A reflection on what minimalism means to me, and why I think you should give it a try too
Let me start by saying that while I dislike clutter almost as much as I dislike pineapple on pizza, I am not a hardcore minimalist. Yet, over the years, minimalism has become a mindset for me, a sort of guidance on how to live my life more intentionally, sustainably, and overall, with less crap.
At the end one the day, minimalism to me means choosing to eliminate decision fatigue
When I first encountered the concept of minimalism, it sounded like the perfect antidote to the overwhelm of our current lives. It is by no means a new concept, the choice of living with less. Yet, it is a really powerful one, especially in our world of overconsumption.
While the internet has given us incredible tools for accessible knowledge, connections and creativity, the overload of information can be pretty intense. Don’t you ever feel like you can’t keep up with all the stuff you are supposed to know to be a functioning member of society? All the news, opinions, social media, tv series, books… And all the demands of your work life, social life, personal life… It can become a lot. And frankly, sometimes you just feel like you want to crawl back into your bed and pull the duvet over your head. Sadly though, that is not always an option, work must be done, cats must be fed, relationships must be nurtured. By contrast, minimalism is a practice that teaches you that by actively choosing less, you realise what really is important in your life. For example, in my life what really matters is my husband, my family, my friends, and (naturally) my cats. Like the artist Hans Hoffman famously said: “Eliminate the unnecessary, so the necessary may speak”.
Minimalism is a quiet rebellion against a world that always expects you to be more, consume more, do more. It requires you to stop and look around you. There is already so much in your life, do you really need that leopard print cardigan? I mean, sometimes you do, but remember that you are responsible for every item that comes into your house. From the cradle to the grave, so to speak. You are responsible for its care, maintenance, storage, and ultimately, for where it is going to end up after you are done with it.
Minimalism necessarily forces you to choose less, but choose better.
You become more aware, you treasure what you have, and respect those who made it for you. You become a conscious consumer, a mindful curator, and an eco warrior. Naturally, minimalism is a privilege, because not everyone chooses to live with less. But if we are in the privileged position to be able to choose, it is a privilege that we must consider to implement in our lives, not only for the sake of future generations, but most importantly, to encourage change in a chain of production (think for example of fast fashion) that is abominable and unsustainable.
You might think minimalism is yet another trendy label, but at the end of the day, it is one that I chose for ease. You can call it what you want – simplicism (is that even a word?), peace, whatever. I know I resisted the idea for a long time because I thought it was just unattainable for me and my husband to live with 10 items and only wear black and grey (spoiler alert – we still don’t). I tell you what minimalism is not – it is not a competition where the person with less stuff and most black crew neck t-shirts wins. Nobody is telling you exactly what to keep and what to let go of. You need to do that work yourself.
Ultimately, minimalism is an invitation to pause, breathe, and remember what really makes your heart sing. The rest is unnecessary.