Many people think that minimalism is simply the act of throwing away all your possessions until your house looks like a modern art installation. While – yes, minimising the amount of your possessions can be a part of how to achieve minimalism, this movement really sparks the understanding of what is important in our life and what is not.
Before you think this is the self help blog section, being ruthless with your possessions can be pretty fun and inspiring if anything.
What is minimalism
Minimalism is an effort to focus on the essentials. It is an exercise in simplifying every day life, deciding what is important and what is not. Everything you own should serve a purpose or bring you joy (amazingly sometimes both). The rest is superfluous, and all those superfluous items have at one stage been bought ($$), and now they need to be stored and maintained. By ridding your space and life of these items, you can achieve a much better degree of simplicity.
So yes, you can keep the cutlery in your house, and your prized collection of horse ornaments you collected in the fourth grade can stay too – but only if it inspires joy. If it’s a source of stress because you don’t know where to put them, you hate cleaning them etc… it’s time to reassess if this is an important possession or something you should give a better life elsewhere.
While minimalism naturally gears towards living with less, another aspect of minimalism is to live a healthy life of less impact. Choosing ethical and natural alternatives for our everyday needs is high on a minimalist’s agenda.
Overall minimalism can affect the way we work, eat, shop and spend our time. It’s about realising what gives us warm fuzzies and what burdens us with stress.
Minimalism as an aesthetic
Minimalism as an aesthetic, seeks to maximise effect through simplicity, Visually stripping away the superfluous elements and seeking beauty through the purity of function. I know the image of the modern art installation comes back to mind, and choosing this aesthetic is a personal choice. I personally feel that this aesthetic transcends all trends, keeping your space and look timeless, but hey, if your style is maximalism, own it.
How to become a minimalist
I guess there is no tried and true method that will definitively make you a minimalist. There are few people out there with different methods; Marie Kondo – Japanese organisation and tidying specialist (yes that is a real job) says you should assess each item one by one and do this to your entire house in one hit, others say you should live with under 100 items. For me, I like to take it by category in bite size chunks, I guess you need to figure out what works for you.