- Owning 100 items … TOTAL?
- Living in a tiny house?
- Having a “capsule wardrobe” with only 33 items?
Minimalism CAN be based on those guidelines above, but it doesn’t only have to be about those. Rules like that are somewhat extreme examples, and are fun games on the road to living with less for some, but are not requirements for choosing a simpler life. Minimalism is customizable to the individual, yet some basic principles remain consistent: getting simple, decluttering, and living a life where less is more.
- Minimalism is about less
- Minimalism is about keeping what brings you joy or value and letting go of what doesn’t
- Minimalism is a lens you can look at your life through to be clear about what is important to you and to focus on that.
- Minimalism is about removing your distractions, your clutter, and your busy life that has left you stressed, tired, and unfulfilled.
- Minimalism is about living simply, stepping out of the trap of unconscious consumerism, and living life in alignment with your values and desires.
LESS IS MORE
How is living with less better? Less is not only the new MORE, but it’s also about living with less of what you don’t want, to be able to have more of what you do. Less stress, and more serenity. Less clutter, and more organization. Less chaos, and more peace. Some people experiment living with less by traveling, moving to a tiny home, or just paring down the items they own to see what is actually essential.
We live in a culture of decision overload. Giving ourselves less choice provides us with more peace of mind. Decision fatigue leads to feeling stuck and stifled.
KEEPING WHAT BRINGS YOU JOY
As you declutter and assess what’s important, you don’t have to get rid of everything you own. Some possessions bring you value, are essential to what you do in life, or simply bring you joy to have around. Celebrate those items, and let go of anything that doesn’t fulfill a need in your life any longer. This concept can be applied not only to physical items in your home, but to work, relationships, and anxiety. If you’re not into it, get rid of it.
FOCUSING ON WHAT’S IMPORTANT
Too often, we get mired in the busy-ness of life, with details like errands, paying the bills, and household chores. The less you have, the less there is to clean.
Minimalism is an evolving process of being aware of what you actually “need” versus what you think you need. It is taking a look at your possessions and assessing whether they are bringing you bliss, or stress. It is not about having only 100 (or 33, or however many objects are the saying du jour), it is about having what you need — and what you love.
Our stuff gets in our way. We spend way too much time thinking about it, storing it, protecting it, and making money to acquire more of it.
By continually looking at and doing away with what is unnecessary, we are more at ease. Having less physical clutter means less mental clutter. No more looking for your keys, when your keys always go in the same place. No more wasting money buying new stuff, when you know exactly what you already have.
Some researchers from the Princeton University of Neuroscience determined that: “Multiple stimuli present in the visual field at the same time compete for neural representation by mutually suppressing their evoked activity throughout visual cortex, providing a neural correlate for the limited processing capacity of the visual system.”
You may have heard of the term “white space” which refers to the concept of having enough room around a paragraph or an image, on a website so that each item stands out and doesn’t look cluttered or confusing. This white space is what minimalism is. It does not have to be dull, or undesigned, but by clearing out the excess, you can actually celebrate the items in your life that you love. If it’s in your home, you can cherish that one piece of carefully curated artwork that you have. In your day, it can be having enough breathing time between appointments or changing gears so that you can breathe and not feel rushed or stressed out. On your desk — or computer desktop — it can be removing those piles of paper, unused files, or junk that impede your ability to focus.
For minimalists, the way forward may seem backward to some. Going back to a simpler, more free time in life with less responsibility, less burden, and less stuff seems contrary to the American ideal of amassing a bigger house, car, and more stuff as a measure of wealth and accomplishment. Minimalism is a deconstructing of one’s life, to get back to what’s important, to simplify what’s true, and to live authentically, unburdened by stuff and convention. Like taking a cookie cutter to carefully rolled out dough, think about what shape you want your life to take, make the cut, and let go of everything that doesn’t fit into that shape. You can begin to live consciously, in alignment with what you really want. Focus first on what you want to create, and then boldly move forward by letting go of what you don’t love to make room for more of what you do.
What comes to mind when YOU hear the term “minimalism?” Positive? Negative? Inspiring? Insane?
If you want to know more about minimalism from other experts, here are some posts below to check out:
- As The Minimalists (Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus) say: “Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.” theminimalists.com/minimalism/
A person who prefers the minimalist style or philosophy of life tends to have a need for singularity and clarity. Joshua Becker from becomingminimalist.com says that it is about intentionality.“(Minimalism) is marked by clarity, purpose, and intentionality. At its core, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it. It is a life that forces intentionality.”
- “The word minimalism has a negative connotation to many. They believe being a minimalist means you are sacrificing things. It means you are not taking advantage of all that is available in the modern world today.” — Brian Gardner at nosidebar.com/why-minimalism/
- “Some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about minimalism and living the minimalist life, for those new to the concept.” from Leo Baubata mnmlist.com/minimalist-faqs/
- “We were buried in debt, about to lose our home to foreclosure, and I almost killed myself tripping over a pile of stuff (not kidding here, as I was going to get sexy with the wife and fell against the wall, barely missing the corner hitting me square in the temple). Minimalism and the process of paring down cleared our heads, our house, and gave us a clean start.” http://oururbanfarm.com/became-minimalists/
- If you want to truly be a “world-class minimalist,” this is definitely for you: