How Minimalism Can Make You Money

What if I told you this style of living could make you money right now?


Nate Matos

3 years ago | 6 min read

The term minimalism has been floating around the internet for a while now. Personally, I think everyone is just saying the same thing about it. From my interpretation, everyone is getting that the point that if you declutter your life, you’ll feel freer, less stressed, and ultimately making you happier.

Those things are true.

What if I told you this style of living could make you money right now?

Decluttering your life could actually make you money while providing everything listed above.

In some cases, it could save you money. This style of life can literally put more money in your pocket while providing a sense of relief from stress, have more control over your life allowing you to feel happier.

A month ago, I moved into a new apartment then went back home to jersey for 3 weeks only to come back and see how I put nothing away. While I was putting away my clothes, I thought to myself that I didn’t have enough hangers to put everything up.

So, I figured only the clothes I like the most will go up on the hangers, and then I’ll decide what to do with whatever’s left. I realized that the clothes on the floor were clothes I barely wore or didn’t even enjoy wearing. So, I took it a step further, I started searching for clothes on the hanger that I didn’t like or potentially didn’t fit how I wanted them too.

Eventually, this snowballed into me literally pulling out every drawer I had with clothes in them. Going through the same process, the clothes I really liked were put away first and everything else stayed out. I remembered I had clothes in my suitcase that I never wore, the same process ensued. Most of those clothes ended up not getting put away.

I even did this with my boxers.

Eventually, I had enough clothes to stuff (and almost break) a garage bag. Not including the boxers. I noticed two things after this.

1. I still had a good amount of clothes left. It’s not like my wardrobe is full of clothes that can’t fit or don’t look good on me.

2. I felt very relaxed

See a lot of the time, I would struggle to close my drawers or find space to put my clothes when my dresser and nightstand drawers were filled. I didn’t know that was affecting my mood as much as it did.

Most of all my pockets thanked me.

I took my giant bag of clothes that looked like Santa’s toy sack to Plato’s closet. If you’re going to sell to any thrift store, I highly suggest them they pay out decent and much better than Buffalo Exchange.

The first trip yielded $56 and about half my clothes back.

So, I went to the next Plato’s closet in town. And that trip yielded me $32 and only a few clothes that I ended up donating.

I made $88 because I cleaned my room.

Because I cleaned my room, I feel good.

Because my drawers are easy to open, and I don’t have to sort through the crap to get to what I like, I feel good

Because I got paid to do all of that, I feel even better.

This isn't my first time doing this either but after almost making $100 of clothes that could fit, didn't like, or just never wore got me thinking. What else in my apartment that I don't use or like can be turned into money?

I am sure someone reading this has at least 10 things in their wardrobe they seldom wear. Clothes don’t do anything for you in the closet, so if they don’t do anything for you when you wear then why not flip to money that can do something for you?

Some people look at minimalism from a hippie standpoint, but I am here to tell you that this is the way to live. I started adopting a minimalist approach to life back in college when I first saw the documentary Minimalism on Netflix.

On a psychological level, this just makes sense. If you look above this is what is called a positive feedback loop. Pretty much what you do to reinforce positive behavior.

It’s really annoying to open a closet door and have to search through a mound of unused shit to get to what you want. Imagine how much peace of mind you’re missing out on by not deconstructing that closet and separating what you need and love from what is just taking up space?

Personally, I am getting a lot of peace of mind from not having to sort through the boxer that doesn't feel or fit good to find the ones that do. There’s a small pleasure I get from knowing I'm going to reach into my drawer to grab a boxer and not have to wonder if this is the one that fits horribly or not.

The fact I earned money in the process of giving myself this feeling is even more rewarding.

Photo by James Newcombe on Unsplash

Apply to this concept other areas of your life and we can really get deep. Relationships, purchases, investments, pages you scroll through on social media. I mean the list can go on.

To drill the point home minimalism is about focusing on what matters and parting with what doesn’t. Understanding that what doesn’t serve us, weighs us down. This is much more important for time than it is money

Some people put in a lot of hours of work to get the things we purchase. Why would you buy something you don’t absolutely love or need? Do you really want the money you earn to amount to something you use for a month and then never again? Sounds like a waste of time.

Some people do all of that and don’t even enjoy where they spend those hours to earn the money to spend on things they don’t even like.

It’s a slippery slope of despair if you think about it.

Even deeper, relationships take a lot of time to build. You only have so many hours in the day outside of work, even if that work is something you love to do. Are you going to spend that time on people you don’t really enjoy hanging out with?

Doesn’t sound like a good return on investment.

This isn’t to stay you shouldn’t spend money on different things or try hanging out with different people. How would you know if you like it or not if you never had it or experienced it? But once you identify that it is something you need, love, or enjoy, then it’s time to stop doing that activity. The same way you don’t eat at restaurants you kind of like, don’t hang out with people you kind of like or keep a lot of shit that you kind of like

When you start thinking in the sense of doing the things you spend your time and money doing serve you and limiting the time and money spent on what you don’t, minimalism stops being hippie-ish and starts making sense.

I personally believe everyone should adopt this mindset.

Because in my clothing situation, I earned money while providing a store product to sell to others that may have otherwise not have been able to afford the clothes to keep the people that work at the thrift employed.

Oh and because the clothes are essentially being recycled, fewer resources are consumed. It's about the most responsible thing you can do for yourself and the world when you think about it.

Imagine someone being able to buy a suit for their job interview because you decided you no longer needed it and got paid to sell it to that thrift store.

It’s a huge impact on the community. We could all use more of that.

A Professor of mine once said in class

“Anchor the best and forget the rest.”

Start 2021 by learning about how to make minimalism fit your life.

Do not let this idea steal from you the idea of how you want to live life, dress, etc. Just understand that if you could be happier by identifying and eliminating things that aren’t useful or positively impacting your life then why wouldn’t you try? Especially since it could put money in your pocket and time back into your schedule.

Originally published here.


Created by

Nate Matos







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