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Minimalism might seem like all the rage these days, but its roots go back to the sixties where it first appeared in New York as a form of rebellion against the worn-out academic style in visual arts. Over time, its philosophy gradually spread beyond this medium to:
Interior design – it was about uncluttered spacious rooms, natural and clean forms.
Architecture – it brought basic geometrical forms, clean spaces, and a lot of natural light.
Fashion – during the sixties, two French designers introduced minimalism, and Twiggy was the most famous model that popularized minimalistic approach with her mod shift dresses. One glance at the fashion in 2016 and you’ll see similar trends: monochromatic outfits, natural fabrics, simple cuts, and neutral earthy tones dominated the runways. High street fashion brands embraced minimalism, making it easier than ever for a wearer to show authenticity with minimum details.
In the simplest of definitions on minimalism, The Minimalists define it as “a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.” Minimalism has allowed me to draw my focus from material things to the ones that really matter and cannot be replaced: family, friends, and real experiences.
Here are five ways minimalism changed my life and I think it can change yours too:
A GREATER SENSE OF SELF: YOU ARE MORE THAN YOUR POSSESSIONS
Realizing the things you own have nothing to do with your identity is liberating. Too often, we get emotionally attached to objects when in fact – they can get in the way of conscious living. Clearing the external space around you can give way to more space for internal serenity. Minimalism has also supported me through my quarter-life crisis: even though I’m still not quite sure what I’m doing with my life, drawing focus to myself instead of my possessions, helped me realize I am a multi-potentialite.
A NEWFOUND PERSONAL STYLE
My newfound minimalistic lifestyle reflected in the way I dressed too. I started with donating clothes I knew no longer fit my overall lifestyle. Next, I began building a wardrobe that felt more like me: simple. I felt at peace with myself and didn’t feel the need to draw too much of attention with invading colors or patterns. Not that there is anything wrong with colors or patterns, but I tried to adopt a style that was a bit more mature with pieces that could easily be matched together. I looked for simple black evening dresses as I’ve realized that I didn't need to follow current trends but rather, choose pieces that make me feel confident and enhance my attributes. Black, gray, white, olive, and beige dominate my closet. I learned that when I started appreciating the fact I can look good effortlessly, I actually drew more attention to myself.
APPRECIATION OF EXPERIENCES OVER POSSESSIONS
Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you a concert ticket. Try turning to experiences instead of purchasing goods: adventures, concerts, and traveling. Alexa von Tobel, the founder of Learnvest, says this is called the “cost per happy“. That experience will likely bring you more hours of joy as you look back on the memories, compared to that bomber jacket you wore twice while freaking out if you are pulling off the trend.
Embracing minimalism has made me realize I don’t want to waste my life hating Mondays, just paying bills, while working for the weekend. To truly live, I needed to remember what’s important: laughing with friends, traveling, falling in love, even the everlasting life drama I was convinced would pass after high school. Minimalism helped me declutter the distractions and realize the essence of life.
Clutter has been found to zap people of their energy, myself included. Clearing up my personal space made me feel more in control and focused, as if I cleaned up my mental space, too.
This doesn’t mean you need to strip your room from any personal touch. On the contrary, some little things (e.g. photos or artwork) are what make one's house a home. However, with minimalism, I realized that notion of home is much broader than a place I live in. Make sure objects truly have a purpose to make your space warmer instead of just collecting dust and making you anxious and trapped without you even realizing it.
My transition towards minimalism did not happen all of the sudden: it was a slow process that eventually took over my life. As I've continued along the this journey, I feel more free and happy.
99 thoughts on “5 Ways Minimalism Can Change Your Life”
I love a clean desk and I generally try to have less clutter and little things no one needs. Totally frees up my mind 🙂
That’s the way to do it!
I love this! We bought our home last summer and after merging together apartment items into one, we have gathered quite a bit of clutter. We are 24 years old and have a lot of junk. My goal for 2017 is to de-clutter this house and our closets and make more with less.
Love that goal Alexis! I can totally relate to where you are at! My husband and I merged his apartment and all the stuff from the last 23 years of my life into a one bedroom apartment! It was okay but then we moved to another one bedroom apartment with wayyyy less closet space so now we have boxes in our living room all the time lol
I’m slowly getting there and love the process. It’s very therapeutic!
I am so jealous! My process has been SO slow haha every time I get rid of stuff – i turn around and more appeared! haha
My home has been a disaster. I always feel so much better once I purge and really get the space clean and decluttered. If only I could keep it that way!
Haha that’s my issue too! I guess that’s why she said it’s a process! haha
Love this post! These tips were so useful and I could definitly use a more minimalist life!
Glad you liked it Ruya!
I love these tips! Over the last year I started my personal minimalist journey and I can’t tell you how much stress it has taken away from me. It is amazing what simple everyday changes can make to your life! http://www.allison-blaising.com/
Totally agree! What are some of the changes you implemented?
This was really inspiring! I like to think I live an uncluttered life but you have shown me that I definitely have some work to do to clear my mind and my surroundings.
La Belle Sirene
Glad you enjoyed the post Courtney!
Minimalism is a real journey for me.. I’m good at purging but BAD about not restocking. I like the idea that it changes your personal style (probably decoratively as well as in fashion) to something more you.
I feel a post-holiday closet purge coming on….
Laura @ http://www.cookwineandthinker.com
Haha I don’t choose to re-stock but the mail man keeps dropping junk off! haha I totally need a post-holiday purge too!
This was a great read! I so need to work on becoming more of a minimalist!
The Blush Blonde
As someone who’s looking to move cross country (and not rent a truck) I’m trying to become more minimalist. However, my wardrobe is not going. I like the concept but I like color and variety too much. Drab neutral tones do not work with my skin tone. Also when you have to pay $2 a load to wash your clothes, I want to avoid paying that very frequently.
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