Minimalism

Minimalism. You might have heard the term floating around social media recently, especially since all the Marie Kondo buzz started. However, Marie Kondo isn’t preaching minimalism, but rather being in control of your belongings/space (aka organization). So what is Minimalism?

Minimalism is an idea created by two American men named Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. As for a definition, I’ll give you their words:

“Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.”

So the basic idea of minimalism is to remove everything from your life that isn’t essential or that you don’t enjoy on a daily basis (the joy side being why it is often misassociated with Marie Kondo). Minimalism like most lifestyle choices is a spectrum; some choose to apply minimalism to every aspect of their life while others only apply it to one area like clothes or books or decor. Most people however attempt to apply it on some level to all areas.

Minimalism is also not something that every member of a family will do, some people are very content with being a maximalist – and if that’s you then that’s cool. But if you’re like me then you often find yourself overwhelmed by all the stuff in your room or you are always feeling like you have to clean/pick something up, though I’m not saying you’ll never have to clean or pick stuff up again once you decrease your belongings but it’ll certainly be less than it was before. For me, I find that decreasing the amount of possessions I have reduces my stress because I literally and mentally have more room.  

Last year I decided to start with my closet and the culling only continued from there. Now I don’t have this process perfected but at the moment I’m pretty happy with where I’m at (though I still feel like I could get rid of some things, I’m just lacking the gumption to really go for it).


So let’s break it down

Benefits:

  • More room (physically and mentally)
  • Each item is more valued
  • Less stuff to move (when the time comes)
  • Easier to maintain
  • Spend less money

Downsides – none!

How to go about it: (this is the tricky part)

  • If there’s anything you’ve been itching to get rid of, now is the time
  • Pick an area and start going through the items
    • This doesn’t have to be done in a day but try to get it finished within 21 days as this is how long it takes to form a habit
    • If you get overwhelmed, take a day off
  • Allow yourself some freedom with how far you go
    • Everyone will end up with a different number of possessions
      • I’m not quite to the point where i can count my items but i guess I’m not too far off from that
    • Don’t be afraid to have one area with more items than another
      • I keep more craft supplies than anything (you should see how many pens/markers I have) because i use them and enjoy them
    • You’ll know when you’re finished; don’t feel like you have to keep going until you’re left with a bare house
  • This is an ongoing process
    • As time passes, you’ll probably find yourself doing another cleanout – this is normal
  • Try not to keep accumulating items*
    • Don’t be constantly keeping up with fast fashion
    • There’s no need to get new decorations for every season
      • If you like changing out decorations, find some that you love and reuse them year after year
    • Carefully consider each purpose

*Obviously food isn’t applied to this equation – ya need to eat*


Here’s some examples of different minimalist homes:

As you can see, some homes have almost no decoration and others have very strategic, simple decorations – it’s all up to your own personal taste. One thing you might also notice is that the designs all seem to be very Scandinavian-like, this is probably because scandinavian decorating styles often involve light colors, open spaces, and simple decoration. (This only adds to the appeal personally) But at the end of the day, it’s your home so make it look how you want whether that be cabin-like, scandinavian, ranch style, 70s (you do you), or sleek & modern.

As long as you are happy with your home, that’s all that matters. This is just a tool/idea that I apply to my life to make it simpler and more enjoyable. I hope you enjoyed this educational lifestyle post cause there’s more to come!

[Song of the Day:  “Minimum” by Charlie Cunningham]

{This was by no means an exhaustive explanation, if you want more info I suggest checking out www.theminimalists.com where the creators themselves talk all about it}

One thought on “Minimalism

  1. Last fall I was stuck in O’hare in Chicago after my flight was canceled until the next day and found the following interview of Joshua and Ryan by Rachel Cruze.

    I came home and for the next 2 months we threw away truck loads of stuff out of our house, including old clothes to Potter’s house, loads of smashed flat cardboard out of the attic to recycle and shred and threw away 32 large trash bags of old bills, tax stuff and old school notes etc.
    We continue to reduce things but it is much harder now but still working at it.
    Vaughn Skinner

    Like

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