Is It Good to Be a Minimalist? This guide explores the drawbacks and also the benefits of being a minimalist, the drawbacks and benefits of living a minimalist lifestyle, and, in short, a look at why minimalism is good for many.
By Cora Gold, Editor-in-Chief of Revivalist
Minimalism is growing more popular as a way of life. In many ways, it goes against the grain of modern society, which values overconsumption and buying into the latest trends in fashion, technology and more.
If you’re considering adopting a minimalist lifestyle, you might find yourself asking, “Is it good to be a minimalist? What are the benefits of minimalism?” People who are devout minimalists will say it is good, while others may be more skeptical. It’s important to evaluate the pros and cons of any popular lifestyle. Asking these questions will help you learn what it really means to be a minimalist so you can start your journey feeling educated and prepared.
The Drawbacks and Benefits of Minimalism
Let’s discuss the different aspects of minimalist living and their various pros and cons.
The begin our minimalism benefits, perhaps the noblest reason for being a minimalist is the lifestyle’s inherent sustainability.
For starters, buying fewer things puts less stress on your local environment. Additionally, living in a minimalist structure helps preserve energy and natural resources, reduces waste, and limits noise pollution. The tiny home trend is just one example of these benefits in action.
Smaller buildings that take less from the environment are becoming increasingly popular in global efforts to offset man-made climate change. Minimalists are ahead of the curve when it comes to eco-friendliness and could play huge roles in designing more sustainable neighborhoods and towns.
The initial transition to minimalism is the hardest part of the lifestyle, as you have to cut ties with many objects and comforts. Decluttering will require an intense commitment of time and effort.
The most difficult part of the transition is determining which items you do and do not need. You’ll throw away things you need and end up re-buying them. You’ll keep things you don’t need because you aren’t emotionally ready to discard them. Trial and error is the only way through these awkward growing pains.
Your home may look barren for a few weeks until you grow accustomed to the simplicity. As previously mentioned, your friends and family might question your choices. You must have the strength and confidence to power through those first few weeks without second-guessing yourself. You’ll be surprised how the feeling of emptiness will quickly turn into a feeling of peace and quiet.
The lack of clutter is the main reason many people turn to a minimalist lifestyle. With just a few objects in every room, a minimalist household doesn’t require much cleaning or rearranging. You know the exact location of every object without having to dig through a drawer or cabinet to find it.
When someone frees their living space from clutter, they also free their minds from clutter. A major goal of minimalism is to achieve an inner peace that mirrors the home: clean and simple.
Minimalist living spaces are easy to manage, which gives the occupants much more time and mental stamina to devote to life’s other responsibilities. An improved mental state also leads to minimalist benefits in the form of physical improvements, including fewer signs of aging, better sleep, and more energy throughout the day.
On the contrary, filling your home with many unnecessary possessions can be detrimental to your mental health. They might look glamorous from an outside perspective, but managing those possessions can be stressful and time-consuming. Minimalism gives you more peace, time, and energy compared to other materialistic lifestyles.
Minimalism has gained speed in popular culture and media. While bloggers and influencers can do their part in educating people about what minimalism means, they can sometimes give the wrong idea about it.
For one, many influencers will post photos of their minimalist homes, which can often tempt people to want to redecorate their own homes. True minimalism isn’t just an interior design aesthetic full of neutral colors and expensive designer furniture, as some online personalities might have you believe. Getting rid of everything you own just to buy new things to fit the aesthetic is not what minimalism means.
There is no “perfect” way to embody the minimalist way of life. While seeing minimalism promoted in popular culture can be positive, be careful not to fall into the false image of minimalism as a fad among influencers.
Lastly in this list of benefits of a minimalist lifestyle, minimalism embraces the idea that less is more, with one glaring exception: money. Buying fewer things naturally leaves more money in your pocket. You could spend it on frivolous things, but that would go against the minimalist lifestyle. Instead, you can use your extra money to pay off debts and invest in the future.
Think about how many unnecessary expenses the average person has. Restaurants, streaming services, expensive clothes, and jewelry give temporary satisfaction but tighten one’s financial chains. Minimalism is one of the only lifestyles that enables you to achieve a debt-free slate and full financial freedom.
If you need any more incentive to consolidate your spending, the worsening state of the global economy is something to consider. Minimalism might be in your best interests regardless of your outstanding debts in the near future.
Any time you subscribe to an alternative lifestyle, your social life will take a negative hit. You can’t expect everyone to understand or appreciate the reasoning behind minimalism. So, although the simplicity of a minimalist lifestyle might improve your mental health, it might also make you feel unconfident about your social standing.
Hosting will be especially awkward. Every time you invite company over, you will have to explain why the rooms are so bare and boring. Your closest friends won’t see you the same way. New acquaintances might even make fun of you. You hopefully won’t get any hostile pushback from your peers, but you should expect a fair amount of ridicule at first.
However, if you stay true to the minimalist mindset, you won’t care what people say. Minimalists don’t restructure their lives to impress other people, but to better themselves.
It’s important to consider the pros and cons before taking on a major life change, such as the transition to a minimalist lifestyle. There may be challenges along the way, but overall, you may find that the benefits of minimalism are worth the effort.
Everyone is different, so there is no one right path to minimalism. Evaluate your situation and consider what steps you can take to lead a simplified life.
Becoming a minimalist can improve your life in many ways. From freeing yourself from a cluttered home to saving both money and the environment, there are many good reasons to consider minimalism.
About the Author
Cora Gold has a passion for writing about life, happiness and sustainability. As Editor-in-Chief of women’s lifestyle magazine Revivalist, she loves to share her insights and find inspiration from others. Follow Cora on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.