Minimalism is a concept that received widespread attention over the past decade. In the chaos and widespread mass consumerism of modern life, minimalism came across as a breath of fresh air for many.
Essentially, minimalism is a concept that revolves around simplifying and organizing our possessions and as well as other areas of our lives, to live with more free space and freedom.
Minimalism gained recognition through social media platforms. The Minimalists, a duo of two American public speakers Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, played a huge role in the popularity of minimalism.
Social media influencers have also promoted this concept and planted the seed of thought in many people’s mind. But the question remains...
What is minimalism, and is it as life changing as it claims to be?
Finance is a primary focus in minimalism. Disorganized finances as well as debt can wreak havoc in people’s lives. However, minimalism seriously aids in bringing order to financial chaos. Strategic debt repayment as well as proper budgeting can bring financial freedom, which drastically improves lives and is basically a game-changer.
Another focus in minimalism is simplifying one’s possessions. Slowly but surely, people accumulate items that are not of any need or use. It does not happen overnight. Going through their own belongings can make them realize how much of their space was taken by unnecessary and useless items. These excesses can be donated or discarded depending on their condition.
People have reported on having felt relief after clearing out their living spaces. Doing so can also help one to understand their own likes and dislikes, to make better and informed purchases.
Minimalism is also applied often in arts and aesthetic purposes. For a cleaner and classic look, muted and neutral color schemes are followed when minimalists build their wardrobe. You will seldom find a pair of flashy pink boots in a minimalist’s closet. In home décor, furniture as well as other decorating pieces also follow a scheme of simplicity in color as well as design, to maintain that aesthetic pattern.
Energy conservation is also an essential part of this movement. People go for low energy consuming means of transportation like cycling, instead of cars. Others go for public transportation, because although it does consume energy, it is better than everyone using personal motor vehicles as it conserves energy collectively. Some also downsize on the number of electronic devices, and utilize multipurpose ones, to cut down on electricity.
Minimalism can help the environment in crucial ways. Lower consumption of items will result in factories cutting down production. That can also lead to conservation of energy and natural resources. Less items produced equates to less wastage.
A lot of our trash goes into the ocean and endangers aquatic wildlife and pollutes the waters. Significant reduction of wastage can help in preserving our oceans. A ton of valuable resources from the forests have gone to waste, which is a great shame. The Amazon Forest, also knows as the lungs of our planet, has been used and abused limitlessly. Minimalism can create significant waves of change in this area.
Mixed responses to minimalism, and its far end alternative
People’s response to the movement have been mixed. Most people have immensely benefited from minimalism and had huge positive impact in their lives. It has brought order in their chaos and simplified their lives to make room for more meaningful things.
Others had different experiences. They did not find that much of a difference in their lives. Some have even said that minimalism reduced creativity and meaning from the things they usually enjoy.
There is a far end to this: maximalism. The concept can be summarized as ‘more is more’. It believes in extravagance in every aspect of life.
A maximalist’s home may be full of colors and eccentricity, as well as clutter. The thought process behind this is that life only comes once, so to fully enjoy all that it has to offer proponents say people should embrace maximalism. Maximalism is said to promote originality and individuality, which cannot be all that achieved in minimalism.
Ultimately, however, minimalism can change lives for the better. It can improve finances, living conditions, as well as the environment. However, pushing this concept too forcefully to people can make it distasteful, and become counterproductive.
As such, finding a good balance with enough wiggle room depending on your tolerance levels is key in sticking to minimalism in the long run.