The Intrigue of Minimalism (Have I Made the Jump?)

a style or technique that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity

Is it just me, or has the idea of minimalism been taking over the world during the past few years?

I have been looking into this concept for a while now. Living in the U.S. enables us to have so much "stuff" at our fingertips, yet minimalists across the country (and the world, really) are showing society how to live with less and be happy about it. I find it so refreshing.

Since minimalism is a subject that seems to occupy a good majority of my thoughts lately, I thought I would share my thoughts on the phenomenon. My life is also changing because of these thoughts, so I will certainly discuss that a bit as well.

The Discovery
When I was preparing to go abroad a couple of years ago, I became super overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that I owned. I was sorting through mounds of clothes, numerous knick knacks, multiples of lotions and other toiletry items, and way more decorative stuff than could even fit in my apartment...trying to decide what to sell, what to trash, what to keep, what to donate, and what to take with me to Prague. I was overwhelmed, to say the least.

To cope, I started watching a lot of YouTube videos on packing, purging, and organization. Somewhere along the YouTube video road, I discovered Light by Coco, a channel devoted to minimalist living. I was hooked after watching one video on the subject, which led to binge watching all of her published videos, then searching the depths of YouTube to find other minimalist channels. (Some of my other favorites are Lavendaire and Sarah Nourse.)

Why It Amazed Me
While I have always been a person who has a lot of "stuff," I have also always been very organized and particular about cleanliness. I have lived the majority of my life struggling with anxiety, and sadly, a lot of the time my anxiety stems from the state of my space. If my space is messy or cluttered or not exactly the way  want it to be...I dwell on it, and that dwelling often makes it difficult for me to make it through the day in a decent mood.

Minimalism just made so much sense to me...less stuff = less anxiety. That thought alone allowed me to purge so many of my belongings before my year in Prague. The only thing I really ended up putting in storage was my book collection, then I essentially lived out of a suitcase during my time in the Czech Republic.

So...am I a minimalist now?
Short answer...no. Not technically. I've been home from Prague for going on a year now, and while I don't have a ton of "stuff," I have definitely slowly been accumulating enough to make a wardrobe and turn mine and Slade's apartment into a home.

While I do love the idea of really committing to minimalism, I also know that some of the more common aspects don't really fit my lifestyle or personality. For example, while my clothing is very simple, I'm never going to have a primarily black capsule wardrobe. I also refuse to nix my book collection, and while I don't want to overdo it, I still want to customize our home with a few things that we both love.

I think I've decided to call this a journey of "partial minimalism." I'm going to have less stuff in all areas of my life, particularly in the areas of clothing, random knick knacks, and items with no particular usefulness. I'm going to buy toiletries and other products on an as-needed basis, and refrain from having multiples of the same item that probably won't get used anyway. I want to amplify simplicity, and cut down on wastefulness and the anxiety that comes along with having too much stuff.

I'm going to share posts along my journey to hold myself accountable. The first one will be coming soon, as I have plans to do a closet cleanout in the near future!

What are your thoughts on minimalism? Would you ever follow this concept? Do you practice any of the aspects already? Please share your thoughts and experiences with me!
Linda @ A La Carte said...

I am very intrigued by this movement, but I know I can't achieve it since I really love my stuff! That said, I do want to drastically downsize the amount of stuff I have to a manageable level. I'll be watching as you share more on this!!

StephTheBookworm said...

My thoughts have been almost exactly the same. I have anxiety as well, and mess and clutter freak me out big time, so I started looking into minimalism last year. I have way too much stuff and have started trying to downsize, though I could never be a true minimalist. I get such a thrill when I decide to get rid of something either by throwing it away or donating it. I am also working my way through things that I have way too much of like lotion, perfumes, candles, etc and love the feeling I get when I finish one up. I say I can't be a true minimalist though because I love my HUGE book collection and primitive decorations too much... but getting rid of some things has been freeing.

Kristen from Pugs & Pearls said...

I feel EXACTLY the same. I love the idea of minimalism, and living intentionally. It frustrates me that the society we live in forces people into debt and into a mindset that more things equal happiness. I've embraced partial minimalism too. It's an ongoing process, but it's important to assess why we have things and what their purpose is. I still love home decor and I don't think I could live in a home as bare as some do, but I do try to make sure everything in my house is there for a reason. I was the same way about books, but actually after a few months I got rid of most of them and now I only buy ebooks.
I also discovered this 'movement' through youtube! I follow both Coco and Sarah Nourse.
Can't wait to read more about your journey!

Laura Darling said...

I like the idea of partial minimalism! In January I put a bunch of stuff we hadn't really been using in boxes and out of the way. I decided I'd look through it again in April, and if I hadn't used the things or thought about them, I'll get rid of them. I have barely even thought of what is in those boxes, so I think I will be purging a BUNCH next week!

Kerry Crystal said...

I absolutely love the minimalist movement. I think that is why I'm so intrigued with tiny homes. I like the idea of owning nothing and moving about freely. When my kids move on to college that is certainly how my husband and I will live. I do a good job of not buying things that I don't need. My wardrobe is simple. My belongings are simple. I try to teach my kids that we don't go to the store and just "shop" for things that we didn't go there for. Sometimes we slip up but for the most part we don't. I look forward to the updates on this topic and I will check out that YouTube channel!

Vicky Hunt said...

I like watching Sarah Nourse! I've been downsizing and trying to be more mindful of my purchases this year. I don't understand why people think they need dozens of lotions, perfumes, different makeup products and so on. I'm trying to do a cross between minimalism and Hugge...I think I told you about it already. Sounds like a good idea for a post for my blog too. I forgot I wanted to share that and this reminded me. Love you!


Torrie said...

I also got into minimalism a few years ago and read everything that Becoming Minimalist put out on the subject. I even did a year-long project in 2013 to literally go through every item we owned throughout the year and purge as much as I could! While the experiment (literally) took a huge weight off, I'll agree that I could never be an extreme minimalist, like some. But my belief that we don't need to keep acquiring stuff all the time (and to be really selective when we do) has definitely helped me to manage my "clutter stress" and has helped me to save a TOOOOOON of money over the years.

Btw, I'm your newest follower :) Sounds like we have a lot in common, based on what I've read so far!


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