Now that I am thinking about it, I might have been a natural minimalist all my life. When I was young, I was always tidy and kept my room straight. Mostly because I wouldn't have to listen to my mom nag me to clean it. When I started working, I didn't buy unnecessary knick knacks because it was a waste of money and I would likely get tired of them. When I bought my first house, it looked bare because it only contained the things I need. (Decorative items that required dusting rarely made it into my home.)
I never thought of myself as being a minimalist because I thought the definition of "minimalism" is 1) owning 100 items in my life, 2) living in an empty house, and 3) feeling deprived of all things that I want.
After doing some research (not intentionally at first) and reading lots of books, I learned that minimalism is really what it means to me and how I approach it. For me, 1) own more than 100 items but I don't own things that I have no use for. I try to only own things that I need or love. Once an item "expires" and I no longer love it, it gets donated or given away to family or friends. 2) I actually have a bare house with white walls because I like that aesthetic. It calms me down not having to look at a lot of colors and things. 3) I don't feel deprived because (under my own definition of minimalism) I can buy things that I love and include it in my life.
I feel like I can finally answer "Yes, I am a Minimalist" when people make comments about how I shop or what my house looks like. Being a minimalist has really made my life easier in the following ways:
WANTING LESS - Not having the desire to buy everything really saves me a lot of time and money. I don't go to the mall for no reason any more because I have better use of my time (hello, naps!) If I need something, I will go out and buy it because I have identified a need for it or I know it will make me happy to include it in my life.
LESS WORK - This might sound weird but if I have to move a ton of things to get to the one thing I need, I know I have too much stuff and it is time to declutter. Life is hard enough, I don't need to create my own obstacles to be in my way! Having less stuff means generally there is less stuff to clean and cleaning time is substantially less!
ORGANIZED HOME - You probably have heard all the studies that say how much of our time is spent finding things around the house. You might always be misplacing keys, wallets, or phones. When you have less things, you kind of lend yourself to also having a more organized home. Or at least, things are easier to find because you have less stuff. Having an organized home allows me to find things when I need them without looking all over the place for it.
ORGANIZED MIND - Not only do you have an organized home, but you will also have an organized mind. In the midst of getting rid of physical clutter, you have also gotten rid of a lot of mental clutter. You can stop trying to remember certain tasks that need to be done or where things are.
MORE TIME - With less cleaning time, less shopping time, and things being easier to find, I have gained a lot more time in my day and week to do fun things like drive around looking for the biggest puddle to jump in with my daughter!
What is your definition of "minimalism"? Do you think it would work for you?