Minimalism is most often associated with aesthetic. There is more to minimalism than the aesthetic, though. And people from all over the world seem to have moved towards a minimalist lifestyle. Sometimes this goes hand in hand with a minimalist aesthetic, other times it does not.
It can be connected to sustainability, it can result because of some completely different catalyst for change. Either way, in recent years minimalism, has been gaining popularity and it is interesting to think about why that may be. In this article, we’re going to look at what minimalism is and why people choose to practice it.
Less Is More
The minimalist mentality “less is more” seems to be in opposition with “bigger is better”. Very often people who have adopted a minimalist lifestyle did so out of discontent. And different people have different central reasons, but oftentimes it’s connected to some of these factors:
- Searching for meaning: Human beings have been searching for meaning since the dawn of time. And minimalism is just another attempt at finding it. Think of it as decluttering your life as a way of focusing on what is really important.
- Productivity: Many people claim that minimalism enhances productivity. It’s only logical: fewer distractions – better productivity.
- Less stress: People nowadays often complain about being too stressed. Minimalism promotes life with less clutter, less debt, which more often than not, results in less stress.
- Sustainability: Consumerism has a great impact on the environment. Think fast fashion, worldwide shipping, packaging and the general “habit” of purchasing for the sake of purchasing, resulting in more and more waste. Many minimalists have adopted minimalism as a way to prioritise eco-friendly products, recycling, re-purposing and generally buying better.
In short, every person has a different reason for choosing minimalism. But essentially minimalism seems to be a way to reconnect and become more deliberate in your choices. Reconnect with yourself and others, your passions and desires, realising what’s important to you.
Being more deliberate when it comes to your decisions and conscious about what makes you happy. Getting rid of excess to make room for more. That “more” varies from person to person.
The decluttering lessons of Marie Kondo have taken the world by storm. And while minimalism and decluttering are not one and the same thing, Marie Kondo’s best-selling novel The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up has probably contributed to the popularisation of minimalism as a lifestyle.
Getting rid of excess, decluttering, respecting your belonging are all things associated with minimalism. Marie Kondo’s approach to decluttering and organising has been a stepping stone for many people when it comes to minimalism. It’s the first step, it provokes an interest and leads to more exploration into the subject of minimalism.
Marie Kondo is becoming a household name. Most people have heard of her, the book or the practice of decluttering she promotes, belongings sparking joy, etc. It’s a popular topic. So it’s possible that the popularity of minimalism is connected to the popularity of The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up, as well as similar books and practices.
If you would like to know more about the book, this blog post provides a good overview of its contents.
A Documentary About the Important Things
The documentary Minimalism is a great way for you to become more familiar with minimalism. As well as see why different people choose minimalism. It’s available on Netflix, so it’s easy to stream. You can find a lot of discussions on the film online, so you’ll discover lots of different responses, which could potentially fuel your interest further.
If you are not in the mood to watch a full documentary, check out the YouTube channel of the director of the film: Matt D’Avella. You will find useful videos on minimalism there. Also check out The Minimalists who are visible on the poster of the film bellow. They have books, films, podcasts, whatever floats your boat. Honestly, if you want to know more about minimalism – YouTube it. Lots of videos from a whole lot of people.
The Pursuit Of Happiness
Aristotle said the purpose of life is the pursuit of happiness. And more than two centuries later, some people are starting to realise that.
Living more deliberately with less
That’s what minimalism is all about (and you’ll hear it said in the documentary Minimalism). The standard checklist: climbing the career ladder, getting a mortgage, buying things you have to have, etc. is not really working for everyone. It’s not making them happy and they are looking for other ways to find meaning.
It seems that now, more than ever, Aristotle’s words ring true:
Happiness depends on ourselves.
Material belongings are arbitrary and people are shifting their focus away from their material belongings and onto themselves.
What do you think about minimalism? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Featured image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/nvzvOPQW0gc
Currently going into her final year of English and Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London. Gery has been writing in a personal blog since 2014 and has been published in publications StudentVoices and FictionHub on Medium. She debuted her first play 'Liminality' at Edinburgh Festival Fringe and is already planning her next project.