You can’t be a minimalist unless you’re in a room with only a chair and a table. That’s the success and happiness you have to chase now. Minimalism has morphed and it’s now materialism. So get used to it.
Okay, not really. But you have to admit, minimalism has become a competition. Who has the emptiest space? Who’s the closest to having nothing? Everybody showing off to their minimalist friends all for the sake of cool points (likes, hearts, retweets, etc).
The Movement of Minimalism
That’s some people, but that’s NOT YOU! Maybe we got sucked into it at one point, but I know we know better. Minimalism is a movement to stop chasing materialism. It’s finding meaning and joy on your own terms. Defining success as you see it and not as society tells you to see it. In the words of Kevin Durant, “you the real MVP!” Because you’re doing a kick-ass job whatever way you’re doing minimalism! So F the snobs. Let them play their silly game, and you do you.
I’ll make it easier for everybody. Here’s my version of minimalism. Nothing gets thrown away, nothing gets organized. The end!
I’ll probably piss off a few minimalists, but I don’t care much for doing that stuff. Because my version of minimalism is decluttering my mind. That’s way more of a mess than my room. Clearing out the thoughts I don’t need, cleaning up broken feelings, and just making space for good relationships and happy experiences. That’s what I call minimalism.
But that’s just me!
What About You?
You can make it whatever you want it to be. My girlfriend likes having less items and having stuff mostly organized. But even she has her limits. She’ll never just own one pot or pan because she loves to cook. And because she loves to cook, she likes having a lot of cooking supplies. That’s her minimalism, and that makes her happy. And I for one, am one hell of a lucky man (yes, I cook too).
Everyone has their own version of minimalism. I asked a question on Reddit that talked about this. The responses were enlightening, even for me. For example, one person’s version of minimalism meant less stuff so her son can have less stress dealing with her possessions after she died. For another person, her version of minimalism was spending less as she starts college, but she considers it temporary for this specific journey. And for one last person, minimalism meant having less items and more space for her and her friends to enjoy whenever they visit.
What is Your Minimalism?
You have to find your minimalism. Trends always end up having people who are influencers. They start stressing their own rules for people to follow. Sometimes with good intentions, other times just to be worshipped.
“Throw away an item a day.” “Follow this 10 minute decluttering guide.” “Wear only 5 shirts a week.” Good grief, it’s like we’re all back in school again. Well you’re not, and you can break all the “minimalist rules” you want. As my first blog post told you, you can be a minimalist and never throw away anything! No 10 minute decluttering guides. Wear 1000 shirts a week if you like (but seriously, don’t do that).
If minimalism was about being the closest to nothing, then we should all be running around naked in the woods right now. But my guess is most of you don’t want to be nudists, and most of you don’t like bugs. Minimalism is about one single thing. You!
What you want out of life, what makes you happy, and what gives you meaning. That’s it!
It’s not the amount of items you own that defines how minimalist you are, it’s the amount of happiness you have. Do minimalism however it makes you happy.