Unexpected Benefits of Minimalism


You downsize your life, you reduce what you own into a simple, minimal environment. This was the goal. You have arrived. Now, you live in this world day to day.

It seems like sacrifice to some, but to those who have done it - it's liberation.

Here's what happens when you minimize your life -


Visual clutter has a way of silently nagging us. 

Mail is piled up

Dishes fill the sink

Post-it notes have become wallpaper reminders

Dining table is a catch-all

Sewing project is still spread out

You know how a loud city downtown can be an auditory overload? Well, clutter is a visual overload. 

When it feels like all your work is done, surfaces are open, counters are wiped, and there are no stacks of mail or random jackets laying around, your mind says, "go enjoy yourself, nothing to do here."  And, in a deeper sense your mind realizes, "I got my sh@$ together." 


If you've done it well, your clean out of the home included replacing plastics for things like metal, wood, and glass

As well, with less clutter you can see what you have to cook with and that creates thoughtfulness in meal preps. Keeping surfaces cleared means keeping them clean, as well. Whether it's homemade cleaners or store bought, you are probably keeping your surfaces germ-free.

With more open spaces, you're more likely to move around purposefully and efficiently. And, with less distractions laying around in the home, you're more apt to head to the garden or go for a walk.


This is a really unexpected side effect that is quite pleasant. You shift from consumerism to conservation. You upcycle, thrift, repurpose. 

For a time, you wonder why it's so easy to not spend money. You become a bit of a spendthrift. "Do I really need this thing?" and you don't recognize this person and you grieve. It's not grief that you are no longer buying useless things, but you grieve that you were such a lemming in the first place. 

You can honestly go shopping with a friend and pick things up, look at them, consider them, and put them back on the shelf. You have lots of fun seeing new things, but you don't feel you need to drag them home and compromise your order.


It goes without saying that if you minimize what you own, you downsize the space your "stuff" takes, you end up with $ in your pocket. Lots of $. The thought of adding to the congestion again is as repugnant as having liquor to deal with a hangover. 

Buying secondhand becomes an exciting task. You never know what they will have, what prices they are, and when you leave with a $2 shirt that's colors you love, you feel like you somehow beat the house at gambling.

For those who are task-oriented with their finances, that extra cash pays off the car or debt, perhaps it goes into a TD Ameritrade account to invest in some mutual funds, or it allows you the ability to travel without putting it on a Visa card.

Minimalism is both an aesthetic and a lifestyle. You find often times that it spills over into how you handle money, food, exercise, goals, relationships, social media, and more. 


A few days ago, I developed Bell's palsy. It's not uncommon and can hit anyone usually under 60 years old. Inflammation of a facial nerve causes paralysis on one side of the face. 

It takes a few weeks to recover when the inflammation resolves, but in the mean time, one eye doesn't close or blink, so you have to put gel in it, tape it over or protect it from drying with a patch. 

Eating and drinking is awkward with one corner of the mouth drooping so you drool. 

Having to avoid bright light as you can't close your eye or squint and it being bright Arizona summertime, I am stuck in the house, avoiding blurry computer screens and going outdoors. 

This sort of minimalism has been very healthy for me. My blood pressure is not elevated, I am getting lots of rest, I exercise on my elliptical as I have free time, and I can sit with a stack of movies to watch and books to read that I meant to tackle when I had time off (that never came). 

With a couple weeks from the online world, sitting at the desk all day making my piriformis muscles go wonky, and not rushing around to attend to about 8 different jobs, I find myself minimalistic to the extreme.

And the odd benefit is I feel like I'm having a life. It's organic and without reference to online and technology. Instead of studying things, I'm doing them. 

Without the distractions, I remember what it's like to lounge, to doodle, to daydream, to focus on self improvement and myself instead of others. 

A home without distractions does the same - it allows one to not feel like there are unresolved chores, tasks, to-do's, and house cleaning taunting you and adding to the stress baggage.