The day I turned 16 I got a job at a local well known bakery and pasty makers in England. While there I developed a friendship with a guy named Ryan. Almost a decade on we’re still great friends.
I remember visiting his house where he lived with his mum and step-father one time and I’d honestly never been anywhere like it in my life. It was so clean… Sure they had no-one under the age of 16 living there, so I guess it was a little easier than most families. But still, I’ve never been anywhere with such neat lines and white surfaces in my life – even to this day!
The weird thing about this house was that it didn’t feel sterile. It wasn’t like a hospital or a dentist. Instead it felt homely. It was at that moment I fell in love with the idea of minimalism and I’ve been pursuing it ever since.
Of course at the time I was only 15, so really I had very little ‘stuff’ in my life. Fast forward 5 years or so later to when I’m finishing University and buying my first house… It was time to put the minimalism into practice.
Despite my love for clean lines, and less stuff there were some other amazing benefits to me looking to achieve a minimalistic lifestyle.
Minimalism Helps Me To Save Money
The first was the ability to save money. Buying less equals spending less, it really can’t get any more simple and straight forward than that.
Buying less also means that you’re likely to spend less on repairing or replacing items that break. There’s so many things that have broken that I’ve chose not to replace having realised I can live without them in my life.
There’s also the major issue we have with having too much stuff which has resulted in us PAYING to store things. What kind of madness is this? Well it’s one that has come from the USA and is now a growing trend in the UK. Honestly, paying to store some stuff is in my opinion one of the very biggest waste of money ever!
Minimalism Helps Me Save Time
The second benefit to becoming a minimalist was the ability to save time…
Save time searching for things within the house because we’d so much crap it could be anywhere (we’ve all been there right?)
Save time shopping for products. Honestly, at no time was this ever as obvious as when I quit clothes shopping. The amount of time we waste shopping is unbelievable. Think about what else you could be doing with that time. It could be starting a side hustle such as a blog, taking a night class or whatever…
Finally, save time cleaning. This sounds dirty (like what you don’t clean?) but it’s not like that… I promise! Ryan my friend from work when I was 15 well his mum didn’t have any shelves in the house. Horizontal surfaces just collect useless objects and dust. All of which requires more cleaning. So, the less stuff you have the less time you have to spend cleaning it – trust me, it’s true!
Questions to ask yourself before buying something…
Do I really need this item?
Will it add any value to my life?
Will I be decluttering this a year from now?
Will it cost me money to store or maintain it?
Actions to take towards becoming a minimalist…
Every time you buy something challenge yourself to donate, trash etc… two items. One in, two out…
If you have recently moved and have boxes of stuff that you’ve yet unpacked more than 3 months on… You don’t need those items, get rid of them…
Consider replacing physical items with digital. Converting physical photos onto hard drives etc. Not only will this save you on space but it also protects these memories incase of fire and allows you to share them with friends and family quickly and easily.
If you have anything in storage, GET RID. If its in storage it’s likely that you don’t need it because its not easily accessible.
I feel that sometimes minimalism gets a bad name. It’s seen as something ‘hippy’ but the likes of Barack Obama, Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs all practiced minimalism. The beauty of minimalism as that there’s no line. You don’t have to earn a minimum or maximum number of items. Buy a certain number of things a year.
It’s all about practicality and what’s right for you and your family. No two practices are going to be the same. So I urge you to look at what you have and figure out the last time you used it? When you’re likely to use it again? and if you really need it.
If you enjoyed this post then you’re probably going to enjoy my other post on how I went about buying no clothes for an entire year!