Minimalism as a Concept and Its Significance
live MORE, own LESS
What is Minimalism?
Minimalism has been defined by numerous bloggers and lifestyle coaches using different meanings and interpretations. In its most basic sense, minimalism is a concept, or a way of life, where you get rid of the unnecessary things in your life. May it be the car that you purchased ages ago, or the computer set that has been sitting in your basement for almost a year now, if it doesn't feel significant or if you haven't used it for quite some time, then according to the unwritten minimalist code, it is better to sell it for extra income, donate it to charity, or simply just throw it away.
According to The Minimalists, minimalism doesn't entirely mean stripping you away from everything that you own and have a quota of just 100 material possessions, but instead it points out that there are some things that you don't really need, or you don't really use, and in a way, it just contributes to the pile of material things that are stored in your home. Getting rid of them promotes a better quality of life through conscious and deliberate living. Reference here.
The concept of minimalism introduces and focuses on the idea of clutter as a disturbance and annoyance in living a quality life. Clutter is when your desk drawer is full of things that you have accumulated over time, making it difficult to find that thing that you are actually looking for. Clutter is when your closet is full of clothes but you only use about 20% of it, adding about 15 minutes of your morning routine every time you choose your outfit for the day. Clutter is when your study table is full of cute yet unnecessary toy figurines or make up sets, constantly distracting you from actually doing actual work. Think of clutter as the scene in those "Find the Object" games that you usually play. That is clutter.
What minimalism is trying to portray here is: you don't need clutter in your life. Those things that you don't actually use or need, that you won't even notice when it's gone, is better off at someone else's possession. In that way, you can focus on what really gives value to your life, making you more appreciative of what is really important.
When people hear about minimalism, they usually talk about how difficult it is or how frugal that kind of lifestyle is. In some sense it is true, but that's not mostly the case. Minimalism makes you live your life by owning only what is important. Nothing else. By living this way, you actually shift the way people value things from material possessions to experiences, relationships, and other more meaningful aspects. Instead of buying that cute yet expensive dress that you won't actually need until probably never, why not use that money to travel with your loved ones. Or better yet, donate to charity.
But let this not blind you on the other facets of minimalism. If you really like that new car or that new running shoes, buy it! -- as long as you use it or give it to someone who actually uses it. Minimalism doesn't limit you from buying what you actually love, it just makes you more deliberate and conscious on what really matters.
What do you consider yourself?
What are the Benefits?
What this article points out is how you can improve your current way of living through minimalism. But if your current, non-minimalist lifestyle works just fine, then by all means continue. (and share it in the comment section). But if you think that your current life is disorganized and has no sense of direction, then trying minimalism won't hurt you. In fact, there are numerous benefits on being minimalist.
One significant benefit of living minimally is the savings. By spending on only the important things, you get to cut those unnecessary purchases on your budget. This will give you more budget to pursue those that really make you happy or contented. If it's a vacation travel to Japan (cherry blossoms) or the Philippines (beautiful beaches, underrated food, extremely hospitable people) or redecorating your room, then the additional disposable income can really go a long way.
Another is appreciating the people, not the material things. According to a fellow minimalist, Peter Economy, "Minimalism is important because it reminds us that possessions are easy to replace, while our friends and loved ones are not.". You may associate that unused cooking pan to your deceased grandmother, but when you let other people use it, you actually serve the purpose of that material thing, instead of keeping it stored away in a locked closet or garage. Most probably your grandmother will be proud of you. The essence or the memories of people may be associated with those material things, but when you try to think about it carefully, you will realize that they are actually embedded in your memory, not in those things. More about the quote here.
Those are just some of the numerous benefits that minimalism has to offer. There are a lot more, and sometimes you also make the meaning and purpose of minimalism. Stay tuned for more minimalist benefits.
Minimalism is important because it reminds us that possessions are easy to replace, while our friends and loved ones are not.
So, What Now?
This articles does not discredit the benefits of living lavishly or owning more. Rather, it explores the concept of minimalism as a lifestyle or a way of life that you can explore and try. There's really no harm in knowing how a minimalist lives, and there are numerous of minimalists out there who are greatly satisfied with their lives.
Just remember that whatever that you do, always ask yourself WHY. Why is minimalism worth trying? Why do I have to do this? Why is it good for me? Because at the end of the day, that question is also similar with what minimalism is trying to relay: live your life with purpose. Keeping things that give value to your life and appreciating what you already have are some ways, but certainly not the only ways on living a meaningful life.
What do you think about minimalism? Comment your thoughts, suggestions, or clarifications on the comment section below and let's have a meaningful conversation together.