By: Isabella Figliano
The idea of minimalism and simple living allows us to disconform from societies consumerism lifestyle. Today more than ever, the idea that physical objects will make us happier is extremely relevant. We look for a false sense of happiness in the things that we own and think that the shiny new car will make all our problems go away. When in reality, it won't, and minimalism does not stop there. There is so much more to minimalism than just what we own in a physical sense, it is also relevant in other aspects of our lives such as our digital space and relationships.
Why Should I Become a Minimalist?
Minimalism at its core has to do with the idea of owning and surrounding yourself with the things that add value to your life. A few of the benefits of minimalism include the elimination of distractions and stress, strengthening your relationships, and allowing you to have more control of your income. By ridding yourself and your surroundings of the things that do not add value to your life, you can focus more strongly on the things that do add value.
How do I start?
Starting minimalism is easy. First, you should look at the big picture of your life and your possessions and decide what is adding value and what you truly enjoy. This should extend to not only your physical space but also to your digital space. According to a statistic, courtesy of Business Insider, the average person does not wear more than 20 percent of the clothes in their closet. Meaning, that there is the possibility that right now more than 80 percent of the clothes in your closet do not add any value to your life. So why keep them?
Although it is “invisible” sometimes our digital lives can be just as cluttered as our physical clutter. It may be that you have hundreds of unread emails from subscriptions you do not care about, or are constantly getting annoying notifications for apps. Taking time to unsubscribe from unwanted emails, deleting unused apps, photos, contacts and conversations will allow you to connect with your digital space in a way that feels more like you are in control.
How Minimalism Can Save you Money
Having no debt and being completely in control of your finances might seem impossible but by changing a few bad habits it is very possible. Although it may be common sense that spending less money will allow you to have more money, not many people follow that. For example, when buying a house, often times people will look at their finances and budget as much money as they can to buy the biggest house possible. But why put yourself into a 20-30 year mortgage. Instead, if you own less possessions then your home has the opportunity to be smaller. If you purchase a house that is just right for you and your living situation (not too big and not too small) then this may give you the opportunity to spend your money on other things that add value to your life, like travel for example. Although this is an extreme example, because houses are expensive, applying this theory to all of your purchases can still make a lot of sense and allow you to take control of your finances.
Minimalism: A documentary about the important things is a documentary on Netflix that dives into the idea of minimalism and simple living and truly shows how it can improve every aspect of an individual’s life.