What is Minimalism?
Minimalism is living satisfied with having what we need instead of living in pursuit of wants and indulgence. One might call it “simple living” or “minimal living” or “living with less” but the gist is the same.
The concept of minimalism is really nothing new. In Matthew 6:19-21 we are warned not to store treasures here on earth and to instead pursue the treasures of heaven. In Luke 12:33:34, Luke directs us to sell our possessions, give to the poor, and also pursue the treasures of heaven.
Photo by Inspired RD
With the creation of the internet, it became much easier to see what we were “missing out on” and just as easy to purchase these items. We also are bombarded on social media with images of perfection. The perfect clothing, the perfect accessories, the perfect families, the perfect job, career, cars, etc.
With the constant stream of “perfection,” we get caught up in thoughts of “oh if I own that shirt, I will be so fashionable” or “that car is beautiful, gets great gas mileage, I should get a new car” and (guilty over here!) “wow, all of my friends are buying houses, I wouldn’t mind buying a house. How did they have enough money to buy that house?” The thoughts go on and on.
I like to think that I’m pretty good at resisting the “keeping up with the Jones'” mentality but no matter how good we are at that, it’s impossible to not feel some pressure from society. Am I right?
And that pressure is exhausting.
When I first started to blog back in October of last year, I felt very pressured by the blogging world. Everyone had such cute clothes, adorable knick-knacks in their instagram photos, and such seemingly picture perfect lives. This really led me to feel like I was drowning in wants, something that I wouldn’t normally do.
I needed a break from all of that, which is really the honest reason I took a break from blogging back in December/January.
During that time though, I started pursuing a minimal lifestyle and I am SO glad I did.
Ah, the Infamous Marie Kondo.
If you haven’t heard of Marie Kondo and her KonMari method, please tell me what rock you’ve been living under (just kidding, but seriously, this is all over social media, the news etc.).
Marie Kondo is a Japanese organization consultant and author. Her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing has sold more than 4 million copies world-wide (I haven’t read the entire book yet but I’ve read a ton of excerpts).
Photo from This Heart of Mine
KonMari + your closet is easily the best place to start your minimalism journey.
When you think about the number one place in your home/life that feels unorganized, stuffed to the brim, and full of unused items, how many of you immediately think about your closet (that was me until recently).
I can’t tel you how many shoes I had, how many pieces of clothing had tags still on them, and how many pieces of clothing made me feel so unhappy about my body. Yeah, not anymore. Whoop!
I’ll definitely be teaching you more about KonMari as time goes on, but I really want to tell you how my life has changed since adopting Marie Kondo’s mantra below:
What I Got Out of It, and You Can Too!
- No more buyer’s remorse! Instead of being excited to buy new things, I think a LOT about whether it’s a need or a want. Because of this, I don’t make impulse buys anymore. I’ve been the girl that walks into Target, sees the new stuff in the dollar section, and walks away with $15 worth of junk. And how many times have I returned something after getting home and thinking “AHHH!” It’s wonderful to not have these feelings anymore, to know that the money is there for needs.
- I love what I wear. My closet is super tiny. I didn’t restrict myself by saying only this many items, I just emptied my closet and tried on everything. If I didn’t love it, or it made me uncomfortable, or feel unattractive, I put it in a donate bag. I ended up with 5 bags of clothing/shoes/accessories. Now when I get dressed, I love everything in my closet.
- I have money for needs and the occasional wants. It’s so nice to know that every dollar that I don’t spend is saved for any surprise needs, or the occasional, well-contemplated wants. Minimalism isn’t about deprivation and saying no to all wants, it’s about saying no to the constant desire for more and new. And as far as needs, we have the money to buy items made with better quality which allows us to not have to purchase as often.
- A tidy home. Oh this is a big one for me. I’m a bit of a neat freak, y’all. I don’t like clutter, and everything has a place. The bed has to be made, the pillows on the couch just right, etc. It is so much easier to maintain this when there are 2 throw pillows on the couch instead of 4, and one duvet cover on the bed instead of 2.
- A little side note: When you look at minimal interiors, a lot of them look empty and bare. That is not what your home has to look like to be “minimal.” Minimal doesn’t have to mean lacking or empty, it just means that everything has a purpose and brings joy. If that farmhouse decor on your wall brings you joy, then by all means, keep it! If little knick-knacks make you happy, then that’s okay too! Just don’t continue inviting things into your house unless something else is leaving OR it brings you joy. Not temporary happiness, but true joy.
- And best of all: Time. Minimalism is a HUGE time saver. I save time by not having to constantly pick up things, I have less dishes to wash, less clothes to wash, less shopping to do, and more time to blog, spend with my husband, play with my dog, get together with friends, enjoying a cup of coffee, work on photography, and learn new skills like calligraphy, hand embroidery, sewing etc. I used to be so stressed and anxious about the lack of time I had, but it really was because I wasn’t using my time wisely.
Last But Not Least.
As you can see, I’m a big fan of minimalism. I know that the term can seem a bit trendy right now, but the reason for this is because once people try it, they see the benefits and are sold. I am planning a future post on how to implement the KonMari method, and I hope that you’ll give it a try. I also completely recommend that you read her book which you can get here.
Have you read Marie Kondo’s book? What do you think about minimalism and simple living?
*Leave a comment below! I’d love to hear your thoughts!*
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