What Is This Minimalism Thing?

Hi everyone!

I hope you’ve had a great weekend filled with lots of nice sleep, good chewing of your food, enough water and biscuits eaten out of a nice little (big) bowl. If all of that sounds very weird to you, you’ll find a bit more context over here. Nevertheless, I am really happy about your positive feedback on last week’s series. We’ll keep the “theme week thing” going, this time around it’s going to be all about Minimalism. Hope you’ll enjoy it!

So what is Minimalism?

If we look back a few decades, Minimalism emerged as an art movement in New York in the early 1960s. It renounced the recent art that it thought had become academic. This Minimalism movement favored the cool over the “dramatic” art. But what does Minimalism mean nowadays?

Minimalism is definitely a buzzword that I have been seeing flying around. It pops up pretty much everywhere and actually also means something different every time I see it being used. It is applied in discussions about living in tiny houses or microapartments, monochromatic clothing or interior decor. The millions of images tagged #minimalism on Instagram don’t help with finding out more about what it really is as they include everything from white sneakers, clouds, art work or neon signs. So long as it’s stylish looking, it’s minimalist it seems.

Let’s still try and figuring out what it is, ok?

The Minimalists* put it this way: “Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom”. That doesn’t mean there’s anything inherently wrong with owning material possessions. Today’s problem seems to be the meaning we assign to our stuff: we tend to give too much meaning to our things, often forsaking our health, our relationships, our passions, our personal growth, and our desire to contribute beyond ourselves. Want to own a car or a house? Great, have it! Want to raise a family and have a career? If these things are important to you, then that’s wonderful. Minimalism simply allows you to make these decisions more consciously, more deliberately”.

Let’s think about YOU for a moment, shall we?

I have reflected on this last sentence for a bit. When I was younger and would read or hear people talk about certain products/clothes I would want to buy them too. I was (and still am) living in a culture that is driven by consumerism, especially here in America. It’s all about buying things, at the best deals, at any time of the day. Back when I was younger, I generally wasn’t genuinely interested in the things other people were talking about. I was interested in them because others were. And when you’re younger you tend to want to fit in with everyone else, which is normal and ok I guess.

Thankfully we get older though, more self-confident in our beliefs, tastes and preferences and are (should) be able to consciously decide if we want or need to buy something.

If I can inspire you to think about one thing today it would be to reflect about your last five purchases (could be anything really, from a cup of coffee from your favorite coffee shop, 5 new lipsticks, new trousers, a new tech gadget etc.). Did you buy those things because you really “had” to? What do they mean to you? Are they important to you, do they make you happy? Then I say, good for you. If you come to the realization now that you didn’t need four new red lipstick (as you already own three) this might serve you as a friendly reminder to not amass posessions if they don’t serve a purpose and that is to make you happy.

Have a great week, I’ll be following up with updates on how minimalist (or not) I am in different parts of my life. Be sure to come back tomorrow, see you then dear!

* Two guys have made a blog about their journey to and with minimalism. They’ve even made a movie. Check it all out here, if you’re curious.

2 Comments

  1. Laia March 20, 2017 at 6:00 am

    Good article Sandi, I always find great inspiration here. Will reflect about my last purchases. I like the questions you pose 🙂 btw in another of your articles you mentioned the escapism of YouTube, what did you mean? Speaking of youtubers, they are a great danger to the minimalism culture

    Reply
    1. sandra.zottl - Site Author March 20, 2017 at 10:21 am

      You are right most of the YouTubers promote more of a consumerism-driven lifestyle, we have to be careful 😉
      By “escapism” I just meant that people enjoy entertainment by watching TV or YT to escape their daily lives for a brief moment.

      Reply

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