On this page, I’ll be compiling stories people have sent us on how minimalism has benefited them personally. Minimalism brings all kinds of benefits from giving you extra time, eliminating anxiety and stress, freedom, mental clarity, decreasing family tension and much more, and it’s my hope that this page can inspire more people to try it. 🙂
In the stories below, you’ll hear from people from a very wide range of backgrounds. Minimalism isn’t some wacky movement — it’s something anyone can try and benefit from, and my experience is that those who try it are invariably glad they did. I invite you to read through some of the stories and comments below, and I’m confident at least 1 or 2 comments should resonate with you.
And, if you’re a minimalist yourself with your own story to share, please add your own comment or story here and I’ll add it to this article.
As a growing family, we accumulated a lot of “stuff”, especially toys. As my kids got older, the state of my home became a constant agitator for me. I thought it was because I hadn’t done an adequate job of teaching my kids to be helpful. I hadn’t spent enough time showing them how to organize toys, cleanup large messes, or techniques to keep your space tidy.
The one day, the toy clutter became too much. I exploded! I grabbed trash bags and stuffed everything on their bedroom floors in as fast as I could. I took those bags promptly to the garage. Of course, there was the initial crying over losing their toys, but I explained they could earn them back by keeping tidy.
Days went by. Then weeks. The kids rooms stayed relatively tidy with the very few toys left. They did play with the remaining toys, but when it was time to clean up there was hardly any fussing. It’s been months, and those toys are still sitting in the garage, waiting for my next move.
After much consideration, those toys will not be returning to the kids bedrooms. The stress and anxiety they caused is just not worth it. And the overwhelm of too many toys was holding back my kids.
Minimalism has set us up for success. It eliminates unnecessary anxiety and stress. It allows my kids to practice important skills, from how to keep their small amount of things organized to how to use their imaginations.
--Holly Nordenberg, imwithholly.com
I practice minimalism because I believe that it is the only approach to discard the excess from my life. There are things we do on a regular basis that bring us neither substance nor joy, instead, we are only wasting our valuable time that we could’ve used to do the thing that makes us feel joyous and alive. I enjoy taking pleasure in minimal moments in life such as ‘me time’ in the park, early morning fresh breeze walks, and simple moments with my friends.
What primary benefit would you say it has brought to your life?
In addition to blessing me with more peace of mind by reducing stress and anxiety, going the minimalism route has made me a happier person. However, the primary benefit for me is the extra time. Practicing minimalism means less time to worry about the useless materialistic things, and more time to relax, prepare dinners for myself or the people I love, read books, and enjoy evening walks with friends. Additionally, I can utilize the extra time to prepare for and avail any opportunity that life has to offer for me.
--Atta Ur Rehman, Physicians Thrive
As a parent of 2 small children, I have found that minimalism is so helpful in helping me be a better parent. Having less stuff means spending less time cleaning my house, and less time sorting, organizing, and caring for my possessions. This gives me more time to spend with my kids.
I have also found that minimalism is helpful for my kids. When they have fewer toys available to play with, they tend to be more creative and independent in playing with them. Having too many toys out leads to overwhelm for them. In addition, when they have fewer toys out they are able to clean up their toys independently. Each toy has its own place on the shelf, and my kids know where it belongs. This makes clean up time easier and allows them to clean up independently.
--Sarah Miller, Homeschooling 4 Him
As a professional organizer, I've spent the last decade working with clients on helping them find more space, more time and more joy in their lives. Having less, of course, gives us more space, but that's not always the #1 benefit. Clients who declutter and let go of the things they don't want, use or need find they have more TIME to focus on the things they love and what they want to do - actually focusing on their JOY. The unwanted and unneeded stuff takes up physical, psychic and emotional space which keeps us from living our best life. Letting go gives us time freedom to focus on the really important things - like relationships, building community, our vocation, our interests and our JOY.
--Lisa Dooley, Your Organized Life
I started to become a minimalist while I was married, and it made my divorce very simple. It was easy to let go of a lot of property others would consider sentimental, and at this point, I have very few possessions I truly care about/need. It's easy to move from place to place-especially because I work online as a freelancer-and travel wherever I want without having to facilitate a large move.
--Holden Harris, PeachTown
Let's back up a bit. A little over ten years ago, I graduated college with nothing but decades of clutter from lost loved ones -- and $25,000 of debt -- to my name!
