If you’re new to minimalism and its benefits, stay tuned for 8 surprising benefits minimalism has given me.
Minimalism is not just about less stuff
Today I thought that I’d share some of the surprising things that Minimalism has taught me over the last few months.
I’ve shared before that I’m no stranger to decluttering. I’ve decluttered things out of our life many times over the last 12 years. But, I had never been dedicated specifically to the point of having a minimalist goal until around Christmas last year.
There was something in that season that finally gave me an Ah-Ha moment. I’m not really sure what it was. I just felt like it was something that I needed to do for myself. It was no longer about trying to get rid of the kids toys and stuff. It was about creating a home that felt calm and intentional.
I realized that I needed to be honest with myself and take a much harder look at my possessions before I could honestly talk to the kids and Arlen about what I was feeling we needed to do for the family.
Once I started being more honest with myself about things that I had control over, it became easier to look at my home and see the excess that we had. So this is where the surprising benefits started to appear.
I’m Calmer and not Overwhelmed
The most surprising benefit that minimalism has given me is the gift of calmness.
In the past our home would make me overwhelmed and a bit anxious. There was something about walking into our home and seeing the piles of stuff on the counters, tables and living room that made crazy jittery.
Don’t even get me started on how the kids rooms made me feel!
Now that I’ve been working through the house I’m feeling calmer. Our house is by no means perfect yet. I still have piles most days, but they only take a few minutes to pick up and put away. I’m not stressing that it’s going to take hours to pick things up.
Don’t let fear hold you back from this amazing benefit of minimalism
A 5 minute clean actually makes a difference
At our house I sometimes call the kids into the kitchen and we do a 5 minute power clean. This means that I set the timer for 5 minutes and we tidy until the timer goes off.
In the past I had to make it a 10 or 15 minute power clean since I wasn’t able to really see a lot of change in 5 minutes. Now that we have less stuff in our family areas, 5 minutes of power cleaning goes a long ways and we all feel good about the end result.
I’m yelling and nagging less
Yup, I said it. I have been known to yell. I’m not proud of it. I hate that I do it. Is it a Mom thing?
With less stuff to pick up and tidy, I’m not yelling at the kids or nagging at them over and over again to pick up their things.
The yelling was a product of me being overwhelmed before. It was a knee-jerk reaction to my surroundings that I felt like were out of my control.
I’m tackling areas in our house that I avoided before
I’m a Stay at Home Mom, though I do drive school bus full time, so I’m at home all day long. When the house was fuller it was easy to avoid certain areas of the house. I just didn’t have time to touch them. I was too busy or overwhelmed to deal with them.
With less stuff I’m finding that I now have the energy and mental space to get into those areas and work on them.
There has been a shelf by our washer and dryer that I have hated for years. It was a catch all for everything and anything. I actually cleaned it off the other week since I mentally felt like I could tackle it.
With less stuff kicking around it was starting to look like an eye sore and so I finally cleaned it off. This has been an interesting benefit of minimalism. I figured that these areas in our home were just always going to be here.
I’m more intentional about what we’re keeping
As I’ve been going through the house I’m noticing that I’m analyzing each item just a little bit more than in the past.
I’m really making sure that the items we keep have a purpose and that we really love and use what we’re keeping.
Do I have duplicate items? Is there something else in the house that could do the same purpose? If so I will let the extra item go.
I’m often asking myself, could we do without this? If I truly love the item and cherish it I will still keep it. Far more items are heading for the donate box.
My husband is more on board with minimalism
When I started working through the house and pulling out items, Arlen kept asking me “Aren’t you/we going to miss those?”
The best example was I had pulled out a bunch of extra bedding and put it in the donate pile. We were expecting company to stay for 2 nights later in the week and he was so sure that we needed the items for the weekend.
I compromised and said that I’d put that bedding into the cold room and if we needed it, I’d pull it out. If I didn’t go into the bag when company was over I was allowed to donate it.
Guess what? We didn’t use any of it. I had more than enough sheets, pillows and blankets for our guests.
He’s starting to see the benefits of having less as well.
The kids are more willing to go through their things
It’s true, as the kids are watching me go through things they are more willing to have conversations about their stuff.
It’s not easy for them, but like me, it’s a work in progress!
I’m decluttering my digital life
As I work through the physical areas of our life, I’m also working through the digital side of life. The other day I spent 20 minutes going through my emails and I un-subscribed to over 25 email newsletters.
This was a surprising benefit of minimalism that caught me off guard. The fact that my email clutter was bogging me down just like physical clutter. It’s been great not to have an overflowing email inbox.
I’m also working on a week long Facebook and Instagram break. Now before you go commenting that you found this article on Facebook during my week break, know that yes I did pop over to Facebook and post this link.
I was on for all of a minute to get the link posted and then I got off. I have not checked my personal Facebook account since Sunday and it’s Thursday today.
How does it feel? Freeing! I haven’t missed it. I did how ever find myself reaching for my phone in the most random times of the day only to remember that I deleted all the apps off my phone.
Are there more benefits?
Yes, of course there are more benefits that those listed above. I’m doing
- Less Laundry
- Cleaning less but more often
- Dishes are done more often
- Kids are more willing to tidy
I know that over time I’m going to find even more benefits than the 8 surprising benefits minimalism has given me, but for now these are the most significant.
If for nothing else, the sanity and calmness it has given me is worth so much more than all the rest.
What amazing and surprising benefits has minimalism given you? I’d love to hear about your experiences as we journey towards minimalism together.