I’ve already talked about what motivated me to start decluttering our house and our lives. As I’ve continued to declutter and simplify, I’ve realized there are more benefits of minimalism than just having less stuff for your kids to make a mess with. Some of these benefits are impossible to miss, some are more subtle. But I have learned the benefits of minimalism and simplifying are huge and make the work of decluttering worth it.
There are so many benefits of minimalism and simplifying your life. This list is the most important benefits I’ve experienced as a result of choosing to declutter, minimize and simplify our lives.
I’ve shared what I want a simpler life to look like for our family. But whenever you’re making a lifestyle change, it is so much easier to stick to it if you have a clear understanding of why you are making the change. These benefits are the reasons why I am choosing to pursue this lifestyle.
7 Benefits of Minimalism: Why I’m choosing to live with less
1. Cleaning is easier
I really don’t like cleaning and doing housework. But even more than that, I can’t stand a dirty and messy house. Having less stuff makes cleaning much easier, so I’m more likely to get it done and stay on top of the housework.
Take dusting for example. If I have to pick up, dust off and deal with 10 things on the mantle just to dust it, it takes a lot more time and effort to dust the mantle. If every surface in my house is covered with stuff, it makes dusting a lot more work and more likely that I will put off dusting. But if my surfaces only have 1 or 2 things on them, dusting becomes much easier and faster. Knowing I can quickly and easily get it done means I’m less likely to procrastinate doing it.
The same goes with vacuuming. If I have to spend 30 minutes picking up all the stuff on the floor just so that I CAN vacuum, it becomes way too easy to put off vacuuming. But if all I need to do is get out the vacuum, maybe pick up a couple of things and I’m ready to vacuum, I’m much more likely to get the vacuuming done.
The fact that minimizing the amount of stuff we have makes cleaning so much faster and easier is the biggest motivating factor that got me on board with minimalism and simplifying.
2. Less cleaning
Notice a theme here? I guess having less housework is big for me!
Having less stuff means there is less cleaning to do in general. When you have fewer things, there is less to pick up, less to organize, less to take care of.
The kids’ toys are a good example. If we have too many toys in the playroom, cleaning up can be a huge and daunting task. But with fewer toys, it is so much quicker and easier to clean the playroom up. This means we spend time picking up.
Plus kids have an amazing ability to make big messes out of anything they can get their hands on. And they can do it so fast! Having less stuff in the house means there is less for the kids to take out and spread all over the house. They are still kids and still make messes, but the size of the mess is limited by the amount of stuff in the house. Less stuff means less mess.
I can easily do a quick 10 minute tidy of the whole house before I go to bed at night. Then I know when I start my day the next day, the house will be in order and we can start fresh. Waking up to a messy, cluttered house never feels good. Knowing how easy it is to maintain a relatively tidy and clean house is a great benefit to minimalism.
Related post: How I got started into Minimalism
3. Less stress
Adopting a minimalist mindset can also reduce the amount of stress in your life. It’s been proven that excess clutter causes stress and makes it difficult to relax.
With less stuff, it is much easier to maintain a neat and orderly home. With fewer things, it is more likely that everything you own will have a place AND it will be relatively easy to put it away in that place. This means you’re less likely to lose or misplace things.
I can’t stand not being able to find something I’m looking for. It’s a huge pet peeve of mine. Since minimizing our belongings, I rarely lose things anymore. Things aren’t perfect and occasionally I can’t find something, but even then, because we have less stuff, it’s much quicker and easier to find what I’m looking for.
There are many other ways minimalism can reduce your stress. For example, you have more time to relax or do activities you enjoy because you don’t have to spend as much time cleaning and taking care of your stuff. In fact, your brain actually CAN relax in an uncluttered space because it isn’t being overstimulated by too much stuff.
Also, because your home is easier to keep tidy when you have less stuff, having an unexpected guest doesn’t make you feel stressed or embarrassed. You’re able to welcome people into your home without spending hours or days cleaning beforehand. These are just a few examples of how less stuff can mean less stress.
4. Minimalism helps me thrive as a Highly Sensitive Person
I am a Highly Sensitive Person and an introvert (I’ll post more about this soon!). Because of this, having a calm, uncluttered home is important for me. Too much sensory information, such as visual clutter, a lot of noise or a chaotic environment causes me to feel stressed and overwhelmed.
I want my home to be my sanctuary, a place I can feel peaceful, calm and recharged. Learning how much an uncluttered, minimalist home and life would benefit me as a Highly Sensitive Person was empowering and motivating for me. I’ve learned I can create a peaceful and calming home by decluttering and simplifying our home and life.
5. More time for what I love
Living more simply gives me more time to do what I love. I don’t spend my days feeling overwhelmed with stuff or stressing about cleaning. I don’t feel angry and resentful that dealing with stuff is taking up so much of my time and energy.
With less stuff in the house, I don’t have to spend so much time managing it all. This means I have more time and space for the things that matter most to me. I have time to spend with my family. I can do more of the things that bring me joy, like making jewelry, practicing yoga, or just hanging out watching Netflix with my husband.
Beyond our physical stuff, we also try to simplify and be intentional with how we spend our time. We don’t over commit ourselves or sign up for too many activities. We prefer having evenings and weekends mostly unscheduled, rather than rushing from one activity to the next. This gives us a lot of downtime to relax, recharge, spend time together and do things we love.
6. Cultivate Gratitude
By choosing to own less, we are choosing to be content with what we have. We know that what we already have is enough.
We break the cycle of thinking if we just have the latest gadget or the newest styles of clothes or the most trendy furniture, THEN we’ll finally be happy. Instead, we are choosing to feel happy and grateful for what we already have. Realizing we already have more than enough.
7. People matter more than stuff
Of all the benefits of simplifying this is the most meaningful. When we lost our first child, Aiden, in 2010, it became glaringly obvious to me that things aren’t what matter most in life. Not even close. The people we love and care about are what matters the most.
The first Christmas after we lost Aiden, I was completely heartbroken. I remember looking around at all the gifts we had just opened and thinking, “it’s all just stuff. I would give up everything I’ve ever owned in a heartbeat if it meant I could have Aiden here with me.”
Losing Aiden was a horrible, heartbreaking way to come to this realization. But it became clear to me that nothing we own will ever even come close to being as important as the people we love. Letting go of the excess in our lives allowed me to see what matters most: the people we love.
These are the some of the most important benefits we are experiencing because of minimalism and simplifying. I’m sure the further we go into our simple living journey, the greater the benefits of minimalism will become. There is so much freedom by letting go of the things we don’t need in our lives.
What are some of the benefits you’re experiencing by simplifying and embracing minimalism? Big or small, I’d love to hear about all the ways living with less is making your life better! Leave me a comment below!