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.
You might also like:
- 9 Types of Minimalists: Which One Are You?
- How to embrace minimalism when you’ve been a maximalist all your life
- Mental Minimalism: How Living With Less Can Improve Your Mental Health
- 27 Practical Ways to Declutter Your Mind
- 17 Reasons I Love Minimalism: Less Stuff Equals More Living
- What is extreme minimalism
- What are the benefits of extreme minimalism?
- What are the sacrifices of extreme minimalism
- Examples of extreme minimalism
- Final thoughts on extreme minimalism
What is extreme minimalism
For a long time, the concept of 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 stuff. It’s about getting rid of all the clutter in your life and paring down to only the bare 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.
For most 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 belongings.
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.
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.
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 live a more meaningful life.
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 own fewer items, 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 mental 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.
But it’s not just about lowering the number of possessions you have – living an extremely minimalist lifestyle means you’re less likely to be scrolling on social media, playing video games or shopping.
This newfound free time 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.
Reduced environmental impact
The environmental benefits of extreme minimalism are undeniable. By living with less, you are reducing your carbon footprint and helping to preserve the planet for future generations.
Those who practice extreme minimalism tend to live more of a zero waste lifestyle – giving up single-use items, choosing to buy items second-hand, and not contributing to the world’s growing landfills.
Enhanced clarity & decision making
Often times, owning too much unnecessary stuff can be overwhelming and stressful. It’s hard to focus on what is important when we are surrounded by clutter.
Extreme minimalism helps to enhance clarity and decision making by eliminating distractions and helping you focus on the things that truly matter in life. You may find that it becomes easier to make decisions and be productive when you’re not surrounded by an abundance of items.
For example, when you have less clothing, you don’t have such a hard time trying to choose an outfit in the morning and this eliminates decision fatigue.
What are the sacrifices of extreme minimalism
Just as there are benefits to living with the bare necessities, there are also certain things that extreme minimalists have to sacrifice:
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.
Family members tend to not be supportive of this lifestyle, especially when you don’t hold onto what they consider to be sentimental possessions.
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 things 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.
Another issue with extreme minimalism is that it can lead to feelings of isolation if you don’t have enough possessions or items to socialise with others.
For example, gathering around board games or having friends over for dinner can be difficult to host if you don’t have enough possessions.
Examples of extreme minimalism
The below are some examples of people who live extreme versions of minimalism.
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.
Rob Greenfield is an environmental activist and adventurer known for his dedication to extreme minimalism. He embodies the principles of living with less, challenging societal norms, and advocating for a more sustainable world.
Rob’s lifestyle revolves around reducing his ecological footprint and inspiring others to do the same.
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.
PIN FOR LATER!
Final thoughts on extreme minimalism
Extreme minimalism is a lifestyle choice that isn’t for everyone. It requires dedication and commitment to living a simpler life, with fewer possessions.
But for those who choose extreme minimalism, it can have a positive change on their own life. It can be extremely rewarding as you free yourself of materialistic items that do not add value to your life. You may find yourself reaching financial freedom, reducing your ecological footprint and inspiring others to do the same.
Ultimately, the decision is yours. Explore what minimalism has to offer and see if it’s something that resonates with you.
And remember, even if you don’t go the extreme route, there are still many benefits to living a more minimalist lifestyle!
Interested in starting your own minimalism journey? Have a look at these articles to get you started: