how to live with less to achieve so much more

Our mental health is often silently eroded by the incessant pursuit of material goods. Minimalism steps away from this cycle, promoting satisfaction in what we already have.

Minimalism is often seen as a way to declutter and simplify life, but it has deeper connections to mental health than many might initially think. This fantastic lifestyle choice, which emphasizes reducing excess stuff and focusing on what truly matters, can significantly impact one’s mental well-being, which can aid in reducing anxiety and stress. Let’s look at some of the ways that embracing  a minimalist lifestyle can lead to a more calm and mentally healthy life.

the psychological weight of clutter

Clutter is not just stuff, it has psychological significance. Studies ¹ have shown that environments with high levels of clutter can lead to increased anxiety, stress, and feelings of being overwhelmed. It's not just about the space being taken up but the constant reminder of disorganization and unfinished tasks. In contrast, a minimalist environment, which stresses order and simplicity, can act as a calming space, reducing sensory fatigue and making it easier to process thoughts and emotions.

minimalism as mindful living

Minimalism encourages a form of mindful living. By owning fewer things, individuals often engage more deeply with their possessions, appreciating their utility and beauty rather than merely accumulating more. This mindfulness can extend to other areas of life, including eating, working, and interacting with others, promoting a more present, focused state of mind that enhances mental clarity and reduces anxiety.

the freedom from materialistic pursuits

Our mental health is often silently eroded by the incessant pursuit of material goods. The modern consumer culture bombards us with the message that happiness is just a purchase away, which can lead to a perpetual cycle of desire and dissatisfaction. Minimalism steps away from this cycle, promoting satisfaction in what we already have. This can lead to a significant decrease in stress and anxiety related to financial pressures and material accumulation.

simplifying choices and reducing stress

Decision fatigue is a real phenomenon, where the quality of our decisions deteriorates after a long session of decision-making. When you embrace minimalism, you reduce the number of choices you need to make about what to buy, keep, or use. This simplification can lead to reduced stress and increased energy for the decisions that really matter.

minimalism and mental space

Clearing physical space helps clear mental space. An uncluttered environment is said to reflect an uncluttered mind. The principles of minimalism—focusing on what’s essential—can help in prioritizing tasks and reducing the feeling of being overwhelmed. This creates a peaceful environment where one can focus on personal growth and self-care.

building a resilient self-identity

Minimalism can help individuals build a self-identity that isn’t tied to possessions or the perception of others. By reducing dependence on material goods to shape identity, minimalism can enhance self-esteem and personal resilience, leading to better mental health outcomes. This shift can foster a stronger sense of self and greater internal satisfaction.


The connection between minimalism and mental health is profound and beneficial. By adopting a minimalist lifestyle, individuals can not only declutter their homes but also their minds. The reduction of stress, anxiety, and mental clutter, alongside an increase in mindfulness and self-satisfaction, illustrates minimalism as not just a physical practice but a holistic approach to a healthier, more fulfilling life. Embracing minimalism may very well be a step toward not only a simpler but a happier and healthier existence.


  1. The Dark Side of Home: Assessing Possession 'Clutter' on Subjective Well-Being - Joseph R. Ferrari, Catherine A. Roster, et al. (2016)
    • This research paper explores the relationship between clutter and wellbeing, finding that clutter negatively impacts subjective well-being through its interference with a sense of home, or a personal refuge. It's a good resource to demonstrate the direct psychological impact of clutter.
    • Link to paper
  2. Procrastinators and Clutter: An Ecological View of Living with Excessive “Stuff” - Joseph R. Ferrari (2018)
    • This study delves into how clutter results from procrastination, which itself can be a significant source of stress and reduced mental health. It provides an interesting angle on the behavioral roots of clutter.
    • Link to paper (pdf)


written by:

Jules Dolan January 13, 2024
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the connection between minimalism and mental health
By following these strategies and procedures, you can create a more minimalist and organized living space that will help reduce stress and anxiety in your family home.