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This is day (two) of the 31 Days of Minimalism Challenge.
If you missed yesterday’s post, check it out here!
When people ask Cece and I to talk about the “reasons to embrace minimalism,” it seems they already of some of their own conceptions about WHY we are minimalists. And it is often hilarious.
They might think:
- “You’re poor and can’t afford what you want” or
- “You’re just dirty hippies!”
While these are possibly valid reasons to embrace minimalism, it extends so much deeper for us, and probably will for you too.
Minimalism is not a surface-level lifestyle.
Rather, it infiltrates your life in ways unforeseen at the start of the journey.
When beginning our journey, Cece and I had no idea what to expect. We has misconceptions ourselves, just like everyone else.
We thought, “might as well go hippie for a year and see what happens, save some money along the way!”
But what began as a simple downsizing challenge quickly turned into something more.
We created our own lifestyle.
Unique. Simple. Transformative.
- No longer were we “grounded” to a particular place when we built and moved into our school bus tiny-home. We could go anywhere, whenever.
- No longer did we have useless things that weighed us down. We could fit every single thing we own into <100 square feet.
- We began experiencing life-changing perspectives and reflections as we questioned what it meant to be “wealthy” and happy.
We experienced all of these things and more. Today, we are going to talk about the reasons to embrace minimalism based on our discoveries during our downsizing journey.
We hope this gives you some motivation to keep downsizing and simplifying your life.
Remember: the reward is in the journey itself. Enjoy the process!
Reasons to Embrace Minimalism:
1. Simplicity leads to happiness
First, let’s talk about how complexity leads to depression.
Think about it. The more you own, the more you have to manage your belongings.
You need to:
All of this can lead to lots and lots of chaos.
It also leads to these common problems and complaints:
- “Where is that (insert item here), I can’t find it anywhere!”
- “Why can’t I keep my house clean?”
- “Why I am so bad at saving money?”
- “Why do I feel stressed and anxious when I come home, especially at night?”
These are symptoms of the classic “I have too much on my plate” syndrome.
Many of us are there or have been in the past.
What happens is that all the extra belongings in your household adds weight to your life.
Each new thing you accumulate creates additional pressure on the to-do list.
This brings stress and anxiety.
I know because I was once there too. When I first started college, I shared a tiny dorm with two other fairly messy people. I nearly went crazy. I felt the clutter weigh-in on my mental state, ultimately bringing me anxiety and panic attacks.
This is not me saying I’m an obsessed clean-freak. I am FAR from that (just ask Cece).
What happened is that all of the clutter distracted me from my life and my goals. It was too much to handle alongside other stresses.
Flash forward 3 years…
- I am living in a tiny-bus home with my partner.
- I travel at least once a month.
- I feel light.
- I am happier.
While there are a lot of things that go into mental health, I can say that minimalism had a direct influence on my well-being.
This is the same for Cece, as well as many other people who embrace minimalism.
If you have anxiety, remove the clutter (physical and mental), regain focus, and continue living a happy life.
2. We are over-compensated for our work
While we often complain about not getting paid enough, I have a counter argument:
We are getting paid too much.
Now, before you start yelling at me saying I’m crazy, let me explain.
Calculate this scenario: if you only purchased what you needed, how much extra money would you save each month?
And then: if you could sell back all the useless things you have purchased in the past at retail value, how big would the check be?
For many of us, we have purchased useless junk in the past. Then, we go on to complain about not making enough money, not getting a raise, not being able to save, etc.
Isn’t this twisted?
For me, what matters is not how much money I am making, it is how much I have left at the end of the month.
By cutting out the useless crap that breaks after 2 weeks, I choose to only purchase what I need and save my winnings.
Minimalism isn’t only about downsizing, it is about changing spending habits. We are taught from a very young age in America and other countries that stuff=wealth. The more you have, the wealthier you are.
But for some reason, we are getting poorer and poorer. And we STILL manage to accumulate and hoard.
Minimalism is about changing this pattern. We certainly don’t need everything we purchase. The challenge is recognizing need over want and adjusting habits.
Note: We understand that many people are truly underpaid. They purchase only what they need and still can’t make ends meet. If you are someone like this, thank you for all your hard work and keep on moving. We hear you and have felt your pain.
3. Abundance is everywhere: you don’t have to own it to use it
Look around: everything is everywhere.
If you and your neighbors owned a store that sold your belongings, it is very likely that you would have a huge selection of random things. But for some reason, we are raised to believe in scarcity.
We think: “I don’t have (fill in the blank) for this project–off to the store!” We then proceed to only use said item once every two years.
Not only are we accumulating things that we don’t use or need, we are wasting resources.
I can assure you that someone around you has what you need, all you have to do is ask.
Much like a library, you should be sharing with your neighbors.
For us, this is one of the core reasons to embrace minimalism.
We do not live in scarcity.
You do not need to purchase everything you need.
Look around: everything is everywhere.
4. Over-consumption is destroying the planet
This is self-explanatory.
The over-consumption of useless random crap is polluting the planet.
For the sake of landfills, oceans, rivers, drinking water: do your part and consume less.
Minimalism is the counter-argument to contemporary accumulating and spending habits.
You need far less than you think you do.
Time to Prepare!
Alright everyone, now that we have some of the basics taken care of, it’s time to get ready to start minimizing! Tomorrow, we will be talking about creating your own minimalist recipe.
- Finding your intentions
- Creating a plan
- Setting goals
- Starting the journey
We are so excited to help you experience this lifestyle. As always, leave us a comment with suggestions, feedback, or ideas.
Let’s minimize together!
As always, BE WELL,
Riley & Cece