These days, especially during summer, with the kids out of school but involved in a million different activities and camps, it seems like we never have enough time at the end of the day. It doesn't matter that the days are literally longer; sometimes, there just aren't enough hours in the day.
So we find ourselves wondering, even after asking our small villages for help, how we can get more done with the time we do have. Surrendering to the fact that most days, we get the bare minimum done, and that is okay, is a great place to start, but what if we applied the bare minimum to other aspects of our lifestyles and households?
We're talking about minimalism here. You may have heard of it. It has been quite a buzz phrase the last few years and then came along Marie Kondo, and it's swept the globe. If you haven't given it a try yet, let's take a look at why trying minimalism (or at least minimizing some of the things in your life) could really benefit you and make you feel like you've actually gotten a lot out of the hours each day.
One of the most essential parts of our lives is the connections that we cultivate with others. This goes beyond the walls of our households but extends to the rest of our families, our friends, and the strangers we interact within our communities. Connections are crucial to our overall health - mentally, physically, and spiritually. One of the first things you'll notice when you downsize the number of possessions in your life is you've freed up a ton of time—the time you used to spend picking up, cleaning, or taking care of said items.
Say your relationship with your significant other has been going through a rough period because you two just haven't had enough time together. That happens, and it's common. Instead of Googling "sex toys for men" and thinking of a new purchase you could make to spice things up, you've suddenly got the time back to sit and chat and reconnect. You may end up with a new toy if you two decide it's necessary, but the time is worth more than anything you could buy for them.
If you're buying less, you're inevitably spending less, which means, you guessed it - more money in the bank. This type of financial freedom unlocks so many doors for you. Say you were drowning in credit cards or other types of debt before adopting a more minimalist lifestyle? Now you can actually create a game plan of how to pay it off. Say you were mainly living debt-free, but the dream of a family vacation seemed like it didn't fit into your budget - minimalism can make that dream vacation happen for you.
The options are literally limitless. You are starting a 529 for your children's college, retiring earlier than you ever thought possible. When you commit to purchasing and spending less, the income you do have can go in whatever direction you'd like it to, which ultimately just opens a lot more doors for you, which is something we all dream about.
The last year and a half have made many of us a lot more aware of and grateful for our overall health. It also has put into perspective how important all aspects of our health care are. Even if we were lucky enough not to catch a sickness, our mental and emotional health become a forefront focus for many of us as lockdowns are hard on everyone's mental health.
A decluttered home is a decluttered mind. When you have less to worry about (physically), you have more time to pursue things that nourish your mind, whether that's therapy, new hobbies, or meditation. Trying minimalism could absolutely benefit your overall state of mind and emotional well-being.
At the end of the day, minimalism doesn't work for everyone. Some people thrive in a messier home, and others are mere collectors. Minimalism isn't going to be a good fit for every person or personality, and that is just fine! Variety, after all, is the spice of life. But, if you have found yourself struggling under mountains of laundry, bins of toys, or books you haven't read in decades, it might be worth giving it a shot for you.