your stuff is gone.
Go from Messy to Minimalist
Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. But today is a gift, that is why it’s called the present.
Freeing Yourself from Distraction
As you drift off to sleep you’re undoubtedly thinking about stuff. The pile of laundry, stack of paperwork, broken dining chair, or scuff mark on your boots. Stuff is a central focus of your energy before choosing minimalism.
Embracing minimalism teaches you the value of simplicity and focus in all areas of your life. Understanding the lessons learned from minimalism is a gift you want to give your younger self. By reducing distractions and clutter, you can learn to focus on what’s truly important and create more meaningful moments in your life.
Simplifying and Decluttering
Becoming a minimalist is not a one time event, it is an ongoing lifestyle. Learning how to function in a less chaotic environment is against the grain of our upbringing. Constant re-evaluation of our surroundings is an amazing skill.
Decluttering a space translates to a simpler more peaceful existence. Most people thrive in peaceful simple environments, but they just don’t know how to get transform their chaos.
Self-Awareness and Authenticity
Recognizing your own faults becomes easier when they aren’t conflated with the chaos of clutter. You are forced to use less excuses and be more authentic when you don’t have the overwhelm of items in your orbit.
Your values, choices, and goals come into alignment more easily as a minimalist. When you are alone with your thoughts and not burdened by physical distractions, the real you has an opportunity to shine. The stuff used to shield you from becoming the best version of yourself is gone. Now it’s all up to you for better or worse.
Gratitude and Appreciation
The joy and enjoyment you get from your items increases drastically as you reduce your possessions. You will appreciate each item more.
Being grateful for what you have instead of focusing on what you lack will come naturally. Your focus won’t be on the items you wish you had or what you don’t have because you won’t want to add more stuff to your world.
Your journey towards minimalism gives you a greater sense of the global impact of each persons choices. In our consumer driven societies the consumption of products is done with no regard to the environmental impact.
Becoming a minimalist encourages you to buy less, use less and be mindful of the impact of your choices on the environment. While one person’s change in behavior won’t make an impact the whole of their influence can have an effect.
Mindfulness and Intentionality
One of the biggest life lessons learned from minimalism is the importance of being intentional. With less stuff your focus is less diluted. Each choice doesn’t get lost in a sea of choices amongst the disarray of your life.
You become more present in each moment and make conscious choices that align with your values and life goals. Analyzing your intentions with each action is much easier as your mind is in a state of calm more often.
Instead of having limitless tools and supplies at your disposal you can turn to your brain power and network. Being a minimalist encourages you as a result, to find creative solutions and make the most of your limited resources.
If you need a one time use dress for a special occasion the power of social networks can allow you to borrow a dress. Building furniture requires some specific random tool? Reach out to your neighbors and borrow that item. The community you build by not just buying one time use items is powerful.
Lessons Learned from Minimalism
Postponing your acceptance of minimalism only delays your ability to fully enjoy your life. There are people who will placate your assertions that minimalism isn’t for you, but that would not be to your benefit.
Without a doubt minimalism will have the greatest impact on reclaiming your time. Your most precious resource deserves explicit attention before you run out of it.