How much clutter do you have piled around you? It’s probably everywhere — in your home and office. Things you don’t need. Things you’ve been putting off. Things you’re holding onto for no specific reason.
But clutter isn’t just physical objects. It’s also the time commitments you make. It’s the lack of time you have for yourself. And it’s all the financial obligations you allow to strangle out your ability to save and move ahead economically.
Many people look to minimalism to help reduce their stress and organize their lives. But what exactly is minimalism? You can find many different definitions, but this one from mnmlist is quite clear and concise:
So the core concepts of minimalism are simplicity, appreciation for what you have, and and a lack of clutter. Sounds pretty good, right?
But it’s harder than it might seem to reach these ideals. The consumer culture of the Western world focuses on collecting and consuming things. But this leads to constantly changing trends that can be exhausting — both mentally and financially.
Applying minimalist ideas means you focus on enjoying what you already have instead of worrying about having more. According to its proponents, this leads to satisfaction and positivity.
Sounds good! So how you can start applying these concepts? And what are the benefits?
How decluttering your space could make you healthier and happier
Extra stuff isn’t just messy. It could be holding you back from living your best life. Here’s what you need to know.
Envious of those neat, tidy spaces and empty shelves that fill home decor blogs and websites? Blank space can be beautiful, and popular books promise strategies to shed extra stuff. But is minimalism livable? Some research suggests that de-cluttering can have as much of an effect on your well-being as it does on your physical space.
Minimalism Reduces Stress In Your Life
Minimalism reduces stress by helping you to clear the clutter in your life and in your home. You can lift so much unnecessary burden off your shoulders when you let go of things that don’t matter and doesn’t add anything to your life. It felt like a heavy weight being lifted off me when all the things that were cluttering up my life were taken away. It let me start my life over, unhindered by the strain of keeping and clinging to things that were not that important to my life after all.
Minimalism reduces stress by saving you money. Instead of buying things you don’t need and adding more clutter in your life, you can set aside that money for what you really want and need. And since minimalism also saves you time and unnecessary work, minimalism reduces stress in that way also. Minimalism reduces much of the stress in your life by saving you money and time and work.
And finally, minimalism reduces stress by giving you clarity and focus for the things that are most important to you. What really reduces stress in your life is having a clear vision and purpose for your life. And that is how minimalism reduces stress in your life.
Minimalism Helps You To Focus
Minimalism helps you to put less focus on material things so that you can focus on more important things like faith and relationships. We all know that material things will not last. Things wear out, and they lose their purpose after time. And oftentimes you just lose interest in them. But the things that matter most in this life are our relationships. Our real legacy is in the relationships we build.
Minimalism also lets you focus more on the things that you are passionate about. In that way, minimalism reduces stress because you are more focused on what you enjoy than worrying about things you are not able to do anything about.
Minimalism Gives You Focus And Clarity
Minimalism helps you to define your focus so that you can get more out of life. And when you have a clear vision for what you want in your life and can focus on that, there is less cause for stress in your life. That is how minimalism reduces stress in your life. By clearing away the noise and clutter in your life you are able to focus on the things that mean more to you and are more important to you. When you have a clear vision for what you want in your life, and when you can focus on those things, you will have less stress in your life.
Minimalism Saves Time And Unnecessary Work
Minimalism reduces stress by saving us from unnecessary work. An uncluttered life saves time and work. With less clutter in the way, you have fewer things to clean and it takes less time to clean your home. Clutter causes so much unnecessary work and stress.
“Money won’t make you happy, but everybody wants to find out for themselves.” Zig Ziglar According to a recent survey , 71% of Americans identify money as a significant cause of stress in their lives. (becomingminimalist.com)
Hoarding disorder, which affects just 2 to 6 percent of the population, goes far beyond disorganization or a garden-variety tendency to accumulate stuff. (mayoclinic.org)
For the other 98 percent of people who don’t have hoarding disorder, but simply struggle with “too much stuff” syndrome, consider this: Having fewer things means making fewer choices throughout the day. (mayoclinic.org)
Minimalism Promotes A Clutter-Free Environment
When people think about minimalism, the first thing they think about is getting rid of clutter. Actually, there is more to minimalism than just getting rid of your excess possessions. But it’s a good place to start. And clutter is known to cause stress. Clutter is not only distracting, it is also agitating.
