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Minimalism: Less Stuff = Less Cleaning

I discovered the personal finance blogosphere in January 2012. I had just graduated and started my first “real job” and I knew that I would need to budget my new and much higher income responsibly. Just kidding. I was trying to figure out how to make my student loans go away without any effort. I have yet to find a blog that teaches me how to do this. If you know of one, please link to it below. Kthanx.

Anyways, while my intention was to learn about debt payoff, I ended up coming across a much more interesting concept — minimalism.* Minimalism, in short, is getting rid of things that do not fulfill a need or add joy to your life. Looking at the definition, you would think that everyone would be minimalistic. Not the case, Annie. For whatever reason, our society focuses on stuff and having excessive amounts of it. A lot of this stuff is completely freaking useless.

There are a million and one reasons to adopt a minimalist lifestyle, but if we are being honest with ourselves I think we can openly admit that the #1 reason to be minimalistic is laziness. Do you know what happens when you have lots of stuff? You have to clean it. Well you don’t have to, but if you don’t keep it in respectable order the folks from Hoarders might come knocking so you should clean it.

I hate cleaning. Like, loathe it. It is awful and tedious and the house is just going to get messy again tomorrow. When I was younger and Mom would ask me to mop the floors, I would rubber band wet rags to the bottom of my little brother’s feet and make him skate around the kitchen. It was dangerous AND hilarious. As an adult, I happened to marry someone who is much more of a neat freak than myself. So he does most of the cleaning. Did I mention I’m the luckiest girl in the world? The point is, I HATE cleaning and that was a huge factor in my decision to become minimalistic.

Let’s start with a prime example — the huge home. McMansions are insanely popular for exactly one reason, they look good. It looks good to have an insanely large house because it gives you the appearance of being wealthy. Which you probably aren’t because you are super duper house poor. But I digress…

Large homes mean large amounts of cleaning. But the problem goes deeper. In order to “afford” said large home, you are probably working a lot. Thereby not having time to clean the large home. So you decide to hire someone to clean it for you. And then you have to work more to afford a housekeeper. It’s a vicious cycle and it could be avoided by buying a home that is more realistic for your family and your income. DINKS don’t need five bedrooms, I promise you.

So we all know a big home takes a long time to clean, but what about the little things? The knick knacks and trinkets and thingamabobs. (“I’ve got gadgets and gizmos aplenty. I’ve got whoosits and whatsits galore. You want thingamabobs? I got 20. But who cares, no big deal, I want more!” – Ariel, the original hoarder — and no, I didn’t have to look up the lyrics) Have you ever dusted knick knacks? It is the biggest PITA ever. Like EVER. *starts singing TSwift* And do you know why they are dusty? Because they’ve just been sitting there. You haven’t even touched them. General rule of thumb: if it is not a table or a TV and it’s dusty, get rid of it.

You know what else is fun? Moving all your crap around every time you want to vacuum. If you have excessive amounts of stuff (or any stuff, really), you will have to move it whenever you want to deep clean. Who wants to do that? Masochists.

For the sake of your free time, you should look into minimalism. Because cleaning sucks and being lazy is awesome. I rest my case.

*Shout out to Baker and Bridget, who taught me what minimalism is and why it’s the cat’s pajamas.

[Image from Xfinity]

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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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