Has minimalism been done to death? Is writing about or hosting an entire blog about minimalism defeating the purpose of minimalism in the first place?
Minimalism describes movements in various forms of art and design (and life?), especially visual art and music, where the work (lifestyle?) is stripped down to its most fundamental features.
From a lifestyle perspective, minimalism is the equivalent of simple living, but simple living doesn’t sound half as cool apparently. Simple living could be thought of eradicating the unnecessary from your life or shifting for a mindset of wants to one of needs.
Simple Living doesn’t have to be a mission to get rid of all of your possessions, whittle your life down to 27 items of personal belongings and have nothing in your apartment but a mattress and your macbook, that’s confusing minimalism with stupidity.
It used to be called a garage sale or a spring clean, but it appears that everyone has become so boggged down with their possessions, commitments, social ties, spending habits and free time that a movement had to be coined to reign it all in.
Heavily influenced by travellers, everything you could fit into a backpack for 12 months, so hey, why do you need an apartment full of clutter, insurances for your health, car, house, contents, salary and pets (yep, that’s how far the world has come, pet insurance). Minimalism can also be the bi-product of spirituality, religion, reading Thoreau’s Walden Pond or a nice luxury holiday to a North Vietnamese village just outside of Sapa, to see that a thriving & happy family get by on next to nothing while you’re worrying about mowing your lawn on Saturday and making repayments on your two cars and plasma televisions.
Don’t confuse simple living with living in forced poverty, as it is a voluntary lifestyle choice. The most important thing to come out of the movement of minimalism, is to ask ‘why’. Why do I have to have/do/own/live with what I have? It forces you to ask question and take some action.
Not enjoying your 9-5? Why? Paying for a big house? Why? Get rid of your stuff, downsize, make some pocket money, problem solved. Once the material possessions have gone, then comes the scary part. Minimalism that invades your value system, attitudes, spending habits and lifestyle choices.
Don’t despair, having minimalism mess with your values system is a long way off just yet. Start with getting rid of some of your stuff on eBay, a garage sale, second hand book stores, craigslist or gumtree.
Happy simple living.