How to live a minimalist lifestyle
Living a minimalist lifestyle has little to do with what you buy; it’s all about why you buy things. In our consumer-centric society, this trend has swept through all generations.
- The average household in the US contains 300,000 different things. This includes everything from thumb tacks to your clothes.
- Despite having just 3.1% of the world’s children, kids in the USA own 40% of the toys in the world.
- The average American owns 30 different outfits. In the 1930s, the average was nine.
- During your life, you’ll spend over 3,600 hours looking for things you’ve lost. That’s a total of 153 days.
Suffice to say, we have a lot of stuff. Even so, in an age where everything can have a filter, soundtrack, or a hashtag, minimalism has taken the world by storm. Despite our constant need for things, this lifestyle has been ingrained in our minds as the way forward; as the way to true happiness. But, the term itself has been tossed around so much that many of us don’t even know what minimalism is or how to actually live a minimalist lifestyle.
Life imitating art
Like most trends, what started as an art movement in the 1960s has now influenced everything from fashion to technology. The trend took off with artists such as Yves Klein and his Blue Monochrome (1957) and the architecture of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
Although it began in its purest form, the current trend of minimalism is perhaps an oxymoron. In an effort to be minimalist and trendy, people are actually buying things because they’re minimalist and trendy. But, other brands are taking a step in the right direction. The Package Free Shop is entirely packaging-free, encouraging shoppers to bring their own containers and bags.
Do I have to get rid of my TV?
While you may believe that there are hard and fast rules to minimalism, you’ve missed the mark. Turns out, you can keep your TV and all the clothes you want. Instead, according to The Minimalists, the minimalist movement is about finding freedom. They believe that living a minimalist lifestyle can help you:
- Live in the moment
- Pursue your passions
- Create more and consume less
- Grow as individuals
- And so much more
In fact, they define minimalism as:
a lifestyle that helps people question what things add value to their lives. By clearing the clutter from life’s path, we can all make room for the most important aspects of life: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution.
In short, minimalism is about buying with intention and being mindful of those purchases.
Living with less
The idea of living with less isn’t restricted to material things. Extending minimalism to your lifestyle, it can even include the architecture of your home and how you organize your day. Because freedom and intention are different for everyone, no two minimalist lifestyles are the same.
In addition to trimming the fat on your lifestyle, there are residual benefits to living more minimally. Because you’ll be buying with intention, you’ll end up spending less. Imagine if every time you went to the store you thought long and hard about whether or not you really need that shirt (or toaster or candy). With such constant scrutiny over your choices, it can be pretty exhausting. But, once you get the hang of it, you’ll start making minimalist choices subconsciously.
There’s a reason the stereotype exists of a minimalist wearing all black and grey and their home is very much the same. It’s because these colors are easily interchanged and mixed with others; they’re all staples. Retaining this mindset through each purchase will help you fill your space with items that are durable and built to last, and, very importantly, can conform to changing styles and moods.
To get you started, here’s a list of items that not only sport a minimalist aesthetic but also tick the boxes of intention. Each one serves a great purpose or even two and is built to last.
- FJU Multifunctional Storage Desk – As the name suggests, this desk transforms from a wall-mounted desk into a compact shelf with loads of storage.
- Manifold Piccolo USB Desk Lamp – Connecting to your computer, this sleek light source is just half an inch thick and features an aluminum body.
- Lift Multi-Use Bike Hook – Effective and simple, this hook is strong enough for your bike yet elegant enough to hold everything else. Plus, the included plate protects your walls.
- KLOX Urchin Wall Clock – Minimalist doesn’t have to mean boring. This clock comes in plenty of color options from slick black to vibrant purple.
- KEAS MOV-1 Ceramic Audio System – Combining exceptional style and killer acoustics, this speaker is wireless so you can bring it from room to room.
- Meagnaframe Frame Building System – Cycle through your most precious memories with this frame system. You can add frames as and when you’d like to always fit your space.
- Newton Lever-Press Espresso Maker – Simple is as simple does. Allowing you to physically experience coffee, this espresso maker can mount to the wall to keep your counters tidy.
- Griffin Cove 5-Port Charging Station – Keeping all your cables out of sight, this neat system takes on a modern aesthetic to fit in beautifully anywhere you put it.
- néolivingstones Large Pebble Sofa – Take your minimalism beyond your walls with this nature-inspired sofa. It looks like a real pebble yet offers total comfort.
- Microsoft GLAS Cortana Smart Thermostat – Thanks to the transparent glass design, this thermostat will never detract from your living space yet it provides you with total control.
If you’re looking for a little more guidance on a minimalist lifestyle, check out this video:
Do you live a minimalist life? What are some tips you have?
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