Have you ever considered ditching the ordinary life and all of the stuff that you’ve collected with it?
Well, I’ve toyed with the idea for many years. At first, I really liked the idea of tiny house living. I wanted to be debt free, and I thought that would be a great way to accomplish that.
Then we had multiple children who all come from a man who is almost 7 feet tall, and I quickly realized that a tiny house probably wasn’t going to work for us.
But we could still downsize and live a minimalist lifestyle. I’m learning with each passing day that we made a wise choice.
So if you are considering this lifestyle change, here are a few things I’m learning along the way that may encourage you to take that leap into the unknown.
Embracing the Minimalist Lifestyle
1. Less Clutter, Less Stress
We lived in a house that was around the 2,000 square feet mark. It wasn’t a massive house by any means, but it was a good size for a family of 5 people. We had 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.
However, it felt like because we had all of this space, we had to constantly fill it. Otherwise, your house would look bare and potentially unwelcoming to guests.
So we shopped, decorated, bought our kids toys, and filled in the spaces.
Then life happened. My mother-in-law became really ill and moved in with us. I had 6 people in our home, and we were living comfortably as far as space went.
When she passed our home felt empty. We missed her and it just felt so big.
So we decided to move to a larger piece of land and scale down the size of our house. We now live in 800 square feet with a finished basement. Our families thought we were crazy until we moved in, and they saw just how perfectly it all worked.
It was all the space we needed. I was forced to get rid of all of the ‘stuff’ we didn’t use, and we are much less stressed now because we feel like we have breathing room, though we live in a smaller home.
2. Less Upkeep
What attracted me to a smaller home was how it would lighten my cleaning duty. I’m a super clean freak so I sweep daily, vacuum daily, wipe down my kitchen and bathrooms daily, and do any other daily chores that will hopefully keep my family healthy and my house neat.
So when I realized I’d have a smaller kitchen to clean and one less bathroom, I was on board. What once took me close to an hour to accomplish every day, now takes less than 30 minutes.
However, you do a lot more picking up in a smaller home just because if you don’t, things will become cluttered. But that totally works for me because it teaches my children good cleaning habits now.
3. Lower Cost of Living
Our cost of living has dropped considerably since we downsized and started living a minimalist lifestyle. My electric bill used to run anywhere from $200-$400 a month. That is a lot of money.
Now, on the hottest months, I pay $150. A smaller home requires less energy to heat and cool.
So if you’d like to cut your bills down a little, then consider living in a home where it won’t cost as much for it to function.
4. Life is About the Experience
When you let go of all of the stuff, you find that you suddenly have more money. The money you were spending on a power bill is now extra cash in your wallet.
The money you were spending trying to fill a larger home simply because you had space, you no longer have that space, so you don’t purchase as many items.
So now, you get to go ‘do things.' I used to never go to the movies. I didn’t have the time nor did I want to spend the money.
Well, because of this change in lifestyle, we can go to the movies. That is an experience my children didn’t get before, but now they do.
The same goes for traveling. The less you spend on keeping a home running and filling it, the more you have to spend on vacations and traveling. I’m planning on doing more of that in the near future as well.
See, life is all about experiences. Stuff gets old and outdated really quickly, but the memories you make doing different things and traveling to neat places is something that will never grow old in your mind.
5. Dream Big
We purchased a smaller home that was pretty basic. It hit me one day while I was looking at it and trying to figure out how I could make it more ‘us’, that it is smaller. All of those things I wanted to do to our old house that never would fit in the budget, I can now do.
Before, I couldn’t afford nice cabinets because I needed so many it was way out of my price range. Now, I only need a few so I can do that.
Before, I wanted more expensive floors, but I couldn’t afford it. Now, I can put those floors in this house because it won’t cost very much since I don’t need much flooring.
Before, I wanted to put a metal roof and solar panels on our house, but it cost too much for the materials and the amount of energy we needed for the house to function.
Well, not anymore. You see, you can have as nice of a small house as your budget allows because it doesn’t cost anywhere near as much to upgrade it as it would a larger home.
6. Ditch the Responsibility
I’m loving small house living because of the amount of responsibility I have. The smaller the home, the fewer the hours spent cleaning. The less mess you have to clean up at the end of the day. When you have repairs, they are usually smaller than in a large house.
For instance, we installed a dishwasher in our new home. It didn’t work correctly, and it didn’t take long to realize that the dishwasher itself was malfunctioning because we only had so long of pipe to check. Where with a larger house, if you have a water leak, you have a lot more pipe to check because it is a bigger house and runs further.
So when you downsize on the size of your home, it lessens some of the responsibilities too.
7. Go Have Some Fun
My family and I have a lot more fun now. We play board games, take small trips, and ride around on our golf cart almost every night enjoying the property.
Because we aren’t so heavily burdened with a million clothes to wash, a large house to clean, etc. we have more time to do fun things.
So when you decide to switch over to a minimalist lifestyle as much as you think you’re going to miss all of the stuff that will no longer fit into that lifestyle, you’ll soon realize all of the special moments you will gain.
8. Become a Neat Freak
The one thing I truly love about a minimalist lifestyle is it forces you to be clean. Before, my children’s rooms were messy almost all of the time. I’d clean them in the morning, and they’d have them destroyed by lunch.
Well, now that I’ve downsized on the toys (though their bedroom sizes are pretty much the same), they don’t make nearly the amount of mess as they once did.
Also, since we have fewer rooms in the home, you have to clean your stuff up or you feel like you can’t move. That gets old quickly so eventually you adapt to putting your stuff away as soon as you are done.
Since our house is now spread over two levels, I have a basket that sits on the steps. Anything our boys bring from downstairs in the playroom, I put in the basket so they can unload it once a day. It works really well for us and has definitely made my family much neater.
9. Increase Your Energy Level
Though I feel like I run constantly now since we have more land, I actually have more energy. The reason is I used to hate waking up knowing how much I had waiting for me to do around the house.
See, I’m not an indoors kind of girl. I prefer to be outside.
Actually, my husband was going to go pick the garden while I work today, and I said, “Don’t you dare. You know I love being outside doing that!” We laugh about how much I just enjoy getting outside and moving around, but I do.
So I didn’t like getting my days started because the likelihood of me being able to enjoy the outside when I lived in a larger home with more stuff was very small because the inside consumed my days.
Now, I get to be outside working and enjoying my days. This naturally increases the amount of energy you have.
10. You Could Get Healthier
When you live in smaller quarters (though you get rid of stuff) you are still living in smaller quarters. Therefore, you aren’t going to want to be cooped up inside all of the time.
So you get outside and move. This is great because this is exercising your body which usually leads to a healthier lifestyle.
As you can tell, this is rather self-explanatory, but if you are thinking about living a minimalist lifestyle and are wanting to be healthier too, then these things could go hand in hand.
My final reason for loving the minimalist lifestyle is the freedom that comes with it. You gain financial freedom because having less stuff and living in a place that requires less energy for it to function, obviously saves you money.
But you also have more time. You aren’t stuck cleaning and moving around in clutter. Instead, you can work efficiently and get things done so you can go enjoy different experiences in life.
Also, you gain mental freedom. The less money you spend, the less financial burdens weigh upon you. The less clutter you have around you, the less your mind runs wild with laundry lists of things to do. Your load is lighter and therefore, you can hopefully gain some mental clarity and enjoy your life a little more.
Well, those are my 11 reasons for why I am loving the minimalist lifestyle. I understand this lifestyle isn’t for everyone. It is a personal choice that you need to make.
But as for me and my family, it has been the best decision we’ve made in a long time. We are enjoying life, and it feels great!