But decluttering is more than just tidying up the place or finding organization solutions for storing your junk. In fact, if you’re having to find ways to organize and store your all your stuff, it’s probably a good sign that you have too much stuff. Ditch the stuff and get your life back.
1. You don’t have to feel guilty for saying no
Learning to say no isn’t always easy. Especially if you’re a people pleaser or just love to be busy. However, adopting a simpler lifestyle creates room to just be. It teaches you to intentionally carve out time to rest, take care of yourself (body and soul) and usually it means saying no to things that aren’t accomplishing that.
2. You can make fewer, better, and more informed purchases
I was just talking with a friend about how it’s impossible to apply minimalism to only one area of your life. For me, it started with my closet, but I soon realized that simplifying my closet without doing the same to the rest of my life was a little bit silly and kind of hypocritical.
When you’re buying fewer things, be it a new piece of clothing or a new hanging for your wall, you can ensure that the things you do buy fit with your home/closet/lifestyle and are quality, ethical purchases
3. You can spend less time staring into your closet
Admittedly, one my favorite parts of minimalism is the consciously curated wardrobes that come with it. Creating capsule wardrobes (or just a simplified and cohesive one) ensures that you only have clothes you LOVE that all go well together. It’s a hard process, but one that it well worth the effort.
Looking for capsule wardrobe help? Check out our course The Art of Simple Living , or these posts on creating capsule wardrobes
1. You’re no longer stressed to buy items you can’t afford.
I’m going to share one little tip that I wish I would have learned early on when I started to live the minimalist lifestyle…Buying only what you need instead of stressing over items that you want is so freeing.
Living a simpler life paints a different scenario and outcome. The needs for frivolous items is no more and when those needs and wants are gone, it takes away the anxiety of over-spending or wondering just how you’re going to pay off that impulse purchase that you just made. Buying only what you need is a great way to reduce your anxiety.
2. Your mind will suddenly become crystal clear.
It’s no secret that clutter causes anxiousness. If you look around your house and it’s packed full of “stuff, that cramped feeling will start to slowly overtake you. How can one truly feel relaxed if every space of your home is covered with an object or some sort of trinket?
Try a little test and see if decluttering your space will make a difference in your anxiety level. Choose one room in your home and declutter. Literally, take almost everything out of it except for a few items. Give it a few weeks to see how you feel when you enter that room and work through the emotions.
If you feel peace and calmness when you enter that room, that’s a huge indicator that your stress level and anxiety are down and it’s time to start implementing the minimalistic approach throughout the other rooms in your home.
You’re free from the painful reminders that objects hold
Decluttering not only clears your home, but it also clears your head. The material items you’re holding onto can carry associations, memories, and emotions that can cause stress. Additionally, a study shows that not only does clutter create stress, but it also triggers unhealthy coping habits like eating junk food or vegging out on Netflix. Clearing your living space is the first step to removing the triggers in your environment, contributing to stress and anxiety.
You have more mental clarity and are more productive
The brain can’t focus on too many things at once. And science shows that when it does, your brain doesn’t function as well. Research confirms that the visual system can’t cope with so many competing interactions and distractions. In other words, clutter makes your brain work harder. Cleaning up the clutter with minimalism will help reduce mental stress getting in the way of productivity.
You make space for only the most essential things in life
As a minimalist, you’re forced to raise your standards when you learn how to thrive on a lot less. This spiritual spring cleaning is a wonderful thing as the people, experiences, and objects that promoted stress and anxiety in your life get recycled. And those that make the cut bring you more lasting joy and satisfaction.
Declutter Your Life with a Minimalist Planner
It’s easy to accumulate things you don’t need, whether it be clutter in your home, files on your desktop screen, or receipts and rewards cards in your wallet. However, many argue that living a more minimalist lifestyle can generate significant benefits in one’s life, such as reduced stress, improved finances, and increased organization. Taking a more minimalist approach toward life doesn’t come overnight, but taking small steps toward decluttering aspects of your life can be a good place to start.
Live in the Moment
Holding on to items that are no longer needed is something that prevents many individuals from living a more minimalist lifestyle. Often papers, notes, and smaller items tend to build up and create the greatest appearance of clutter in a home or at a desk at work. In this way, it might be best to start by tackling a mountain of to-do lists that have been put off for weeks or a stack of receipts from budgeting. Cutting down on clutter where it tends to build up, whether it be a desk, a junk drawer, a closet, or elsewhere, is a great place to start.
