Millennials are one of the largest groups of consumers in the U.S. at this point. And yet, there is a chronic issue when it comes to these young-to-middle-aged adults and homeownership. Thighs like excessive student loans and multiple economic crises — not to mention the fact that millennials own a meager 3% of the total U.S. wealth — has created a situation where barely one-third of the generation owns a home.
Suppose you’re amongst the ranks of the young, eco-conscious, and houseless. In that case, the good news is that adopting a minimalist approach can be the perfect solution to finding affordable, environmentally-friendly housing.
The Many (Home-Related) Benefits of Minimalism
Minimalism is a hot topic these days. Often it’s brought up in a deriding manner as if it’s a fad only for the elite and privileged. However, true minimalism isn’t a fad. Nor is it inaccessible.
On the contrary, real minimalism is a mindset that leads to freedom from things like fear, worry, guilt, depression, and consumer culture. It focuses on making conscious, deliberate decisions that aren’t dictated by your culture, peer pressure, or other extraneous “powers that be.” It also focuses on finding the real value and joy in each thing that you possess — including a house.
With that said, a few of the most obvious ways that minimalism can impact your home buying experience for the better include:
The environmental factor: Minimalism focuses on finding value and keeping things simple. In that regard, it can help you ensure that every part of your house has a purpose and is minimally impacting the environment. Minimalist effects like cooking consciously, using quality, long-lasting LED light bulbs, and eliminating plastics from your possessions can all provide a high-quality lifestyle and an eco-friendly home.
The bottom line factor: Minimalism saves you money. Plain and simple. As you buy fewer, higher quality items, care for your possessions, waste less, and favor the practical, you naturally spend less money — and this goes for your home as much as anything else.
The organization factor: Minimalism typically emphasizes the reduction of excess and the decluttering of your spaces. This, once again, impacts your home by naturally creating an increased sense of organization. As you reduce your possessions and find practical yet clever ways to organize them, such as under-the-bed bins or a repurposed locker, you maintain a sense of organization that all homeowners highly prize.
These are just a handful of the most powerful ways that minimalism can impact your home for the better. However, if you’re sold on applying a minimalism mindset to your homebuying journey, you can’t trust that it will happen naturally. You want to go in prepared and ready to look for the right things.
Minimalism and the Home Buying Experience
Here are a few of the most critical minimalist factors to keep in mind while you’re looking for a home. They revolve around things like being eco-conscious, saving money, and finding a functional, practical space to live.
List Your Priorities Beforehand
If you want to stay focused as you shop, you must prioritize things beforehand. Prioritization is a key concept in maintaining a minimalist mindset as you go along. Is a jacuzzi tub nice? Sure. And that farmhouse sink is gorgeous, too. But where do they fall on your list of priorities? Are they worth spending more money on?
If you have a family, things like school districts, house layout, and storage should all come first. By having this in mind beforehand, you can keep the practical first and avoid spending extra money on the unnecessary.
Look for Natural Eco-friendly Elements
If you want to combine minimalism and eco-friendly mindsets in your homebuying venture, it’s worth looking for houses that naturally support your eco-needs.
For example, rather than investing money in a larger A/C unit, look for a home with a southern orientation, southern overhangs, and excellent windows and insulation. This will naturally avoid the need to consume excess energy and appliances.
Prepare your Current Home
As you go into the buying process, remember the selling one, too. Whether you’re moving out of an apartment or selling an existing, overly-large dwelling, you can use minimalism to save money and be environmentally friendly as you prepare to move by:
Using the opportunity to reduce your possessions and only keep items that provide value.
Liquidating your unwanted stuff through eBay, Craigslist, or even a good old-fashioned garage sale.
Looking for affordable-yet-simple eco-friendly repairs that you can do for your current home — such as sealing drafts or fixing leaks — to help the next owner consume less.
Using Minimalism to Guide Your Homebuying Journey
Minimalism is a fantastic tool to have by your side as you prepare your current home, list your priorities, and learn to look for the practical aspects of a new house that will reduce your need to consume.
The ability to disconnect from a “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality and to focus on obtaining practical and meaningful possessions enables you to look for what you truly need, rather than what society dictates you should have in your new home. This frees you up to save money, protect the environment, and still find a house that, while small and less luxurious, perfectly fits you and your family’s needs.