Take Care of What You Have
The idea behind minimalism is that you have fewer possessions, and therefore, have more room in your life for non-material methods to happiness. If you only have a few shirts and a few books, you’re probably more apt to take better care of each item.
Owning fewer items may save you from buying replacements or throwing out items. It can also be a great way to prepare to downsize if you’re looking to move into a smaller space. When you have less, you may reduce the time and money it takes to maintain more.
Material Goods Don’t Equal Happiness
A study conducted by Northwestern University suggests that people who place greater value on wealth, status and material possessions .
During the study, researchers organized students into two groups. One group viewed images of luxury goods while the second group looked at neutral scenes lacking any consumer products. Then, both groups filled out questionnaires. It turned out that those who looked at pictures of cars, electronics and jewelry, rated themselves as feeling higher levels of depression and anxiety as compared to those who viewed neutral scenes devoid of consumer products.
One explanation may be that humans tend to adapt quicker to the material items we purchase, so our happiness may run out quicker; whereas because memories can last longer than material goods.
If you live a minimalist lifestyle, you may be able to spend more time saving for a vacation rather than purchasing expensive clothing or home goods.
How to Maximize Minimalism
If you’re ready to start leaning into a life of minimalism, where do you begin? One suggestion is to start with the old adage, “Out with the old, in with the new.”
Pro organizer Marie Kondo gained popularity from her “Spark Joy” movement, whereby you ask yourself how much joy each item brings to your life. Her method brings together the method of tidying with discarding items that lack value. Her approach has you remove everything out of your closets and drawers, the books off your shelf, and paperwork out of your desk. Once you make your pile, go item-by-item and determine if it sparks joy.
Less Is More
When you focus on minimalism, you often cut down on what you own. Owning less or spending less on consumer goods may help you cut back on spending and increase your savings. If you are not buying as much, you may be able to put more money toward other financial goals - maybe you want to save for retirement or set aside money for medical emergencies.
In essence, by spending less money on material things, you may allow yourself more freedom in other areas of your life.
Are you ready to live more of a minimalist lifestyle? Check out our tips on the right ways to downsize so you can be ready for wherever life takes you.
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