Everyday, we see the advertisements featuring new gadgets, technology, cars, and clothes. All around us we have clutter from our accumulation of more things. When you make a purchase, you feel an automatic high; you have gained possession of more. These highs, along with the presumed social status of ownership, give us a false sense of being happy. What most fail to recognize is that happiness comes from within, it is being happy with who we are instead of what we have. In fact, when we see minimalist individuals living in smaller homes with sparse belongings we think “They must be miserable”, or “How could they ever survive without…”. When you find yourself wanting to step back and slough off the excess, there are five things that will change your life.
1. Creating More Space
Downsizing will quite obviously empty a lot physical space in your home. But for those who choose to clear out, it can be a much bigger journey than just removing possessions. As your home becomes more simple and basic, you will feel your mental and spiritual wellbeing improving as well. You will have a sense of starting over and leaving behind all the stress that comes with wanting to acquire more. When you begin to separate who you are from what you own, you are allowing your mind and soul to declutter and expand as well.
2. Reassess Your Focus
Many individuals will tell you their time is valuable. If you will consider how much of that precious time is spent searching for next fun toy, trying to stay current on technology and fashion, as well as the time spend working to acquire the funds to purchase it all, it is very easy to focus on wrong things. When you make the decision to downsize, you will find a lot of your time is freed up as well. Taking time to do things you enjoy will become more important. You will be able to take a pottery class, learn a new language, or even start the garden you have always wanted and couldn’t find time for. Being able to focus on things you what and reassessing what is really important to you will make you much happier.
3. Freeing Your Funds
When you make the decision to buy a new giant big screen, you are really making many decisions. You will want to dedicate a lot of time to using it so you feel you get your money’s worth. You are deciding your status in life can be measured in inches. You know if you use your credit for the purchase, you will have to dedicate your time later to pay it off. But you are also deciding to put money into objects that depreciate in value, instead of creating more valuable life experiences. For the price of your new television, you could have learned how to ski or taken a weekend holiday with your loved ones. Creating memories, meeting people, and experiencing life will become much more valuable when you decide to minimize.
4. Reducing Stress and Worry
Many individuals would agree that finances are a major stress. When making big ticket purchases, many have to rely on credit. Going into debt for a new car, electronics and gadgets, or trying to maintain a fashionable wardrobe can cause stress by eating your time and money. Not only are you now paying interest, you also have agreed to work until your debt is paid off. Instead of owning your new things they end up owning you. Reducing your spending not only will ease your mind, it will also dramatically affect your savings account.
5. Remembering Who Really Matters
When you decide to live minimally, you will start to remember who really matters, and whose opinion means the most. Instead of trying impress other people, you will remember that self-satisfaction is more important. When other people are buying things they can’t afford to impress people that don’t really matter, you will have the simpler joys in life; the clothes on your back, the love of your family, and significantly less stress in your life.
Physical possessions will wear down and break, they lose their value with time, and you are left with nothing to show for your life. However, there isn’t any amount of money that will replace self-worth, self-love and memories.