If the last 18 months have taught us anything as a society, it may be the benefits of living a more simple life. Without the daily commute to work or the need to be in an office all day, many of us found ourselves settling into a slower and more natural pace, which has allowed us to spend quality time with our families and reevaluate our priorities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given us all the opportunity to realize what is important and perhaps awakened us to the fact that we could all benefit from living more simply and in greater harmony with our environment.
Living Simply is Less Stressful
The demands of modern life put undue stress on most people. Whether it's juggling work and family life commitments, navigating the constant stream of news and media messaging, or surviving the fast pace of city life, it can be challenging to find peace and quality time for yourself.
With an array of digital devices and distractions now commonplace in most people's homes, it can be far too tempting to check your phone for messages or go online. Cutting back on technology is something many of us can benefit from and can be liberating for your emotional and mental well-being.
If there's one thing the tiny house movement embraces, it's living life on your own terms. Downsizing is no different. What feels right to you is most important, but you must push yourself to evaluate the clutter in your life. Downsizing is a necessary process of unburdening yourself from all the things holding you back by cluttering your space and mind.
The beauty of consciously simplifying your life is that it helps you get down to the essence of who you are. When going through a big transition, profound reflection is required to break through to the other side. Forcing yourself to sit alone and process your feelings about each of your belongings is essential. Often, we don't realize the emotions attached to our things. They might not have much to do with the actual object itself.
In this way, downsizing can be a healing process. When you let go of physical clutter, you can also process emotional clutter that clouds your perspective. You might be surprised to discover that minimizing your possessions helps you uncover or clarify your priorities—an excellent path to reducing stress in your life by focusing on what matters most to you.
More Free Time
One of many people's biggest regrets is wishing they hadn't worked so hard. Time is something that cannot be regained, so it is vital to spend it doing what you enjoy rather than on unfulfilling or soulless activities.
When you live more simply, you realize you can live happily with fewer things and can dedicate the time you would have been working to more meaningful pursuits that allow you to express your joy and creativity. Whether it's spending more time with your loved ones, developing your hobbies, or finally writing that book, the luxury of time makes these meaningful things possible.
Reducing monthly expenses, like housing and frivolous shopping, can help you achieve more free time by allowing you to work less. This could open you up to make a big job change—reduce your hours, start your own business, try remote online work, or choose a less stressful job.
Better for the Environment
By adopting a simpler approach to life, you might find you prefer to donate unwanted items, recycle old clothes and maybe even grow your own fruit and vegetables.
A simpler life also involves less consumption, so rather than filling up landfill sites with your discarded goods, you can offer them to friends and family, hold a yard sale or donate them to the local charity shop. Not only is this better for the environment, but it also saves you money.
Importantly, living simply in a small or tiny home means drastically reducing your energy consumption. Small houses require much less heat and cooling, and the more well-insulated, the greater the energy savings.
By having more time to dedicate to activities such as gardening and cooking, you can grow your own organic produce that is free from harsh chemicals and pesticides, along with having a zero-carbon footprint since they come straight from your backyard. You, of course, need a place to garden on your own land, parking spot, or community. Did you know many tiny home villages offer community gardens? Sharing resources is another excellent environmentally-friendly benefit and can build strong relationships too.
There are some great benefits to living more simply, from more time to less stress, so why not start taking some steps in this direction today?
Read our new book, The Beginner's Guide to Tiny Houses, for more on how tiny home living can benefit you, what your options are, and if it's right for you right now.
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