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It’s no secret that material goods have begun to overtake people’s lives. These days, the majority of people seem to be more concerned about their new gadgets and toys than anything else. The mentality that things will bring happiness to our lives is an idea that could stand to shift. As many people have already figured out, the fleeting joy that your latest purchase brings you is no replacement for a meaningful life. To counter the movement of overconsumption, which is riddling our planet with massive amounts of waste, there is now another movement that is quickly gaining momentum, and that is Minimalism.

Minimalism is the mentality that less is more, and that the less stuff you own, the freer you can be, both physically and mentally. Not to mention, its the easiest way to reduce your footprint on the planet. People embracing this concept are called Minimalists, and they thrive on owning as little as they possibly can so they can afford the time and cash to do what really brings them joy and contentment. Here are some things that minimalists do and why they are naturally happier because of it.

1. They know that material goods don’t bring lasting happiness.

Enjoying our belongings is fine, but when we start to rely on the external world for happiness, we can get in trouble. Minimalists know that true joy comes from within and can’t be bought or sold.

2. They’re conscious about each purchase they make.

Practicing mindfulness when shopping is a great thing to do. Instead of just blindly purchasing, taking some time to seriously think about whether or not a product or item is really needed can really help create a happier life, saving money and space at home.  They also factor in the environmental impacts of each purchase they make which is empowering to know that we can make a difference with each purchase we make.

3. Minimalists fix their items instead of buying something new. 

Fixing your own items can really help create a connection with the items you already own, helping you value them more. Again, this can save you money and time looking for the perfect replacement. 

4. Borrow instead of buy. 

Lending out your own items and borrowing items from a friend or family member is not only a great way to save money, it’s a good way to connect with those in your community which has been shown to create a happier life. Or look into Gifting Economy or Clothing Swaps in your area or start one up yourself. 

5. They have less clothes, which means less laundry.

No one really loves doing piles and piles of laundry, right? Minimalists have the right idea, to buy fewer articles of good, high-quality pieces of clothing rather than having a huge wardrobe of cheaper clothes. Here’s a great article straight from our archives teaching you How to Build a Minimalist Wardrobe.

6. Less stuff means a smaller home.

Having fewer items means less storage is needed so it’s possible to live in a smaller space. This influences monthly expenses, bringing them down to a more manageable level, freeing up money for other endeavors.

7. They buy higher quality items that last rather than items that will just have to be replaced.

Since minimalists buy less stuff, they are able to save up more of their money to invest in better quality products that will last longer. It’s all about quality over quantity. They also implement recycling and reusing methods that can also rid their homes of unnecessary plastics and containers.

8. They don’t get attached to their belongings.

Instead of forming emotional attachments to our belongings, it’s far more important to foster relationships with people. Being a minimalist puts into perspective that things are just things, they can be replaced, but those special people in your life cannot be so easily replaced. This is why minimalists will usually choose to spend their money on experiences rather than things.

9. They take really good care of the items they do have.

They really treasure the things they have because they have chosen them so carefully and mindfully, so naturally, they will take better care of their belongings.

10. An attitude of gratitude.

Living as a minimalist tends to put things into perspective and makes you realize how fortunate you are to have the things you do have.  Waking up in the morning in a warm, cozy bed in your own house is something far too many people do not have. Having gratitude what we have makes what we have more than enough which certainly creates more happiness and contentment.Even if you’re not a minimalist,  you can still take some inspiration from minimalism and incorporate some of these ideas into your own lifestyle. You may wind up liking it so much that you become a minimalist yourself.

For more awesome ideas for becoming a minimalist, check out Becoming Minimalist, a website teaching us the ins and outs of minimalism.  Also, watch the Minimalism documentary on Netflix for some great inspiration and insight into the minimalist movement.

Image Source: Alexander Shunevich/Shutterstock