Some quick thoughts on how I have personally benefitted from pursuing a more minimalistic life.
1. Less Stuff ~ This first one speaks for itself. As I release my attachment to things and escort stuff out of my house (life), I have less stuff to manage.
2. More Space ~ Our current home is the smallest we have ever owned. At 2000 sq. feet, it’s still a large home, but it’s not crammed full of stuff. I love the spaciousness we have surrounding us. I love opening a cupboard or closet and actually seeing empty spaces. We have space to live and space to breathe.
3. More Time ~ I used to spend a lot of time organizing and reorganizing stuff. As I’ve gotten rid of much of it, I find I can spend that time on other pursuits (hiking, reading, family, etc.) .
4. More to Give ~ I’m no longer in a mind set of accumulating more stuff for myself or my family and can instead focus on giving to others. There is still part of me that enjoys shopping, but I've found that the real joy comes in shopping for others. I’ve become a shopper for a local homeless shelter for families. I get to shop and purchase items for their apartment. It’s fun and satisfying to pick things out for someone else and not feel the least bit of desire to buy myself something too.
5. Less Hurry ~ Minimalism has taught me to slow down and be more intentional about being fully present in the current moment. I’ve been trying to eliminate the word hurry from my vocabulary and slow down as I move through my day. This is a gift I can give to myself as well as my children.
6. Contentment ~ I no longer have a long list of things I want. When birthdays or holidays roll around, I really don’t have gift suggestions to give others. It’s nice to be in a place of contentment, rather than the perpetual cycle of wanting more.
7. More Appreciation ~ I’ve begun to really appreciate the things we have in our home. They are there for a reason, not simply because someone gave them to us or we bought them somewhere along the way. Most every item in our home has passed a test of sorts, making me appreciate it’s presence in our home.
8. More Gratitude ~ How can I not be grateful for the abundance of material wealth I have? My desire to speak up for those living in extreme poverty spurred me on this journey of simple living, and I would be remiss not to be thankful for my excess. Instead of wanting a new pair of jeans, I can be thankful for the pair I already have.
9. Calm Schedule ~ For me, minimalism is about cutting the excess from my life and schedule as much as it is about getting rid of stuff. I love not having to run around from here to there every day. There are many days, each week, that my daughters and I never leave the house, and if we do, it's for a spontaneous walk around our neighborhood.
10. Community ~ There really is a community of aspiring minimalists out there, and I am so grateful to be a small part of it. It’s encouraging and inspiring to connect with like minded people who are on a similar journey.
What about you? What personal benefits have you experienced?