As life gets busier and our homes more cluttered, many people choose to embrace a minimalist lifestyle. But is it worth it? Does owning fewer possessions really make you happier, and if so, how does it work?
While I can’t speak for everyone, I can say that my answer is a resounding yes. The benefits of minimalism have gone far beyond anything I was expecting ten years ago (when I first started experimenting with the minimalist lifestyle).
Here are five powerful reasons why minimalism is a choice worth making.
What is Minimalism?
Before we get into the benefits of minimalism, I want to make sure we’re on the same page about what it means to live a minimalist lifestyle.
For some people, it’s a design aesthetic, and for others, it’s about living with as little as possible. Both are valid definitions of minimalism—but it’s not the type of minimalism I write about on this blog.
Instead, I subscribe to a version of minimalism that honours intention and alignment. Do the things you own reflect your values and priorities? If not, how can you create space for more of what matters?
How much you own isn’t as important as how you feel. Do you have room to breathe and are you at ease in your home? If not, a minimalist will make the decision to let go.
5 Benefits of Minimalism
1. More Time
Minimalists spend less time cleaning, less time deciding what to wear, less time shopping, less time looking for lost items—and honestly? Less time worrying about other people’s opinions.
Admittedly, that last one doesn’t happen overnight. But the further you go down the path of minimalist living, the less you care about “keeping up with the Joneses” or making everyone else happy.
This means more time and also energy for the things you value most.
2. More Money
Before minimalism, I was a shopaholic who lived paycheque to paycheque (and I used credit cards to subsidise my lifestyle). After minimalism, I became debt-free for the first time in my adult life, and I saved up for a seven-month honeymoon.
I stopped buying stuff I don’t need, but it’s more than that. I saved money by downsizing (less stuff meant I could live in a smaller house, with cheaper rent and fewer bills), and I also made better decisions.
Because minimalism helped me feel less overwhelmed by life, I was able to step out of survival mode. I started cooking simple meals, and I stopped buying expensive coffees to cheer myself up. With time, these tiny changes began to add up in a big way.
3. A Clutter-Free Home
If you’ve never lived in a clutter-free home, let me tell you—it is like a breath of fresh air. You know that feeling you get when you walk into a hotel room? It’s that same feeling every day.
There’s a sense of lightness, and your home is no longer a drain on your energy. Instead, it’s a place that rejuvenates you, a sanctuary where you can truly relax as a family.
But that’s not all! The benefits of a clutter-free life go far beyond the home. As you welcome minimalism into your life, you start noticing that same sense of ease in your schedule, your relationships, and even your mind.
4. An Intentional Life
Minimalism has also taught me the art of intentional living.
I used to be afraid to define success on my terms, so I lived life on autopilot. I did what was expected of me because it seemed like the right thing to do.
Things like going to college, buying a house, and getting married—there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with any of these things, but the problem is that I was making these decisions for all the wrong reasons.
I never thought to question what I truly wanted out of life. Instead, I chased the goals and milestones that I saw everyone else chasing (and then I wondered why I felt so empty inside).
So how did minimalism change this? Well, when you declutter, you spend a lot of time asking questions. Why am I keeping this? What value is it adding to my life? At first, it’s about the little things—old sweatshirts and kitchen appliances. But do it enough, and you start thinking differently about everything in your life.
Minimalism also gave me confidence and taught me a lot about self-worth. I realised I didn’t need to do what everyone else was doing. Instead, I could be intentional about choosing my own path through life.
5. Freedom to Follow Your Dreams
Finally, the most important benefit of minimalism is that it leads to freedom to follow your dreams.
When you let go of excess stuff and responsibilities, you begin letting go of excuses as well. New doors open, and—because you’re not as weighed down anymore—you can say “yes” to opportunities that you would have run from in the past.
You have room to experiment and room to grow. It’s not always clear what’s happening (especially when you’re in the thick of things) but trust that when you have less to lose, you’re more likely to take big leaps.
I’ve experienced this firsthand; minimalism was the tool that helped me leave a job that I hated and eventually start my own business—something I was afraid to even dream of a decade ago.
Does Minimalism Make You Happy?
So this brings us to the million-dollar question: does minimalism make you happy?
Well, sort of.
Owning less doesn’t automatically make you happy—but what you learn about yourself while you’re decluttering and simplifying can.
A few years ago, I wrote a post confronting some hard truths about why my life was so busy and cluttered. The truth is I was hiding. A closet full of clothes helped me avoid my crippling insecurity, and a full schedule meant I didn’t have to face my loneliness.
Minimalism didn’t make those things disappear overnight. But letting go of my clutter meant:
- I had to deal with the things I’d been avoiding
- I had time, space and energy to do the work
In the short term, it was painful and uncomfortable. But in the long term, I am definitely happier than ever before. I’ve come out the other side lighter, and in many ways, more like myself than ever before. And this is perhaps the greatest benefit of the minimalist lifestyle.
Learn More About Minimalism
If you want to learn more about minimalist living, then here are some posts you might find helpful:
- Minimalist Lifestyle Checklist: How to Get Started With Minimalism
- 6 Powerful But Unexpected Minimalist Lifestyle Tips
- How to be a Minimalist: 5 Things Not to Do + What to Do Instead
And if you’re curious about my minimalist living journey, check out:
- How I Became a Minimalist: My Story of Living with Less
- Minimalism Before And After: How It Changed My Life
Why did you choose minimalism? What have been the benefits in your life?