When sorting through cluttered spaces, asking yourself a few questions can be helpful in determining whether something can be discarded or consolidated:
“When is the last time I used this?”
“Do I really need this?”
“Can these items be consolidated to take up less space?”
“What role does this item play in my life?”
Your answers to these questions will help you decide what you should keep and what you should get rid of. For instance, the mountain of to-do lists can be consolidated into a simple, sturdy planner, and the receipts can be recorded in a notebook. By getting rid of the smaller things that build up and create the appearance of chaos and clutter will begin to disappear from your life, causing stress levels to decrease.
Develop Clear Goals for Decluttering
Another important aspect of becoming more minimalistic is developing clear goals for eliminating clutter in your life and holding yourself accountable for it. One easy way to do this is finding a well-crafted notebook that will withstand wear and tear, preferably with stable backing to keep it from sliding around on a surface and getting lost in the clutter. Begin by listing what you would like to accomplish with your decluttering project, and then track your progress each day to ensure you are making steps toward minimalizing excess items, increasing the organization of your spaces at home and work.
Prioritize Quality Over Quantity
Finally, rearranging your priorities is the last element of beginning a more minimalist lifestyle. The main change of focus with making a more minimalist approach is to prioritize quality over quantity. This means buying things that will last, which allows for buying fewer of them. Take the example of the planner to reduce clutter that comes along with to-do lists. If you buy one with a sturdy cover and plenty of writing space and spend a little more, you will save money in the end for not having to replace it more than once before the year is over due to wear and tear that comes with toting it around. This supports the idea of a more minimalist lifestyle by decreasing clutter and saving money. With finding more ways to cut excess, developing clear decluttering goals, and reducing the buildup of unnecessary items, you will begin making steps toward a more minimalistic lifestyle in no time.
The sturdy, simple Minimalist planners from datebookstore.com support the approach outlined in the steps above, allowing even the most cluttered individuals to become more minimalistic.
3. More money and time available
When you start getting rid of the luxuries you don’t really need and stop making unnecessary purchases, you build up your savings.
A lot of money goes to maintaining and buying things we would otherwise have lived without.
Minimalists avoid depending on money as much as possible. Even the debts you might have will be paid off with the money you’re saving from stripping down to the basics.
No debts, no stress Emergency funds will be available too, so no worries on any emergency that may occur. Financial security will go a long way in calming your anxieties and worries.
Once you’re saving so much, you don’t really need to have three or four jobs to get money. You’ll have free time to focus on yourself and your family. More time to relax and do what you love too.
Many people fall into the trap of believing that material possessions will bring them joy and happiness. Rather than making us happy and fulfilled, these possessions actually tend to do just the opposite. They just accumulate over time and actually serve to weigh us down — whether that’s financially or emotionally. (adrenalfatiguecoach.com)
By contrast, minimalists understand the value of letting go of “stuff” that no longer serves them or adds any sort of value to their life, and they are mindful of living in the present moment and appreciating the little things that make life worth living. In short, it’s about understanding that there is more to life than possessions, appreciating what you already have and spending more time focusing on the important things. (adrenalfatiguecoach.com)
1. Less mess = less stress
Ever tried to knuckle down to work in a room filled full of junk? Not only does clutter make it more difficult to concentrate and focus, it can also cause huge amounts of stress and anxiety.
Whichever way you look at it, mess usually equals stress De-cluttering your home helps you to create a “tidier mind” — and it can also save you time (and stress!) by making it easier to find the things you’re looking for. Just imagine how much less stressful life would be if you didn’t have to run around each morning trying to locate missing shoes, jackets and schoolbags!
2. More money — and time
Will that expensive new pair of shoes really increase your happiness? While it’s true that buying “stuff” often provides an instant pleasure boost, the reality is that the novelty usually soon wears off — and especially so if it’s something you didn’t really need in the first place. How many times have you bought something and then forgot all about it after two weeks? Exactly.
By stopping all those unnecessary purchases, you’ll save a lot of money each month and have more cash to put into savings — or why not use it to pay off existing debts and reduce your financial burden ? It is certainly comforting to know that you have a little tucked away to cover those unexpected costs that inevitably crop up in life every now and again.
What’s more, spending less means that you won’t have to earn so much just to cover it all. It could even allow you to cut down on your work hours and spend more time with your family.