Now? I have a beautiful home in Europe, a happy family, live debt-free and wake up to a life that I'm excited to live every day.
It's hard to choose my favorite benefit of minimalism because there are so many. However, the biggest, most life-changing benefit for me was the sense of immense freedom in realizing that I didn't have to continue hoarding things that didn't bring me joy.
That it was okay to let go of my father's Harley Davidson collectibles, my mother's clothing and handbags, and my grandparents' tchotchkes.
I realized that every goodbye is also a new hello and that I could give these items a new chance to bring someone ELSE happiness by letting them go.
And that doing so was also saying hello to a happier me.
--Marissa Zen, Squirrels of a Feather
Minimalist is a big part of my life. I take it into account in all aspects of life. Whether it's the design of my home, tasks at my job, or doing buying groceries.
I have a couple of examples from my own life:
I had done a massive clean up of my Facebook friends, which reduced my number of friends on there from 1000s to only 100-200 people. This had a massive impact on how I use the platform itself, and on my easiness when browsing on there.
I purposely kept the design of my home very simple. Most of my walls are plain white, with furniture strategically placed to look good without accessories like paintings on the walls. This gives me great ease when I come home. A kind of a safe haven. The decluttering is very soothing.
I gave up 90% of my clothes to homeless people. One day I noticed that I actually don't use the majority of my clothes, at least not on a day to day, or even a monthly basis. I sat down with myself and had only 1 criterion in mind - if I didn't wear an item in the past year, I will probably not be wearing it at all. Some other poor guy may have better use for it. That probably made a couple of homeless guys quite happy somewhere.
I really think that minimalism has a great positive effect on my mental wellbeing. Whenever I simply my surroundings, my anxiety levels automatically drop and I feel more at ease. Highly recommend this lifestyle to anyone.
--Aviram K, Woof & Beyond
I practice minimalism because it helps me greatly with my mental health. When I first had my little boy, I had a bout of postpartum depression and realised that clutter was contributing to the problem. We had way too much stuff and it was difficult to keep on top of it all with a small child. I went on a huge push to reduce what we had, and living more simply, intentionally and minimally means that our home is more inviting and calm than it was before. I find I don’t get as stressed and frustrated, and I’m more inclined to keep up with good habits. It’s been a complete game changer for us as a family!
--Innes Vautier, aboderie
The number one benefit of minimalism for me has been mental clarity - SO much more mental clarity.
I’ve worked from home for the past seven years. When there was stuff laying all over the house (mostly in the form of excess toys, clothes and shoes) I couldn’t concentrate and my work suffered. After the birth of my third daughter in 2017, it all became too overwhelming.
I put my foot down and simplified my house as much as I could. I got rid of lots of toys, clothes, shoes, unnecessary kitchen appliances, excess beauty products and more.
Now, even when my three year old dumps all of her toys on the living room floor, I know that I can easily pick them up. My house is just about always 10 minutes from being fully clean. This helps me keep my mind off of the mess and on more important things, like family and work.
--Katie Barton, Cabin Lane
I found myself intrigued by minimalism shortly after becoming a mother, and for purely selfish reasons. My husband and I—together with our dog and two cats—happily coexisted in an 850-square-foot apartment. But after our first daughter was born, friends and family showered her with gifts. The sudden influx of baby toys, gear, and clothes slowly squeezed us out of our home.
Organizing, sorting, managing, and cleaning my daughter’s seemingly infinite possessions ate away at rare moments of free time. My anxiety skyrocketed, and my free time melted away. I found myself asking big questions about the true costs of consumerism as I folded unworn outfits and scoured the apartment for places to store unused plastic toys. I daydreamed about what a simpler, greener way of living in the twenty-first century could look like. I wondered whether such an existence was even possible.
If I wanted to find peace within my own home, I needed to make a change. So, over the next 2 years, I became a minimalist.
The greatest benefit of minimalism for me is reduced stress and anxiety and, as a consequence, decreased family tension. I no longer feel pulled in the direction of clutter, and I no longer feel scattered and anxious as a result. Maintaining my minimalist, tidy home maintains harmony within my family because I am calmer overall. I like to believe that my husband and children now enjoy my best self, not my worst.
--Stephanie Seferian, Mama Minimalist
Pre minimalism, I was working in an industry I did not enjoy, but worked it solely because it provided more money than I make now. Since I opened my own small business, even though it provides less income, it is in something I have a passion for.
