Every month we ask a single question where we invite answers from the Minimalism Life community. And at the end of each month, we share some of our favourite responses. All responses remain anonymous, but it’s an interesting insight into how this nuanced tool can be life-changing to many people.
In November we asked, “How has Minimalism affected your life?”
“It has brought clarity into my life. Given my children, husband, and I the space connect and create in our intentional space. Shown us there is no "way" in life that will bring us true happiness except by the way we chose in all of our actions towards ourselves, each other, and the things in our lives that we chose to be there. Its all a choice and it is all interconnected to our overall health. Everything is interacting all the time, so let's make it harmonize.”
“After discovering minimalism about five years ago I moved from a 3 bedroom 2.5 bathroom house to a studio apartment. I dropped my gym membership and started walking and doing personal body weight exercises. I donated 3/4 of my clothes lost 29 lbs and I went from credit card dept and no savings to NO credit card debt and $126,794.
“I make coffee at home, take my lunch to work, quit random shopping, and most importantly, got rid of home internet and cable tv just over three years ago. My friends know the drill. I still travel and have dinner out about twice a month. Focused.”
“While I consider myself only at the beginning of my minimalism journey (hate that phrase!!) it has made my home life much more calm, generally. Early on, I decluttered my house, with particular benefits found in my wardrobe—no stress choosing clothes for the day—and the kitchen. I have no (or very little) stuff lying around which makes my kitchen almost trivial to clean. I am not a fan of cleaning but at the same time, I hate living with mess. This has gotten rid of both issues—I clean as I go, with practically zero friction. I feel like I've freed up a load of time.
“Along with decluttering, I have also drastically cut down the amount of stuff I bring into the house. I had a serious Amazon addiction which mainly just created clutter. If something comes in, something goes out now.”
“Minimalism has introduced a level of freedom to my life that I could not have otherwise. I conceive of minimalism as a mindset designed to find what is important to you. Look at your life, find the things, people, and values that really matter to you and get rid of everything else. I don't want to trivialize the difficulty in this. At times it is very hard, painful even. There are also hardships and compromises to comfort in doing this, but they are a great litmus test to help determine what is important. If you're not willing to stop buying bread, maybe that bread maker isn't worth keeping.
“We are a single income, family of 5, with 2 pets, 6 chickens, a mortgage, and 2 used paid-off vehicles. Over the years we have traded up from a townhouse in the city to a house in the country, 2/3 the size 1/3 the cost. We have swapped a gas guzzling SUV for a sleek motorcycle. We have gotten rid of every expense in our lives that we do not truly value.
“Here is the value of the minimal mindset and knowing what is important to you. We can live on $1,300 per month, but we have $3600 to spend. The freedom this gives us is truly immeasurable. Think about what life could be like if you only needed 1/3 of your income to live on. Would you work part time? I love my work so I'm staying full time, but we will be taking a five week vacation.
”There is a lot we do not and cannot have or do, but we do and have everything we truly desire.”
“Minimalism let me quit my job as a special education teacher to stay at home while my 3 children do remote learning. I can’t imagine the stress, as a family, we would have been under if we had to pay for childcare for three children during a pandemic.
“We “purchased” our 1,200 square foot home for $325,000 in 2013. Even though we have been tempted to build an addition or a larger home we have held off and tried to maintain a minimalist lifestyle focused on family experiences like trips to Disneyland and random beaches on Lake Michigan.
“It is getting harder now that my children are older and their friends (who live in million dollar homes and have nannies) wonder how “poor” we are but the truth is we are happy. My husband is known as “Coach Mike” because he can volunteer to coach so many sports. His position allows him to leave work by 4 PM on most days. Between the two of us, we hold two Bachelor’s Degree and three Master’s Degrees that we paid for in cash. Without minimalism, we would be drowning in debt, over worked, and stressed out. We would have very little time to spend together as a family. Thank you, Minimalism, for affecting my left for the best.”
“Minimalism has changed my life by giving me empty areas which turn to peace for me. The calm of empty areas was a profound realization. Minimalism also has given me a sense of peace when thinking about my passing. My only child will not be saddled with months worth of cleaning out. I inherited my parents’ home and belongings. I’ve been blessed to give their things to people who appreciate them.”
“Minimalism has provided us (my wife and I) a reassuring sense of purpose by simply stating an objective—to be as efficient as possible with our time, resources, and attention to allow us to focus on what is really important... living life!”
“Minimalism has changed my life not only by detaching me from my compulsive buying and hoarding but also by flicking a switch in my mind about the importance of being available to people in a healthy way. Use things (that I really need), not people. My life is better. I realise I am not defined by my possessions.”