Minimalism, by an ex-hoarder (Part 4)

So, why should I become a ‘minimalist’? What are the benefits? Well, listen up, I’m here to tell you!

In my last post, I discussed the mammoth task of decluttering and this post will outline what I learned and what happened next.

As you know, I’m a big reader and letting go of my books was one of the hardest parts of the decluttering process. I felt that giving my books away was akin to giving up a part of my identity. But, over time, I experienced a mindset shift. The objects that I used to view as being ‘part of me’ just became STUFF. The relationship and memories that I had tied to objects began to break down. I no longer felt chained or obligated to keep things. In fact, I felt the opposite. I became overwhelmed (and ashamed) at how bad my hoarding of THINGS had become.

That’s when I had the ‘aha!’ moment.

Sure, we all know that ‘stuff’ doesn’t bring us happiness but it wasn’t until that point that I truly reached that realisation. From that moment on, every item I gave away felt like a weight being lifted and a step towards a more authentic conscious version of myself.

Here, I’ve compiled a list of the main benefits I’ve experienced from becoming a minimalist and how I think it could potentially enrich YOUR life too:

1. Mental Health

Disclaimer: I can only talk honestly from my own personal experiences.

I have noticed a real change in my mental health since adopting a minimalist/frugal lifestyle. Since childhood, I’ve previously suffered (as many of us have) from anxiety, depression, insomnia, panic attacks… Minimalism has helped me to find a new inner calmness.

I believe there is definitely some truth to the saying ‘a tidy house, a tidy mind!’

Sure, I still have bad days (don’t we all!) but I have LESS bad days. I’m LESS overwhelmed and there are LESS distractions to being productive. The lack of clutter helps provide a relaxing and calming environment where everything has its own specific place. For people who, like me, are prone to losing things – this definitely helps alleviate that frustration.

2. Simplification

Minimalism has completely simplified our lives. As we only own what we need, every object has a specific purpose.

The decisiveness that comes from decluttering (‘should I keep or get rid of?’) helps to shine a light on what you value most and what is most important in your life.

Simplification has also saved us time. I’ve found that small things can make the biggest differences. For example, since having fewer clothes and making a capsule wardrobe, it takes me a quarter of the time to get ready in the morning!

Having more time gives more opportunity to focus on what really matters. As an aspiring writer, I’ve always procrastinated. Since becoming a minimalist, I’ve been more focused on my personal goals and, having less visual distractions, has helped with that. In fact, over the last eight months, I’ve written two full-length novels.

3. Money saving

Last, but not least, minimalism has saved us a tonne of money!

We’re no longer looking to buy the latest X, Y and Z and I don’t feel the urge to buy things at all.

We make active conscious choices about what we are bringing into our home and that’s given us a heightened awareness of what we actually NEED. It’s also made us more grateful and thankful for we do have in our lives and helped me nip that nasty habit of comparing myself to others in the bud too.

Minimalist or not, I’d always advise people to really question whether they need something before buying it. By doing this, you’ll end up saving money AND it’ll stop you from bringing useless stuff into your home. It’s a simple habit to get into but it gives you an increased awareness of what you’re spending and you’d be surprised by how this could end up saving you!

Final thoughts

This is the final post in this series but, don’t fear, I’ll be posting more on specific areas of minimalism in the future so please keep a look out!

For those of you that are thinking of delving into minimalism, remember that there is no ‘one approach’ that fits all. I know that our approach and that (basically) living in one room will not be for everyone, but I do think that most people could benefit in a small way from decluttering – even if it’s just organising that kitchen drawer filled with random junk!

When decluttering, things will probably get worse before they get better but DON’T GIVE UP! It’s a tough road and definitely isn’t a quick fix but the effort will be worth it in the end. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

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One thought on “Minimalism, by an ex-hoarder (Part 4)

  1. A clear, concise set of thoughts about minimalism. I like the idea that my version of minimalism will look different to yours and others different still. Minimalism is about what works for the individual!

    Liked by 1 person

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