the open road

The most obvious benefit of having a more minimalist lifestyle has to be having a cleaner home; less clutter equates to less time cleaning. Less time trying to organise your things, less time tidying and less time panicking because your house is a mess when you have unexpected guests. Something I think we’ve all experienced. But what about the other benefits? Although I’m still working on minimising my stuff, I’m starting to notice some other advantages of leading a more minimalist lifestyle…Here are just five things that I’ve been thinking about this week.

1. I’m starting to be more careful about how I spend my time. I think this quote says it all, “The key is not to prioritizeΒ what’s onΒ your schedule, but toΒ schedule yourΒ priorities.” ~ Stephen Covey. It’s so easy to get caught up in the small things, the minutiae of life, that we often forget about the big picture. Yes, we all need to work to pay the bills, to go to our classes…but do we really need to be spending three hours watching cable TV or surfing the net when we get home? Cutting back on these “habits” has helped me focus….it’s helped me get some spontaneity back into my life. To motivate me on a sunny day to grab my shoes and head out with the kids. To create some space where I can really think about what matters to me and what my goals in life are.

coffee mug sunlight

2. It’s time to create some new habits. What are your passions? What do you love doing? One new habit I’ve picked up, is to start to read more. Not just when I can’t sleep late at night, but during the day. I’m trying to carve out some time every morning when I can grab a coffee, open a book and just read a little. I love cutting out the noise and being alone with my thoughts. Sometimes I barely read a few pages, before realising that I’m gazing out of the window and just daydreaming…about the things I want to do, the places I still want to visit and maybe people that I haven’t seen in a while. It makes me realise that if I can find the time to read, I can find the time to do other things, too …

3. Let go of the guilt. Studies show that we’re more likely to hold onto things we’ve spent a lot of money on – even if they no longer hold any value for us. This week, I’ve made it a priority to sell some of these items – including some of those silly purchases that I mentioned in last week’s post. I’ve made back a fraction of what I paid, but I no longer have to look at them and feel guilt not only about wasting my money but the hours that I wasted working to be able to afford them in the first place. I’m turning this negative around…the items are going to a new home where someone else can get pleasure out of them and I’m saving up the money for a special family treat.

cornflowers

4.I’m better at time keeping. This might sound a little strange….so bear with me. For years we’ve heard the slogans about being able to have it all. How, for example, women can work, have a family, a brilliant social life and a perfect home. I’ve come to the conclusion that personally, I can’t do it all. And that’s okay. I live better if I focus on one thing at a time and try to do it as well as I can. This means that if I’ve agreed to complete a work assignment then I’ll be there on time and I’ll do it well. If on the other hand, I’ve arranged to meet a friend for coffee then I’ll be there too…I won’t spend time refreshing emails or social media before setting out. I’ll be there when I said I would. Sometimes I have to say no, decline invitations or work offers, but that’s okay too. I know that I can’t do everything.

5. Downsizing works for us. A couple of years ago we moved from a property with a living space of 1,300 square feet to one with 900 square feet. Not only do we appreciate the lower utility bills and the nicer area (we traded living space for a preferable location), but we think more carefully about how we arrange our home and what we bring into it. It also means we spend more time together, which is never a bad thing πŸ™‚

I’d love to hear your thoughts on living a more minimalist lifestyle. Is it something that you’re working towards, too? Have you been working on creating some space in your daily routine to spend time on those things that are really important to you? Please leave your comments below, I love reading them!

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38 comments on “5 Benefits of Following a more Minimalist Lifestyle”

  1. I have found on my minimalism journey that I’m becoming neater. Using the linen closet as an example, who has the time and energy to neatly fold and stack 30 towels? But it’s easy to be neat when you only have 5 towels.

    It’s nice that you are reading more now. Reading is such a wonderful gift!

    • Oh, that’s so true Priscilla πŸ™‚ The more I declutter, the tidier I am becoming….it’s another incentive to keep on going!

