Today, Heather Shue (a fellow Minnesotan who blogs at Simply Save) is sharing her thoughts on minimalism! Enjoy!
When people hear the word “minimalism” I think they sometimes picture a person who lives in an empty echoing apartment, with bare white walls, and entirely empty surfaces. It sounds boring, scary, and pointless to some. But that’s really not the case. That stereotypical image of a minimalist isn’t entirely accurate. Minimalists are everywhere and aren’t what you’d expect! Minimalism isn’t nearly as bad as what you think.
You Get to Keep What You Love
No, you don’t have to live in an empty apartment!
There’s no “one size fits all” definition of minimalism. It’s really more of a scale and you only have to venture as far as you’re comfortable. I eliminated nearly 500 items during the Minsgame last fall but my home didn’t really look any different. It was different though. My favorite paintings, pictures, and books had always been there, but I found that I could see them better without all the excess clutter. I am much happier in my home now because I see things I love everywhere I look.
Minimalism can be intimidating because people think they have to part with their most precious possessions, but that’s not what it’s about. It’s about eliminating the excess so you can enjoy your favorite things more.
It Saves Money
I really like to save money and I think that’s actually what drew me towards minimalism.
When you desire less and you buy less, you spend less! Simple, right? I used to be a little shopaholic, I’d clean out my closet, go to the mall when I was bored, and fill it right back up again. These days I spend money on the things I really love, like books, instead of on knick knacks and random things. I’ve broken the habit of meaningless shopping and constantly eating out and my bank account has quickly reaped the benefits.
I’ve learned that what I desire most doesn’t cost much at all; casual get-togethers with friends and plenty of library books to read! Stripping away the excess helps us realize our priorities and let go of all the comparing and “keeping up” with others.
Quality Over Quantity
If you only buy what you need or truly love, you’re able to invest in better quality. Think about this: For $20 each you could get three sweaters that you kind of like, that are of poor quality, and won’t last more than one winter. They may fit awkwardly so they spend a lot of time hanging in the back of your closet. Or you could invest in a really nice, good quality sweater that you love and wear all the time for $60. It fits you well, so you always feel good in it.
Even though the dollar amount is the same, the more expensive sweater is a greater value when you consider cost per wear. When you buy things just to have them hang in your closet, you’re wasting money, but if you spend money on something you wear all the time, that is a better value.
Life Is Easier
Minimalism just makes life a heck of a lot easier!
My mornings used to go a lot like this, “What to wear? I haven’t worn this in a while and it’s the latest trend, so I really should wear it. But it kind of fits funny and the tag itches. No, I’ll just wear my favorite sweater even though I wore it a few weeks ago.” I am not a morning person and trying on different outfits and mentally debating is time consuming and mentally exhausting. Decision fatigue is a real thing.
It’s easier to find your favorite shoes when you’re not sifting through 50 pairs. Your morning routine is simplified when you know you can reach into your closet and feel great wearing everything in there. When you have less clutter and knick knacks on every flat surface in your house, there is less to dust around and cleaning is a lot faster!
It’s Not “One Size Fits All”
There’s no standard definition of what it takes to be an official minimalist. It’s a personal journey and is unique to every individual. Our life situations are different, our passions and priorities vary. There’s no right or wrong way to be a minimalist. It’s all about being mindful of what brings you the most joy and experiencing more of that and less of the rest.
How do you feel about minimalism? Are you a minimalist?
Heather blogs at Simply Save where you’ll find ways to save money and simplify life, along with book recommendations and the occasional cat photo. She is an avid reader and Dr. Pepper addict that is striving for financial independence.