I’ve been practicing minimalist living for three years now, and like with every lifestyle change, I see life with new eyes. In hindsight, I realize that minimalism has taught me important life lessons. They shaped me into the person I am today.
Minimalism is a lifestyle that permits us to live a more simple and meaningful life.
If you’ve been on this journey as well, I’m sure that you’ve learned many things along the way, and that you’ve grown as a person.
Without the lessons I learned, I would be a different person, and I wouldn’t be where I am today.
In this blog post, I am sharing with you 7 important life lessons that minimalism taught me, and that you might learn on your journey to a simpler life.
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7 important life lessons minimalism taught me
1 – It feels good to let go
When we are trying to simplify the excess in our lives, we find ourselves in the need of letting go. Letting go of material belongings, digital clutter, toxic thoughts, negative relationships.
We let go of anything that does not serve us and that isn’t contributing to our happiness.
By doing so, we experience many benefits of minimalism and decluttering. Above all, we are gaining time, energy, money. We are making space for more clarity, happiness, and freedom.
It is an important life lesson that minimalism taught me. It feels so good and liberating to let go!
Every time I declutter my life and my home, I feel lighter, calmer, and freer. As if more things are possible for me.
We can also realize that it feels so much better to give, rather than to receive. We feel generous and caring for others.
Of course, it is hard to let go, especially when we’ve had something in our lives for a long time.
It takes courage, but it is worth it! And the more we let go, the easier it gets, and the better we feel.
2 – Some people may not understand your lifestyle, and that’s okay
When I started my minimalist journey, I realized that I was going against the grain.
While most people I knew were striving to accumulate more, I was decluttering and going through all areas of my life.
If you find yourself in this situation as well, I’m sure you know that you can feel lonely along the way.
People may not understand your way of living, they may have a different view of success. Some might even criticize your decisions and lifestyle.
But that’s okay. It’s okay to be content with less, to want more out of life than constantly upgrading your lifestyle.
This must be the most important life lesson that minimalism taught me!
You need to do what is best for you, what makes you happy regardless of what others think.
In the end, living like other people won’t necessarily contribute to your happiness. So it doesn’t make any sense.
If practicing minimalism and simple living is what brings you joy every day, dare to pursue this lifestyle regardless of what other people think.
3 – Consumerism is destroying the planet
I was passionate about sustainable living way before I discovered minimalism.
But when I started my minimalist journey, I didn’t expect that it would make me find new ways to be more eco-friendly.
You might think: what is the link between minimalism and sustainable living?
Well, when I first started decluttering my belongings, I realized that having too many things is very wasteful.
Most of us have a lot of things that we never, ever, use. This means that they have been produced for nothing.
The natural resources used to create these things have been wasted for no reason. And what will be the end life of these unused things?
We’ll find other homes for them, but some of them will end up in landfills. Or worse, in nature.
The Story of Stuff explains all the impacts our stuff has on the environment and the world. I highly recommend this book if you want to learn more.
Being aware of how our excess stuff affects the planet was a life-changing realization for me. It changed the way I shop, and the way I see my material things now.
Minimalism taught me that mass consumerism and our throw-away culture are destroying the Earth.
We need to stop buying things we don’t need and start being more intentional to protect the environment.
4 – Having too much clutter is draining and overwhelming
Simplifying my life and my home has helped me find more clarity.
I realized that clutter was bringing me down, that it was a weight on my shoulders that needed to be lifted.
The things we have around our space can bring us down because we are responsible for them.
We need to take care of them, maintain them, repair them, and dispose of them properly at the end of their life.
There are so many actions attached to stuff ownership that can take up a lot of energy, time, and money. And clutter can have a huge impact on mental health!
That’s why I recommend decluttering on a monthly basis.
Your home should be a place where you can relax and unwind at the end of the day. It shouldn’t remind you of all the chores and things you need to do.
5 – Material things won’t make you happy
One of the most important life lessons minimalism taught me is that accumulating stuff won’t make me happy.
I’m sure that earning a lot of money and buying the things you need whenever you want to is awesome, but it’s not everything. There is so much more to life than stuff!
Some things are way more important in life: how do you feel when you wake up every morning? Do you have time to be with loved ones and to follow your passions?
Are you taking care of your health? Are you creating memories that you’ll cherish for the rest of your life?
Experiences and people you love are far more important than material items!
Many people go shopping when they are bored or sad. But, retail therapy is not a solution to make you feel better.
Stop impulse buying and start spending time with people you love, doing things you enjoy doing.
Material things won’t make you happy, whereas experiences are what you’ll remember at the end of your life.
6 – You don’t need a lot of things to live well
The majority of people often think that we need a lot of things to live well.
We keep things “just in case” because we fear that we’ll need it someday. I’m guilty of having this thought at times.
But the thing is, minimalism taught me that we don’t need as many material belongings as we think we do. We can live well, we can thrive, without any excess stuff cluttering up our space.
If you have all your basic needs met, you are already privileged.
If you can read this blog post, it means that you have a computer or a phone, and an Internet connection. You already have more than enough.
If a time comes when you don’t have an item you need, you will figure out a way to make things work.
You will either do without the item or find another one that will work just as well. Or you will find a way to borrow it, to rent it, or even to buy it.
There is no need to accumulate material things.
Also when traveling, many people overpack and bring way more things than they need for their trip. I’m working on this one, trying to pack fewer things every time I go on holiday.
So next time you travel, cut down on the number of things you bring as much as possible. You will feel so much lighter!
7 – Intentional living will give meaning to your life
When you start your journey towards minimalism, you learn how to live with intention. You only keep in your life what you love and what brings value to you.
How you use your time starts to be an essential question you like to ask yourself.
You generally become more intentional with most aspects of life. And the things that are most important to you become your priority.
Minimalism teaches how to live with intention. It helps you make your own choices based on your needs, on what makes sense to you.
You are in charge of the decisions you have to make daily. And you edit your life in a way that suits you.
Simplifying your life and living intentionally will give meaning to your life. Because you choose to do what is important to you.
It helps you be more present and have more gratitude for your life. This, in turn, contributes to your happiness.
Those were 7 important life lessons that minimalism has taught me in the last three years since I became a minimalist!
I hope that you learned something helpful and that it made you think about how minimalism can change your life.
For me, this lifestyle change was for the better. The transition made me realize important life lessons that will guide me through life from now on.
Let me know in the comments below: what have you learned from your simple living journey so far? What are your favorite and most important life lessons minimalism taught you?