It’s a word that can mean vastly different things to different people. It can be used to describe a style of art, an aesthetic, a lifestyle.
As a lifestyle, minimalism has varying interpretations.
To non-minimalists, it can be perceived as a stifling, rigid way of living. Or some might see it as an interesting way of life that’s great for other people but unachievable for themselves.
Even minimalists have differing views of what minimalism is. It can be:
- a lifestyle aesthetic
(i.e., “I only wear white and I only buy white furniture for my home.”)
- a way of reducing your belongings to a set number of things
(i.e., “I only want to own 100 items.”)
- a way of ridding yourself of excess items and owning only what you need, use, and love
(i.e., “I’m not going clothing shopping because I already have everything I need, but I might buy a new book because I love reading and building my own library brings me joy.”)
The latter is my interpretation of minimalism. I don’t have a problem with owning things, I simply see minimalism as a way of living without unnecessary baggage and “stuff”.
Minimalism has completely changed my values and beliefs about many things in life. It has helped me let go of indecision and discern what is most important to me. It’s changed the way I spend my time and how I think about work. It’s helped me save money and reduce my carbon footprint by making better decisions about what I spend my money on. And it’s relieved me of unnecessary stress in several ways.
Through minimalism, it’s become possible for me to live life on my terms.
The minimalist lifestyle can be hard to define because it isn’t one-size-fits-all. The ideal amount of clothing for me might be unthinkable for someone else.
I believe you can own 100+ items of clothing and still live as a minimalist – as long as you actually use all of those items on a regular basis.
For me, minimalism isn’t about arbitrarily restricting myself. It isn’t an attempt to reduce my possessions down to almost nothing just for the sake of having fewer things.
Living minimally is simply about being conscious:
It’s about determining your needs versus wants.
Objectively looking at all of the “stuff” you have and asking yourself what purpose it serves.
Being aware of what you spend your money on and what you bring into your home.
Carefully selecting what you buy to make sure that it’s the healthiest choice for yourself, your family, and the environment.
Cutting all the “unnecessary” out of your life to reduce stress and to give you mental clarity.
I think that minimalism is a progressive way of living. Given the financial, cultural, and environmental climate that we live in now, living in excess should no longer be aspirational.
I strongly believe that every single person can benefit from adopting a more minimalist lifestyle and by being more conscious about they spend their money on.
Minimalism in and of itself isn’t a simple route to happiness, but paring down is an easy way to eliminate many of life’s problems. By living with less, you can benefit from more mental clarity and financial freedom, plus you’ll leave a smaller impact on the environment.
Living minimally has many facets which I’m excited to discuss on this blog. Whether you’re already a minimalist or you’re just starting to learn about this lifestyle, I would love to connect with you and hear your thoughts on minimalism:
Do you consider yourself a minimalist? If so, how do you define it for yourself?
If you’re not a minimalist now, do you think it’s a viable lifestyle for you?