In a world of rampant consumerism and excess, minimalism has surged in popularity in recent years as a way to simplify one’s life. Advocates of minimalism extol its many benefits, from reducing stress levels to improving mental clarity.
In recent years, there has been a growing trend of extreme minimalism. Proponents of this lifestyle believe that by removing all unnecessary possessions, they are able to live simpler, more fulfilling lives.
But does the benefit of having less really outweigh the sacrifices? Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of extreme minimalism.
Table of Contents
- What is extreme minimalism
- What are the benefits of extreme minimalism
- What are the sacrifices of extreme minimalism
- Pursuing a more frugal lifestyle
- Extreme minimalism examples
- Final thoughts on extreme minimalism
What is extreme minimalism
For years, minimalism has been trendy in the design world. But what is extreme minimalism, and how can it help to reduce clutter? Extreme minimalism is a design philosophy that stresses simplicity and functionality. Every element in a room should have a purpose, and unnecessary items should be removed.
To the average person, minimalism is about living with less. It’s about getting rid of all the clutter in your life and paring down to only the essentials. But to an extreme minimalist, that’s just the beginning. The extreme minimalism lifestyle is a choice that goes far beyond simply decluttering your home. It’s about living with as little as possible so that you can focus on what’s truly important to you.
Read also: 9 Types of Minimalists: Which One Are You?
For extreme minimalists, their possessions are carefully curated and limited to only those things that bring them true joy or are absolutely essential. They might own only a few pieces of clothing, and they might not own any furniture at all. Their homes are uncluttered and often empty of any decorations or personal items.
Additionally, extreme minimalists often eschew traditional forms of entertainment and instead focus on experiences and relationships. They might choose to spend their evenings reading or talking with friends instead of watching television.
What are the benefits of extreme minimalism
More time to focus on what’s important
Those who practice extreme minimalism often find that they have more time to focus on things that are important to them. Time to focus on your relationships, time to focus on your health, time to focus on your passions. When you get rid of the clutter in your life, you free up time that you can use to pursue the things that matter most to you.
By removing distractions and simplifying your life, you can more easily focus on your goals and achieve them. When you have fewer possessions, you have less to take care of and less to worry about. This can lead to improved productivity and a greater sense of accomplishment.
You have less clutter
One of the most obvious benefits of extreme minimalism is that you have less clutter. This means less to clean, less to organise, and less to keep track of. You can spend less time cleaning and more time doing the things you love.
Clutter has a way of weighing you down, both figuratively and literally. It’s time-consuming to deal with and can be physically exhausting to move around. Not to mention, it’s pretty much impossible to relax in a cluttered space.
By embracing extreme minimalism, you can create a serene and orderly space that is both stylish and functional. Moreover, you may find that when your home is less cluttered, it’s easier to keep tidy.
Save money by not constantly buying things
When you live minimally, you naturally stop buying things that you don’t need. This can lead to big savings over time, as you’re not constantly shelling out money for unnecessary items.
Instead of spending money on things, extreme minimalists focus on experiences. They might choose to spend their money on travel or unique experiences that they can’t get anywhere else. This allows them to create lasting memories instead of acquiring more stuff.
Feel like a minimalist hero who has achieved the ultimate level of Zen
There is a certain level of satisfaction that comes with decluttering your life and getting rid of the majority of your possessions. It can be empowering to know that you don’t need material things to be happy.
This sense of accomplishment can lead to an improved emotional state and a greater sense of self-worth. You may find that you’re more confident and Zen like when you don’t have to worry about taking care of a lot of stuff.
Additionally, extreme minimalism can help you to appreciate the things that you do have. When you own only a few items, you take better care of them and appreciate them more. This can lead to a greater sense of gratitude overall.
Reduced stress levels
The extreme minimalist lifestyle can be quite stress-relieving. When you have fewer possessions, you have less to take care of and less to worry about. This can lead to reduced stress levels overall.
Moreover, decluttering your space can help to reduce anxiety and improve your mental health. A cluttered environment can be overwhelming and cause you to feel stressed. By decluttering, you can create a calm and orderly space that is more conducive to relaxation.
A sense of freedom
Many people feel a sense of freedom when they embrace extreme minimalism. They no longer feel chained to their stuff and are free to live their lives without worrying about taking care of a lot of things.
This newfound freedom can lead to improved mental and emotional health. When you’re not bogged down by stuff, you can focus on what’s truly important to you. You may find that you have more time and energy to pursue your passions and live a more fulfilling life.
As an extreme minimalist with little possessions, you have the opportunity to pack up and go whenever you want. This can lead to a sense of spontaneity and adventure. You may find that you’re more open to new experiences and opportunities when you’re not tied down by stuff.
What are the sacrifices of extreme minimalism
Letting go of sentimental items
One of the biggest sacrifices of extreme minimalism is giving up sentimental items. It can be difficult to let go of things that have sentimental value, even if you don’t use them on a regular basis.
For extreme minimalists, these items can take up precious space – both physical and mental. That’s why they’re willing to make the sacrifice of letting go of sentimental items, even if it’s not always easy. In some cases, they may choose to keep only one or two items that are truly meaningful to them.
Forgoing material possessions
Forgoing material possessions may be a sacrifice extreme minimalists have to make. They not only have to give up material possessions, but they also have to forgo the emotional attachments that come with them. It’s a trade-off that requires a lot of thought and deliberation.
On one hand, it allows them to live a more simplified life with less clutter and fewer distractions. On the other hand, it means giving up things that may hold sentimental value or be useful in certain situations.
It’s a personal decision that each minimalist has to make based on their own values and needs. Ultimately, it’s a sacrifice that extreme minimalists are willing to make in order to live a more intentional and fulfilling life.
Pursuing a more frugal lifestyle
For those who have embraced the minimalist lifestyle, pursuing frugality can be a sacrifice. This is because they have fewer possessions to begin with, and they may already be living on a tight budget.
In addition, they would likely forego some of the conveniences that they have become accustomed to, such as streaming services and subscription boxes. While this may not be a big deal for some, it can be a significant sacrifice for others.
Extreme minimalism examples
Back in 2010, Andrew Hyde got rid of the majority of his possessions to travel the world (95 countries). He initially only owned 15 things!
This decision allowed him to live a more nomadic lifestyle and pursue his passion for travel. He has since increased the number of items he owns to a number still under 50.
Youheum considers herself an extreme minimalist as she lives in a furniture free home (other than her cat’s bed!).
She doesn’t own a washing machine and washes all her clothes by hand and uses a hammock for a bed.
Tiny House Movement
A popular form of extreme minimalism over the years has been the Tiny House Movement. This is where people choose to live in houses that are typically under 400 square feet – and not just those who are on their own, but sometimes entire families!
While this may seem small to some, it’s actually a very livable space for many people. It’s a great way to downsize and declutter your life.
Final thoughts on extreme minimalism
So, do the benefits of extreme minimalism outweigh the sacrifices? For some people, the answer is a resounding yes!
This is because the lifestyle can lead to increased happiness, reduced stress levels, and a sense of freedom. While there are some sacrifices that come with this lifestyle, they are typically outweighed by the benefits extreme minimalists are willing to make in order to live a more intentional and fulfilling life.
Interested in starting your own minimalism journey? Have a look at these articles to get you started: