By now everyone reading this blog knows that I hate clutter. And if you follow me on Instagram, you may also know that I’m participating in a challenge to clear out clutter from my house this year! Does that mean I regard myself as a minimalist? Eh, probably not. However, I find the whole movement fascinating! Let’s talk about that, and how it relates to domestication!
Minimalism can mean different things to different people. There is no single set of rules that need to be followed to class you as a minimalist. Joshua Becker, founder and editor of the website ‘Becoming minimalist’ says “minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we value most and the removal of everything that distracts us from it.” This statement perfectly summarizes minimalism. Minimalism is about being intentional with the way you live your life and aligning your time with what means the most to you. Minimalism doesn’t have to be about getting rid of everything you own, but about making room for more of what matters, allowing you more time, more peace, more space and more freedom.Is minimalism the future? #minimalism Click To Tweet
Minimalism itself is not a new concept; many religions encourage people to get rid of things that are considered to be a virtue. Figures such as Indian Civil Rights leader Mahatma Gandhi have preached about the powers of a simple life for years. With the rise of people broadcasting their ‘simpler’ lives on social media, it is almost becoming fashionable to have less. Whether travelling the world with just a single backpack or living in a small eco house, people are becoming more interested in simplifying material aspects of their lives.
The world now consumes 80 billion new pieces of clothing each year, which has a shocking impact on the environment. If we can buy more second-hand clothing and encourage more clothing swaps, then this number could be greatly reduced.
Project 333 can help you get to grips with how to minimalize your wardrobe. Started in 2010 by Courtney Caver, who began writing about how to dress with less, after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Courtney found that through getting rid of some of her less important possessions, she felt less stressed and better about her life, which helped her to deal with her illness. The project is a fashion challenge that invites you to dress with 33 items or less for three months; this must include everything from hats to shoes. You begin by creating a capsule wardrobe, selecting clothing items you may need to prepare you for changes to the weather, exercise habits and events you may need to attend.
Minimizing the number of gadgets your household has will have a positive effect on many aspects of your life. People of all ages are addicted to technology and are becoming obsessed with acquiring the latest smartphone, camera or television; this is an expensive habit to get into. Studies have shown that we would all benefit from less screen time. These habits affect families and groups of young people in particular.
There are ways to enjoy some of the same feelings we get from playing on a phone or a video game but while interacting with friends or family. Room escape centers are gaining popularity all over the US, offering a new experience for people who enjoy solving puzzles. With different rooms that follow unique storylines, you and your team will have 60 minutes to escape your adventure, by cracking codes, solving puzzles and following clues. Engaging in these types of activities will help you to have more real-life experiences away from isolating technology.
Through minimalism, you can reduce your eco-footprints and make sure that you are not contributing to the effects of overconsumption. Humans are currently over-consuming in all ways, and the global population is on the rise, this means cutbacks will need to be made. One of the ways to reduce your eco-footprint is through minimizing the amount of meat that you eat. If cutting out meat completely is too much for you, try Vegan Before Six.
Living a minimalistic life will help you reduce the amount that you waste. Minimalists are more conscious of the materials they use and what they throw away. The average American produces 1600 pounds of trash a year, which, if stacked up, is equivalent to the height of the leaning tower of Pisa. Making small changes, like using a reusable cup for your takeaway coffee or ensuring you have your own non-plastic bags at the grocery store can make a huge difference. Making conscious changes to your daily routine is what minimalism is all about.
Freedom from comparison
Our natural tendencies make us compare what we have with others, which makes us want for more than we might necessarily need. The want for more is a desire that is a struggle to satisfy. We also have a desire to broadcast what we have, whether that is a picture of a birthday present on social media or children at school bragging about what they got for Christmas. Ultimately we all end up wanting more. Becoming minimalist allows you to want for less as you have consciously decided to have less. Being free from comparison can make you less stressed in life, as you are more satisfied and comfortable with what you have.
Minimalizing your belongings can open up more living options. An apartment that you once deemed ‘too small’ could suddenly be just right, and much cheaper. With fewer belongings, you are less restricted to where you can live, which potentially could change the perspective of your goals. The dreams of a large house could be replaced with a few years living on a narrowboat. Whatever your dreams are, think about whether they could be achieved much quicker if you were to minimalize your life. Minimizing gives you the freedom to travel more and take more holidays, as you will be less grounded by your belongings.
Anybody can be minimalist; it’s to what degree you decide to push it to which is subjective. Deciding if minimalism is the future or not is up to you. One thing we can be sure of is that we would all benefit from being less wasteful, appreciating what we already have more and embracing what we can offer to friends, family and our environment.
So what about you? Would YOU consider yourself to be a minimalist? Do you think you could be one if you’re not already?
Due to the amount of comments from all of my wonderful readers, it is not always possible for me to respond to each one. However, I absolutely do read them all, and if you’d like to address something specific, or have a question for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at Kristen@theroadtodomestication.com. I will respond to your email as soon as possible! Thank you for visiting the blog!