The primary benefit is indeed happiness - through a more enjoyable work environment and better friendships.
With the need for less, I am able to work my own hours doing what I enjoy for a smaller salary than when I was working 80 hours a week to maintain the lifestyle I held prior. If I want to, I also have the opportunity to work different jobs or careers that I would enjoy. I have less work that I dislike now.
On top of this, I have built up friendships that are safe and removed relationships that were harmful. While this has led to less friends, the relationships are stronger. Since I don’t have the distraction of feeling I am wanting something all the time now, I enjoy every day with great friends and those around me who appreciate me for me and not what I own. Minimalism is much larger than just not wanting or owning as much - and this is because it really can shift your life around in almost any aspect.
Practicing material minimalism has led to minimalism in all aspects of my life, not just possessions, but my work life, relationships, financial, and time!
--Andrew Cunningham, DailyPest
Without the burden of a materialistic society, people are happier in the long run living a minimalistic lifestyle. The great thing about minimalism is that it's an option. People are free to choose whether or not to pursue this lifestyle. You can choose how minimalistic you want to be. There are no right or wrong ways to downsize your life, and there are many different options available to you on how to be minimalistic. Another great thing about minimalism is that as your journey progresses, knowledge grows. The benefits of being minimalistic include enjoying a bigger space to play with your kids or a space where you can go and free your mind and think of new ideas. The possibilities are endless.
--William Schumacher, Uprising Food
Like many minimalists, my journey started when I had to pack and leave a country. After living in Dublin for 3 years with my husband, we accumulated a lot of stuff. We kept buying but never bothered to get rid of anything.
When we finally needed to pack and leave, we for the first time realised how much we had, and it was impossible to bring everything. So we ended up giving away 7 suitcases of home goods, clothes, books, etc. to charity shops, selling dozens of items online, and throwing away a ton of other things. I had a strong feeling of freedom and lightweight after that.
For 4 years after, we lived a digital nomad life, hopping between Norway, China, Spain and Thailand. Everywhere we went, it was a maximum of 3 months stay, which made minimalism a mandatory lifestyle. During that time, I started to really learn about minimalism, wrote down everything I owned, and got rid of everything I didn’t need. It made me feel that I was in control of life when I had to move between continents so frequently.
Fast forward to today, I live between Norway and China, don’t travel as crazy much as I did before, but still, keep on being a minimalist. The primary benefit is that it gives me peace of mind. Because I don’t own so much, it’s easy to keep my home organised and tidy, and a clean environment gives good inner peace. Another big benefit is that it helps me to save more money, as I rarely shop on impulse, but rather shop as planned. I also make sure to get rid of one thing when I buy something new. And this helps me avoid the feeling of guilt from buying too much and not using. Again, this generates more peace of mind. A last major benefit is that it gives me the space to enrich my life with experiences rather than materials. I’ve travelled more, developed more hobbies, and spent more time with my loved ones.
--Effy Yu, AdChina.io
Practicing minimalism brings many more benefits than you could imagine. It’s not about “having less”, as many think, but rather about making a meaningful connection with what you have.
One of the first steps I did when I started my minimalist life was getting rid of all the stuff I had accumulated throughout the years and keeping only what was necessary.
Thus, I got to experience its benefits from the very beginning: freeing myself from all those things that didn’t add value to my life.
Once I made the first step, I started learning that life is much simpler.
By decluttering my physical space, my mind slowly became less busy with material or irrelevant thoughts because letting go of unnecessary stuff wasn’t as challenging as it was before.
This mindset shift has made my daily life better. Currently, it’s easier for me to focus on my priorities and those things, experiences and relationships that add value to my life.
Keeping a clean and clutter-free space is also extremely beneficial. Daily activities such as finding things that I need, cleaning and tidying my space, are done much faster. And I get more done throughout the day.
Also, the minimalist space is visually calming and satisfying! I quickly realized that keeping things to a minimum made me feel less anxious and stressed.
Lastly, living a minimalist life is the best budget-friendly decision I have ever made. Living with less means buying less. And there’s nothing more beneficial to my financial goals than keeping a critical track of my spending.
--Mallory Sills, Cakestyle
I moved to the US to study in college with two bags. My pillow was in the first bag; a cup with a spoon, a dictionary and some clothes in the second. I am Gypsy by nationality. Gypsies have traveled in a small wagon for centuries. All family possessions were in this small wagon. Everything was impeccably clean and well taken care of. Every possession mattered and had a history. We now live in a disposable world. Clothes are disposable (not mended), girlfriends/boyfriends are disposable (next on the dating app!), things are disposable (is that a new IPhone?). We have more and value less. What did I do?
