Minimalism is not new, but the trend has taken off in recent years. In short, minimalism is the principle that you do with less. In western society, hoarding, collecting, and consuming are seen as normal, however it is anything but that. Because of all the excess, people find they aren’t as happy. Unfortunately, not a lot of people attribute clutter to life dissatisfaction.
Even the wealthy, who are usually considered to be materialistic, are practicing minimalism. That’s because with less mess, there’s less stress. You can also incorporate it into your own life, even if that doesn’t mean you have a place that looks like this:
but might be a little closer to this:
Because while minimalism in a design sense can be seen as an aesthetic, it is more about the lifestyle a minimalists leads.
Here is a look at how minimalism can instantly improve your quality of life.
You’ll Have an Easy-to-Clean House
The more stuff you have, the less likely your stuff will have a designated place to go. You’ll start collecting junk, losing things you didn’t even know you had, and pretty soon you’ll find yourself overwhelmed.
Instead of having to do a massive clean-up once a month, why not opt for a low-maintenance house? It would take mere minutes of your time as opposed to hours to get your house clean. And you can forget about disgusting smells and stains that have mystery origins. Less stuff means fewer places for forgotten messes, and fewer opportunities for questionable smells.
Your House will Look More Stylish
For some reason, people think more is more. You end up with places that overdo style, such as this:
While aesthetically pleasing, the space is so cramp and full of stuff it isn’t livable. Great care would have to be taken to keep this bedroom in the condition it’s in. Also, notice how the chair is LITERALLY in the way of the chest of drawers? You would have to move it to get anything out! The problem with this room is it’s overcompensating for its size. In actuality, this room could be great with a little less going on.
I ran across a great article discussing the phenomenon of “propping,” or designing without a practical purpose. In it, the author discusses how people are being flooded with images like the one above via social media. They then try their hardest to emulate these styles without actually having a reason to do it other than to show off a lifestyle ideal. I liken it to people hanging instruments they don’t play on their walls, or typography that talks about seeing the world when they most certainly don’t intend to. This pointlessness is best left to design professionals whose lives revolve around that sort of thing, or folks that can afford maids. I believe the average person should be happy with simpler things. It isn’t to say you can’t design your home, but don’t do it to the point where you don’t relate to where you come home to at night.
A place like this for instance, is equally as beautiful as the one above and more likely to stay this way:
You could literally not make up your bed, and it would still look stylish and lived-in. Also, the space blends design and practicality flawlessly. The standing clothes rack makes the next days outfit easily accessible. A sitting area off to the left is a good distance from your bed. Live greenery makes the space feel fresh. Also, there’s nothing blocking anything.
Kitchen Cleanup Will be a Breeze
Kitchens are the biggest nightmares with most homes. Trying to organize one can be tedious. To make it easier, try going the route of the minimalist kitchen. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. That’s because everyone cooks differently. I may not need a rice cooker very often, but someone else might. So what do you do?
Take stock of what you have. Do you have 5 spatulas and 10 mixing bowls? Time to get rid of some of those. If you notice any appliances that are just taking up space, time to get rid of those too. Pair things down until you end up with what you know you’ll use often. If you come across something you’re on the fence about, store it in a cabinet. If in a couple of weeks you haven’t touched it, that could be a sign it should go too. Minimalist kitchens are efficient, and make cooking a lot less scary.
Your Donations Could Help People
Donating is a wonderful thing that a lot of people don’t do. Instead of throwing out all that stuff you just got rid of, why not donate it instead?
Sitting around your house are plenty of things that could be put to use by someone else. For instance, I put off donating or sorting any of my kids clothes. After a huge cleaning effort, I found out my kids had two garbage bags worth of clothes they couldn’t fit or I didn’t like. Plenty of 1-5 year old’s could have benefited from those clothes a couple of years ago.
The good news is they will be put to good use now. I won’t have a cluttered house, and children in need can use the clothes we don’t. Also, many women’s shelters, veteran’s clinics, and children’s homes could also benefit from donations of all sorts.
Since I’m a bleeding heart, I tend to want to donate things first. If you’re hard up for cash however, you could also have a yard sale and make a little extra money off things you don’t want. This is another win-win situation. Whatever you don’t sell, donate!
So what do you think about minimalism? Do you think it’s more of a lifestyle choice than a general way people should live? Are you a minimalist, or in the stages of becoming one? I want to hear your thoughts, so comment…and of course subscribe please 😉
Thanks for reading!