Minimalism has been a household buzzword for years now, with stars like Marie Kondo–among others–popularizing the idea of living with less. Last year, CivicScience found that living with less was more of a necessity and less of a choice for many people. However, as we move into spring–the decluttering high season–momentum around minimalism seems to, once again, be picking up speed. 

In fact, the desire to become a minimalist has increased four percentage points since last year.

As the data show, younger people and women are the most likely to already be minimalists or to want to become them, if they’re not already. 

Interestingly, those who consider themselves minimalists have the most polarized feelings. Current minimalists include a high percentage of those who consider themselves happy, while also including the highest percentage of those who consider themselves unhappy. And with those who want to become minimalists reporting the lowest levels of happiness overall, the data continues to support the idea that minimalism may be linked to better mental health, after all. 

Employment situation also plays a role, as those who want to become minimalists are the most likely to be unemployed or working from home. This suggests that all of that time spent at home may drive many towards a need for less. Meanwhile, those who are working in a physical office are the least likely to have a desire to go minimalist. 

A Clear Space Makes a Clear Mind 

With well over half of respondents saying that their living space is somewhat cluttered, it’s no surprise that there’s been an increased interest in minimalism and the clean spaces it promises to bring. 

One of the foundational ideas of minimalism is that clearing your space from physical objects creates an environment that’s more suitable for relaxation and ease. While that may sound esoteric on the surface, the data below –and other studies– support this point. 

Those whose homes are self-described as ‘very cluttered’ are the most likely to have felt very strongly stressed recently and more than three times as likely to be dealing with mental health concerns at home than those with no clutter. All of this suggests that decluttering may not just be important for those interested in aspirational home decor or lifestyle trends, but for anyone looking to boost their overall wellbeing. 

Spring Cleaning On the Rise

Given the clear connection between decluttering and mental health, it only makes sense that spring cleaning is also a higher priority this year. (And if spring cleaning is on the brain, then you’re in luck. Keep a lookout for our in-depth spring cleaning report coming next month.)  

In the meantime, one thing is clear: minimalism’s star continues to rise. As an increasing number of Americans aspire to this clean, streamlined and organized way of life, minimalism may be transcending from a mere lifestyle trend to a way of living that is about more than just (the lack of) material things, but is about maintaining mental health for the long-term.