1. I stopped buying and started exchanging. Clothing exchange is a wonderful way to get new clothes. I get rid of the old ones and get new ones without cluttering my closet.
2. I keep only what I definitely love AND use a lot.
3. When I don’t have clutter in my room, my mind works better; I get more creative ideas. Clear room equals clear thinking. Clear thinking equals job opportunities.
4. I found an alternative to shopping: a hike in the woods. I pick up a beautiful rock from nature instead of a new t-shirt.
5. I imagine each item in my house as alive. Items that I love emanate positive energy. Items that are broken, not loved and not used emanate negative energy. This inspired me to practice a minimalist lifestyle: I simply can’t take good care of too many items!
6. I quickly realized how much money I saved by not buying unnecessary things. What did I spend it on? A trip to Hawaii! I created memories, not clutter.
--Milana Perepyolkina, Gypsy Energy Secrets
Being in a house that is constantly full of clutter makes it difficult to find things in the house. This is a huge pain when you’re rushing out the door 10 minutes late already only to have to spend up to 20 minutes more searching for the forms or items that you need.
As well as this, having full and cluttered house left me feeling mentally weighed down as everywhere I looked there were piles of stuff (or things to do!)
Recently, after watching an episode of Marie Kondo, I decided to massively declutter the house and get rid of everything we don’t need. This wasn’t just a clear out, it was a push to lead a more minimalistic lifestyle, for both me and the children.
Since doing so, it’s incredible how much lighter the house feels, and how much it has affected all of our moods.
First of all, we aren’t surrounded by mess, which means we don’t argue when trying to find things, or trip over toys.
Secondly, everything about living has become much easier. Now when we’re getting ready to go out and we need to find something, we know exactly where it is. We can grab it and leave.
We’ve all learnt to be more mindful about caring for our possessions and putting them back in their place. Even the kids are getting better at doing this and we’re trying to instill it as a habit.
I highly recommend a minimalist lifestyle to anyone looking to improve the energy in their home.
--Sophia Nomicos, Mas & Pas
I think the freedom to let go of an item and feel fine about it is powerful. In a way, it is liberating.
We connect ourselves to items and, in a way, they take a piece of us. We are invested in that item and feel as if we need it (and it needs us). By living free of these items and on your own, you can live a life where every day is unique.
I try to limit the objects around me for this reason and I am always looking to live my life free from having to depend on individual items. It makes the few items I have more meaningful and allows us to find new meaning in things every single day.
--Gaurav Dhir, Chair Throne
Apart from all the benefits of leading a minimalist life, freedom is the one that I value the most. It may sound cliche but it definitely takes away all the noise from your life and detaches you from the materialistic pleasures of life. With the vibes that are free and positive, you are able to achieve more and eliminate all the clutter around you. This impacts your life and helps you in many ways. You learn how to invest in right relationships, good opportunities and concentrate on spiritual growth. You get rid of everything materialistic that’s no longer required. This is my learning. Let me know if you have any questions. I will be glad to help.
--Eric Jones, Couture Candy
I like practicing minimalism because it teaches you (and my family) to make the most out of what we have. I have become obsessed with coming up with hacks for everyday jobs because of the way I live my life as a minimalist.
When I have to come up with hacks to complete irregular tasks, it makes me use my brain and encourages creative thinking within me and my family. I enjoy being able to look at what I have and force myself to come up with a way to accomplish it.
By living as a minimalist, I have forced me and my family to be more creative and adaptable!
--Karen Lee, Things Around the House
Minimalism has reduced my stress. I've embraced minimalism since we repatriated to the U.S. three years ago following many years of moving between countries for my husband's job. Having two home-bases or having a home abroad and one in storage led to an abundance of stuff ranging from kitchen gadgets to furniture to memorabilia. This created more to think about, more to clean, and more to pay to move, store and insure.
We have merged and purged our belongings and are very thoughtful about buying new items. It's easier to find things when we need them in our home. We have more living space and less to clean and organize. Our unwanted items have gone to people or charities who are happy to have them. These results have reduced our stress and led to a better quality of life overall since we are more focused on enjoying experiences than acquiring things.
--Linda Mueller, The Expat Partner Coach