An image of a clothing rail with neatly lined shirts, next to a desk with potted plants atop it.


You see it, a useful and important item, a shining aesthetic material good. You consider it for some time. It’s something you’ve needed for a while, and among the little of what you own, it serves a purpose. Owning it brings you happiness, but you wonder, should material things make me happy, is this okay?

You’re allowed to enjoy having stuff, even as a minimalist. Enjoying material goods doesn’t necessarily lead to walk-in closets filled up with piles of textiles and hundreds of boxes in storage. You don’t always need to be scheduling the next declutter, or throwing away that book you really love on your quest for the ‘perfect number’ of possessions.

Some minimalists abide by a strict lifestyle, in which they believe that things, and the accumulation of things, should not make them happy. But the reality of purchasing things, and owning useful or pleasing items, can still make you happy as a minimalist.

The point of minimalism isn’t to remove all material goods from life, but simply to no longer rely on an excess of stuff in order to create temporary happiness.

Being minimal in choices and purchases can actually enable you to enjoy the things you own even more. Choosing to live with a minimal mindset allows you to consider purchases in a more mindful way; you’ll be more likely to buy important, useful, and quality items if you think more carefully about purchases.

A great side effect of minimalism is a decrease in overall spending. Those things we don’t even realise we’re purchasing, that T-Shirt which we don’t need, the tenth pair of cheap shoes which we know will only last a few months. All these small costs mount up, and by saving the money we’d otherwise spend on them we can put it towards something of more importance. We can also be more sustainable in our purchasing.

All of this combined, we are allowed to enjoy material goods, in fact, we enjoy them more, precisely because of minimalism.

What material items make you happy as a minimalist?

Featured image: James Hollingworth via Unsplash.

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