We all have a lot of stuff. In our homes, on our desks, in our cars — everywhere you look, we are surrounded by our material possessions. Even if you don’t consider yourself to have a cluttered home or workspace, it’s possible that you could simplify. If you do tend to pile up the papers or have a bunch of unpacked boxes, some organization could help you cut down on the clutter and even make you happier.

What is minimalism?

Minimalism is not a new concept, but it has exploded in popularity recently with shows like Tidying Up and Tiny House Living. While some people believe minimalism is all about restrictions, the truth is that it essentially comes down to decision making.

To live more with less, you have to be intentional with the items in your life. Whether you’re making a purchase or redecorating your home, you have to evaluate what will make you happy in the long term. With these ideas in place, minimalism aims to give people freedom from material things and lead to a simpler life.

How it helps you save money

There is a natural tie between minimalism and saving money because if you aren’t making frivolous purchases, you aren’t spending unnecessary money. However, minimalist living is a conscious choice and requires some discipline and practice. Start with your small daily decisions like making your own coffee at home rather than running out to the coffee shop.

Minimalism doesn’t mean you can’t ever buy anything — it just means that the things you do buy should have value, preferably long term. If you dream of traveling, adjust your spending so that you aren’t buying tons of clothes or food and have more money to invest in experiences.

For some more inspiration on how to incorporate minimalist living ideas into your life, check out this collection of 10 TED Talks on minimalism to help you spend less (created by Mint.)

ted talks on minimalism