A reporter once asked me, “What’s the best thing about being a minimalist”?
I answered with one word: freedom.
Really, that’s what it all boils down to for me. When my home, my schedule, and my mind are stripped free of excess, I feel completely unencumbered.
Too much stuff can enslave us in myriad ways. Physically, it can take over our homes, crowding us and our children out of precious living space. It can also drastically reduce our mobility, creating an inertia that discourages us from moving and embracing promising new opportunities.
It can also weigh on us psychologically, dragging on our spirits and energy until we feel too overwhelmed and lethargic to accomplish anything. Conversely, a decluttered room or streamlined desk does wonders for our motivation—we can think more clearly, and act more purposefully, without the visual distraction.
And finally, excess possessions can enslave us financially. Credit card debt chains us to the work-and-spend treadmill, and can impede our plans to make a career change, go back to school, or start our own business.
The good news: every time we toss (or choose not to acquire) an unnecessary item, we gain a little bit of freedom: from paying for it, storing it, cleaning it, repairing it, maintaining it, protecting it, insuring it, worrying about it, and schlepping it around.
Those little bits of freedom add up, and have a dramatic impact on our lives.
Personally, minimalism gave me the freedom to sell my house and possessions, and start a new life overseas as a digital nomad.
Minimalism has enabled me to travel the world with a tiny bag, immersing myself in the local culture instead of looking (and feeling) like a tourist.
Minimalism afforded me the financial freedom to pursue my dream of becoming a full-time writer.
Minimalism freed my heart, my mind, and my time to welcome a little bundle of joy this past winter.
Minimalism makes me see each day as full of joy and potential, rather than chores and commitments.
I’d love to know: what kind of freedom has minimalism given you? Has it enabled you to make a cross-country move, start a new hobby, pursue a degree, start a family? Please share with us in the Comments!