Less is more

Why the minimalist lifestyle will make you happier.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Why the minimalist lifestyle will make you happier. 

<b>PHOTO</b> 123RF.COM
<b>PHOTO</b> 123RF.COM

When people think of minimalism, the need to sacrifice things comes to mind. That’s not true. For the record, minimalism is not just about getting rid of things. It’s more of a lifestyle that encourages decluttering in your life to focus on things that truly matter. 

In this day and age, we have more than we need. For instance, simply googling for ways to cure a migraine is already an information overload. That’s why it’s important to filter out the unnecessary. Here’s how minimalism can improve your life. 


With less clutter, cleaning your house will be a breeze. Divide belongings into storage boxes: shirts, shorts, belts, et cetera. This way, when things in those boxes start piling up, you’ll know you’re buying more than you need. With items neatly categorised, you’ll also be able to locate them easily. 

Get rid of impulse buys that you don’t need. If you haven’t used something in the last six to 12 months, it’s time to give it away. Evaluate every item you own, and separate your needs and wants. Going back to a neat home will definitely make you calm and at ease. 


If your wardrobe is bursting, you’ll always find it a headache to pick an outfit in the morning. With fewer pieces, decision- making becomes much simpler. Opt for classic designs with neutral colours for easy matching. 

Steve Jobs used to wear the same outfit every day: black turtleneck sweater and blue jeans. Choosing what to wear was one of those daily chores that caused decision fatigue. This happens when you’re faced with too many choices, and have to make a decision in a short time. By adopting a minimalist approach, you can focus on making the important decisions that really matter. 


There is a sense of freedom when you’re not attached to so many things. Leading a minimalist lifestyle encourages you to put in time and effort into important things that you believe in. 

This applies to both people around you and physical possessions. Focus on the people who genuinely mean well and want you to grow. With fewer things to worry about, you’ll also have more time to care for yourself. 


Trying to keep up with the latest trends and buying new things are just forms of temporary happiness. By practising minimalism, you’ll learn not to desire more than you need. 

Appreciate what you already have. It could be that pair of sneakers you bought with your first pay cheque. Things that give us good memories are the ones that we cherish more. 

Minimalism also makes us reflect and make time for what’s actually important: our loved ones. One of life’s simple pleasures is when the people you care about understand you. 


When you cultivate, you’ll be less affected by people’s judgements. With fewer things to juggle, your life focus gets clearer. You become more confident about what you believe in and won’t be easily swayed. 

According to Knox College psychologist Tim Kasser, people who are materialistic tend to have lower self-esteem and poorer well- being. It’s harder to be happy when you are too attached to things and constantly in need of approval. 

A study in the Journal of Consumer Research also mentioned that the unhappiest people are those with high pro-social and materialistic values. So, care less about nasty things others say and just be yourself.