For Homeowners, the time to be a Minimalist is often associated with downsizing.
Having lived several years in Japan I was introduced to the simple beauty of minimalism in art and in the ceremony. If you allowed yourself to slow down and experience the moment there is a definite beauty in the simplest act. The tea ceremony is a perfect example, calligraphy is another favorite of mine.
Back in the Western world much of the bliss you can find in the small things has been lost to our overindulgence and consumerism. Our disposable economy and lifestyle have discounted the true value of many items. And with the constant barrage of ads promoting the best new gadget, we tend to become dissatisfied with last year’s models. Everyone wants the latest and greatest even when the recently acquired are still working perfectly well. I suppose it fits into our hunter psychology to always be on the lookout for something good. It also does not help that things have become cheaper.
With this greed mentality driving our economy it’s not surprising that there is a genuine backlash on consumerism and our “wants over needs” culture. Trends in housing have seen a large following for smaller homes and an alternative to the huge houses with the huge mortgages we see in many neighborhoods.
PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS
There is also a real groundswell in the “pursuit of happiness”. With so much going on in our lives there seems to be little time to focus on the things that really make us happy. This almost always involves experience or connection with those we love and the community that provides us with a sense of worth and value. These relationships and connection are what truly makes us happy. Not the new boots I just bought myself.
To make room for this new pursuit it is recommended by the Minimalist to de-clutter, throw out and recycle all the stuff you don’t use or need in your homes. For many, the project begins in the closet with the purging of clothes. For others, it starts in the kid’s room with old toys. This can be a real challenge for some as they value memories attached to possessions. This rear-view tendency has to be coaxed aside to create new space for adventures that will be equally as memorable.
Minimalist in the Home
For Homeowners, the time to be a Minimalist is often associated with downsizing. Getting rid of all of the stuff that has accumulated over the years can be very cathartic. For designers, it is the paring down of design elements to create an environment that has a terrific style with the bare minimum of fixtures. It is a common thread to have one really great thing versus a trunk full. For a living space this might be one great chair, or for the fashion lover only having two excellent sweaters rather than 50 on shelves in the closet.
The key point to all of this is in keeping things very simple and doing more with less. The sense of freedom when you manage to pull it off is well documented. You free yourself of psychological burdens you did not know you even had simply by removing things from your life that you no longer use. There is a beneficial drop in your anxiety from having to deal with less.
The new Minimalist tries to have only 100 items in their possession. For a family like ours, this would result in 400 things. Given our active lifestyle, this would be extremely difficult to accomplish, but I think we can all agree it would be easy to get rid of hundreds of things we no longer use.
To free up our homes from clutter is to free our minds from worry. This allows for more room emotionally to indulge ourselves with friends and family. It also creates more time as we have less to clean.
So for all of us who would like a little more time to pursue happiness and connect with those important to us in our communities try freeing up your “space” to allow for new experiences. Go through your house and tossing all the stuff you no longer use and all the things you no longer need. You might find that a simpler life is more fulfilling and you become happier. A Minimalist lifestyle might be the right choice in 2017.