The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it. Is your house full of items that you feel are worth the hours you worked to have them? When looking around our home we realized there were many things that we bought because we thought we wanted them. The amount of items that are now on shelves, in boxes, and are stored "safely" somewhere is astounding. When we began working to downsize our home it was terrifying for us. I was not near ready for the idea of getting rid of my things, but the experience was one of the most freeing and eye opening events that we have been through together.
Minimalism may not be for everyone. For us there are three things that I believe are the top reasons for our life change. These are the physical, emotional and spiritual weight that has been lifted from our lives. We will expand on each of these things, but the amount of other positives far exceed these few listed here.
We have less junk, so it takes us less time to physically clean. We have always had our typical weekend with our two days to enjoy not being at the office. With our home as large as we thought it should be, it took us a full day to clean it. We would have to decide to start on the top floor in our room and bathroom, and work our way down to the kitchen and living room. It took HOURS to clean the house. By the time we had a million pieces of laundry cleaned and put away. (Well maybe I am exaggerating a small amount.) It would be dinner time. With working so hard all day, we were too exhausted to do anything fun together.
We have more time to emotionally connect to one another. We do not have so much stuff to go through, and we are not constantly wanting to shop and acquire more stuff. This allows us to spend more quality time together. It is amazing the things we have learned about one another. For example we both love to color, play cards, and read. I was never a reader, so learning that I enjoy reading and finding new worlds was eye opening for me. Scott learned he enjoys adult coloring books. Now we have the time to experience new things together, and this has given us new hobbies to share.
The spiritual freedom that we received was more surprising. I do not think we realized how much we covet things of others. We needed more things, and wanted more things because someone else had it. Sometimes the item was expensive, and that made us believe the value was more important; however, when the item was brought home and never used it had no value to us. I have more “things” that I HAD to have in the store that still have tags on them. The high I got from the purchase was more exhilarating than the item that I was getting. When that high was gone I was left feeling empty. I knew I was filling the void with physical items instead of my relationships, especially my relationship with God!
My husband never forced minimalism on me, in fact he did the opposite. He started to downsize his own items, and the freedom and organization he had opened my eyes. I had no idea at the time that I would have such a physical, emotional and spiritual change within myself. I hope my experience can help you too. Start somewhere, and enjoy the freedom!