There are many reasons people live a minimalist life. Sometimes it is forced upon them: a low wage, a lost job, or a broken relationship. Others embrace the lifestyle reluctantly, for any number of reasons.
But that is not my story.
My story is that I intentionally chose to own less. It was a decision I made years ago when I stood face-to-face with the emptiness and burden of unneeded physical possessions. And it is a decision that I continue to choose every single day: to own less rather than more.
Why do I choose to live a minimalist life?
I live a minimalist life because I like owning fewer things. Not only do I love minimalism, I genuinely enjoy it.
Here are 12 Reasons I Like Owning Less
1. More Money.
I’ve lived my entire life with enough money to provide, but never too much. As a result, financial considerations have always played a significant role in my decision making. Owning less has freed up money for me and my family. And I kinda like that.
2. Fewer Chores.
I love having less work to do around my house when I am home. When I go to work, I work hard. So when I come home, I like to rest and be with my family. Owning less (and living in a smaller home) means I have fewer household chore demands on my time every evening—and every weekend.
3. More Free Time.
Owning fewer things (and shopping less I might add) has freed up my time to a greater degree than I ever imagined. More free time means more opportunity and more potential for my life.
4. Better Example for my Kids.
Living a minimalist life has modeled for my kids that personal belongings are not the key to happiness, that security is found in their character, and that the pursuit of happiness runs a different road than the pursuit of possessions. These are valuable life lessons.
5. More Intentionality in Life.
I started living a minimalist life because I was discontented with the focus of my life’s energy. But among its greatest gifts, owning less brought me intentionality—not just in the things that I chose to own, but in my pursuit of wellness, values, and spirituality. And for that, I couldn’t possibly be more thankful.
6. Aligns with my Faith.
I dive deeper into my personal faith in my book, The More of Less, than I choose to do here on Becoming Minimalist. But minimalism has been a spiritual journey for me. It has not only brought new understanding to my faith, it has brought greater depth of practice. That alignment is something I cherish.
7. Better Relationships with Others.
Owning less has allowed me opportunity to be a better friend. I should be careful here, I wouldn’t say that minimalism automatically makes somebody a better friend and/or person. But it does provide extra margin in life for somebody to become that.
8. Less Comparison.
There is no joy to be found in comparison—and so many of the comparisons we make in our mind have to do with material possessions. It’s a shame really, those things shouldn’t impress us. But when I choose to intentionally own less, I also choose to no longer compare what I have with others.
9. More Opportunity to Contribute.
It seems to me either we’re living for ourselves or we’re living for others. And while I understand there is a proper time for both, too many people (and for too much of life) spend too much of their energy focused on selfish living. As I reject the empty notion of always desiring more and more for myself, I free myself to live selflessly for others.
10. Better Self-Understanding.
Minimalism forces questions of values onto a person. It caused me to question assumptions about my purpose, passion, and inward motivations. The journey inward is not always easy, but it is always important. And choosing to own less prompted that for me.
11. Own Higher Quality Things.
When I buy fewer things, I open up my life to the opportunity of owning nicer things. I will admit this benefit of minimalism came unexpected to me. For some reason, I didn’t connect owning fewer things and owning nicer things. But the truth is, they go hand-in-hand and are directly related.
12. More Appreciation for the Things I Do Own.
Sometimes, the easiest way to feel more satisfaction in life is to appreciate what we already have. And it is impossible to appreciate the things you have if you’re constantly obsessing over the things you don’t. As I intentionally own less, I develop a greater appreciation for the things I have chosen to keep.
Minimalist living is countercultural. It is contrary to every advertisement we have ever seen because we live in a society that prides itself on the accumulation of possessions. But for me? I like owning less. I enjoy living a countercultural life. The reasons for it are life-giving.
Kelly Davis says
Someone is a little too emotional. No one cares if you’re an atheist! Stop trying to stir the pot!! If you’re so fragile that reading an article about minimalism rattles you that you have to comment about being an atheist, you should NOT COMMENT!!! Get a life!
Thank you Joshua for your books, blog, You Tube and other places I have have found your voice. I appreciate your sharing about being a pastor and your journey. If I did not want to read what a writer had to say, I would leave
Thank You Joshua for the articles about minimalism. I enjoying coming back to check for articles which might interest me. As a former fundamentalist evangelical charismatic Christian, Atheist for approximately 15 years now, I appreciate that you don’t cram your beliefs down others throats. If religion is mentioned in an article, I simply skip over it because I’m here for information about minimalism.
As for Agnostics or Atheists who seem a bit touchy about religion being mentioned, my guess would be, it’s because they have had Christians insult them (as have I) that they can barely stand to even hear the word “religion”. Just for understanding for Christians, I’ve been told, “You’re NOT an Atheist!” (as if I didn’t know who I was after 50 some odd years), to “Well, then you weren’t a Christian to begin with.” then the usual “You’re going to HELL!” I’ve decided that I need to remind Christians that their God is supposedly the ultimate Judge & He will decide whether I go to Hell or not & they should do as the Bible says & “Judge not that ye be not judged.” Mat. 7:1.
Joshua, do you think that would be an appropriate answer?
Corrections: enjoying should be enjoy, (as have I) should be (as I have been).
Oh give it up. I don’t think advertising your aesthetic views is any more interesting than advertising your Christian, Jewish, Muslim views. Trust me, people don’t care.
I care. He is very inspiring.
Why would you bring that up?