What is minimalism?

Minimalism describes a certain way of living. A lifestyle filled with deprivation right? The closest definition that google gives me to the minimalist lifestyle is "deliberate lack of decoration or adornment in style or design."

living in a minimal way (also called simple living) is a lifestyle choice centered around discovering what is unnecessary and letting go of it I used to think that a minimalist lifestyle was an unachievable or punishing process of throwing everything away and giving up stuff. That's not what minimalism is, as Colin Wright says "Just giving away a bunch of things doesn't make you a Minimalist, any more than buying a statue of Buddha makes you a Buddhist" .

So what does make you minimalist then?

Minimalism is about committing to letting go of what's not making you happy and discovering what does. It might mean ending a relationship, throwing away a pile of books or giving up on TV shows that you watch just because. Letting go of things is a part that many people find essential but it might not even include actually removing the item from your life. It could be about realising that if you lost that item, like a TV or your book collection that you would be okay. Maybe that acceptance will lead to actually getting rid of the item maybe it won't. Minimalism is about what you feel.

That said getting rid of broken objects, objects that make you unhappy and objects that don't add value is a common place to start

Some things are harder to let go than others.
you might want to let go of everything
but you don't have to

Why would I want to be a minimalist?


Minimalism and looking at life in a minimalistic way is a tactic for taking back control of your life. People have used minimalism to find out what they truly desire in life. Before they started exploring and adapting minimalism for their needs they were lost and were following the lifestyle that was constructed to support consumerism. Like how trying a different diet (eg vegan, paleo, keto) helps to see the craziness of the standard diet (it feels good to eat but doesn't make you feel good afterwards). Moving away from the default lifestyle and trying something that switches the focus can give you insight into what makes the world work. Along with that, it can give you insight into what you really want and where you want to be in the future.

low energy?

Minimalism is about focusing on what are the most valuable and productive uses of your energy. You'll find that the more you minimise time spent what isn't useful and is not making you happy, the more energy you will have.

Research is finding that the classic activities that people do to relax might not actually be making them feel better. Just doing things without mindfulness for the perceived benefits isn't necessarily a path to having more energy, maybe watching a docco or going for a run although less mindless might be more restful than facebook or reddit. Focus on what is essential to you.

not enough time?

Most people will have time in their day that they aren't using the best they can. This doesn't mean you have to be working every hour of the day or that you aren't allowed off time. But like how removing visual clutter can make the things you love stand out. Removing things that clutter your time can make it easier to see and assess what you're doing. You might have limited control of your time in some areas, like your work life or school life. What you might find when you assess the time that you can manage is that if you quit projects or activities that aren't really making you happy or furthering your life you might all of a sudden make that extra hour of sleep or time to learn that new skill happen. A related concept is essentialism .

limitless choices?

Humans only have a limited ability to make choices but yet we seek more of them. Having a big wardrobe to be able to express ourselves, having lots of options for the breakfast we have, for the route or method to get to work or school. This can be addressed by simplfying the choices you have and prioritising your needs over what you are offered. Think of those essential elements, structure routines, don't overwhelm yourself.

enviromentally conscious?

It's hard to break the habit of thoughtless consumption. Minimalism is a tool that can support you in considering if what you are buying is really worth it. Minimalism promotes a buy-it-for life attitude. That is, buying one high-quality item that suits you over buying lots of things that aren't quite right. Minimalism is a way to fight back against companies that try to convince you that you won't be happy unless you buy the newest smartphone for you and everyone you know.

How should I continue?

this is introduction was just the tip of the iceberg. Minimalism and the ways that people choose to intergrate in into their everyday lives is very personal and individual but luckly there are many resources to turn to for stories and guidance. Here is a short list (check back in frequently for updates and additions). This has a broad range of content, some of it that I like, others that I don't, take what you find useful.