While we were tempted to stop there, the world has gone gaga for Marie Kondo and across the globe, people are sweeping their homes clear to make room for…well, nothing....except maybe a houseplant or two.
Minimalism can work on many levels and for those who find clutter is nothing short of anxiety-inducing it can be an amazing way to make literal and metaphorical space in your head. There are other benefits too; being mindful about your purchasing – stopping to ask; do I really need another Mexican print poncho is never a bad thing.
It can keep us from getting swept along in consumerist culture, it can help us to save money and keep a tidier space, it can make us reassess what is valuable in our lives, and it can make life a little bit simpler. The latter is true especially if you live in a small apartment.
Minimalism helps us to set priorities, reduce clutter and stress, and even if we apply minimalism to one area of our life, it can beautifully seep into all areas.
So there’s plenty to love about minimalism. What’s the problem?
There is no problem with minimalism per se, but like any new direction in life, minimalism is an act that is also worth looking closely at.
Minimalism still puts an emphasis on stuff being the centre of your life. Whether that’s having stuff or not having stuff. The accumulation and the purge, these still become focus centric tasks. Some people argue that minimalism makes the idea of ‘stuff’ and ‘possessions’ a barrier to joy and happiness, which isn’t always the case when you simply love your stuff.
Some would argue that being messy rather than minimalist helps to boost our creativity and this is even an argument backed up by science. Researchers at the University of Minnesota found that subjects in a minimalist clean and uncluttered space veered more towards ‘safe’ classical options on a menu. Perhaps the brain is just more open to chance in disorderly environments.
Fad or Future?
The minimalist aesthetic may be a popular trend with all its stripped-back whites and monochrome colours, but the effort to reduce the clutter in life and get some organization has been around for a while – spring clean childhood anyone?
Now perhaps, we are taking this a step further and in a world where we all have one eye nervously on the planet and our environmental impact, being more conscientious about our consumerist choices isn’t such a bad thing if it has a positive impact on the world we live in and our future.
What are your thoughts on minimalism? Love it or loathe it? Share in the comments.