  2. Such positives to minimalism, I really do see how and why downsizing and getting back to what’s truly important is so powerful and beneficial. Great post! x

    • Thanks, Helen. It’s something I’m continuing to work on…It also really helps me to be more mindful about what I bring into the home/spend money on. With birthdays and Christmas coming up, I’ll definitely be buying less this year πŸ™‚

  3. Oh, this is brilliant, I am very glad to have stumbled onto your blog. Minimalism is something that fascinates me and something I’d like to give a try, but how would you do that when you have two young children and a partner who very definitely doesn’t want to be minimalist (or at least very much don’t like the idea of it)?

  4. I’ve never even considered a minimalist lifestyle, I’m a hoarder, my house is a mess, I procrastinate all the time but I’ve tried to change in the past and it just hasn’t worked for me. Since I became disabled I have had to slow down a lot and now things bother me more simply because I can’t do them. I do think that having a good clean out is cathartic but
    now it’s difficult to find the energy to do it.
    #MMBC

    • Hi Anne, thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚ I’m sorry to hear that it’s difficult for you…can you perhaps get your family involved? My daughter is a “little organiser” and loves sorting out her brother’s room. Totally unlike myself as a child – I was awfully messy – but I take any help that I can get x

    • Anne, your comment caught my eye. I’m so sorry you’re struggling with clutter in your house. I think Rachel’s suggestion is wise, about getting your family involved. Plus, her blog posts are uplifting and a great place to visit often. If family aren’t available to pitch in, then reach out beyond your family for help because it’s worth it. You say that you’re disabled, so maybe one small area, like a kitchen drawer, is all you can handle for now, but I know from experience that it FEELS GREAT to have a decluttered, pared down, organized drawer. Best of luck to you!

  5. I’ve definitely trying to actively declutter, and let go of the past. It’s not just about being organised – somewhere, along the lines, I need to let go of the guilt and embrace the changes. Inspiring post! #MMBC

    • Thank you for your kind comment πŸ™‚ I do tend to find that the further along you get with your decluttering, the easier it becomes….Stay in touch and let me know how you get on!

  6. When I downsized to retire, I got rid of lots of things. Now 7 years later, I’ve collected way too much stuff again. I’m in the process of going thru things to give away, throw away or reuse in some fashion. I have to do this periodically – have my whole life. I come from a ratpack mom and have had to fight the urge continuously. I admire your wisdom, especially about the guilt. I feel guilty if it cost too much or was given to me by someone I love. Especially if they’re gone now. #MMBC

    • Thank you for your kind comments, Carol πŸ™‚ I think it’s true for many that minimalism is often an ongoing process and something we need to return to or repeat. I completely understand how difficult it is to part with items that were gifted by a loved one, especially if they’re no longer with us. For years, I’ve held onto items that I inherited….totally random items – games, books, sheet music even. Personally, I find that sharing memories and talking about loved ones that have passed, makes it easier for me to part with their stuff (and send it on to a new home). For me, it keeps their memory alive and often, it’s a way of letting the next generation know a little bit more about where they came from, too x

  7. We also live in a small space and carefully consider what we buy because of this. I have recently read the Kon Marie book and am about to give our flat the once over and get rid of even more stuff!

    • I’ve heard a lot of good things about that book, and I’m so glad it’s inspiring you. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your story πŸ™‚

  8. Inspiring words! We’ve just moved the kids bedrooms so I’m spending time decluttering and also making more time to write in the day – an occupation which doesn’t bring in much money, so tends to be sidelined, but which helps me to access my creative side and to share nature experiences with people hopefully inspiring others in turn. The little things are often the most important in life and we need people like you to point this out to us regularly. Thank you!

    • Hi Nic, and thank you for such kind words πŸ™‚ I love that writing helps you to access your creative side; I do love reading your articles and looking at your photographs x

  9. I completely agree with all of this. I am on a journey to simplify too, and as I declutter (physically AND mentally) everything gets easier. It’s making a huge difference to our lives and although I have a LONG way to go yet, I am beginning to see where we might end up x

    • Oh yes….decluttering all those negative thoughts (as well as the physical clutter) is really great, isn’t it? I do find it gets easier, the further along you get. Thanks for commenting and stopping by x

  10. I definitely need to get better at time keeping! If I get better at this, I think everything else will get easier too! Thanks for your tips.

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