Minimalism has been a popular lifestyle trend in recent years, and although some people have taken it to extremes — I.e. getting rid of everything they own minus a laptop, a toothbrush, and one change of clothes — many others have applied minimalist principles, to differing degrees, to win back a sense of control over their lives and their homes.
At the heart of the idea of minimalism is this; get rid of stuff that doesn’t bring you joy, or have a functional purpose. Reduce clutter. Focus on doing more with less.
Here are a few ways that minimalism can help you turn your home into the kind of place you actually proud of.
Minimalism encourages you to focus on quality over quantity
If you have any sort of hoarder inclinations or instincts, you’ll likely find that your home easily fills up with cheap, slightly tacky, and likely useless trinkets, gadgets, clothes, and things like empty jam jars that you’ll “definitely use one day”.
Minimalism forces you to focus on quality over quantity. It encourages you to switch from an assortment of mats to a high-quality carpet one day, or from a collection of clothes you hardly ever wear, to a few outfits that you love and make full use of, as much as possible.
To put it in another way; when we have fewer possessions, we can afford to invest more money in the possessions we do have. We become more mindful of those possessions and how they’ll be used, and as a result, our home begins to feel more “upmarket”, intentional, and appealing than it otherwise would.
Getting rid of physical clutter promotes mental focus and calm
People are pretty odd, when it comes down to it. Our thoughts and emotions don’t exist in their own little bubble. Instead, they are intimately and seriously impacted by the environments we find ourselves in.
There’s a certain kind of mirroring effect that takes place, which means that being in a chaotic, messy home is likely to lead to a chaotic, messy mind. Being in an organised, neat home, with minimal clutter, where everything is nicely arranged, on the other hand, promotes a sense of calm and being-in-control.
On the surface, this might not seem like a major benefit, but it is. Chronic stress and anxiety are major mental health problems affecting huge numbers of people in the modern world. If left unchecked, these conditions can lead to severe physical illness and depression, not to mention an unravelling of the structure of our lives.
Better by far to be calm and organised.
Minimalism makes it easy to organise social gatherings
Have you ever thought about having a barbecue or hosting a party, but were put off by the idea of inviting people into your chaotic, messy home? “Once I’ve tidied up a bit I’ll organise something”, you might think.
The problem, of course, is that this issue tends to drag on indefinitely, as you continuously make excuses to yourself for not hosting that party.
Keeping a minimalist home, where things are tidy and organised, means you can make these kinds of social decisions on the fly. Sunny day today? Have a barbecue!
The more orderly a house is, the less work needs to be done to adapt it for social occasions.