What Is Minimalism: How It Can Benefit Your Life

Minimalism is not just about owning less stuff, but about owning what brings you value.

Updated 18/10/23

I have had many conversations with friends and family about what minimalism is. I have also read a lot on the subject and the different definitions people have for it. 

Some people think of it in an extreme way; for example, they believe minimalism is literally owning fewer items for the sake of owning fewer items or depriving yourself of nice things because they think that is what minimalism is meant to be, while others, like myself, have a different approach. 

The truth is, as with most things to do with the subject, there is no one size fits all or right or wrong way.

What Is Minimalism?

There are many different ways to practise and bring minimalism into many different aspects of your life. It is not an all-or-nothing situation. The truth is that minimalism is just a tool, and people can use it as they see fit.

My personal definition of minimalism, however, isn't about owning fewer things for the sake of it; it is about only owning things that bring you value. You make life decisions based on what you need, which, as said, brings value both short- and long-term. It is about changing your mindset when it comes to decision-making and asking yourself certain questions. I do not desire less; however, I do not need everything I desire.

Minimalism in life, at its core, is not just about decluttering physical spaces or owning less stuff for the sake of it; it's a philosophy that encourages intentional choices, mindfulness, and a focus on the essentials and the things that bring you value.

It is about simplifying your life by consciously reducing the excess that can weigh us down. It encompasses various aspects, including possessions, managing time and commitments, nurturing relationships, and mental well-being. Minimalism encourages you to evaluate your priorities, let go of what doesn't bring value, and create space for what truly matters.

Minimalism Is Led By Core Principles:

When you talk or read about minimalism, you will hear the phrase less is more. With this philosophy, you learn to embrace a different mindset when making future purchases, for example, focusing on quality and necessity rather than accumulating material possessions. 

Minimalism is guided by a set of principles that provide a framework for living a minimalist life. These principles include things like decluttering, changing the way you think about your possessions, how you tackle personal relationships, or how you manage your finances.

It could be about any number of things really, and you can choose to embrace one, some, or all of the core principles. 

I cannot emphasise enough that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. It is a personal journey that invites you to reevaluate your priorities, embrace a simpler, more intentional way of living, and discover the true essence of what brings you joy and fulfillment.

On this site, I will be sharing my experiences, tips and tricks, and general advice with all things minimalism for you to read, and hopefully you will end up incorporating some of it into your life. 

Just never let anyone tell you that you are doing it wrong, as minimalism can be interpreted and applied differently from person to person, it is a flexible concept and there is no right or wrong way to tackle the principles; there are, however, different ways depending on the individuals preferences, and circumstances. Has it improved your life in some way? Then it is working, and that is all that matters.

Studies highlighting the benefits of minimalism

List Of Minimalism Core Principles:

Intentionality: 

Being intentional about the things we bring into our lives and the choices we make. This means carefully considering whether something adds value or brings joy before acquiring it.

Decluttering: 

Removing unnecessary physical and mental clutter from our lives. This involves getting rid of possessions, commitments, and relationships that no longer serve us or bring us happiness.

Mindfulness: 

Being present and fully engaged in the present moment. This includes being aware of our thoughts, emotions, and actions, as well as appreciating the simple pleasures in life.

Prioritizing experiences over possessions: 

Focusing on creating meaningful experiences and memories rather than accumulating material possessions. This can involve spending time with loved ones, pursuing hobbies, or traveling.

Quality over quantity: 

Choosing quality over quantity when it comes to possessions, relationships, and experiences. This means investing in items that are well-made and will last, cultivating deep and meaningful relationships, and seeking out enriching experiences.

Sustainability: 

Considering the environmental impact of our choices and striving to live in a way that is sustainable for both ourselves and the planet. This can involve reducing waste, consuming less, and making eco-friendly choices.

Gratitude: 

Cultivating a sense of gratitude for what we have rather than constantly striving for more. This involves appreciating the simple pleasures in life and being content with what we already possess.

Benefits of Minimalism:

Less stress: 

Minimalism helps to reduce clutter and create a more organized and peaceful living environment, leading to less stress and anxiety.

More time: 

By owning fewer possessions, you spend less time cleaning, organizing, and maintaining them, allowing for more time to focus on what truly matters to you.

Increased focus: 

With fewer distractions and less clutter, it becomes easier to concentrate on tasks and goals, leading to increased productivity and efficiency.

Improved mental clarity: 

Minimalism promotes a clear mind by eliminating the excess noise and visual clutter that can overwhelm our senses.

Enhanced creativity: 

A minimalist lifestyle encourages creativity by providing a clean and uncluttered space for inspiration to flow.

Financial freedom: 

By reducing unnecessary spending on material possessions, minimalism can help save money and lead to financial freedom.

Enhanced mental health: 

Minimalism can have a positive impact on mental health by reducing feelings of overwhelm, anxiety, and depression associated with cluttered spaces.

Increased self-awareness: 

Minimalism encourages self-reflection and introspection, helping individuals gain a deeper understanding of themselves and their values.

Greater appreciation for experiences: 

Minimalism shifts the focus from material possessions to experiences, leading to a greater appreciation for travel, adventures, and creating memories.

Overall happiness: 

By focusing on what truly matters and eliminating excess clutter from our lives, minimalism can lead to a greater sense of happiness, contentment, and fulfillment.

Be sure to also check out some of my other articles as well to further your learning.

10 signs you're a minimalist

Basics of minimalism

A-Z Guide to minimalism

5 common minimalism myths

The power of less

Or read a list of all the topics about minimalism on Minimalist Father.

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