Never heard of minimalism? Here’s a minimal summary: think of a hoarder and do the opposite.
That’s right, oh ye maximalist. A minimalist finds merriment in seeking simplicity. They make the most of what they have while having the least of what they want.
“But I’m an American!" you lament. "Won’t I go bananas without Banana Republic?” Not to worry, J.Q. Consumer. I’m not saying you can’t have things, I’m just saying you don’t have to have everything.
You’re likely thinking, “Wow, Lewis. You’re a gentleman and a scholar. Tell me, are there big benefits to living small?” Great question. Here are just a few ways a minimal lifestyle will help you rock out without your wallet out:
1. It’s free therapy
As you declutter your possessions, you declutter your mind. With less to take care of, you have less to think and worry about. That’s the beautiful paradox – having less actually brings you more.
2. Your relationships have greater value
With less to clean, less to manage and less to buy, you have more time for what matters most: your family, friends, neighbors and complete strangers. That’s more time time to take your mother to dinner. More time to con your husband into trying yoga. More time to teach your great Aunt Mildred just what a tweet is.
3. History’s leading cool kids did it
Jesus, Buddha, Mother Teresa and Thoreau we’re minimalists. Quadruple mic drop.
4. You help others
Clearing out things you don’t use or need means that you have the opportunity to donate items that can greatly benefit others. For example, when I got rid of the bed in my spare bedroom, it went to a kid who didn’t even have a bed. And when I got rid of my Kanye albums, they went to a guy who actually likes Kanye.
5. You make "peacing out" easier on your loved ones
Hopefully you’ve figured out that sooner or later you’re going to kick the bucket. What many of us fail to realize is that leaving behind a multitude of trivial possessions makes life challenging for our loved ones who have to clean up the collateral.
The Swedes have a strong understanding of self-maintenance. So much so that the recent book The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning was published to highlight how people in Sweden find happiness in ridding themselves of unnecessary belongings long before dying.
Because in Sweden, your Taco Bell hot sauce collection is never impressive and no family should have to wade through grandma’s underwear drawer like an F.B.I. agent at Trump Tower.
6. You'll freak everyone out
Soon after I really sunk my claws into going minimal, my mother stopped by my place. When she discovered that half of my belongings were gone she had three immediate assumptions: I was robbed. I abandoned her. I joined a cult and abandoned her.
Once she realized that I was just being a minimizer, she understood and even embraced by decision. Though I’m pretty sure she still thinks I’m bat nuts …
There you have it. Six reasons to think about downsizing your stuff to upsize your life. I’d list more, but that wouldn’t be very minimal of me would it?