“Every time someone makes a decision about whether (or not) to purchase a product or service there is the potential for that decision to contribute to a more or less sustainable pattern of consumption. Each purchase has ethical, resource, waste, and community implications.”McDonald, 2006: 516
Trying to define what minimalism entails, what rules one should follow to become a “true minimalist” is even more demanding than solving a complicated math problem nowadays. What different perspectives on minimalism and even anti-minimalism have in common is the idea to create our own guidelines while trying to reduce stuff we own. If you’re contemplating whether you should switch to a minimalist lifestyle, we listed 3 main benefits of adopting minimalism in your everyday life.
1. Minimalism is good for your mental health
Minimalism helps people with anxiety and depression since it removes the unnecessary material possessions and mental burden from our lives. Although there’s no statistical analysis showing the direct correlation between minimalism and reduced anxiety, different qualitative research projects showed the improved wellbeing after people switched to a minimalist lifestyle. For example, the recent research paper published in International Journal of Applied Positive Psychology concluded that 24-52 years old participants from different parts of the world (US, UK, Germany, Australia, Canada) reported increased competence and control in their everyday environment and reduced stress levels after switching to a minimalist lifestyle. Minimalism improves an individual's competence by letting them save more money, offering them a chance to repair the broken items rather than throwing them away, and practicing self-restraint.
Different studies show that cluttered spaces decrease productivity level and concentration and as a consequence, lead to procrastination and anxiety.
There’s also a growing misconception that if you’re a minimalist, you should stop owning lots of stuff, you should buy less, spend less, miss out on stuff that you want to have. In contrast, the core idea of minimalism is to let one invest in things that matter to them the most. If one stops focusing on things and experiences that don’t matter for them in the long term, then they can start investing the time, energy, and money in things that add value to their life and wellbeing in the long term.
2. Minimalism is good for your wallet
Although it’s easy to get lost in the loophole of “invest in experiences, not things” and spend fortunes on experiences while trying to avoid buying material possessions, minimalism helps us to reflect on whether things are worth our money and attention. That’s why it offers a great way to manage our budget. A Reddit user expressed the connection between a minimalist lifestyle and budgeting that way:
“...Consumer culture encourages mass acquisition of low quality and unnecessary products. Our advertising links new acquisitions with happiness. Of course, this is a dangerous lie.
Minimalism offers an attractive alternative. Purchase less with reduced frequency, own little, and have the budgetary room to both save and buy higher quality products that will save money in the long run.
There is another prong here which is why I'm a minimalist: time. Time is money, and by owning less, I have more free time to achieve my life goals. I don't search for lost things. I have less to maintain. I don't need as much space to store stuff with its cleaning and maintenance. I work less to pay for it.”
From another perspective, minimalist people feel less guilty or rarely regret that they wasted their money away since they tend to reflect on and evaluate purchases they make. When you detach yourself from the temporary joy you get from material belongings, you also stop wanting to buy the latest trends, you can’t get provoked by “limited edition” products and it’s easy for you to take control of your consumption habits. These all lead to better money and time management. Instead of buying every single new item from fast fashion brands and getting tired of them quickly, you purchase what you really like and use it for a long time.
3. Minimalism will help you to live more sustainably
At the core of sustainability is to evaluate our actions in terms of whether it’s harmful or beneficial for the planet and future generations. We already mentioned how minimalist lifestyle allows us to reflect more on stuff we acquire. This constant evaluation also leads us to live and consume more sustainably, in favor of the environment and future generations. In scientific literature, ‘individuals who have freely chosen a frugal, anti-consumer lifestyle that features low resource use and environmental impact’ (McDonald 2006: 516) are called ‘voluntary simplifiers’. Voluntary simplifiers ascribe different meanings to material possessions than non-voluntary simplifiers. For example, for a non-voluntary simplifier, a big house might mean high status or more comfort, whereas for a voluntary simplifier it might mean unused space or unnecessary purchase. That being said, they do not necessarily consider the environmental or ethical impact of purchases they make. For example, researchers Craig-Lees and Hill (2002) categorized three types of motives behind switching to a more simplified lifestyle: environmental, spiritual, and self-oriented. Still, it does not diminish the positive impact a simplified lifestyle has on the environment, even if it’s unintentional. When you minimize your options, you buy less. When you decide to buy less, you want to focus on the most beneficial or useful products to invest in.
That’s what we do in Skosh. By offering you three cleaning liquids - glass, bathroom, and multipurpose - we save your time, energy, and money to focus on what’s more important. We eliminate toxic ingredients and plastic from the cleaning industry and offer you organic, natural cleaning liquids with minimalist design. Because life is not long enough to stand in front of the cleaning products aisle and try to decide which cleaning product to choose among dozens.